Dear Friends,
Christmas this year will be an extraordinary experience.  No public gatherings with family and friends because of the pandemic.  This past nine months have impressed upon our person how facile and valuable life is.  By now many of us have experienced the death of someone we knew as a consequence of the unfolding pandemic.  We are not sure just when we will put this tragedy behind us and resume what we once knew as our normal life.
The message of Christmas is that God is with us, that the birth of Jesus brought a new reality to our relationship with God.  We are God’s family, not simply his chosen people.  This reality ought to give us comfort and hope that we never are going to be lost.  We are loved by a God who has given great freedom with our Free Will.  The usual Christmas spirit with its festivities and family celebrations with friends is what life with Jesus is all about.  Yet this year we are experiencing a challenge to that reality with this pandemic.  We need to work together by following the rules of wearing masks, social distancing and washing our hands frequently to insure our own safety and that of our family, friends and community.
I wish to thank you all for your enthusiastic support of our community this year and in the past.  I know that Rev. Leon Wood is very grateful to all you also for your generous gifts of toys to bring some cheer into the lives of children.  He will be sending us a formal thank you.
When we can again have a liturgy at our McAlister Center, we will have a grand celebration – a belated Christmas Mass and gala!  May you and your family have an enjoyable Christmas Day and a year of good cheer!  You can always contact me at my home (909 625-0369). McAlister is closed until further notice.
Take very good care of yourselves, keep safe and may God bless you all with good health in 2021!
- Fr. Joe

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Chaplains Office · McAlister Center for Religious Activities · 919 Columbia Avenue · Claremont, CA 91711 · USA

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