The Catholic Diocese of Arlington wishes you and your family a blessed and merry Christmas. As we all celebrate the joy of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we thank God for all of the blessings He has bestowed on us throughout the year. We should also turn our thoughts to the less fortunate and the poor, who struggle with meeting their daily needs.
As Pope Francis said in his encyclical Evangelii Gaudium, “Small yet strong in the love of God, like Saint Francis of Assisi, all of us, as Christians, are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live, and all its peoples” (Evangelii Gaudium, 216). Our Bishop Paul Loverde also wrote on the importance of service and charity in his pastoral letter, Go Forth With Hearts On Fire, saying, “As children of God and followers of Christ, we seek opportunities for acts of charity, for living out our faith in concrete ways. Expressing the love for the Gospel through our actions is vital to being faithful disciples of Jesus and His authentic witnesses” (Go Forth With Hearts On Fire, 27).
This year, we’d like to offer you a daily challenge to support those in need. We’ll be posting a charity every day of the 12 days of the Christmas season on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and compiling all 12 on our blog. We hope that this opportunity inspires you to give generously, knowing that you’re following Our Lord’s command in Luke, “Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 13:13-14). God bless you and your families this Christmas season and always.
12 Days of Charity
Day One: Catholic Charities
Day Two: Gabriel Project and Project Rachel
Day Three: Alpha Omega Clinic
Day Four: Divine Mercy Care
Day Five: Catholic Relief Services
Day Six: Migration and Refugee Services
(Please note: to donate directly to the Arlington Diocesan MRS affiliate office, please visit http://www.ccda.net/programs_mrs.php.)
Day Seven: St. Vincent de Paul Society
Day Eight: Retirement Fund for Religious
Day Nine: Pontifical Mission Societies
Day Eleven: MaterCare International
Day Twelve: John Paul II Medical Research Institute
Thank you for supporting the 12 Days of Charity! We hope you were inspired to give and that you had a joyful Christmas with continued blessings in the new year!