Home » Reflections » ‘I’ll be home for Christmas:’ A song of hope and of light in the darkness

‘I’ll be home for Christmas:’ A song of hope and of light in the darkness

The song, “I’ll be home for Christmas,” has new meaning for me this year.

Sister Kathryn Koressel (in gray coat with blue collar) is tucked in among the many Sisters of Providence who participated in the recent Light Your Way Christmas Parade in downtown Terre Haute. Sister Kathryn was one of four Sisters of Providence who died recently. The others were Sisters Agnes Mary Raetz, Margaret Ann Wilson and Adelaide Ortegel.

Four of our dear Sisters of Providence have recently died in less than a week’s time; and, in each case, I have heard someone say, “I think they wanted to be home for Christmas.”

We feel sadness at their passing, however, that feeling is transformed into a kind of deep peace when we think of death as “going home.” For Sisters of Providence that home, we believe, is with and in God.

This might seem like a strange reflection at a time of the year when we are celebrating a birth, and the operative emotion suggested is JOY. But of all the gifts that Christmas brings perhaps none is more important than the abiding truth that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16).

It is faith in this promise of God’s love that gives us hope, that brings light into our darkness. The reading from the prophet Isaiah, used during the Christmas day liturgy proclaims, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing.”

This Christmas I ask you to join in prayer for those who feel like they are walking in a land of gloom. We know who they are…

…. those who have just received a diagnosis that seems more than they or their family can bear.

…. those who feel as if they have no one with whom to share life.

… those who have lost a loved one through a violent act whether in the streets of Chicago or in the country of Myanmar.

… those who actually fear a loss of home because of their immigration status.

… those whose addictions threaten their lives and the lives of others.

It seems almost impossible to imagine abundant joy and rejoicing in any of these situations and others like them. That is the miracle of the Christ’s light. It comes into the darkness. It is incarnated in each of us. And it was incarnated beautifully in our four sisters who are now home for Christmas. Let us pray to them and others in the communion of saints to give us the strength and the courage we need to be that Christ-light for each other and for our world.

Merry Christmas from all the Sisters of Providence. May you sing a song of hope and light this season and throughout the coming year.

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Sister Dawn Tomaszewski

Sister Dawn Tomaszewski

Sister Dawn Tomaszewski was elected General Superior of the Sisters of Providence in 2016. She has been a Sister of Providence since 1975. Previously she ministered as a teacher, as communication and development director for the sisters and their ministries and as a member of elected leadership on the general council of the Sisters of Providence.

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  1. Avatar Sheila Donis on December 20, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Sister Dawn,

    Thank you for your words of love and hope!

  2. Avatar Sr. Alan, ASC on December 20, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Thank you for a beautiful reflect.

  3. Avatar Sr. Alan, ASC on December 20, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Thank you for a beautiful, inspiring reflection.

  4. Avatar Gwen Johnston on December 20, 2017 at 10:18 am


    – Gwen Johnston from Peterborough, Ontario in Canada

  5. Avatar Gwen Johnston on December 20, 2017 at 10:22 am

    May each of you have a joyful and prayerful Christmas season! -Gwen Johnston

  6. Avatar Joann Van Horn Wieland on December 23, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Merry Christmas to you Dawn. Thanks so much for your inspiring words and for all you do!

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