“Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright” Franz Xaver Gruber
Each year, it feels like Christmas begins sooner. Lately, people I talk with feel disconnected and unready for the season and many want to move on from this past year, where our lives were deeply affected. The days are moving faster, but the season isn’t feeling any merrier.
I recall a rainy November day hearing one of the favorite Christmas carols, “Silent Night, Holy Night”. The words from this classic hymn were lost by the noise of a hectic shopping mall. I knew it was there and my heart stirred once again. The song always seems to set the mood for a quiet, peaceful scene where people of faith sit in wonder at the birth of the Christ Child. In this season, no matter what is happening in the world around us, we all wait with hope for the fulfillment of God’s promise. In the familiar refrain from the prophet Isaiah, we will sing together another hymn of thankful praise: “For unto us a child is born, a son is given.” Let us Rejoice!
Here at Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center we try to provide a year-round opportunity for the weary, the worried or just those who wander to “retreat” to holy ground. Especially in these troubled times, hundreds of souls have found peaceful days and quiet nights where God has blessed and cared for them. And so again this Christmas, we renew our pledge, with the help of God, to make room in the inn for all who seek the Lord.
The one thing we have learned through all of this is we continue to walk beside each other. We, in our Passionist Family, vowed and lay community, Retreat Center staff and board members know that we have experienced an abundant amount of support from so many of our beloved donors, retreatants and friends. You have helped to carry us through. This Christmas our hearts are filled with gratitude for your generous help and loving support.
As you celebrate this Christmas season, please prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Christ the King. Our $40K Matching Gift Challenge Continues! and is made possible by the generosity of an anonymous retreatant and donor, now through December 31, 2021. For every dollar given, it will be matched.
We thank you for your continued prayers and support. May you have peaceful days and quiet nights during this Christmas season. And may God bless you in the New Year!
Forever in Christ,
Fr. Jim Strommer, CP Natalie Svistoonoff, MPH
Director of Ministry Executive Director