Christmas Eve

Dear Stephen,

When I was growing up, Christmas Eve always had a singular sense of the sacred. My grandparents, who were Italian immigrants, spent the evening cooking and setting up their large nativity scene. A sense of holy anticipation seemed to fill every space in our home, as did the intoxicating scent of my grandmother’s sauce.

That memory has been so sustaining for me as we moved through the last days of Advent. With so much fear, uncertainty and isolation swirling around us, this has been much more a season of heartbreak and longing than joyful expectation.

As I reflect on this troubling year, I try to remember that in the midst of so much distress, there were many heroes: doctors, nurses, EMTs, nurses’ aides and orderlies, obviously. But also millions of protestors who ignited a desperately-needed revolution in reaction to the agonizing deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and far too many other Black, Indigenous and people of color. And, of course, there are all of those who mobilized to ensure that our nation elected its first prochoice Catholic president, Joseph R. Biden, and Kamala Harris.

I count our staff and supporters at Catholics for Choice among the heroes of 2020, too. They knew that all of this upheaval would only exacerbate the suffering already endured by women and people of marginalized genders, and they went to work, trying to remain focused and to be resilient and flexible in the face of unprecedented challenges.

Though I am still pretty new to Catholics For Choice, I have been moved our staff’s devotion to battling all of the obstacles that individuals and families face throughout the world to get access to reproductive care, and I admire the way they courageously face down the opposition with values-based messaging.

There is so much to be done. But I am glad we can end on a note of optimism in our country and at CFC.

I wish you and yours a lovely holiday and a new year filled with peace, hope and good health.

Jamie L. Manson


Catholics For Choice


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