Christmas Blessings

Christmas Blessings

As I pause to write this Christmas message I find myself pondering present realities. Since June we have buried four community members, the most recent just this week. A number of our oblates have passed away, the most recent just this week. Several of our sisters have experienced the death of loved ones, the most recent just this week. I listen to the news and I see violence and death all around us: in our city, our nation, our world. How does all of this figure into Christmas?

The answer that came to me is really quite simple: Christmas allows Christ to come into our world as a glorious light in the darkness. The Light of Christ comes to brighten our lives and give us hope, to fill our spirits with joy and our hearts with peace. Unconditional love, Jesus the Emmanuel, makes God present, not just for a moment but for an eternity. This is reason to rejoice.

We have reason to rejoice and we do. The Christmas season has already brought us great joy in the generosity and thoughtfulness of our friends and family members, our benefactors and supporters. We rejoice in the goodness of God’s love made real in every kind word and helping hand, not just today but every day.

Together let us make real the love of God that reveals itself yet again in the celebration of the birth of Christ into the world so that the light, hope, and joy of Christmas will remain with us always.

Wishing you and yours a most blessed Christmas . . . .

Sister Anne Wambach

Sister Anne Wambach, OSB, the twenty-first prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania is a native of Philadelphia. She moved to Mount St. Benedict Monastery in 1992 to respond to a desire to experience the monastic way of life. Previously a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Chestnut Hill, Sister Anne began the formal transfer process to the Erie Benedictines in 1993 and made her monastic profession in 1997.

Sister Anne has served the people of the Diocese of Erie as a teacher at St. Gregory's School in North East, Pa., from 1992-1995, and at the Neighborhood Art House in Erie, beginning as program director in 1995 and as executive director since 2005. She served on the Monastic Council from 2006-2010.