Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

I wish you all the joy of Christmas


December 20, 2023

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Happy Christmas to you and your family. I wish you all the joy of Christmas, the love and peace of our God, as we celebrate the birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I will remember you and your family in my Christmas Masses. I do ask that you keep me in your prayers.

Today, I would like to take a moment to remember my friend, Msgr. Paul Whitmore, who died recently. When I think of Father Paul, I remember an excellent professor and then an excellent pastor at several North Country parishes. Father Paul was always a dedicated, holy priest.

When I first became a pastor myself, Father Paul was teaching at Wadhams Hall. He would come down to my parish on weekends to assist. In addition, we were collaborators here at the North Country Catholic. It was very special for us both that we were able to write for the paper. So, I hope you will join me in remembering and praying for Father Paul. My prayer is a prayer of gratitude for his ministry as a priest of the Diocese of Ogdensburg.

And now I would like to add a Christmas message as we all prepare to celebrate again the birth of Jesus. Each time I read the Gospel story, I wonder who else was there at the time of the Lord’s birth. I know there must have been some other people there to assist Mary and support Joseph. Personally, I have no idea who was there at my birth and supported my mother and father. I am certain you remember that I often write and talk about that special day when I was invited by Susan and Paul to be with them at St. Joseph’s Hospital for the birth of their second child, Will. I have told this story several thousand times. It was truly the most exciting day of my life. I thank God for that day; it has become my Christmas story.

I often see that child, now a 25-year-old man. Each time I do, I am reminded and I remind him that I was there when he began his life journey. I am certain that this gives us a closeness with each other. It is a relationship that is important to me, so I will always continue telling the story – my Christmas story.

Each Christmas, the Masses I offer are very special opportunities; these Masses are a real celebration we are honoring the coming to this world of Our Savior, Jesus, to be one of us, coming to bring his message of love and peace to us and for us. We became a blessed people. Jesus, the Son of God, was one of us, like us in every way. This race of ours is a sacred race. Jesus, the son of God, was one of us. So, we must be a dedicated people, called to live as a sacred people. Jesus was one of us.

Christmas reminds us of the Lord’s message each year and his challenge for us. We can and must make a difference in this world – our world and the Lord’s world. And with Jesus we can accomplish this.

God surrounds us with a peaceful winter beauty when all Creation shares in celebrating the birth of Christ. His love and light fill us so we can shine in the world, serving him as we pray for peace. I want to wish you all the joy of Christmas.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.