Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On my first Christmas in Raleigh, I give thanks to all of you for the gift that you are to the Church, to me and to the Diocese. In the short time I have been here, I have already begun to feel at home and am looking forward to celebrating Christmas Mass with you.
Christmas is a beautiful time to discover why God sent his Son to us. God wanted to approach his people and to speak to us in a way we would understand. Jesus began life as a baby and grew from a boy to a man. He comes to us in human nature, without sin, but to experience life. That is Christmas, giving thanks to God for sending his Son, so we may know that, through him, God understands us.
When we gather with our family members, friends and parishioners this season, let us remember to celebrate this gift and celebrate the joy of life. Let us also remember those who have passed on before us, that they will know the fullness of these gifts in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Please know that I will keep all of you in my prayers at the Masses I offer on Christmas. Through the intercession of Mary our Mother and Saint Joseph, may their Son and our Lord Jesus help us to live as God's holy family at Christmas, throughout the New Year and all the days of our lives.
Luis Rafael Zarama
Bishop of Raleigh