Dear Reader: Endings and Beginnings

Cardinal sitting on a frozen birdhouse

One of my favorite tasks at the end of the year is to start filling out my brand-new yearly planner, transferring things from the previous one and plugging in new upcoming events and plans. It feels like a fresh start and, boy, do we need one.

It is also a natural time for reflection on what has happened during the past year and what we look forward to in the coming one. In this issue, we try to do the same thing—to look at where we are, with all its challenges, and to help move ahead into the new year.

In her article “Health-Care Heroes: New York City Nurses,” author Rita E. Piro highlights two nurses and a chaplain who were on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis this past year and how their faith helped them get through. My article “A COVID-19 Christmas” provides suggestions for families on how to celebrate Advent and Christmas in a different way because of the pandemic. On the other end of the season, in “Praying on Paper,” author Terry Hershey encourages us to take some time to reflect on and process our thoughts and feelings through the act of journaling.

This has been a difficult year, for sure. But in the birth of Christ, we celebrate the arrival of the hope we long for right now. All of us at Franciscan Media wish you a very blessed Christmas and New Year.

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