FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, this Sunday, December 21 at 2:00 PM at OLV we will have the last PENANCE SERVICE IN THE NORTHERN DEANERY. This Penance Service concludes the scheduled times confessions will be heard in anticipation of the celebration of Christmas. With all the past scheduled times and with our own regularly scheduled times, no one should have missed the opportunity to celebrate the sacrament before the Christmas season. There will be 13 priests hearing confessions so waiting will not be long. Please schedule your time to attend so that you may not miss out on celebrating the loving mercy of God.
The CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S SCHEDULES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
- CHRISTMAS EVE - 4:00 PM (TWO MASSES - one Mass in church, the other one in the school gym). The other Masses on Christmas will be at 6:30 PM (Children’s Mass) and 10:00 PM, (a.k.a. the Midnight Mass), both in the church.
- CHRISTMAS DAY - 9:30 and 11:30 AM.
SINCE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S BOTH FALL ON A THURSDAY, THERE WILL BE NO ALL DAY ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT. PLEASE ENJOY SPENDING TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY CELEBRATING GOD’S GIFT OF LOVE TO US!
- NEW YEAR’S EVE - 4:00 PM
- NEW YEAR’S DAY - 9:00 AND 11:00 AM
Please note that on both days of celebrations there is NO 5:00 PM EVENING MASS. This will allow your priests to celebrate the holy season with family and friends. The RECTORY WILL BE CLOSED from Tuesday at noon through Sunday during both Christmas Week and New Year’s Day week. Again, this will allow staff to be with family and friends as well. Please be understanding of the importance of being with family at this time of year for both priests and staff.
"FOR UNTO YOU IS BORN A SAVIOR, CHRIST THE LORD”
What wonderful words they are! As I sit and type this message to you, I am filled with joy and excitement. We will be in the midst of celebrating and now we can rejoice and be glad for the words of the angels have come true: "Glory to God in high heaven, peace on earth to those on whom his favor rests." Our hearts leap with joy as we celebrate the feast of God's love for His people.
Isn't that what the Christmas season is all about? It is the time we can rejoice in the fact that God has sent His Son to save us, not because of anything we did, but because of His mercy. He did not want us to perish. God wanted us for His own. That is the meaning and message the newborn babe has come to bring. That is the hope held out to each and every one of us. That is what brings us together as God's family, making us all brothers and sisters.
As we spend Christmas together, I hope and pray that the peace and joy of this season becomes a reality in your hearts. I want all of you to come and experience the great love our Father has for you - a personal love. There are struggles throughout the year, there are hardships and conflicts, there are many trials we face. But this season of love tells us that we are not alone. We are cherished and loved by a God who is crazy about us. May the Christ Child rest in your hearts now and throughout this New Year.
For those who are reading these lines who have been away from the Church for whatever reason, I would like to extend a heartfelt “WELCOME HOME." I hope and pray that maybe this Christmas season can be the start of something new. Could this celebration of God's love be the start of a new beginning? It does not matter what the reasons were that took you away from the church; all that matters now is that you are here, you are welcomed and I look forward to seeing you at future celebrations. If there is anything we can do for you that would make it easier for you to come back permanently, please let us know. But for now, welcome home!
My dear friends, may God bless you and keep you close to Him. May His face shine upon you and grant you His peace and salvation. And may you always know in your hearts the love and compassion of Christ, the newborn babe of Bethlehem.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK – A cleric found himself wondering whether there were any golf courses in Heaven. He even began to ask the question in his prayers. One day, in answer to his prayers, he received a direct answer from on high. "Yes," said the Heavenly messenger, "There are many excellent golf courses in Heaven. The greens are always in first class condition, the weather is always perfect and you always get to play with the very nicest people. "Oh, thank you," said the cleric, "That really is marvelous news." "Yes, isn't it?" replied the messenger, "And we've got you down for a foursome next Saturday."