January 1, 2017


Happy New Year! Coincidentally this year the New Year actually begins on a Sunday so we have the privilege of beginning 2017 with the celebration of our faith in Church. As you know it is a holyday (Motherhood of Mary) so many Catholics come to Church anyway. But this year because it is on a Sunday, so many more people will be in Church on New Year’s Day. What better place to begin the New Year?

I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution for ages, not because I don’t have any areas in my life that can use improvement, but because those occasions happen haphazardly throughout the year and so my “resolutions” are ongoing. Many of us in addition to looking at our own lives, also have dreams and hopes for the world that we would like to see become reality in 2017. If I listed 10 areas of concern and asked you to choose the one that you believe would make the world a better place, we would not necessarily have the same priorities or make the same choices. But as I write these words I am going to suggest and propose that the New Year brings an end to violence against children and teenagers, or at least a reduction in those numbers. The lives of our young people are meant to be celebrated and enjoyed. This is true throughout the world, not only in our own country. There may be some issues that are more prevalent inside our borders, while others may be more visible in other parts of the world. We are confronted with violence against children and teenagers every day in the newspapers and on the news. Some of the pictures are so graphic that they can bring us to the point of hopelessness and despair. It is much easier to “ignore” if there are no names or personal ties. It is even easier to “ignore” if it is happening somewhere else and “doesn’t affect me.” In reality, there is no “somewhere else” and we are all affected. It is our world and they are our children.

How sad is it that I will now list some of the ways in which we violate our young people. It wasn’t so long ago that these “crimes” were reserved for the adult population – or so we thought. This may be depressing but no country or culture is spared.

I would like the year 2017 to be the year that world leaders together decide that enough is enough and we begin to make a concerted effort to spare the children and teenagers form the following violence: terrorism, addiction, murder, immigration, domestic abuse, abortion, trafficking, starvation, homelessness, lack of education, pornography, suicide, genocide and sexual abuse.

This is a tall order; maybe that’s why it’s easier to decide to lose a few pounds and get on with your life.

Happy New Year!
Fr. Ron Coyne


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