Pastor's Column for December 3, 2017

Thank you for your prayers for my sister’s husband, Mike. His bypass surgery was successful and he is now at home recuperating for a few months. May I also ask you to remember Mary, Mary Lou, Chuck, & Denise, all of whom were or will be anointed soon? There are so many who are ill or homebound whom we need to be mindful of, especially during the holidays. We trust God will be at their side as we lift them up to Him.

At the funeral home, I prayed with the family and friends of Joseph Stawicki who died after a battle with cancer. May he rest in the peace of Christ.

Congratulations to the parents of Amarelis Merced who is being baptized this Sunday after the 11am Mass. Amarelis is in the first grade at our parish school and is very excited to become a part of our Catholic family. May this beautiful child of God know that she is loved without limit.

I adopted Michaela 5 years ago, just a day before Thanksgiving. We celebrated this anniversary along with dozens of her stuffed animals (yes, she has a whole ark of them!). If you ever walk in the rectory office & hear her gentle bark, that’s her way of welcoming you (and warning us of potential danger). I’m grateful that she keeps an eye on us (and you).

We are now in the month when we will be celebrating Christmas after a short 3 week season of Advent. Since December 25th falls on a Monday this year, we will celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent with our regular weekend Mass schedule (4pm on Saturday, December 23rd and 8 & 11am on Sunday, December 24th). Then we will have our usual Christmas Eve Masses later in the day on the 24th: 4pm, 7pm & 10pm. Since the majority of people celebrate Christmas Mass on the Eve at one of the 3 Masses, we will have just one Mass on Christmas Day at 11am. Since the feast of Mary, the Mother of God on January 1st falls on a Monday this year (technically NEXT year), it will not be a holy day of obligation as it usually is. Mass will be celebrated at 7:30am as usual that Monday morning.

This Friday, December 8th, is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, a holy day of obligation. Mass will be celebrated at 8:30am (with the School children) and at 7pm. This feast celebrates the singular gift of God to Mary by which she was conceived without original sin, and according to our long tradition, remained without sin throughout her life. May she who was prepared to be a worthy vessel of God’s Son, be for us an example of single-hearted love for the God who frees the rest of us from sin.