One man helped bring the gift of Christmas Mass to his fellow troops in a very secluded location in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. William Trimble, asked his congregation back home in Gibbsboro, New Jersey, if they could somehow perform Christmas Eve Mass, in real time, and stream it live to Staff Sgt. Trimble and his troops in their remote location.
Reverend Monsignor Louis Marucci reached out to NBC10 to see if we could help out on the technical end and we teamed up for Operation Christmas Eve. On Saturday, at 2 p.m. EST, after getting special permission from the Catholic church, parishoners filled the pews at St. Andrew the Apostle church and Msgr. Marucci performed a special service that NBC10 aired live on our Nonstop channel and streamed live over the internet -- with the help of the U.S. military -- to that secluded location in Afghanistan.
During the mass, Msgr. Marucci, as part of his sermon, read the poem below, “on behalf of those who are extremely concerned for your safety and well-being. No one should be alone at Christmas, and so we offer you this special little poem that you might remember how deeply loved and appreciated you are by this congregation, who represents congregations throughout the world,”
You fight the fight others won’t.
You make sacrifices that others don’t.
It’s Christmas time and you’re far from home,
During this holy season, feeling alone.
It’s times like this you need to hear
Support from a country that you hold so dear.
So we take this time and let you know,
You have people who know the lengths you go
To stand up for your country and for Peace
For terrorized people to find relief.
So know you are loved and that we care.
We’re thinking of you all over there.
From the church of St. Andrew and NBC10
We offer you Christmas blessings again.
Although you are far, and not very near,
We pray that you’ll be home with your loved ones this year.
May God bless you all,
Keep you safe and secure,
Our prayers reach to you from our church to your door.
So please be assured when things don’t feel right,
That our love and our prayers are our gift, Christmas night.