My Dear Sisters & Brothers,

When I was a child growing up with eight siblings, one of the many exciting moments in our Christmas preparation was putting the manger scene under the Christmas tree. Besides the Holy Family, there were the wise men, the shepherds and the angels. Each brought a gift. The wise men brought “gold, as to a king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to a God.” The little drummer boy brought his music. The angels brought light.

In reality, these gifts were given to these beings by God. Like all of His gifts, whether it is the ability to be successful in business or a musical talent or good health or a comfortable life, they are given so they may be shared.

Six days a week, I see Josefina, the poor elderly woman who comes to our dining room [See above]. She greets everyone, makes sure that all have eaten before she does and helps with the cleanup – her way of sharing. Santiago is a young boy who comes to our children’s dining room.   Sometime after our back to school shoe distribution, he gave his new beloved “Spider Man” sneakers to a friend. The generous boy still had his old shoes and his friend had none.   The Casa Franciscana Mission community would not exist without sharing our gifts.

The pictures featured here highlight some of the hundreds, probably thousands, of people with whom you have shared your gifts and blessings. See God’s face shining in their faces. In return, they send you gifts of prayer and thanksgiving to you.   In this special season of caring may you feel God’s love and the love sent by the people of the Mission.   “I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.” Jana Stanfield.    Thank you for the good that you do!

Peace and all good,

Fr. Tommy King, OFM

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