The Pastor's Pen

February 5, 2023, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary time.

World Day of Prayer for the Sick: February 11th is the day set aside each year to prayerfully remember all who are suffering illnesses and afflictions of body , mind or spirit. Following the 10:30 Mass on next Sunday the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be celebrated for those who register to receive it by filling out a form that will enable the administration of the sacrament to be recorded. The forms are available at the doors of the church this weekend and should be brought back next Sunday and will be collected as the sacrament is received. As we observe this day and celebrate this sacrament, it is appropriate to remind any who are facing surgery or treatment for chronic, or serious illness that the time to get anointed is now! This sacrament is for the sick more than for the dying, and its reception is repeatable according to the stages of an illness or the phases of its treatment. All are encouraged to request this sacrament when your health is challenged and so the spiritual strength required to face or endure it is in need of reinforcement.

 

Marriage Sunday: On next Sunday, February 12th, proximate to the annual observance of St. Valentine’s Day, the Church invites the faithful throughout the world to contemplate and appreciate marriage as a sacrament. Indeed, marriage in the sacred understanding as opposed to the merely secular is defined as an unbreakable covenant between a man and woman which reflects the unending, unconditional love of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. This lay down your life sort of love is a sacrament in that it is a living sign of the life-giving love of Jesus Christ who laid down his own life for us all on the cross. As marriage unites male and female in their complementary natures a wholeness is created that has the power to be life transmitting sharing thus in the life-giving love of God which spills over into all creation. This is the beautiful image of marriage that is in danger of being lost amid the secular pursuits for equal rights and privileges that seek to redefine it so as to make it fit all types of human relationships. The appreciation of the beauty and privilege of procreation is also in danger of being lost as placards of protesters demand the right to circumvent it even by the most extreme means even though engaging in activity that is fundamentally reproductive. In the midst of widespread confusion in these contemporary times, let us hold up and appreciate the Sacrament of Christian Marriage as holy and beautiful, celebrating those who are living it, and being unafraid to promote it to yet another generation as a divinely instituted means of human sanctification and attainment of earthly happiness, thus ultimately a means to eternal salvation.

 

Shawl Ministry: On next Sunday shawls will be blessed that have been created as a means of comfort for those afflicted in body, mind, and spirit. Commonly called Prayer Shawls, as they knit or crochet them they are charged with praying for the persons, even though yet unknown, who will receive and wear them. . This ministry is a true labor of love and compassion, and while we recognize with gratitude those who serve in it in our parish, we also encourage others to consider joining them. Any who are interested may contact Kellie Alliegro in the parish office. For more information.

January 29, 2023, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Parish Pastoral Council:   At this time nominations are being accepted for three vacancies for elected positions on the Christ the King Parish Council Nomination Forms are available at the entrances to the Church, or through the parish office; forms should be submitted to the office by January 31st. From those nominated who accept the nomination, a resume and letter of interest will be requested , and distributed to the current members of the Council, who will vote for the new members at their meeting in February.   The Parish Pastoral Council is an essential advisory board to the pastor of each parish, bringing the voice of the people of the parish to the planning and decision making  role that the  pastor must play as the one sent by the bishop to shepherd the parish.   The Parish Council meet at least 4 times each year and much of its work must be accomplished by  the ministries of the parish or committees set up for various  purposes which are composed  of a representative of the Council and other parishioners  whom they recruit to assist them.  A listing of current committees wil be given after the Parish Council meets in February. Through participation on  a committee it is possible to be part of the Council’s work without having to be on the Council itself.  It is through the work of the Parish Council and its committees that we strive to assure that we are acting as a synodal church, which is a dialoging and listening Church in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and at the insistence of  Pope Francis. 

 

Planning Ahead:   February 11th – World Day of Prayer for the Sick: February 12th- World Marriage Sunday; February 22nd – Ash Wednesday.

 

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Februry 2024:  Called the Fifth Gospel, the Holy Land iitself is an important element in helping us to better understnd the Four Gospels.  Brochures are now available through the parish office for the  pilgrimage that will be led by Fr. Healey and Deacon Christopher Hughes who by then should be a newly ordained  priest.!  This will be Fr. Healey’s 15th visit to the Holy Land and Deacon Chris’s second and the first in which he will participate in leading  a pilgrimage.  Please obtain a brochure sooner rather than later if you plan on joining  as spaces are limited and will fill quickly.

 

Lights Out:   As we come to the end of “Christmastide” in the coming week on February 2nd with the Feast of the Presentation Of the Lord, that is the last day and night that by tradition we would keep the candles lit in our windows and a creche display in our homes,.  So  these important signs of Christmas and symbols of he light of God coming among us in Chrst through the Mystery of the Incarnation  should be put away  on February 3rd until December 17th of this year.

January 22, 2023, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Short(er) and Long(er) Term Needs: As any who own a house will appreciate, there is always something that needs doing in terms of repair or replacement, so please imagine that also being true of a complex that includes a church, a chapel, a residence, an office building, an education and meeting area, and a large gathering hall with attached kitchen! Each year on average the parish is spending at least $100,000 on all sorts of updates and repairs to its buildings and their systems as well as to the grounds on which this complex stands. Earlier this year the hope was expressed that we would suspend the annual collection which funds the larger repairs and improvements in the course of a year in favor of focusing on a capital campaign to address a longer term need to expand storage and gathering space for the weekly food pantry. However, at this time Bishop da Cunha has not yet given us the greenlight to start that campaign and is asking that the parish wait until the onset of summer this year. We respect the bishop’s reasons and wishes, but in the meantime sprinkler pipes are still breaking and the parking lot is now(over) due for its three year resealing and relining, So at this time, we will make a request to all parishioners to contribute to the Annual Collection so that we can keep up with these repairs in the short term, but to anticipate that a bigger ask is forthcoming, when we will have to raise nearly 20x what we normally do through the Annual Collection in order to expand the Food Pantry. Your concern for the upkeep and the financial health of our parish is always evident in your generosity and please know how deeply it is appreciated by your pastor at whose desk the buck must stop, and from which the bills must ever be paid!


Parish Council:  Nomination forms are available at the entrances of the church and are due in the parish office by January 31st. because at this time there are (3) three openings for elected members of the Christ the King Parish Pastoral Council. The purpose of the Council is to advise the pastor who is appointed by the bishop to shepherd the parish in the bishop’s name. We must all appreciate that we are members of one local church called the Diocese of Fall River and Bishop da Cunha is presently our Chief Shepherd as appointed for us by Francis, the Bishop of Rome. It is in this way that we truly remain in communion with the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church established and maintained on St. Peter’s confession of faith as first stated at Caesarea Philippi. A parish is the smallest entity in this worldwide communion, but it is in a sense a microcosm of the whole. While the church is not a representative democracy in that we have from the beginning been hierarchically constituted, still leadership in the church cannot be based on power but rather on service and sacrifice. Therefore from the pope to the bishops to the pastors of parishes, those who shepherd the church must seek the collaboration of the faithful, and we do that as Pope Francis is keen to remind us by being a synodal church at every level. Synodal implies sharing the road of discipleship together and listening to one another as we follow that path to God’s kingdom. On last Sunday, all parishioners were invited to be synodal as we gathered in the parish hall following the 10:30 Mass and had a listening session with the present members of the parish council. Having heard from members of the parish, the councilors are now in a better position to advise me as pastor in terms of the priorities we should embrace and the decisions that must be made for the good of the parish. . As pastor, I am very grateful for this collaboration by our members in the governance of the parish, and for the eident love for the parish on the part of so many who so eagerly participated in last week’s open meeting with the council members. I am grateful too for those who will come forward now as nominees to be selected for membership on the Parish Council for a term of three years by a vote of the present members of the Council at a meeting in February. Whether formally in Council or informally in our interactions with one another, let us be mindful of the call that tis ours as members of a community of faith to be honest and yet respectful in our communications with one another as we walk together this road of discipleship in a synodal church toward the Kingdom of God!

 

January 15, 2023 the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Back to Ordinary Time: The Season of Christmas came to it conclusion on this past Monday with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, yet Christmastide will continue until the Feast of the Presentation on February 2nd and images of the Holy Family and lights in windows are still appropriate until then as is seen here in our Church. As we look back on the short but beautiful season an expression of gratitude is due to all who helped to enhance its celebration for us as a family of faith. While the floral decorations were arranged by Country Gardens in Hyannis, they were maintained by Janet Trask and the members of our garden ministry with the occasional help of our sacristans and so we owe them all a great debt of gratitude that the majority of the plants remained healthy for the duration of the season. Thanks are also due to the Hyde Family who saw to the setup of the outdoor manger and to Dwight Giddings, Rick Trask, Kellie Alliegro ,and Deacon Chris Hughes for the interior wreaths, trees, Creche scene and window candles. As it has long been their custom to provide outdoor decorations for the parish the Knights of Columbus are to be thanked for the wreaths on the doors and the lights and wreaths that decorated the fence in front of the Church and thus helped to announce to all passersby that it is truly Christmas. . We thank all who served the liturgies as sacristans, ushers, lectors altar servers, and Special Ministers of Holy Communion throughout this special season and especially the musicians, cantors, and choir for all their efforts to prepare, present and lead us in the music of Christmas and Epiphany. Many thanks are also due to the thoughtful parishioners who sent a card to the rectory or the parish office and those that give us cause for New Year reforms after providing us with some irresistible treats and various libations to enjoy. The generous spirit of our parish is on display all year round but in a very special way at Christmas thus thanks are offered to all who did so much to enhance the celebration for our family of faith and to those who by their great generosity to the giving tree helped those in need to find a greater measure of joy at this special season of the year as well.

 

Planning Ahead: There is a long tradition in the church especially from the days when people did not read nor were calendars printed and readily available to announce the dates of the moveable feasts and seasons of the church year on the Feast of the Epiphany . Thankfully, this is no longer necessary as the literacy rate has risen exponentially in contemporary times and a calendar is provided to all parishioners thanks to those who sponsor it and gift it to us each year. However, it is perhaps good to remind everyone of the central feast of our entire year as Christians so that you may highlight those three days on your calendar so as to plan now not to let anything interfere with your participation in the annual observance of the Lord’s Passover. This year the Sacred Paschal Triduum, a single liturgy that unfolds over the course of three days will begin after sunset on Thursday April 6th and conclude after sunset on April 9th, which is Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord. So put brackets around those dates and days and write NBAU in capital l letters across them indicating “no business as usual”! Thus let us plan now to keep these days holy, that is, as set apart as a sort of mini retreat during which we remove ourselves from all possible distractions so as to focus primarily on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Could there really be anything more important or worthy of our attention than the great gift of His life laid down for us and through it bestowing on us the hope of being saved from final death? ( PS: Ash Wednesday is February 22nd)

 

Reminder: Cold, Flu and Covid Season is at its peak now, so if you are more comfortable wearing a mask during the liturgy in Church please feel welcome to do so! Also, we remind you that as the initial phase of updating our air conditioning system we have had a rather sophisticated air purification system installed in our ductwork last Fall, The system promises to eliminate 99% of airborne viruses and bacteria so please be assured that the wellbeing of all who gather to worship here is always of great concern to the parish and most especially so after our experience during the pandemic.

 

Parish Council Vacancies: The Christ the King Parish Council presently has three openings which must be filled and will be by soliciting nominations from the parishioners which are then voted on by the current members of the Parish Council. Nominees should be fully initiated Catholics who are registered and active members of the parish. The Council meets an average of four times a year to advise the pastor of the needs of the parishioners and the management of the parish. Nomination Forms will be available at the entrances of the Church beginning this weekend and continuing through to January 29th.; all nominations should be submitted by January 31st. New members will be elected at a meeting of the Parish Council in February and begin serving their three year terms at the next meeting in April. Please prayerfully discern candidates who will generously serve the entire parish in this important advisory role and submit their names by the deadline on the forms provided, all nominees will be contacted and asked to accept or reject the nomination.

January 8, 2023, Epiphany of the Lord

Christmas Continues: Today we celebrate the Epiphany, not merely the visit of the Magi, but what that represents, the light of Christ being revealed beyond the people of the promised land to the Gentiles. Today’s primary symbol is light, and thus an increase in lights rather than a reduction or elimination is most appropriate! The Season of Christmas will end tomorrow with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, but Christmastide will continue until February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation, until which it is proper to keep candles in the windows and a creche on display in the home.

 

The Epiphany Blessing: 20+C+M+B+23


The above symbol, inscribed in chalk was observable on the lintel of many dwellings in Eastern Europe during the pilgrimage taken in September to the Passion Play of Oberammergau. It is a custom to bless one’s home on this feast of the Epiphany and inscribe the symbol in which the year frames the initials that represent the names tradition assigns to the Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. A formula for the blessing and chalk are available at the entrances of the church this weekend for those who would want to adopt this noble custom and bless their own homes on this special feast during the Season of Christmas.

 

Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) 1928- 2022: A humble, kind pastor and yet an intellectual giant was given to the Church in this man who devoted his entire life to her service. Pope Emeritus Benedict will live on among us in the many writings he leaves behind which while theological and philosophical in nature are at the same time pastoral and inspirational. Two Quotes follow that are representative of the may volumes of his inspired thought:

 

“God’s sign is simplicity. God’s sign is the baby. God’s sign is that He makes Himself small for us. This is how He reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendor. He comes as a baby — defenseless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with His strength. He takes away our fear of His greatness. . . . God made Himself small so that we could understand Him, welcome Him, and love Him.”

 

“God is love. But love can also be hated when it challenges us to transcend ourselves. It is not a romantic “good feeling.” Redemption is not “wellness,” it is not about basking in self-indulgence; on the contrary it is a liberation from imprisonment in self-absorption. This liberation comes at a price: the anguish of the Cross”

 

Organ Concert: This weekend, on Sunday at 2PM, a concert of the music of Christmas and Epiphany will be presented by David Ogletree following the official blessing of our new Rogers Organ which was recently installed in the Church; refreshments will follow in the Parish Hall. Let us all celebrate the blessing of this instrument and the generosity of those who donated to provide it to enhance our worship.

 

Parish “Town Meeting”: Next Sunday, January 15th, following the 10:30 Mass. Parish Council Members will hold a listening session with the parishioners to hear their suggestions so as to enable the council to identify the priorities that the parish should focus on as we move forward now after two years under pandemic restrictions. All are welcome, please see the flyer included in this bulletin and use the tear off as a means of letting the parish office know you will be attending so that refreshments can be planned accordingly. This is an effort to live the synodality being encouraged throughout the Church by Pope Francis.

January 1, 2023 The Octave Day of Christmas Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

A New Calendar Year: While the Church has already observed the beginning of its liturgical year back on November 27th, the First Sunday of Advent, civil society now begins a new calendar year on this weekend as December 31st, 2022, turns to January 1st, 2023. Calendars will be blessed and distributed at all Masses this weekend, with a prayer that all our days will be numbered aright and thus lived in a manner that is pleasing to God, whom we shall meet when these are ended. Let our prayerful hope be that 2023 will be a year in which peace will reign in our hearts and our homes and be restored in our nation and our world!

Keeping Christmas: As the secular culture will be quite finished with the holidays at the end of this current weekend, let us take care to follow the Church calendar and thus keep Christmas celebrated through to Monday, January 9th , the day on which we observe the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord this year. Today we observe the Feast of Mary, The Holy Mother of God, and next weekend we will celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. These are two major celebrations in the authentic Season of Christmas which should not be ignored and on which it is appropriate to be lighting lights as the primary Christian symbol of the light that has entered the world in Jesus the Christ, God’s Word made Flesh. Next weekend’s feast is perhaps an even more appropriate day than the 25th of December for the giving of gifts as we remember the Magi who traveled from afar to place their gifts before the Christ Child. Could we as Christians take some satisfaction in re-establishing our original customs as to when gifts are exchanged and in doing so, be outsmarting the commercial interests who have distorted our traditions to suit their own interests; after all, “Post-Christmas” sales often see items more deeply discounted than even so called Black Friday!

 

Organ Concert: The newly installed Rogers 367 Organ will be blessed and then a concert will be given by David E. Ogletree, of Marshall-Ogletree Associates of Needham who was key in the parish being able to acquire this new model after the previous organ, dedicated back in December 1999, failed. The newly installed organ while primarily electronic is a hybrid in that it is again connected to the pipes on either side of the reredos in the front of the church and to the trumpets on the back wall of the church. Mr. Ogletree will be playing a concert of seasonal music for Christmas and Epiphany which will allow the various features of the new organ to be demonstrated. The purchase of the this organ was only possible through the generous contributions made by organizations and members of the parish who will be listed in the program. Following the concert, refreshments will be served in the parish hall.


