This column is being written before Christmas due to the printer’s deadlines, which is certainly understandable due to the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
As I write, I seem these days to be a bit more focused on, or at least more conscious of, the deeper meaning and reality of our impending Christmas celebrations. And that’s a wonderful thing in the busyness of this time. I am most grateful to the Lord.
We priests have been helping at many Penance Services and Confession Services near and far. It has been a truly uplifting experience. In fact, several of us have commented on the increased number of confessions this year. We had 10 priests hearing confessions in our Church on December 19, two less than we had originally planned due to illnesses. The crowd was awesome, more than in previous years. We priests felt very blessed to be part of God’s mercy and healing for so many people. Going to confession is the best gift we can offer to God in preparing for the solemn celebrations of Christmas Day and the Christmas season. Confession is the best gift we can receive in our ongoing spiritual journey as passionate disciples of the Lord Jesus. May we come often to the fount of mercy and love which is Confession.
This year also saw something of a change in regards to our Church decorating for this holy season. I am grateful to all those who participated in Church decorating over the past years. A transition has taken place. I offer thanks to our Youth Group under the direction of Matt Kirsch and Alex Price for putting up the trees and setting out the Nativity figures. Thanks to Tom Gaspar and Ted Locker for hanging the wreaths, angels and garland. Thanks to Margarida Leader who led a crew of many volunteers in placing the poinsettia plants in the Church, Chapel, Narthex and Gym. I don’t have the names of all who helped at this time but I want to acknowledge the spirit of volunteerism and the dedication of so many in our parish family, both youths and adults, helping to make our environment so beautiful for Christmas.
On behalf of Father Moriconi, Monsignor Murray, our deacons and parish staff, I extend to all of you and your loved ones our prayerful wishes for every blessing of God in 2018. Thank you for your faith, hope and charity. Thank you most profoundly for your many cards, gifts, goodies, greetings and well wishes for Christmas and the New Year. We are truly blessed, this parish family of Saint Eleanor!
God bless you, God love you,