Good News in Advent

Dear Friends,

Today is Gaudete Sunday, the third of Advent when the Church invites us to rejoice and give praise for the nearness of our Lord. It comes about midway in the penitential and prayerful anticipation that is the holy season of Advent. Thus, we see the rose color vestments and the rose color candle on the Advent Wreath. As the celebration of Christmas draws near, today is a day of joy to focus on the presence of Jesus who is with us now and who leads us and guides us in these days.

December 13 is also the feast day of Saint Lucy, an early martyr in Syracuse, Sicily. Her name means light and she is the patroness of the blind. During these dark December days, Saint Lucy reminds us to focus our attention on Jesus Christ, the eternal and true light of the world. In our Gospel this weekend, we are told that John the Baptist came to testify to the light, to Jesus. Isaiah prophesizes about the Messiah and Jesus tells us point blank in the Gospel that He is the fulfillment of all the hopes and prophecies of old, especially this particular one.

My friends this is who we are and what we are about ~ acknowledging Jesus as Lord, Savior, Redeemer who even now offers us forgiveness, healing, and hope. Jesus came to search us out, to restore our relationship with God and with one another. May these final days of Advent help us to focus our attention on Jesus, on giving thanks for all that we have, and in rediscovering the depths of our relationships with one another through the love of Christ dwelling within us by His Holy Spirit. Come, Lord Jesus!

This pandemic is inflicting so many with financial hardships. These are real and they hurt. We understand and realize that your ability to donate is impacted if your finances have been impacted during this time. Please notice in our weekly reporting in the bulletin that our parish Sunday collections have decreased significantly.

Christmas and end of year are usually a time when many more people than usual and many of you offer substantial donations for our mission and our work. Your donations keep our parish family strong in fulfilling Christ’s mission. We truly need your continuing help. Whatever you are able to donate to our parish for Christmas and for the end of this calendar year is deeply appreciated. Together let us do all we can to stay strong, persevering, and generous, imitating our abundantly generous God. Please consider mailing in your donation for Christmas to help us along. Thank you most sincerely.

Great news ~ our parishioner, Ryan Pignon, finished his Eagle Scout project, with a little touch up still to be done when the new wood has been seasoned. I am referring to the newly refurbished gazebo/grotto for our Lady near the outdoor Stations. It looks beautiful and our maintenance men have replaced the statue of our Lady there. Be sure to take a look at it when you can.

More great news, we received word that Ryan O’Connor, grade 8 student at Holy Cross and our parishioner, has been named a 2021 Neuman Scholar by the Connelly Foundation. This a prestigious award and accomplishment giving him a four-year scholarship to an Archdiocesan high school of his choice. We congratulate Ryan, his family, and Holy Cross. It seems that Neuman Scholars run in the O’Connor family as Ryan’s older sister, Kelly, is also a Neuman Scholar. Blessings to all!

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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