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2017 Christmas Message from the Chair of the Board

My dear friends,

Once again, our Catholic community experiences the wonder of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the shepherds of Bethlehem, as they contemplate the newborn Child laid in a manger: Jesus, the Saviour.

On this day full of light, the prophetic proclamation resounds:

For a child has been born for us,

a son given to us;

authority rests upon his shoulders;

and he is named

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:6)

Our Catholic community is busy with preparations to rejoice in the birth of Our Lord. Our schools, offices, and parishes gather in prayer, reflection and celebration. This is truly a joyful time of year during which we are reminded of the sanctity of life and the importance of faith and family in our day-to-day routines.

In the month of December, celebrations of our faith are all around us; there are school concerts, parties, liturgies, and other gatherings taking place across our school district. I congratulate and thank our staff for their dedication and enthusiasm in planning these celebrations for our communities.

In the midst of all of the joy and festivities, we must remind ourselves that Christmas is not just a time for celebrations and merry making; it is more than that. Christmas is a time for the contemplation of eternal things and reflection that this season can be a very difficult one for many, particularly those who are need.

Our Catholic traditions help us focus on the true meaning of the Advent season, and we display this by the virtue of charity and by selflessly giving to those who are less fortunate than us. We must always remember that the true spirit of Christmas is one of giving and forgiving. I ask each of you to please keep those in need of love, compassion and a safe place to live in your hearts and in your prayers.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we wish you and your loved ones the peace of Christ at this very special time of year. May your hearts be warmed by the love of Jesus and may you all experience the gift of faith and the blessing of hope during this holiday season. May you take time to rest and enjoy the precious moments that you are presented with as you celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A heartfelt Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you and thank you, once again, for your commitment and service to Catholic education.

Rick Petrella
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board