My Dear Parishioners,
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. It feels like we have all been waiting for the coronavirus to end and now the church is asking us to wait some more. But waiting can be good. It helps to strengthen us and teaches us discipline. Waiting also helps our celebration of Christmas by building up a longing and yearning for Jesus. Not every need has to be met immediately.
The Christmas Bazaar is next Sunday, Dec. 5th in the Church Hall from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Please come down after Mass and do some Christmas shopping. We will have a table where you can purchase various 100th anniversary themed gifts including commemorative mugs, Christmas ornaments and Parish Christmas cards. There will be a number of vendors and crafts available for purchase, raffle baskets and food. Children can have their picture taken with Santa too. A special thank you goes to Mrs. Rita Roley, and her team of helpers. If you are planning to visit the Christmas Bazaar, please park in the rear lot, off of Valley Road.
May God Bless You,
Archbishop Perez has asked that the following letter be communicated to you this weekend.
Dear Friends in Christ,
The annual appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious will be held in our parishes the weekend of December 4-5, 2021. This appeal benefits approximately 26,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests—women and men who have consecrated their lives to serving God and the Church. Pope Francis often highlights the role older adults play in conveying faith from one generation to the next. Recently, he noted that “there is no retirement age from the work of proclaiming the Gospel.” (Pope Francis, Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, July 25, 2021)
The prayer and ministry of older religious are an ongoing witness to the Gospel. In their younger years, they laid the foundation for Catholic schools, hospitals, and works of mercy. Today, many serve in volunteer ministry. Others are frail and need assistance. Yet all remain wholly committed to their vocations, accepting the limitations of aging and embracing the opportunity to spend more time praying for our Church and world.
Many religious communities struggle to provide for their aging members. In 2018, 70 percent of the religious communities providing data to the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) had a median age of 70 or higher and it continues to grow.
I recognize you may be experiencing your own financial difficulties. I ask only that you give what you can. Most importantly, please join me in praying for God’s continued blessing on our nation’s elderly sisters, brothers, and religious order priests.
I ask prayers for our consecrated religious and encourage support for this national collection scheduled for December 4-5, 2021 in our local parishes.
In the peace of Christ,
+ Most Reverend Nelson J. Perez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia