The Catholic Church in South West Queensland LIVE STREAM MASS

Christmas Message 2023 – Bishop Ken Howell


Christmas Message 2023

There is something about Christmas that always calls us back to an experience of wanting to be at home. Many set out to be with family and it happens in the setting of a home. It’s a basic human desire and even those whose experience of home life is not positive; they still crave for the security it offers.

I am now making my home within the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba which is a vast region extending out to the Northern Territory, South Australian and New South Wales borders. Here people live in all kinds of circumstances of both city and rural environments. I am delighted to find myself here and to become a member of the communities of this region.

The very first Christmas is a story of a young couple away from their home as their child is born. It reminds us of so many people displaced from their homes both near and far. The flood victims of northern Queensland, the bush fire losses at Tara, the horrendous scenes of homes having been bombed in the Middle East and Ukraine remind us of the casualties of war and natural disasters that impact life in a home.

However into a home God chose to dwell, albeit in the far from perfect scenario of birthing a child in a stable for animals. Yes, this is where God choose to be born amid the far from perfect living arrangements.

When we celebrate in our homes this Christmas, or even if we are away from them, remember the one who chooses to dwell with us and has offered to us the possibility of dwelling within each of our homes at Christmas and every day.

Whatever your circumstance this Christmas, may you know deeply that God in Jesus, has made a home with each of us. May it lead us to be secure in Christ’s promise to remain with us always. May we be at home with God.


Bishop Ken Howell

Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba

December 2023