Byrnes: Inclusiveness is key for the Catholic Church | News


Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes has released his Christmas message for 2021.

My dear brothers and sisters,

The peace and joy of Jesus Christ be with you this Christmas Day!

As we celebrate Christmas and the Happy Birth of… Jesus, I extend my prayers to all of Guam. Something as magnificent as the Son of God made flesh to save us from our sins should awaken our hearts to prayer, fervently and frequently. We pray in exaltation. We pray in thanks. We pray as a way to converse with our Lord and tell him how much we love him for all that he has done and continues to do for us.

The birth of our Savior, the coming of our Redeemer, is the source of our happiness as baptized infants of God. This is why, as Christians, we can experience excruciating trials, losses, and sorrows while still emerging firmly in our faith. Without his saving grace, we are ruined. Without his guiding Light, we are lost.

This Christmas season, I encourage everyone to resolve to follow the light of Jesus Christ more closely. Just as the Magi were guided by the Star of Bethlehem in their search for the holy child king born of Mary, trust the light of the world to guide you in every effort and decision you make. May you grow in holiness with every step you take.

Complete trust in God and surrender to the will of the Holy Spirit is precisely what our Archdiocese of Agaña and the Church around the world must do in the coming months. Pope Francis called on the Church to embark on a path of communion, participation and mission within the framework of a Synod on Synodality which will bring together the bishops in Rome in 2023.

The Church of Guam began our diocesan phase of the synod with Mass on December 7 at Dulce Nombre de Maria Basilica-Cathedral. On the eve of the feast of Santa Marian Kamalen and the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, we have certainly found more reasons to come together in prayer. Please include serious petitions in your daily prayers that our Archdiocese will recognize and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit during the diocesan phase.

In this Synod, we will walk together with the goal of being more inclusive as we look to our future Church, paying special attention to those on the margins, whose concerns and perspective are so often overlooked. In a very real sense, the process will not be a time of Church preaching, rather it will be a time of reflection and listening.

The Church will host listening sessions across the island that will welcome the hearts and voices of a wide range of people. We will strive to create a space to hear the Holy Spirit together and get a sense of the direction the Church should take at this time in history. Synodality seeks to include not only those who attend Mass and are active in our parishes but the silent majority as well as those who have left the Church, feel excluded or feel pushed to the periphery of the Church and the Church. company.

In our local effort it is important that we strengthen our friendship with Jesus because he is the one who will walk with us as we walk this Synod of Synodality. It is the gift that we celebrate at Christmas and every day of our lives, that God gave his only son to be with us, to guide us and save us from our sins.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.


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