My Dear Parishioners,

The Christmas Bazaar is this Sunday, Dec. 4th in the Church Hall. Please come down after Mass and get a jump on your Christmas shopping. There will be a number of vendors selling their crafts, raffle baskets and food. Our St. Joseph Christmas cards and 100th Anniversary Coffee mugs will also be for sale. 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.

Congratulations to our St. Joseph/St. Robert student thespians! They will be putting on the show, Frozen, Jr. at Archbishop Wood High School this Sunday, Dec. 4th at 2:00 p.m. We are fortunate that the students can take advantage of the professional stage that our local high school offers. You can come to Mass, shop at the Christmas Bazaar, and then relax and enjoy the show by our students all this Sunday.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is on Thursday, Dec. 8th. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. The Vigil Mass will be Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. Masses on the Holy Day will be at 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. and also at 7:00 p.m.

The schedule for the remaining days of Advent is as follows: Our Parish Penance opportunity will be Thursday, Dec. 15th at 7:00 p.m. Additional priests will be on hand to hear confessions. Remember, there will be no actual penance service, but rather confessions will start being heard at 7:00 p.m. In addition to our regular Saturday confessions from 3:30 to 4:30, we will hear them on Wednesday evening Dec. 21st at 7:00 p.m. Please note that there will be no confessions scheduled on Sat. Dec. 24th. The best opportunity will be December 15th with several additional confessors.

The US Bishops have prepared a brief examination of conscience. I have copied it below from their website. The first reflection is based on the 10 Commandments.

#I – I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me: Have I treated people, events, or things as more important than God? # II. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Have my words, actively or passively, put down God, the Church, or people? #III Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day. Do I go to Mass every Sunday (or Saturday Vigil) and on Holy Days of Obligation? Do I avoid, when possible, work that impedes worship to God, joy for the Lord’s Day, and proper relaxation of mind and body? Do I look for ways to spend time with family or in service on Sunday? #IV Honor your father and your mother. Do I show my parents due respect? Do I seek to maintain good communication with my parents where possible? Do I criticize them for lacking skills I think they should have? #V. You shall not kill. Have I harmed another through physical, verbal, or emotional means, including gossip or manipulation of any kind? #VI. You shall not commit adultery. Have I respected the physical and sexual dignity of others and of myself? #VII. You shall not steal. Have I taken or wasted time or resources that belonged to another? #VIII. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Have I gossiped, told lies, or embellished stories at the expense of another? #IX. You shall not covet your neighbor’s spouse. Have I honored my spouse with my full affection and exclusive love? #X. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods. Am I content with my own means and needs, or do I compare myself to others unnecessarily?

This second examination comes from Jesus’ identification of the two greatest commandments. How well do we love God and others? Do we love as Christ calls us to? In the Gospel of Matthew, Christ gives us Two Commandments: “He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments’” (Mt 22:37-40).

Not sure what love is? St. Paul describes it for us in his Letter to the Corinthians. Is this how you love God and others? “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Cor 13:4-8). Copyright © 2013, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC.

May God Bless You,
Fr. Bordonaro