Prepare for the Lord

Dear Friends,

We have come to the final Sunday of Advent. We are in full anticipation of the remarkable feast of Christmas, Christ’s Birth. If this holy season has slipped by too quickly for you, there are a few more days left to offer up something special to Jesus in the way of prayer and sacrifice as your Birthday gift to our King of kings. Remember, Jesus will never be outdone in generosity. Whatever you offer, you will receive an abundant generosity from Him in return. That’s Who He is. May the festivities of the sights and sounds of Christmas, especially the Creche (the Nativity set) lead you to experience the joy of Jesus’ Birth and the joy of being His disciple in the midst of this world and at this time.

While our Christmas experiences will be different for all of us this year, what we are celebrating, what we rejoice in, what we are receiving this year is no different. The Son of God came down to earth sharing our flesh and blood and all our humanity except for sin. He took our sins onto Himself, dying and rising from the tomb. He now continuously intercedes for us before His Father in heaven. He remains with us in His Mystical Body, the Church. By His Sacraments, He offers us an ever-deepening relationship with Himself through His grace poured out into our souls. By our surrender to His grace, we grow in faith, hope, love, and strength to love our brothers and sisters as He loves us.

We have a special Christmas Mass Home Kit prepared for any family who wishes to pick one up in the narthex between 6 am and 9 pm. There is a limited quantity. They are meant to help you at home while watching one of our live stream Christmas Masses. It is a small way for all of us to connect this Christmas while worshipping our loving God.

Every one of our Christmas Masses will be live streamed via our usual social media and to the gym. While we certainly want everyone to come to Church, the reality with social distancing is that we cannot accommodate the usual crowds. We will have the gym set up for livestreaming and we will have Communion Ministers available to distribute Holy Communion to anyone in attendance at the gym. We do ask you to respect the need for social distancing, to wear a face mask and to sanitize your hands. The Christmas schedule can be found elsewhere in this bulletin.

Allow me to write again on a topic I shared about last weekend. In the midst of this pandemic, we know that many are suffering financial setbacks. These are real and hurt. We realize and fully understand that your ability to donate is impacted if your finances have been impacted. If you check our weekly reporting in the bulletin, you see that our parish Sunday collections have significantly decreased.

Christmas and end of year are usually a time when many more people than usual and many of you offer sizeable donations for our mission and our work. We depend on your sacrificial donations which keep our parish family strong in fulfilling Christ’s mission. We truly need your continuing help, especially now. Whatever you are able to donate 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 or joining our electronic giving (check the website) to help us along. Thank you most sincerely. Blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones!

God bless you, God love you, and I love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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