FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
A word from Pope Francis ~ “When God comes, he always calls us out of our house. We are visited so that we can visit others; we are encountered so as to encounter others; we receive love in order to give love.”
Today on this Sunday of the “Week Between the Years,” we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This is a moveable feast that most often falls on the Sunday between Christmas and the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God (January 1st). It is a relatively new feast on our calendar. Following World War I, the chaos of daily life in Europe made its impact felt on the family structure. The feast of the Holy Family was created in 1921 to offer Christians an image of hope and holiness in family life, and to promote the welfare of children. In 1969 the feast was fixed to the Sunday between Christmas and the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. It is a great way for us to continue our celebration of the wonderful feast of Christmas.
Our parish celebration of Christmas Day was certainly a grand one! Thank you to Sue Entwistle and our Liturgy Planning team who guided and planned our efforts. Dorothy Jaskey and our Art and Environment Committee members did a splendid job in transforming both the chapel and the church from Advent to Christmas in the final days of Advent. Thank you to each one of them for all of their work during these two seasons. Thank you to our Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Greeters, Ushers and Altar Servers for your dedicated service at our Christmas liturgies. A number of them attended one Mass with their families and then returned to a later Mass to serve in their particular ministry. Thank you to Anne Sinclair and our choir members, cantors and musicians. The Christmas Eve concert was very powerful. Many of them also did double duty so that our Christmas Masses would have appropriate leaders of music. Thank you to Dan Tobin and our parish facilities crew who kept the parking lot and sidewalks safe and clear of snow and ice. They along with some very generous volunteers also directed the transformation of the Ministry Center from Monday evening’s home for PADS into an additional space for Tuesday’s 4:00pm Christmas Eve Mass. And thank you to you, our faithful parishioners, for your hospitality in welcoming the additional visitors and dealing with our limited parking resources at Christmas. We had three simultaneous Christmas Eve vigil Masses at 4:00pm to begin our celebrations. I am grateful for your planning ahead and working with our limitations. We have entered the celebration of the season of Christmas very well.
On Wednesday, January 1st, we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. This feast is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses for the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God will be celebrated on Tuesday, December 31st at 5:00pm and 6:30pm (Spanish) and on January 1st at 8:30am, 10:00am and 11:30am (Spanish). Please note that our Parish Offices will be closed for the New Year’s holiday on Tuesday and Wednesday. We will reopen at 8:00am on Thursday, January 2nd. Our parish Grade School resumes classes on Monday, January 6th.
Thank you to all who sent Christmas greetings and gifts to us at the Rectory. We deeply appreciate your good wishes and your generosity. We are blessed in being able to serve you at our parish.
This week we will mark the 2 month anniversary of the blessing and dedication of our Perpetual Adoration Chapel. It is located on the north end of the church building and is accessible from both the northeast exit door of the church and directly from the parking lot. We now have a regular opportunity for quiet, individual prayer on our parish campus. It gives us a continuous opportunity for prayer in the presence of the Lord in a dedicated space attached to our church. I personally found it to be a wonder place of refuge during the busy and hectic days of the Advent season. Someone once described this quiet prayer time as “face time with Jesus.” We are able to quietly bring him our joys and burdens, tell him about our concerns or fears are, and then spend some quiet time listening. This personal, quiet prayer can be an oasis away from all of the activity and busyness of our lives. Our Perpetual Adoration Chapel is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Come for 15, 30 or 60 minutes – as much as you are able. It will make a difference in your day!
It is hard to believe that another year will soon pass into history. Whatever the past year may have held for each of us, through it all, God continued to dwell among us, continued to bless us and continued to love us. As the calendar turns over Tuesday night to the year 2020 and a brand new decade, let’s begin another new year in God’s faithful history of salvation. Know that I pray that God continue to bless us with everything that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy