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A Christmas proclamation

 

By BISHOP ROBERT J. BAKER

On Dec. 31, the Diocese of Charleston concludes its Year of Prayer with the prayer intention for December of offering our life and work in total consecration to the service of the Gospel. I thank all in our diocese who have participated in this special Jubilee Year of Prayer by joining in the monthly Prayer Intentions. Though the Jubilee Year proclaimed by Pope John Paul II officially ends on the Feast of the Epiphany, Jan. 7, 2001, I hereby declare this Year of Prayer for the Diocese of Charleston concluded on Dec. 31, 2000, and proclaim the year 2001 as a Year of Reconciliation. We will have special monthly themes for parish and diocesan prayer, reflection and celebration. The Year of Reconciliation  2001 is to be regarded as a year of preparation preceding evangelization efforts in the future.

While we celebrate the diversities that characterize our church  being multiracial, multiethnic, multilingual, multicultural, with different political views and social and economic strata, we need to experience ourselves as one body, reconciled in Christ. The challenge we face as a church is to implement the theme of the Jubilee Year to “Open Wide the Doors to Christ” and to open wide the doors of our hearts so that people may feel at home in our parishes and missions, our schools and our diocese.

Our monthly themes for reflection and prayer in the Year 2001  The Year of Reconciliation are as follows:

January  Collaboration in Ministry  “the working together of all the baptized, each contributing specific, personal gifts (Source: NCCB Committee on the Laity, “Gifts Unfolding: the Lay Vocation Today with Questions for Tomorrow,” 1990).

February  The Gifts of our Black/African-American Brothers and Sisters (Black History Month)  “All men and women are created in God’s image; not just ‘some’ races and racial types, but ‘all’ bear the imprint of the Creator and are enlivened by the breath of one Spirit …” (Source: U.S. bishops “Brothers and Sisters to Us”).

March  The Dignity of Women  “Particular attention needs to be given to the vocation of women. On other occasions I have expressed my esteem for the specific contribution of women to the progress of humanity and recognized the legitimacy of the aspiration to take part fully in ecclesial, cultural, social and economic life.” (Source: “Ecclesia in America,” apostolic exhortation by Pope John Paul II, Jan. 22, 1999).

April  The Blessings of Children  Let us pray for all children who have been and are being abused  let us seek forgiveness and reconciliation for the times we have stood by and not interceded on behalf of children.

May  The Gifts of our Asian-American Brothers and Sisters  Let us welcome and celebrate with our brothers and sisters from Vietnam, Korea, Philippines, and other Asian countries who share with us their gifts.

June  The Stewardship of the Earth  Let us pray for and be reconciled with the earth  with our environment  let us seek forgiveness for how we have exploited the earth and its multiple gifts to us.

July  The Opportunity to be Faithful Citizens  Let us pray for collaboration and reconciliation between our political leaders. “In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue; participation in the political process is a moral obligation” (Source: U.S. Catholic bishops, “Faithful Citizenship: Civic Responsibility for a New Millennium,” 1999).

August  The Gifts of Native Americans  Let us pray for and be reconciled with our Native American brothers and sisters and learn from them their great love of the earth, the air, the waters, and all creatures, great and small.

September  The Gifts of all Persons of Spanish-speaking Origins  “Let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you, let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here Who am your Mother?” (Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego).

October  Respect all Life Issues  Let us pray for and seek reconciling hearts for all life issues  abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia and all violent acts inflicted on persons of all ages.

November  The Gifts of all European Americans  Many of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents came to this country seeking freedom from oppression, starvation, and persecution  let us pray that we might welcome all newcomers to our country and to our diocese  let us pray in Thanksgiving for all the blessings we have received.

December  Union of Mind and Heart with God  Let us put on the mind of Christ and strive for union with God through reconciliation. “For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh…that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it” (Ephesians 2:14-16)




  • Diocesan Events Calendar
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    Dec 174:00 pm Volunteer Christmas Party - Diocesan Center - Charleston
    From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
    Dec 18 Exams for periods 3 and 4
    From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
    Christmas Sock Day
    From the Calendar of St. John School North Charleston
    Christmas Holidays - School Closed
    From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Anderson
    No school - holiday
    From the Calendar of St. Mary Help of Christians Aiken
    11 am Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Anne and St. Jude Catholic School
    Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics at St. Ann Church
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    12:00 pm Bishop to say Mass at the Cathedral - Charleston
    From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
    2:00 pm Gr. K3-3rd Christmas Program
    From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville
    Dec 19 Exam for period 5
    From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
    Christmas Breaks Begins—Noon Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Peter School Beaufort
    Crazy Christmas Sweater Day
    From the Calendar of St. John School North Charleston
    End of 2nd Quarter
    From the Calendar of St. Francis Catholic School
    End of 2nd Quarter
    From the Calendar of St. Anne and St. Jude Catholic School
    Christmas Break
    From the Calendar of St. Anthony School Florence
    Christmas Program
    From the Calendar of St. Andrew School Myrtle Beach
    10:00 am ½ day-Christmas party
    From the Calendar of Holy Trinity North Myrtle Beach
    11:30 am Early Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Michael School Murrells Inlet
    6:00 pm Christmas Program
    From the Calendar of St. Martin de Porres School Columbia
    7:00 pm Gr. 4-8th Christmas Program
    From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville