Here we are at the Third Sunday of Advent! We hear in our second reading, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” In a special way, this year, we turn to the Lord with fervent prayer and petition for the renewal and purification of our Church, for the healing of victims and their families, for an increase in the practice of virtue in accord with God’s divine plan. The birth of Jesus Christ is God’s definitive revelation of Himself and His ultimate plan to bring us to Himself. Trusting in Him and not giving into anxiety involves us in God’s plan as it unfolds in this broken and fragile world.
Last weekend on December 8, our various music ministries join forces and provided a beautiful, uplifting, inspiring and exceptionally well executed concert of sacred music, Preparing the Way. It was truly awesome and a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for Christmas. We also took the opportunity that night to bless many beautiful Creches or Nativity sets which our parishioners brought for that purpose. It was truly a remarkable celebration and evening. Thanks to all the musicians and singers who participated and to Elizabeth Calabro, our Director of Sacred Music, for planning, bringing everyone together and conducting. Friends, you really do not want to miss next year’s event.
This time of year, we priests happily assist our brother priests in the hearing of confessions at many parishes and schools around the area (and sometimes beyond) as we all prepare for the feast of Christmas. It is truly humbling to be an instrument of God’s mercy and healing in such a great sacrament of forgiveness.
Be sure to make your arrangements to experience this awesome grace as part of your preparation for Christmas. We will hear confessions after the Masses on Sunday, December 16 and we will have many additional priests hearing confessions on Tuesday, December 18 at 7 pm. And of course, Saturday, December 22, we will be available at the usual times, 8-8:45 am and 3:30-4:15 pm. But plan to go early to avoid a long line.
Our 2019 Parish Calendars are available at the Church entrances. We offer many thanks to the Moore, Snear, & Ruggiero Funeral Home for donating these calendars for our parish family to use throughout the year. This year’s Christmas gift book for all our adults is Matthew Kelly’s “The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity,” a provocative title. It is a great book and we are very grateful to the Holcombe Funeral Home for donating these books to give to our parish family.
We are, as you know, recruiting members of our parish family to welcome all attending our Christmas Masses this year and to distribute our Christmas gift book. This is a great opportunity for the family to do ministry together. It is an inspiring experience to share some Christmas joy with others on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so don’t hesitate. To sign up, let us know at the parish office your name, contact information and which Mass you will be attending. Thanks.
God bless you, God love you,