Bishop's New Year's Message 2022

Friday, Dec. 31, 2021
Bishop's New Year's Message 2022 + Enlarge
Bishop Oscar A. Solis
By The Most Rev. Oscar A. Solis
Bishop of Salt Lake City

Greetings of Christ’s peace and love, my friends,

As we enter the year 2022, I pray that the spirit of Christmas continues to linger in our hearts. The reminder of Christ’s coming, his abiding presence with us and the love, joy and hope our Savior brings are tremendous gifts for our suffering, broken and troubled world. I pray this message finds you well and enjoying the peace that Christ brings.

The new year provides the opportunities for us to turn a new page in our history. We remember and give thanks for the blessings of the past year, despite the challenges, adversities and uncertainties that we continue to endure. Thank God for Christmas, renewing our confidence that God sent his only Begotten Son, our Savior to bring new light and life to our world.

Amidst all the troubles and losses we have experienced in the past year, there were also moments of joy and gladness. Our diocese was able to lift most restrictions for liturgical gatherings, so we could come together again as a faith family to worship, celebrate the Holy Mass, baptisms, weddings and other services in person. Catholic Community Services reopened the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall to in-house dining and continues serving the needs of our homeless brothers and sisters.  

Furthermore, the new year gives us the chance to look forward in hope. The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, on Jan. 1 sets the tone for our disposition as we march ahead to write a new chapter in our story. We honor and thank our Blessed Virgin Mary for giving birth to Jesus, the Emmanuel, who guides our path to eternal life. She teaches us to ponder and treasure the various moments we have enjoyed as well as the sorrows and adversities we endured. Her feast day is an ideal time to seek her loving intercession during this new year to renew faith, trust and confidence in God’s love and mercy.

We pray to her as we continue to help build a culture of life and a culture of care in our society and in the world. A resolution to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case presently before the U.S. Supreme Court may have a dramatic effect on the availability of abortion in our country. Our pastoral care for women in crisis or other such circumstances is essential. At a local level, the Utah State Legislature will consider putting an end to the death penalty, the cruel and inhumane practice of taking life through state-sanctioned executions that undermines our basic belief in the sanctity of life of every human person from conception to natural death.

Finally, the new year also presents us with a fresh start, new perspectives and new opportunities as well. We look forward to the coming months as parishes throughout the diocese, in communion with the Holy Father and the Catholic churches all over the world, join the Synod of Bishops on Synodality process underway as we all journey together to pray, listen and discern what people value in our Church, their aspirations and suggestions as to how we can do better.

When the Synod concludes in June, the National Eucharistic Revival kicks in. It is an exciting moment for us to refocus our minds and hearts on the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Mass as the source and summit of our Christian life and worship. I urge the people of God in our diocese – indeed, all Catholics – to participate in these events and to welcome those who are on the fringes of our faith, of our community or our society to share their voices on how we as a Church can walk together on the path to the Heavenly Kingdom.  

Like Mary, the Mother of God, let us place our lives and the world in the hands of God. Filled with Christ’s love, let us be bearers of hope during these challenging times to generously share that hope with others and help renew the hearts of our brothers and sisters. May God bless the year 2022 with his redeeming grace to bring healing, lasting joy and peace to the world.

Happy New Year!

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