A Very Blessed and Joyous Christmas

My Dear Parishioners,

I take the opportunity on behalf of Msgr. McCoy, Msgr. Bolger, Fr. Connors, and myself, and all those who minister here at St. Joseph to wish you all a very Blessed and joyous Christmas. We celebrate Jesus’ incarnation as a human being, but Christmas is also about anticipating Jesus’ return at the end of the world when we will be given the opportunity to live with Him in eternal happiness. We are grateful for the extreme love God shows us in wanting to save us, but also in wanting to be with us forever. Please accept my prayers for you and your family to experience a sacred renewal of the life that the Christ child brings at this time of year. I also pray that your New Year is filled with God’s many blessings. I thank all of you for the opportunity to serve as your pastor and also for the witness and inspiration you provide me.

I also want to thank our numerous volunteers including: the Adult and student servers; those who care for the Altar linens; those who assist with decorating the altar and maintaining it; collection counters; St. Joseph/St. Robert parents, CCD teachers, assistants, and volunteers; Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion; Finance Committee; Food for the Poor; Giving Tree; Hope Committee; Lectors; Music Ministry; Office Volunteers; Pastoral Council, Health and Help Ministry (Nurses and assistants); Respect Life; RCIA; Socials Committee; and Ushers. You all do a wonderful job of helping our parish to fulfill its mission.

I found the following description on the U.S. Bishops website. Christmas is one of the most important days of the Church year, second only to Easter itself. Celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is the culmination of the mystery of the incarnation, the feast of God becoming flesh (the Latin “in carne” means “enfleshment”). It is a uniquely Christian teaching, the Divine choosing to become one of us. Because of this belief, God is not only Transcendent, but also wholly Immanent, Emmanuel (God-with-us). While remaining Transcendent (meaning we must rise above our present condition to reach Him), He is at the same time Immanent (meaning He is with us as we rise toward Him). Every Eucharist is like Christmas where the bread and wine are transformed into His flesh, His Body and Blood, and, in a sense, He is born anew on the altar.

The liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. During this season, we celebrate the birth of Christ into our world and into our hearts and reflect on the gift of salvation that is born with him, including the fact that he was born to die for us.

The Christmas tree and the Nativity scene are popular symbols of the season and a tradition in many Christian homes. It is also traditional to exchange Christmas gifts with family and friends to honor God the Father’s gift of his only son to the world. Having received the gift of Christ, we naturally want to pass that gift along to our loved ones.

May God Bless You,
Fr. Bordonaro