San Jose bishop issues Christmas message

Bishop Patrick McGrath: "As 2017 draws to a close, we entrust ourselves and all peoples to the Lord, knowing that He is particularly close to those who continue to seek refuge from 21st Century Herods"

Bishop McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

During Advent, we celebrate the in-breaking of the Lord into human history – anticipating His Coming at the end of time as we reflect upon His Birth long ago. As we approach Christmas, we remain watchful that, while looking to the events of Bethlehem long ago, we may not overlook the many ways God is present today in our world and in our lives.

When the Word became flesh, when God became human in the Person of Jesus, a great reconciliation began. In Jesus, humanity was once again able to draw near to God, just as God has always been with His people. Indeed, Jesus was called Emmanuel, for in Him “God is with us.”

At Christmas, we celebrate not only a holy Birth, but all that this Birth made possible. Indeed, God becoming one of us has opened the path for all humanity to be one with God. This is why we continue to celebrate, to recount the details, to hearken back to Mary and Joseph at the manger, the shepherds and the song of the angels: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will!”

In Jesus, God has a human face; in Jesus, God knew suffering and death; in Jesus, God is forever bound to all who suffer in any way.

As 2017 draws to a close, we entrust ourselves and all peoples to the Lord, knowing that He is particularly close to those who continue to seek refuge from 21st Century Herods. The mass migrations caused by persecution, civil war and terrorism challenge us to be the Lord’s “light and salvation” to those who have lost hope.

May our annual celebration of the Lord’s Birth renew you in God’s love and may you, your families and your loved ones walk always in the light of the Lord.

God bless you all.

With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop of San Jose

From Diocese of San Jose website.


  1. A wolf in shepherd’s clothing, if ever there was one. Thank goodness I no longer live in that wretched diocese.

    21st Century Herods? You mean like Obama, Pelosi, Jerry Brown, Kamala Harris, the Clintons, George Soros, Big Technology, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the LGBT brigade, almost every university and college, the entertainment industry and every other person and organization dedicated to wiping true Christianity off the face of the earth? Is that who you mean, Bishop McGrath? Why so coy? Why not spell out exactly who you are referring to? You think you’re being clever? You know who you mean, so why not be clear?

    • It’s pretty clear that McGrath’s “21st Century Herod” is a veiled reference to President Trump. Very distasteful. Political liberals compare every conservative to Hitler. Now will liberal priests and bishops start comparing every conservative to Herod and the Pharisees?

    • He said what he meant: the mass migrations caused by persecution, civil war and terrorism.
      Never before have so many people been forced to flee their homes: over 65 million people.
      The people of South Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, the Rohingya people of Myanmar and others- over 28,000 people a day are forced to leave their homes.
      Many Christians in the Middle East and India have emigrated due to persecution in their homelands..

    • “The work of 40 Days for Life…is nothing less than a continuation of what God initiated in Mary…Your defense of the defenseless, your care for human life in every instance, follows directly from Mary’s proclamation of the goodness of our God. The defenseless unborn are called to life by our Lord; they deserve to see the light of day. Our prayers and our work on their behalf can never, ever diminish. ”
      Bishop McGrath October 3, 2017

  2. Gee Sawyer – lighten up! Jesus Himself was a refugee. Merry Christmas and God Bless all…including Bishop McGrath, Pope Francis and, yes, you too Sawyer!

    • Jesus wasn’t a refugee. Stop trying to politicize the Gospel according to a leftist narrative.

    • Ole Harold can never let a liberal cleric be attacked….McGrath could care less about the Catholic citizens who pay for him and comfortable residence. But not a word about abortion, eh your “eminence” ? 21st Herod’s like those at Planned Parenthood who slaughter the innocent.

      • Bohemond, a definition of liberal cleric would help make your argument stronger. I’m just going to guess that it has something to do with those Bishops and Priest who want to help the poor, the homeless, and those suffering other situations. Could it be those who take a broader view of the mission of the church and how to help save one’s soul? How about those that want everyone to have good basic healthcare – mental and physical? Is the ones that want to help immigrants learn our language and mores so they can better acculturate themselves? Is it those who follow the Roman Missal and say the Mass in English and other languages? Really, what is a liberal cleric?

        • Bob One, I will ignore your liberal platitudes and your playing on the heart strings. Helping one get healthcare of any kind will not get anyone into Heaven. Period. You like all liberals think the Church is giant social justice organization. Liberal clerics, those who emphasize this corrupting gay agenda (ie James Martin) Those liberal clerics who have stripped the high altar, and replaced it with a table, those liberal clerics who removed the statues of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints and replaced them with rainbow flags and felt banners. Liberal clerics who have de-emphasized the devotional life completely.

          • Bohemond, thanks for your elaboration. Now I know what you mean when you say “liberal cleric.” As you might suspect, I disagree with you. A high altar doesn’t get you to heaven, statues don’t get you to heaven, banners don’t get you to heaven, etc. They have nothing to do with the one true faith. Our faith has to be based on our relationship with our Lord and Savior. That will determine how we live our life, what we do “to the least” and how our prayer life is spent are the important things, not the decorations.

          • Of Course Bob One like good leftist misses the point because he is a liberal. All those things that you despise the high altar, that statues yes they do facilitate a souls journey to heaven as it will remind them of the Faith on visual basis. What the eyes see, the mind remembers, but then again you are a liberal Your side Bob One has done everything in its power to destroy the traditions of the Church. But we will outlast you and rebuild from the rubble your side has caused.

  3. “21st Century Herods” Bishop McGrath, are those who kill unborn babies.

