Gaudete Sunday is here

Dear Friends,

Our Youth Group did a wonderful job decorating the parish offices (inside and out) and the Kateri meeting space for Christmas. They will be helping also with the Church decorating coming up this week. These energetic and joyful disciples do so much throughout the year not only for our parish family but for our brothers and sisters in need. We are very grateful for their enthusiasm and presence among us. We thank Matt Kirsch for his warm and caring leadership of our Youth Ministry programs.

We had a wonderful Christmas Tree Lighting and Blessing back on the Monday before Thanksgiving. We picked that evening to avoid conflicting with other local tree lighting events. We sang some carols, we prayed, we blessed the tree, and the Chetta Family helped turn the tree lights on. The weather was cooperative and there were wonderful home-made cookies and hot chocolate for all. It was a most enjoyable moment in the life of our parish family. Perhaps you noticed, we added a star atop the tree. May the lights of the tree remind us of Christ, our Lord, the Light of the world.

We have come to the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday with its rose color vestments and Advent candle. The Church this weekend invites us in the words of Saint Paul to Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near. (Phil 4:4-5). May our preparations assist us in this and help us to know how close the Lord is to each of us.

After all the Sunday Masses (December 15), our priests will be available to hear confessions in the Chapel. On Tuesday of this week, we have more than a dozen priests who will be hearing confessions at 7 pm in Church. There is truly no better way to prepare for Christmas and the coming of the Lord Jesus than to receive forgiveness and healing in the Sacrament of Penance.

Have you ever wondered if Jesus is the Christ, the anointed of God, Savior? John the Baptist had a question on this and so sent disciples from prison. Jesus’ response is simple and direct, a revelation that He is doing the very works of God ~ “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” Jesus offers the same gifts and works to us as we come to Him humbly and receive His Sacraments and worship God through Him at Holy Mass.

May we realize the hidden and glorious power of the Lord awaiting all those who come and behold the King of Angels. May these words echo in our hearts, mind and souls now and always ~ “O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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