And a very Happy New Year to all my fellow Catholics! Yes, Catholics have three chances, not one, to celebrate New Year’s. On the First Sunday of Advent, you will customarily hear parishioners wishing one another a “Happy New Year!” Non-catholics are generally surprised or confused to hear this, until they discover we follow a liturgical year as well as a calendrical one, and the first Sunday of Advent is the start of another annual cycle!
The second New Year’s Day for Catholics is, of course, January 1. When we can join the rest of the world, have a drink, look back with thanks, and look forward with hope and hopefully set off a few fireworks! On this day we will also celebrate again the birth of the Lord, andthe dawn of our redemption by honoring Mary the Mother of God.