My friends, I offer this prayer of gratitude that comes from my own reflections on reasons to be thankful this holiday. May God bless you all with his mercy and love

 — Bishop Christopher Coyne

I thank you, Lord God, for the gift of creation, “for the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,” for the abundance that we have which over and around us lies.

I thank you, Lord God, for the gift of life — my life, the lives of all whom I treasure as family and friends, and the lives of all humanity who I know as my brothers and sisters.

I thank you, Lord God, for the salvation you offer me and all my brothers and sisters through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the glorious communion of our Church.

I thank you, Lord God, for the talents and the strength to serve you as a bishop in your Church, I thank you for all of our clergy — priests and deacons — for our seminarians, for the dedicated lay men and women who serve the Church as ministers and employees, and for all of the dedicated volunteers in our Diocese and parishes who do so much to your praise and glory.

I thank you for the presence and support of all the Catholics in this Diocese who gather every week in our parishes, who give so generously of their time, treasure, and talents, and who serve as faithful witnesses to others as disciples of Christ.

I thank you for the gift of your Holy Word and for the Sacraments I and my brothers and sisters are so privileged to celebrate and receive, especially in the Holy Mass.

I thank you, Lord God, for this great country in which we live, for the freedoms we know, especially the freedom of religion, for the safety we know, for the rights we exercise, for the government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

And as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day I thank you for the food, the fellowship, and fun that I will share around this table today with my family and friends. May I always remember that every day is day of thanksgiving for those who believe in you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and may I move from that thankfulness into the mission “to feed the hungry, to give water to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, to visit the sick, to visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive, and to bury the dead” [The Corporal Works of Mercy].


—Originally published in the Nov. 20-26, 2021, edition of The Inland See.