I wish to express my thanks to those who sent cards and emails of congratulations in honor of my 40th ordination anniversary last Sunday. I also wish to express my thanks for those who sent cards and emails of condolence over the death of my sister-in law, Annette (Wendi) Clay, whose funeral took place Saturday morning, November 21. May she rest in peace.
On Tuesday, we will flip the switch on our new solar panels during a ceremony that will start at 3:00pm. This is an exciting day for our parish as we move slowly but surely to do our part to reduce our use of fossil fuels and promote climate change that will be beneficial to our future generations. Kudos to all who have worked to make
this a reality.
We will celebrate a Thanksgiving Day Mass at 10:00am this Thursday. Signup is available on the parish website. Despite all that has made this year fittingly describable as an annus horribilis, we still have so much for which to give thanks. I hope you will join us in person or via livestream to thank God for the blessings we still have in the midst of a year that has been anything but a blessing.
We begin a new liturgical year, the Year of Mark, beginning next weekend. Our Gospel readings throughout the next twelve months will be predominantly from the Gospel of Mark, the shortest of the four Gospels, with a smattering of selections from the Gospel of John. Advent always celebrates the two comings of the Lord, initially focusing on His second coming in the first week or two and then progressively moving to a focus on his first coming as an infant born in Bethlehem. It is an appropriate time to consider how we will invite the Lord to come into our lives as we celebrate the Church’s new year. I pray you will take time to be still and listen to the quiet voice of the Lord who awaits your open heart to bring you hope, consolation, and encouragement.
Fr. Jairo and I will be looking at expanding our availability for the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Advent since we will not have a communal Penance Service in December. Stay tuned for further details.
Please be on the lookout for a letter from me in early December as part of our annual Stewardship Appeal. This year we are inviting all parishioners who receive Holy Communion when they come to Mass to consider how they can share their time, talents, and treasure with the parish and beyond. We are expanding our outreach to include our younger members who are called as much as the adults to live the summons that is issued at the end of each Mass after we have received Holy Communion: “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life” and “Go and announce the Gospel (Good News) of the Lord.” This summons is a direct call to missionary discipleship, taking what we have received in the Eucharist, Jesus Christ, and sharing Him with others by our words and deeds. I look forward to learning how all our parishioners, young and not-so young, are taking up the invitation from the Lord himself to bring the presence of Christ to our world, our nation, our families, our parish, and to those whom the world and our society disdains or ignores.