Christmas Gift of Life

Posted by Holly Benner on Dec 22, 2021 4:15:36 PM

I’m sure that everyone is quite familiar with the biblical story of the Three Wise Men (Kings or Magi) who visited the baby Jesus. As I reflect upon this story this Christmas, my focus always turns to the star that guided these three men. This star is better known as the “Star of Bethlehem.” When thinking about this story and this star, I always think back to one of my missionary journeys to Africa. This one particular journey led me to Africa on Christmas Eve, and during a lengthy, very spirited Christmas Eve service, one of the Sisters had shared some information with the villagers that were in attendance. Much to my surprise, the information being shared that evening was about me, the visitor in attendance who was from Bethlehem. No, not “the” Bethlehem, better known as the birthplace of Jesus, but the beautiful little city of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, that was founded on Christmas Eve night, and thus named after the birthplace of our Lord.

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Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, Christmas, Africa, water

Let them know it’s Christmas time…

Posted by Holly Benner on Dec 23, 2020 11:21:08 AM

Christmas is within days, and while the hustle and bustle is not quite the norm this year due to COVID-19, many of us are preparing with hopes of a bright, healthy New Year. During a recent trip to the grocery store I could hear the joyful holiday music playing. One holiday song in particular houses lyrics that I hold dear to my heart. The lyrics to this song bring back the memories of my first mission journey to Africa, which took place during the holiday season. Sung by the group Band Aid, “Do they know it’s Christmas?” was performed in 1984 as a fundraiser to support relief for the 1983-1985 Ethiopian famine.

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Topics: Catholic Missions, Christmas, Christmas Eve, COVID-19

Yes, Virginia, there are missionaries...

Posted by Holly Benner on Dec 12, 2019 12:27:11 PM

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.... If you are not familiar with this quote, it is from a letter that was written by The New York Sun back in 1897 in response to eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who was questioning if there really is a Santa Claus. Many children throughout the world believe in Santa Claus, identifying him as St. Nicholas. Being a kind and generous man, St. Nicholas would give gifts to the poor, leaving them in stockings hung by the fireplace! Today, there are many children in our world who don’t receive material gifts at Christmas. These children would tell you that they receive the greatest gift of all, the gift of “life.” To wake up and live another day, even with their sufferings, is considered to be a gift, a blessing. And they would add that the missionaries there with them are blessings as well.


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Topics: Catholic Missions, mission visit, #justonemore, hope, missionaries, Christmas

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