In 1995 Christmas acquired a new meaning for our family, for it was on the 24th of December, 1995, that Susan and I, with Helen, Eddie, and Adele, were received into the Catholic Church, the Family of God. Johnny was living in Seattle by that time, but he was already under instruction then for his own reception three months later, at Easter, 1996 - the 7th of April.
This Christmas we are scattered around the world. There have been changes. The future is still to be seen. Yet I count that date, Christmas, 1995, as a real rebirth of our family.
As I write - evening of Christmas Day, 2009:
- Susan is with Helen and Robert and Georgia Grace and Gus in Newcastle (the one in New South Wales, not the original one in England :-))
- Johnny is with his wife Diane and Diane's family in their family bach near Sydney
- Adele is with her husband Luke and their daughter Thea in (freezing) Highland Park, New Jersey
- Eddie and Eveline, with Robyn, Jonny, and Julian, are in Helensville
And Helensville is where I spent Christmas Day. I went to Mass this morning in Helensville (I didn't go to Midnight Mass last night - the first time I have missed since becoming a Catholic - as I knew I had to get up quite early this morning), then to Eddie's house, for lunch. We had a wonderful time together - but just wished you could all have been there, and particularly that our family could be together again for a while.
This coming Sunday is Holy Family Sunday - so I pray that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph will pray for our little family, for our love for God to increase, and that, at the end of all things, we will all be together again, inseparably and eternally, with Him Who is Father of us all.