My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It’s been 11 years that I’ve been here in South Carolina, serving in the diocese and in the city of Charleston as your bishop. In all that time, I have not been home to celebrate and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with family in New York.
However, every Thanksgiving I’ve been invited to join the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy at their annual Thanksgiving Day celebration. We celebrate Mass and then there is a festive gathering that includes the monks from Mepkin Abbey, all of the sisters who are living in the area who might be alone on Thanksgiving Day, and some individual guests that join us for the bountiful meal.
It’s been an absolutely wonderful experience to be able to be with so many people to celebrate this national holiday that has become, for us as Catholics, more of a religious celebration than a holiday unto itself.
I encourage all of you to recognize that we come together on this day to give thanks to God for all the wonderful things we’ve experienced.
It is true this has been a tough, tough year, but nonetheless, with all of the difficulties that we have embraced during this year, we also have discovered that there are many blessings.
We witness the blessings of those who work in the medical profession and the generosity with which they have spent hours and hours and hours dealing with those who have become ill.
We see the work of so many people who are involved in essential services, and therefore we see the importance of being able to deal with difficulties, but also to maintain a sense of responsibility and a sense of blessing.
And so, think of all of the blessings you’ve experienced in your families, perhaps even the possibilities of growing closer in your family life because of quarantine.
All of these are wonderful experiences. So on this Thanksgiving Day, give thanks for the wonderful things. Don’t focus on the difficulties but look at the blessings that are ours, and remember those blessings come to us from the God who loves us.
Let us give thanks!
Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone, Bishop of Charleston
Watch the bishop’s Thanksgiving message here: