My Dear Parishioners,
I hope you all had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends. The turnout for our Thanksgiving Mass continues to inspire me. This week we begin a new liturgical year and the holy season of Advent. Advent is about preparing for the birth of Jesus, but it is also about actively waiting on the Lord. While we wait we also have to rush and get a lot of things done. It is a bit incongruous. I pray that you and I will take time to experience the wait, the longing for God that this season calls forth.
One way to prepare spiritually and to express your anticipation of Jesus is to make use of the various opportunities for confession. Our regular time for confession is Saturday afternoon from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. You will be receiving a special Christmas mailing and in it is a folder with all the additional times for confession. Please consider coming as a family to our Parish Advent Penance, on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. when we will have additional priests available for confession. Please note that there will be no Penance Service, just the opportunity for individual confession.
The Christmas Bazaar is this Sunday, Dec. 3rd in the Church Hall. Please come down after Mass and get a jump on your Christmas shopping. If there are any of our Christmas Cards left you can pick them up there until they run out. A special thank you goes to Mrs. Rita Roley, and her fantastic team of helpers.
In the midst of all the hustle and preparations it is important that we take time to acknowledge the benefits and gifts God has blessed us with; I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the sacrifices you have made on behalf of your parish throughout the year. I am very grateful for your continued emotional, spiritual, and financial support. I also want to thank all those who generously give of their time and talent at our parish throughout the year. Our list of various volunteer groups includes: the Adult Altar Servers; those who care for the Altar linens; those who assist with decorating the altar and maintaining it; the collection counters; those involved as volunteers at our school or CCD including teachers, assistants, and hall monitors; Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion; Finance Committee; Food for the Poor; Giving Tree; Hope Committee; Lectors; Music Ministry; Rectory Office Volunteers; Health and Help Ministry (Nurses and assistants); Respect Life; RCIA; Ushers; and VINE Group. I also thank the student altar servers; they are a dedicated group of young people and an inspiration to our community. As in years past I invite all volunteers to pick up a special token of our appreciation in classroom 18. You can choose from a number of previous items. This year the featured gift is a custom mug with an imprint of our parish church.
This year, Christmas falls on a Monday. This presents us with the unique situation of celebrating the Fourth Sunday of Advent on Dec. 23rd -24th and then Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on Sunday Evening and Monday morning. We will therefore have to decorate the church for Christmas before the Fourth Sunday of Advent, in order to be ready for the Christmas Season. Also there is the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and also Christmas Mass. For those who choose to do this, you may attend one of the regular Sunday Morning Masses and receive Holy Communion, and then also attend one of the afternoon or Midnight Vigil Masses and receive Holy Communion again.
God Bless you,