Parish “Town Meeting”: While Church governance is not democratic but hierarchical, yet as Pope Francis has emphasized it must at the same time be synodal in nature, in that the voices of all the baptized should be heard by those charged with shepherding the Church. Here at Christ the King we have a parish council who represents the parishioners in advising the pastor as he seeks to guide this community of faith in the name of the bishop who as chief shepherd of this particular local church, the Diocese of Fall River, has placed him here for that purpose. However, a parish council can only be optimally effective in its advisory role if there is an opportunity for its members hear the parishioners express their needs, hopes and suggestions. This opportunity will be presented here at Christ the King in the form of a “town meeting” that will be held following the 10:30 Mass on Sunday January 15th in the parish hall. As with the Synod gathering, this will be a meeting of laity without the clergy present so as to encourage free and open communication and provide parishioners the opportunity to become better acquainted with the members of the parish council. As a lite lunch will be provided to those attending, those interested in participating are asked to sign up by filling out a short form available at the entrances of the church by Wednesday, January 11th.

December 11, 2022, The Third Sunday of Advent


Advent: What Are We Waiting For? For the secularized culture it is for the celebration of Christmas without Christ, a time of annual merrymaking which has in fact already begun for many well before the eve of December 24th. This cultural celebration entails much conspicuous consumption of food, drink and material things in terms of the purchase of gifts, some of which are actually quite extravagant. For those who are still religious to varying degrees, the secularized version of Christmas is given a veneer of religiosity as it’s often sentimentalized as waiting for the coming of “Baby Jesus”. While that pious sentiment may be common and well intentioned, it is rather shallow and not quite accurate; Baby Jesus isn’t coming again at Christmas ! Indeed, Christ already entered this world as an infant over two thousand years ago, grew into an adult who preached, healed, suffered, died, rose again and has returned to the Father in heaven who had sent him. Rather, as we presently encounter Christ in the scriptures and the sacraments, most fully in the Eucharist, we are actually waiting for him to come again in glory and power as just and final judge of the living and the dead! Christmas or more properly the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord , is a commemoration of Christ’s birth, which is meant to serve as an annual reminder to us that God kept the promise to send a Messiah but fulfilled it in a most unexpected way. Thus, being reminded that God acts in unpredictable ways , we who are waiting for the Second Coming should trust that this promise will be fulfilled as well but we would be wise to suspend all expectations as to how or when this will happen. This is the wisdom we can glean because this is a lesson clearly contained in the First Coming which we commemorate each Christmas Day and season. So let us take care to prepare well for what we are truly anticipating, thus , not merely by decorating our homes, putting up a tree, and displaying a creche as the 17th of December arrives , but by attending to our spiritual and moral lives as well. We embrace repentance at this time primarily so that we are worthy to receive Christ in holy communion here and now and would be found ready to enter his Kingdom should he call us there personally in death or should his Second Coming occur before the end of our days. Besides prayer, scripture reading, and quiet contemplation, one of the primary ways we use the time of Advent wisely is to acknowledge our sins and to do penance for them though, prayer, self-denial and charity! An additional opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation before the end of Advent will be available one week from Monday, which is the 19th of December, form 3PM to 6PM in the Church. Let us wisely make put ourselves in right relationship with God as we await the” blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ! “

 

A New Organ: The organ which was loaned to us as an attempt was being made to repair the original, has now returned to the Dealer’s show room, and the new organ, anticipated since early summer when we learned that the original had problems that could not be fixed has now been installed! Many thanks are owed to the Dealer who gave us a wonderful deal on this new instrument, and to those generous benefactors who provided the funds to acquire it. While we will enjoy the new organ for the remainder of Advent and into the Christmas season, a ceremony in which it will be blessed as we inaugurate its use and a concert to highlight its many feature will be held on January 8th at 2PM which is the day we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany this year.

 

No Worry About the Right Size or Color: The Giving Tree is the means by which we help those in our local community who are less fortunate to be able to celebrate Christmas with a greater measure of joy. The envelopes on the trees at the entrances to the Church are not the kind that ask us to go out and search for a particular gift, but rather to be returned with a monetary donation which will be used to purchase gift cards to a department store so that parents can make sure that even in spite of their financial constraints the children in their household will have something under the Tree on Christmas morning. Thank you for your generosity in enabling the parish to carry out this work of charity at Christmas.

 

Thank You So Much!: On behalf of the parish and our weekly Food Pantry volunteers a word of sincere thanks is extended to all who so generously responded to the call for help with cards to local grocery stores in order to provide for a proper celebration of Thanksgiving for those who regularly seek our help because they must struggle to make ends meet. Your generosity is as reliable as it is tremendous, and as your pastor , I am deeply moved and extremely proud!!

