Bishop Caggiano: Everyone has a home in Christmas

Christmas can be a magical time for some, but a painful time for others who struggle with loneliness.

Bishop Frank Caggiano, who recently was installed as the head of the Diocese of Bridgeport, shared his thoughts of the season with Hersam Acorn Newspapers this week.

“As a man of faith, Christmas is all about the tangible reality of God’s love sent into the world,” he said.

“As Christians, we believe that God entered the world in a human life — in Jesus — God’s love is all around us, but this was a moment in time where you could actually touch it, it was concrete — real.”

The bishop said God’s willingness to shed his glory and enter into human life, with all the “tears, suffering, betrayal — all the hurts of life — is a remarkable testimony of God’s love.”

That love is why Christmas is so family-focused, he said, because family is “where we first learn we are loved.”

“Family is when children first learn how special they are, how their parents will still love them, even if they make mistakes — it’s the power of love — a beautiful time of year,” Bishop Caggiano said.

But what about those who are alone this time of year?

“It is difficult, but those who find themselves alone need to realize God still profoundly loves them. They cannot touch him, but he is still present to them and to us,” he added.

Bishop Caggiano said it is the “real challenge” of those with friends and family around them to reach out to those who find themselves alone.

“Christmas is not just a time for receiving, it’s a time for giving. Unfortunately for many, it has been reduced to material gifts — but the most important gift we can give is our presence,” Bishop Caggiano said. “We should be with other people. They should not feel alone. There are enough of us to go around,” he said.

Bishop Caggiano said if we consider Christmas to be a “festival of love,” it is time for us to “put our money where our mouth is.

Bishop Frank Caggiano

Bishop Frank Caggiano

“Reach out to people — let them know they are special, wanted and not forgotten. This is why Christmas is not just one day of the year, it’s the spirit that should last throughout the year,” he said.

Bishop Caggiano will celebrate a Christmas Eve Mass in Bridgeport and a Christmas day Mass at St. Aloysius in New Canaan at the invitation of its pastor, Monsignor William Scheyd. Bishop Caggiano, who is a Brooklyn native, will then celebrate Christmas back at home in New York with his family at the home of his recently married niece.

While Christmas refers to a particular historical event — the birth of Jesus — that has profound implications for people of faith, Bishop Caggiano said he believes Christmas has a “universal message that resonates with non-believers — with everyone.

“Anyone who thinks love is worth living for, worth sacrificing for, and worth sharing with others — anyone of goodwill has a home in Christmas.”


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