The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. December 27th, 2020.

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Saint Therese Parish,
 
You may at some time have had the opportunity to see the movie classic “Lion in Win-ter”. In it Katherine Hepburn, playing the role of Eleanor of Aquitaine, looks into the camera following a knock-down-drag-out family brawl within the castle and confides to the audience: “every family has it’s ups and downs”. Almost always the audience chuck-les. We all know it’s true. Every family does have its ups and downs.
 
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family...Jesus, Mary and Joseph. When we conjure them up within our imagination we may see them as a perfect, tightly knit, pious threesome. How could we not? But they certainly had their ups and downs. Not being able to find room at an inn, giving birth in a stable, fleeing from Herod...to name just a few challenges for this young couple and their newborn.
 
For each of us, sometimes our family situation, our growing up years, our close ties may be warm, loving, positive. For others of us, not so much. Maybe we have painful memo-ries that go way back...abusive situations, addictive acting out, emotional distance, con-flict, even abandonment; maybe a family tragedy which changed everything forever, a divorce or death which shattered our sense of safety and security. We do our best to heal, to trust perhaps an intimate circle of friends who become our family, to maybe marry and raise a family different than the one we grew up in. We all do the best we can to build relationships of trust, either building upon the solid foundations of a supportive family life, or allowing others in whose love heals and sustains us in new family bonds.
 
We as a parish are also called to be a spiritual family, a supportive, nourishing and wel-coming community that accepts people as they are, however they are. To be holy in it’s deepest sense. So wherever we are on the journey, whoever constitutes our family, let us make space for one another, a place at the table, a warm embrace. You are welcome here.
 
Blessings and peace,
Father Bob, C.P.