Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin.....
A little bronze plaque meets you at the reception when you enter Cois Tine with the words “Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin..” meaning “there is no fireside like your own fireside another way of saying “there’s no place like home”. “Home” is on the lips of many people these days as they try to get there for Christmas.
However, for many the word “Home” is a constant reminder of its loss.  This is especially true of those who for some reason seek refuge in other places as the Holy Family did  over 2,000 years ago -  “an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt where he stayed until the death of Herod.”

Let us not forget that in the Christmas message of peace and joy that Jesus brought to our world that God was also making a statement that he stood on the side of the dispossessed. For many, Christmas will evoke the deepest, most tender feelings while for others it will be a time of loss and loneliness.
Christmas has to be lived, by us, so that those who have lost their homes and who live in a state of hopelessness and fear can experience the warmth and companionship of Jesus not just as words but through our presence giving the welcome and the affection of a friend who will not abandon them.
All of us, whether we work in drop-in centres, direct provision centres, or in some way journey with people in their hour of terror, are living the Christmas message of Peace and Goodwill, a gift that removes human fear of every kind. Jesus has called all of us, to be the way by which he continues to be a companion to people in their fear and loss.

May this Christmas provide you with the strength and support to help others in their journey and may Christmas also be a time when you know God's love, and through it feel able to face the world yourself with hope and love.

All at CoisTine send our warmest wishes and blessings to you for Christmas and the New Year. May the time soon come when all will sit round a fire that they can truly call “home”.