December 26th – The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
A BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND A HEALTHY, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
“Yes, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but may have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”
(Gospel of St. John, ch.3)
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus and the amazing love of the Holy Family, please know of our fervent prayers for you and your family!
In these interesting days of change and the unknown, and some anxiety and fears for the future, we stand firmly on the rock of Jesus and the Holy Family! We often hear people say: “I could not get through this without my family.” Well, more than ever we need our families! And we need the family of Jesus! And we need to remember those who struggle with their families and those who for one reason or another feel they have no families. We need our parishes to be a family helping all families!
It is no accident that when our four parishes committed to working together we chose Family of Four as our motto!
On behalf of Fr. John, Fr. Michael and myself, and the team that serves the Family of Four with such love, loyalty, creativity and compassion, know how grateful we are to be family!
Sincerely, with love,
December 19th – Fourth Sunday of Advent
“Adoration, ah! That is a word from Heaven! …
It is love overcome by the beauty, the strength,
the immense grandeur of the Object loved”
(St. Elizabeth of the Trinity)
Peace of Christ and I hope you are well! During the past few weeks we have been invited into a posture of expectant waiting for the coming of our Lord at Christmas. He is near…but not yet, and this experience is particularly poignant as we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent.
No doubt this week we will be finalizing our plans and preparations for our Christmas celebrations. Please see our bulletin and parish websites for information on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass times. We look forward to warmly welcoming you, your loved ones and any guests to our beautiful liturgies! So much goes into our preparations that often we can arrive at Christmas Mass with “nothing left”. He is near…but not yet, which usually means a lengthy to-do list! We can arrive at church tired, stressed, and wondering what this is all about. But perhaps that’s a fitting way after all to approach the Christ child. What do I mean by that?
When we encounter suffering, often we handle it on our own by trying to “be strong” or to push through. Yet what God desires is for us to be weak and to surrender to His love. Christmas is about us being small – humble and childlike enough to come before the manger on our knees. Maybe in arriving at church overwhelmed with nothing left, we can finally allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by Jesus’ love which will stop at nothing to reach us. Friends, what a gift we celebrate at Christmas! O come let us Adore Him, o Come let us Adore Him, o come let us Adore Him…and be overwhelmed in the best of ways this Christmas – by His love.
Sincerely, with love,
December 12th – Third Sunday of Advent
Praised be Jesus Christ!
As we continue these weeks of our Advent retreat, perhaps you, like me, have found the Entrance Antiphon chanted at Holy Mass to be a fitting way both to inform our worship and to form our hearts.
On this Sunday of Advent, the Antiphon prayed by the Church throughout the world is most beautiful:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed the Lord is near.
This Third Sunday of Advent, better known to us as Gaudete Sunday, takes its name from this beautiful Antiphon’s first word, Rejoice, which in Latin is Gaudete.
To the moving question posed by the crowds to St. John the Baptist in our Gospel today, “What should we do?” the Church responds and greets us with this most striking response, Gaudete –Rejoice!
Perhaps you, like me, have found yourselves posing that same question to our Blessed Lord and to trusted friends as we see before us so many challenges being laid bare, challenges that may in fact seem insurmountable, in our world, in our Church, in our families, and perhaps, painfully, even in ourselves.
And yet, as the late Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. once wrote, inspired by the musings of the novelist Wilfrid Sheed,