FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY….As seen from other bulletins, this Sunday afternoon will be the LAST SCHEDULE TIME FOR CONFESSIONS at OLV. We will have the assistance of other priests as in the past so waiting will be at a minimum. I hope that those who have not celebrated the sacrament up ‘til now will take advantage of this time. With 11 priests hearing beginning at 2:00 PM, I hope that we as a parish will be prepared to celebrate the coming of love into the world. So plan to be with us this Sunday afternoon.
Please note the scheduled time for CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S MASSES:
- CHRISTMAS EVE – 4:00 PM IN THE CHURCH
4:00 PM IN THE SCHOOL GYM
10:00 PM (Music begins at 9:15)
- CHRISTMAS DAY – 9:30 AM AND 11:30 AM
- NEW YEAR’S EVE – 5:00 PM
- NEW YEAR’S DAY – 9:00 AM AND 11:00AM
Due to the fact of Christmas this week, there will be an ADJUSTMENT IN THE MASS SCHEDULE AND RECTORY OFFICE HOURS. There will be no morning Masses on Christmas Eve, due to the 4 Masses in the evening. There will be only a 9:00 AM Mass on Thursday. Also, we will not have all night Adoration on Thursday. The rectory office will be closed from noon on Monday ‘til noon on Thursday. Please understand that these changes are made to allow your priests and staff to prepare for Christmas and spend some time with their family and friends. As stated to you before, we also enjoy celebrating Christmas with our loved ones. After the work of the previous weeks, a day break will be a welcomed event for us. Again, I do ask for your understanding. Priests are human also.
This Wednesday is Christmas. Therefore, since this is the last bulletin before Christmas, I would like to share with you my Christmas message:
“FOR UNTO YOU IS BORN A SAVIOR, CHRIST THE LORD"
My dear parish family,
What wonderful words they are! As I sit and type this message to you, I am filled with joy and excitement. On Wednesday 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 of this newborn Babe. 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 become 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.