Happy New Year! This has been a very different and difficult year. Last year at this time, we were reflecting upon 2020 and the many people who sustained us through a tragic and divisive time and set us on a path to recovery. That path is longer than we first imagined. It has been over 21 months since the term “COVID-19” became a part of our daily life, and yet it is still very much a part of our world as the high number of new cases remind us that the pandemic has not ended. Yet, there are always blessings for which to be grateful. Scientific advancements and technology led to vaccines and medications that are available to all and help us feel safer. Heroes among us continue to give of themselves without limit. And unlike last year, when we flip the calendar to 2022, we will be doing it with some extended family and friends around us. As people of faith, we live life in gratitude for our blessings. We are filled with love and mercy, gifts from God, and guided by the message and meaning of his Son, who came into our world in humility to bring us God’s love and to show us kindness, grace, and the hope of peace. Let’s commit, then, to doing our part in building that peace each day of the new year. Even through small gestures, a smile, or a whispered prayer, we can surround even the most arduous path with generosity and joy. Let us ask God to guide us in witnessing to the Good News of Jesus in our world, seeking the good in others, and striving where we can to help make the lives of others better. May you and your families have a blessed and peaceful new year.