The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

My Dear Parishioners,

Congratulations to our St. Joseph/St. Robert student thespians! They will be putting on the show, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at Archbishop Wood High School next Sunday, Dec. 12th at 2:00 p.m. We are  fortunate  that  the  students  can take advantage of the professional stage that our local high school offers. Also the Christmas Bazaar is going on today (Sunday) from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in our lower hall. Please stop by after Mass and get some of your Christmas shopping done. In addition to the crafts and other gifts for sale, you can purchase our 100th Anniversary St. Joseph Christmas cards, Anniversary mugs and Christmas ornaments. We will also have food, raffles, and Santa will be available for photos!

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is on Wednesday, Dec. 8th. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. The Vigil Mass will be Tuesday 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. 16th 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. 22nd at 7:00 p.m. Please note that there will be no confessions scheduled on Sat. Dec., 25th. The best opportunity will be December 16th with several additional confessors. The Feast of Mary the Mother of God is not an obligation this year. The only Masses that we will have will be on Sat. Jan.1st at 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.

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 quicktempered, 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