“A very joyous Christmas to everyone in Alberta’s Apostolic, Orthodox and Eastern Christian communities.
“Alberta has been the recipient of your shining light for more than a hundred years. Eastern European pioneers put their labour into the foundations of our province. More recently, Christian newcomers from the Middle East came here in pursuit of religious freedom, a right many of us cannot imagine being without.
“The power and consolation of faith has helped Eastern Christians overcome great challenges. Christmas is always a season of renewed hope and commitment; it is a beacon of light in the darkness of winter. As you gather safely with your families or in small congregations, I know you will reflect on the miracle of the human spirit and the eternal holiness of Christ.
“To all celebrating Julian Christmas, and to all of you celebrating Byzantine Christmas today and this week, may you be richly blessed. Merry Christmas!”