My Dear Parishioners,
Happy New Year! I hope that you had a peaceful celebration of Christmas and the New Year. I also want to thank all those who made our celebrations as beautiful as they were. Everyone had to make adjustments and I am truly grateful for the cooperation I received. I especially want to thank our musicians, vocalists and all those in the Music Ministry, our altar servers for assisting at the altar, our Lectors and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Thank you as well to our Altar Society (all those who care for the altar by washing the linens also providing, caring for, and watering the plants and flowers). I especially want to thank those who regularly help to clean and decorate our church. Your work has truly beautified this sacred space. Thanks also to those who contributed to our “Christmas Flowers” collection. You and your loved ones are remembered in prayer throughout the season. Now is also a good time to thank those that operate “behind the scenes” by seeing to it that our weekend celebrations run smoothly. This list also includes our ushers, sacristans, collection counters, and the “Scrip Sellers” in support of our school.
The list of volunteers and those to thank extends beyond our Sunday celebration. I want to also thank all those who work in the formation and education of the people at St. Joseph. This includes the superb faculty, staff and volunteers at St. Joseph/St. Robert School, in the CCD program and Adult Faith Formation, and RCIA. As pastor I am grateful for the advice and counsel provided by the Finance Council. I also appreciate the parish nurses and those associated with the Health and Help Ministry, VINE Group, and St. Joseph HOPE committee, Food for the Poor, and the rectory volunteers. Thank you for all you do to make St. Joseph a loving and hospitable place. I am grateful to all those who assist with the running of the parish facility including our rectory and maintenance staff.
The Christmas season ends next week. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, which is the manifestation of the Lord’s glory to all the nations, and then next Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord and then the following Tuesday we begin the period known as Ordinary Time. While we will have to say goodbye to the Christmas decorations and the Nativity scene, we will try to keep the poinsettias going for as long as possible. By the way, I want to thank Carla Venditti and Karen Baranowski for watering the flowers and Molenaar Greenhouse for their beautiful flowers once again this year. They truly made our celebrations a fitting tribute to the Glory of God. Your “Christmas Flower envelopes” with your intentions written on them have been on the altar since Christmas. Thank you for supporting the Christmas decorations through these donations.
Finally I want to take the opportunity to gratefully acknowledge all of the kindnesses, gifts, and food sent to the parish and to me personally over the past few weeks. Your care and true concern are truly the heart of this parish. I also want to thank you for your support of our Christmas collection. We do not have the final tallies yet, but that collection remains one of the most important ones in helping us meet our financial obligations throughout the year. Thank you for your sacrifices on behalf of our parish.
May God Bless You in the New Year,