A New Year’s message from our Provincial Director Fr. Jeffrey Kirch, C.PP.S.

2024 appears before us, shiny and new, rolling out its endless possibilities. In the words of the Christmas carol “Deck the Halls” (the fa-la-la-la-la’s are implied), Fast away the old year passes, Hail the new, ye lads and lasses.

Fast away the old year passes, indeed. It seems like the calendar moves faster and faster every year. As for hailing the new, it is not that easy when you live in Chicago, like I do. Here, January wind and weather do not do much to foster new growth. Equally discouraging is the daily news, with its worldly ration of chaos and discord.

So it may be up to us to take on the new start that the calendar offers. How do we do that? Perhaps by examining the past. We can think about the times in our lives when God has granted us a new beginning, a new reason to hope, when God has somehow—sometimes through times of dismal darkness—brought light and laughter back into our world. When a good friend shows up at the door, offering support. When a favorite book or song hits us in a new way, and we gain perspective that gets us through a difficult day. When we cross paths with people who are not like us in any way, and find in them a fascinating view of the world we thought we knew.

God always calls us to new life: to hope anew, to walk in a new direction, to reach out to strangers. January 1 is as good a time as any to take the path that God offers us every day, on to new discoveries and all the possibilities that God’s loving heart brings to us.

Yours in the Blood of Christ,

V. Rev. Jeffrey S. Kirch, C.PP.S.
Provincial Director