Though this bulletin is technically dated for the feast of the Holy Family on December 27th, we are making it available for our Christmas Liturgies as well. So let me begin by offering a warm welcome to all those who will be celebrating this great feast of the Lord's birth with us. As always it is a joy to have our faithful parishioners here but I join with them in letting our guests and visitors know that you are most welcome here today & any Sunday (or Saturday) of the year. If while you are here with us, you are thinking that it would be good to re-connect in your relationship with God or the Church, we are here to support you & reach out our hands in welcome. We would love to have you as part of our parish community where we believe you can find wisdom, peace, love and joy in a world that is confusing, at war, broken and sad. This is what faith does for us. It helps us to find a loving & merciful God, or rather, it helps God to find us. We are glad that you are here to pray with us today and hope that you will be back to pray with us next week. It is good to have you here!
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, recently announced the beginning of a Holy Year of Mercy which began on December 8th. Throughout this next year, he is inviting Catholics throughout the world to think about God's merciful kindness to us and to consider how we might extend that same mercy to each other. What greater sign of God's mercy than the sending of his Son so that we might see his mercy in the flesh?!
One more thing I'd like to bring to your attention today. We are creating a new Pictorial Directory for our parish. It's been a few years since the last one & there are many new people whose faces we may recognize but whose names we don't know. So we invite you to have your picture taken by professional photographers and they will give you a free 8x10 picture in return as well as a free directory with the faces of your fellow parishioners so you know who's who. And of course you can buy more pictures of various sizes if you wish. I would love 100% participation since I'm still learning names and know that people are always asking each other to identify someone for them. So please sign up. All you have to do smile. Pets are welcome too! In fact, mine are more photogenic than I am!
On behalf of Father Vesely and the entire Parish and School Staff, Merry Christmas to you & your loved ones.