The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Imagine being a lowly shepherd, watching over your sheep on a typical night, and then suddenly, your life changes forever. A bright light and a multitude of angels appear, proclaiming that “great joy” is to be had. While the message was one of celebration and awe, I can’t help but think that if it were me, I too would be a little more frightened than overjoyed in the moment.

How many times have we been struck with fear in our lives? During the past year, many of us faced the fear of a worldwide pandemic, a serious health diagnosis and possibly a job loss. During difficult times, it can be hard to “fear not,” as the angels assured the shepherds.

No matter where you find yourself this Christmas – perhaps back to Mass for the first time in a long time, or in the same pew you’ve been sitting in for years – please know that Jesus loves you and wants to be in a relationship with you.

This coming year, I encourage you to reconnect, rediscover, and renew your relationship with Jesus and his Church. Here in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, you’ll discover a multitude of opportunities to encounter the love of Jesus and deepen your spiritual life.

Together, let us not fear but rejoice in the “good news of great joy!”

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee