The actual changing of the calendar to welcome in a new year has never been a particularly important event for me personally. I don’t attend festive gatherings. I am usually in bed at that hour, although I am often awakened by the sound of fireworks or other loud noises associated with the turning of the calendar at that hour. 

As I approach the new year, I find myself thinking more about the events of the past year and giving thanks for the many blessings I have received and asking for God’s merciful forgiveness for my mistakes.

One desire that constantly returns at the beginning of a new year is my good intention to be more attentive to those who are not as fortunate as I am. I remember those who have lost a loved one during the past year and the melancholy feelings that they must have to enter a new year without those special ones. I think about those folks who are away from family and friends during this holy season of Christmas and what feelings of loneliness they might have. Then I often think about my own loved ones, including my sisters and my faith families in the dioceses where I have served.

This year, I will praise God for the people of the Archdiocese of Washington – my new faith family. We are still coming to know each other and that is a thought that brings much joy to my heart. Happy 2020 to all of you.

Archbishop Gregory greets a woman after a Dec. 22, 2019 Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Washington. (CS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann)
During a September 2019 visit to Holy Cross School in Garrett Park, Maryland, Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory is greeted by pre-kindergarten student Colin Busse. The boy at right is Joel Vargas, another pre-K student there. (CS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann)