Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Archbishop Hartmayer’s greetings for the new year

Published January 3, 2024  | En Español

ATLANTA–Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., extends his greetings for the new year to the community of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and shares the prayer focus of 2024:

My Dear Friends in Christ:

Peace and All Good!

As we begin another new year, I would like to take this opportunity, in my own name and of my auxiliary bishops, Bishop Bernard Shlesinger, III, Bishop Joel Konzen and Bishop John Tran, to wish you and your loved ones a very happy New Year.

2023 was a year in which we witnessed much violence and bloodshed, particularly in the wars in Ukraine and in the Holy Land. In the face of war, we pray for peace and urge the international community to find lasting solutions. The Gospel is the Good News of Peace. It comes to us, through Mary’s “yes” to God’s will. It comes to us through the Lord Jesus, the newborn Prince of Peace. As our Savior, Jesus comes to us with the gift of peace. As never before, we pray that this peace will enter into all hearts, so that all world will know the fullness of Christ’s peace.

Pope Francis seeks to usher in a new era of hope as he invites the faithful across the world to participate in the 2025 “Pilgrims of Hope” Jubilee. Taking place every 25 years, a Jubilee year is a tradition that is recognized and respected throughout the world as being a significant part of the history of our faith.  It is a special year of grace, in which the Catholic Church offers the faithful the possibility of asking for a plenary indulgence—a remission of sins for themselves or deceased loved ones. The year begins with the well-known custom of the opening of the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica, following the other three papal basilicas in Rome. The pope grants permission for Holy Doors to be situated throughout the world for Catholics everywhere to take part in this most special rite.

In preparation for the 2025 “Pilgrims of Hope” Jubilee, Pope Francis has designated 2024 as a Year of Prayer, beginning now. During this year, we are encouraged to deepen our commitment to prayer and to accompany others in their own prayer life, as well as going back to basics to reflect on how and why we pray. The year will have a special focus on the Lord’s Prayer. In his Urbi et Orbi address on Christmas Day, the Holy Father prayed: “May this time of preparation for the Holy Year be an opportunity for the conversion of hearts, for the rejection of war and the embrace of peace, and for joyfully responding to the Lord’s call, in the words of Isaiah’s prophecy, “to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.”

We pray that Christ’s farewell gift of peace may reign in all hearts so that his Kingdom may come. In the words of the Preface for the Solemnity of Christ the King, we pray “an eternal and universal kingdom; a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.”

May the Lord grant you his peace!

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Rev. Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., Archbishop of Atlanta