A Christmas Tradition
In 1949, Msgr. Thomas McMahon, the president of CNEWA, journeyed to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, to celebrate Christmas Midnight Mass.
He carried in his hands a birthday gift for the newborn Prince of Peace, a gift for the least of his brothers and sisters.
He carried in his heart the special intentions of all who made the gift possible, the generous benefactors of CNEWA. He remembered their intentions to the infant Savior as he celebrated the Lord’s birthday Mass.
Now it’s 2011, sixty-two years later. The Holy Land is still troubled. India, Northeast Africa and Eastern Europe, too. CNEWA is still carrying aid and assistance to the poor and neglected.
And the priest charged by the Holy Father to lead CNEWA — yours truly — is still journeying to Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas Midnight Mass.
The last tradition is a happy one. I’m delighted to offer this Mass for you, my first as the president of CNEWA. I’m honored to represent you in the very place where Jesus was born.
I follow another tradition, too — of appealing for your love and charity for people and churches in need.
God willing, I’ll soon be in Bethlehem. I’ll carry your special intentions in my heart. Please let me carry in my hands your birthday gift for the Christ Child.
Msgr. John E. Kozar