UP Catholic 12 20 2019 E Edition Page 1

The Catholic U.P . EVANGELIZATION EDUCATION INFORMATION $2.00 20 Pages December 20, 2019 Vol. 48 No. 18 THE NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE CONSTRUCTION ISSUE: PGS. 12-15 CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES: PGS. 8-11 Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, A s we give thanks and praise to the Lord Jesus on the joyous feast of Christmas, know of my hope and prayer that you and your loved ones encounter Jesus more deeply in your hearts. One day last spring I was hiking with one of my friends. At one point we stopped at a scenic spot by a stream for lunch. While enjoying conversation and a bit of nourishment, I spotted something moving in the trees. It was black. Yes, you know what it was. Soon we were visited by a bear cub. We were not too worried about the cub. Rather, our thoughts turned to whether its mother was hungry for lunch and had a taste for clergy. Given that you are reading this article, you know that I was not eaten. My friend and I slowly and cautiously made our get- away, keeping our eyes open for mamma bear, whom we never did see. This account points to a common human experience. We often face worries about what will happen to us and the ones we love. In such circumstances where do we find safety? The answer is found in a babe born in Bethlehem. Jesus was born to save us from what threatens us most, sin and death. Moreover, he promised to be with us always and sent the Holy Spirit, the fire of his love, into our hearts. He is our refuge, our strength. These are not empty words. Jesus means and does what he says that he will do. For example, let us read the witness of one of the high school students in the diocese who was confirmed this year. The confirmation candidates write me a letter to request the sacrament and often share how God has worked in their lives. To respect the persons privacy, I will withhold the name. The person wrote: In my life Ive had times where my faith was shaken, or I put distance between me and God, or bad times where I put things before Him. I felt this for a long time, but this past year at a Steubenville conference I felt His presence. I felt at peace and as if nothing mattered but Him and that He will always be there and no matter what He will always love me. From that point, I vowed to never fade from the faith. I started to pray more and just talk to God, and since then I have never been more at peace with myself and my life. What I mean is that I realized that if you dont have hope and faith you have nothing, and God is everything. God is love, and if you dont have love you are lost. Our hope is found in Jesus who came into the world for our salvation. If like this student you feel that your faith has been tried or if you have even wandered away from him, now is the time to come back. You have nothing to lose but your sins and everything to gain! I invite you simply to pray the following prayer in these or your own words. Jesus, I am sorry for my sins and I put my faith and trust in you. Come into my life and my heart and fill me with your Holy Spirit, the fire of your love. I give my life to you. Help me to follow you in faith. May Jesus fill your heart with the depths of his love as you celebrate Christmas. Sincerely in Christ, +John F. Doerfler Bishop of Marquette Our hope is found in Jesus FILE PHOTO The nativity scene at St. Peter Cathedral, Marquette, depicting Mary and Joseph keeping watch over their son, Jesus. VOTER GUIDE: Do good P3 Joy of the Gospel Bishop John Doerfler FILE PHOTO

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