I leave tomorrow to spend Christmas and New Year’s in California with family and friends but that does not mean I will not be thinking of and praying for you in this special season. In addition, I’ll be coming into your homes as I’ll be on “At Home with Jim and Joy,” and have prepared some special shows for my weekend radio program, “Vatican Insider.” So stay tuned for those!

My home is ready – my front door, my dining room table (always set for 4, year round, different settings) and my Lladro Nativity Scene:

I wish all of you, my friends, family and faithful readers, TV viewers and radio listeners a blessed, holy, happy and healthy Christmas and a splendid New Year, a year that will be so wonderful you’ll find it hard to believe!
Before we part, however, I have a special gift for you as you will see below – One Solitary Life.


My special guest this weekend on Vatican Insider is Sr. Gabriella Bottani, international coordinator for Talitha Kum, an international network of women against human trafficking, under the auspices of the UISG – International Union of Superiors General.

Sister explains the name, Talitha Kum, where the organization is working, how they coordinate activities and what happens when they save a person, almost always women and young females, from traffickers. A wonderful explanation of the amazing, and often thankless, work that Talitha Kum members do around the world!

Sr. Gabriella is on the right on this photo taken in September when members were received by Pope Francis:

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This powerful Christmas column by late columnist Jimmy Bishop will surely leave you speechless for its beauty, simplicity and yet depth of understanding. I heard this for the first time a number of years ago when Andy Williams recited this in one of his Christmas albums:

“He was born in an obscure village, the Child of a peasant teen who knew not man. He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never married or owned a home. He never held a job, yet paid taxes. He never set foot inside a metropolis. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never wrote a book, or held an office. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He received no awards, no medals, no prizes from His peers.

“While He was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends deserted Him. He was turned over to His enemies, and went through the mockery of a trial. He had no lawyers, no friendly juries, no fair hearing. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had – His cloak. After He died, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave. Those who stood watch could not explain His disappearance.

“And yet two thousand years have come and gone, and today He is still the central figure for much of the human race. All the armies that ever marched and al the navies that ever sailed and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this ‘One Solitary Life’.”