Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Merry Christmas! Welcome to the many visitors, family members, and guests who join us to celebrate the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the peace and joy of Christ be born anew in your hearts this Christmas.

Recently the English-speaking world of the Catholic Church made some adaptations to the Mass and introduced a revised Roman Missal. On the worship aid for today’s Mass, you’ll note some of the new responses. The responses have also been included inside the back cover of the hymnal. If you’d like more information about the Roman Missal, a good web site is www.revisedromanmissal.org.

Perhaps you’d like to learn more about your Catholic Faith, awaken it as an adult, deepen your faith in God, discover anew who Jesus is and can be in your life, and realize the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit. “Awakening Faith” is one way to join with others who are seeking to learn more. For more information, please email Gladys Whitehouse at gladys.whitehouse@ stfrancisraleigh.org or call 847-8205×236.

There are many ways to put your faith into action at St. Francis and yet I realize that a community as large as ours can be overwhelming. Please speak with one of the friars or members of the pastoral staff and we’d be glad to help you find your way so that you can become involved. A renewed initiative for this Lent will be Small Christian Communities (SCC’s). They are one of the best ways to meet people and learn more about our Catholic Faith in a small group setting.

If you are in a position to make a financial end-of-year gift to St. Francis of Assisi, please consider us. During these difficult economic times, our resources are stretched further than ever before. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. All the best to you and your loved ones in this Christmas season.

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark

(Podcasts of the music, Gospel reading and Homily from Christmas Eve midnight mass can be heard at http://stfrancisraleigh.wordpress.com/events/podcasts/)