  4. Nasty.

    This is NOT a Christmas message, Bishop McGrath. It is but one more example of the bishops turning Left and politicizing Christ’s message.
    In July the homosexuals praised McGrath for relatively unconditional sacraments.

    Time to retire.

  5. Mike: please read the Gospel of Matthew 2:13-23 about the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous rage. Since the Holy Family was Jewish, their escape to Egypt, a kingdom unfriendly to Jews, was a dangerous move. They were most certainly strangers living in a strange land, i.e. Refugees. This fact has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the TRUTH!

    • Harold, please learn some history. At the time in question Egypt was part of the Roman Empire. The Holy Family was not migrating to a foreign land: they were in the Roman Empire the whole time, under Roman government and laws. They fled a highly localized and specific threat, yes, but they were not refugees nor immigrants as that term is used and politicized today. To call Jesus a refugee or an immigrant is not the truth: it is an anachronism whose only purpose is to garner sympathy for misguided and socially suicidal open-borders policies in Western nation states.

      • A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely. Wikipedia

    • Nonsense Harold, you like this so called Bishop are liberals. You see the Church as come kind social justice machine or an NGO. I know it for what it is the only means of salvation.

  6. Harold:
    You may be unaware that Judea, the Galilee, and Egpyt were all part of the Roman Empire. The Holy Family leaving to Egypt is like a California family fleeing to Arizona. And you may not know that Egypt was home to a very large Jewish population at the time: the Jewish philosopher Philo was a resident of Alexandria. The idea that cosmopolitan first century Egypt was somehow dangerous to Jews is anachronistic. Today’s Muslim Egypt is dangerous for Jews, no doubt about it.

  7. Anonymous 2 says:

    +++ response, thank you, Fr. Michael, for clarifying, debunking, and establishing perspective on the “Jesus-was-[an-illegal]-migrant” narrative.

    Our contemporary Church is mentally ill with political memes and no-Jesus-focus.

  8. Hosting a gay “Catholic” conference, denying Scripture, serving liturgical function at heretical churches, allowing unrepentant homosexuals to receive Communion…………the only reason this Bishop is in good standing is because the apple is rotten to core.

    • You know you’ve hit rock bottom when someone says Merry Christmas and you respond with all the reasons you don’t like them.

  9. Bohemond: you are a starry eyed reactionary idealist longing for the good old days which never existed. Your faith without compassion and works is a dead faith. Read the Epistle of James.

    • Look folks the liberal Mark thinks he can control the language by calling me a “reactionary” right out of the leftist playbook. No Mark I am traditionalist who detests the destruction of the Faith and Catholic Identity by people like you. BTW ask the little girl in El Salvador who I support each month, along with the young ladies I support at Good Counsel Homes if I am have no compassion.

      • Reactionary means someone who wants things to be the way they used to be. You admitted you are that. Most of us here are. He called you a starry eyed idealist-that’s a compliment. He asked you to read the Bible-no problem-James is the New Testament. so even Catholics prior to 1950 could read the New Testament and the Book of Psalms. But his assumption of no compassion and no works on your part was wrong. I hope by traditionalist you do not mean that you attend an independent chapel, though.

        • No Anon, reactionary for Mark and the rest of left means fascist, where I attend mass is no business of yours but if you must know its a Diocesean mass.

          • If you were Germany, reactionary could mean fascist. I note that some online dicteionaries give the words “conservative, right-wing” as definitions and language does evolve. But wikipedia has the correct traditional definition.
            Thank you for answering on the Church. It is none of my business but I did want to clarify that. Traditionalist is used to describe the schismatic chapels. I see that Mark understood it this way below. I have never seen one that was concerned with white power. There are some individuals who are anti-Semitic, although it may not be their intention.

      • To follow up I have no compassion for liberals and their destructive methods and ideas

  10. Looks like Harold has been taken to the wood shed once again.

  11. Bohemond: your comments are consistent with right wing strategies. “Traditionalist Catholic”? There is no such church in communion with the Holy See. One is either a Roman Catholic or is not. Reportedly, some traditionalist catholic groups are associated with white power anti-Semitic proponents. These ideologies are definitely incompatible with the Catholic faith.

    • Spoken like a true leftist….. “agree with me or you are a nazi” tell me Mark did you pay your ANTIFA dues this year. I am Traditionalist Catholic in Union with Rome, you are leftist which is incompatible with being Catholic.

  12. Bohemond: you look very foolish when you make assumptions about people you don’t know. Antifa? Definitely not part of my spirituality! I believe in non-violent approaches to life and change! I am a faithful Roman Catholic and a proud liberal.

    • Mark the liberal answer these questions

      1. Do you support abortion
      2. Do you support contraception
      3. Do you support gay marriage and rights so called
      4. Do you believe in the real presence of the Eucharist
      5. Do you accept the Church’s teachings that homosexual relations are disordered
      If you accept questions 1-3 and reject 4 and 5 you are not Catholic you are liberal.

      Imagine No Liberals

  13. Bohemond, do you believe:
    1. “God is love”?
    2. One human right is being able to worship God in accordance with the right dictates of one’s conscience, and to profess religion both in private and in public?
    3. Every person has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are suitable for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care?
    4. The stock-piles of armaments must be reduced and nuclear weapons must be banned?
    5. The wealthier nations must aid developing nations?
    6. The OF and EF of the Mass are both valid and licit?
    If you answered “No” to any of the above questions your belief is misplaced in a political ideology instead of the Catholic Faith. Work for unity in…

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