 

Bi-Annual Support of a Foreign Mission: Although a representative of the Diocese of Catarman was not able to come to speak to us in person, we as a parish are embracing our responsibility to support missionary work in foreign lands and at this time in particular that which is being carried out in that impoverished Diocese in the Philippines. Baskets are located at the entrances of the Church to receive your contributions , thank you as ever for your great generosity!

December 4, 2022, the Second Sunday of Advent

December 8th; The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: The patronal feast of the United States of America is a holy day of obligation in our nation. Masses will be celebrated on Wednesday, December 7th at 4PM and on Thursday, December 8th at 8:30AM and 5:30PM. Please join with your fellow believers to prayerfully lift up our nation, its elected leaders, its cultural celebrities and its citizens to God in prayer so that by conversion of heart on every level, we may become more and more what we have the potential to be in God’s plan of salvation.

 

Biannual Appeal to Support a Foreign Mission: The Diocese of Catarman: Every two years the Church asks each parish to offer spiritual and financial support to a particular mission in a foreign country. Christ the King Parish is being asked to aid the work of the church in the Diocese of Catarman in the Philippines. This is one of the poorest regions of that country where many children live in abject poverty, and daily the people must witness the violence that starvation and disease in remote areas of that diocese cause. This is the painful reality the church faces there. Simple, yet curable diseases due to malnutrition and the annual natural calamities that nature unkindly inflicts on the people cause death for many at far too early an age. Most of the villages in the Catarman Diocese are in the hinterlands. Seventy-five percent of the population are farmers. Six out of a hundred children die before they reach the age of one. This area is also visited by typhoons, sometimes 33 times a year, which destroy the crops and houses made of nipa huts and bamboo. In November 2013, this region was hit by the strongest typhoon ever wherein there were more than ten thousand (10,000) people died. It will be several years before the coconut crops normalize, which is the major source of income for the farmers. The Pandemic is still ongoing with insufficient supplies of vaccines available for everyone.
Yet the people learn to survive, to hope, to pray, and to rely on God’s compassion in the midst of the life and death struggles that are the daily lot of the poor. By God’s grace, the diocese is blessed with lay leaders, religious sisters, and clergy who are dedicated to meeting the spiritual, material, and ecclesial needs of the people. In God’s providence, his grace motivates those with a heart for the poor to lend their prayerful and financial support to the efforts of the Diocese of Catarman. The assistance Christ the King Parish offers can make a difference in the survival of the people of this region who must depend on the generosity of fellow Christians from other parts of the world in order to simply live. What is collected in this biannual appeal will help relieve the needs of impoverished children and their families, ensure the continued training and formation of lay leaders, and support the local clergy of that impoverished Diocese. Baskets are located at the entrances of the church this weekend and next to receive your donations for the work of the Church in the Diocese of Catarman in the Philippines; your generosity is greatly appreciated!

 

The Purpose of Advent: In a simplistic way, many understand Advent as the preparation for Christmas, and while that may in part be true, it isn’t an adequate understanding of this special penitential season! Rather, Advent invites us to begin a new year of grace by focusing on the three appearances of Christ: once in history (Christmas) now in mystery (Word and Sacrament, most especially in the Celebration of the Eucharist), and again in glory (Second Coming). Indeed, Advent in a sense reminds us just where we are on the timeline of salvation history, which is in between the Ascension of our Risen Lord, and the unknown day of his promised return in glory as judge of the living and the dead. So our preparation should wisely be not only in holiday shopping and decorating, but in spiritual inventories and practices, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So let us put ourselves and our spiritual preparedness to meet the Lord as a judge at the top of our to-do lists in what can become an overwhelmingly busy and stressful season.

 

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available each Saturday afternoon from 2:45 to 3:30, or by appointment, and will also be offered on Monday. December 19th from 3 PM to 6 PM for your greater convenience in receiving its grace before the end of Advent.

 

 

Planning Ahead: Masses of Christmas

December 24 at 4 PM, 6 PM, and 10 PM
December 25 at 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM. There will not be a 5:30 PM Mass on Christmas Day.

N.B.: Masses on Christmas Day are the least attended and thus are a better choice for those who are not yet comfortable being in the midst of larger gatherings of people.