My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, peace be with you!
As we celebrate Christmas this year 2016 and bring to memory the birth of Jesus, may our lives be deeply touched by God’s love. As we contemplate on the child Jesus who is born, may our hearts be filled with joy. As your spiritual leader in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, I manifest my spiritual closeness and accompaniment in prayer to all our faithful this season of Christmas. I also wish that every family, every home, every parish in the Diocese would live and share the memory of Jesus enshrined in peace, justice, unity, forgiveness, love and joy!
There is Christmas because God listened to the cry of every vulnerable heart longing for redemption. There is Christmas because in humble obedience Mary listened to the will of God amidst the canvass of a world in bleak uncertainty. There is Christmas for in the silence of the night in a lowly manger, God shared our humanity and made that human cry his very own, eloquently assuring us to listen to his promise of staying with us off to the road to reconciliation in relationship, hope in a reclaimed dignity and fullness of life.
Inspired by the very same spirit of listening, I hope to continue our pilgrimage of faith in 2017 by leading the Church of Chalan Kanoa to become a Church that reflectively listens. The memory of the love of God in Jesus which the Church keeps and safeguards, although does not change, but is relevantly challenged by the emerging pastoral situations and challenges in the contemporaneous times. That is why I desire to spend more time next year conducting pastoral visits and reflective discernments with the clergy, the parishes, the church organizations and communities—so that I may listen to you and with you in a consultative and dialogical manner and make my own “the joys and anxieties of the people.” With you, I also want to listen to the movement of the Spirit in the life and mission of our Diocese towards a more pastorally responsive direction that promotes the welfare of the people in the present times, attends to the needs of the poor and is joyfully faithful to the Lord’s call of evangelization.
Entrusting our Diocese to the protection of our Lady of Mount Carmel, may she accompany us as we continue to build, with the grace of God, our renewed spiritual home and revitalized Christian life which fosters communion, participation and mission and where the love of God is lived out through our love for one another.
Wishing you all and your families Christmas joy and a New Year filled with new blessings of God’s goodness. Jesus is born! Let us rejoice!
+Ryan P. Jimenez, D.D.
Bishop of Chalan Kanoa