2017 Christmas Message
Bishop William Crean,
Bishop of Cloyne
Just last month, as Chairman of Trócaire I visited Kenya to see for myself the projects that your generosity has made possible. These days we hear a lot about climate change but for most of us it does not touch our lives at all.
Not so for the people I met in Kenya. In the past they might experience drought every 10 years or so. Now it is every 2 of 3 years and they cannot survive without the rains. They need the rainy season every year for themselves and their livestock to survive and thrive.
During the summer you heard their cry for help and gave generously. Your generosity helped save many thousands of lives. It was heartwarming to receive their gratitude and appreciation.
Here at home we have different needs. It is equally heartwarming to witness the compassion and care for the needs of families that are strained by sickness of mind or body, by addiction, by homelessness or rejection and prejudice. Such care is inspired by a strong sense of our common humanity. No one should be left behind. Christmas brings the best out in us.
Whether we live in Kenya, Ireland or elsewhere we all share the thirst and hunger of the heart and mind for peace and serenity. “Peace I give you” Jesus promises “My own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid”. (John 14:27).
My friends, as you gather with your families over Christmas may that peace of the Christ-Child be yours.