FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, since this is the first bulletin of the New Year, I was trying to come up with some inspirational words to tell you as a new journey begins. As I was thinking what to write, I came across words SPOKEN BY OUR HOLY FATHER POPE FRANCIS. I feel it reflects his call to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy. It was given on September 15, 2013 during his Angelus address. Read carefully: “Jesus is all mercy, Jesus is all love: he is God made man. Each of us, each one of us, is that little lost lamb, the coin that was mislaid; each one of us is that son who has squandered his freedom on false idols, illusions of happiness, and has lost everything. But God does not forget us; the Father never abandons us. He is a patient father, always waiting for us! He respects our freedom, but he remains faithful forever. And when we come back to him, he welcomes us like children into his house, for he never ceases, not for one instant, to wait for us with love. And his heart rejoices over every child who returns. He is celebrating because he is joy. God has this joy, when one of us sinners goes to him and asks for forgiveness.” WHAT WONDERFUL CONSOLING WORDS THEY ARE! To know and believe that our God rejoices in us when we return to Him. I do not think I could come up with any better words to begin the New Year with and I hope we all take to heart what our Holy Father says. May God continue to bless us and may we always trust in His mercy and love, now and throughout the New Year.
I want to THANK all those who made our liturgical celebrations so beautiful and run so smoothly. My thanks are extended to Joe Malafarina and the choir and cantors. Also my thanks are given to Mary Weidenhof and her choir. To all the altar servers, lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, ushers I give my gratitude for allowing the services to be celebrated with dignity and honor. To those who decorated the church, I am profoundly grateful, for through your ministry many came to a deeper love and appreciation of our Father through the beautiful display of the Christmas scene. And finally I say thanks to our office staff who worked behind the scenes through severe hectic and busy weeks. Please know, if I forgot anyone I did not do it on purpose. So many worked so hard and as pastor I am grateful for your generosity and kindness. Again, may God bless us all with even more dedicated parishioners who are willing to make our parish a parish who loves God and neighbor.
I extend a HUGE THANKS to all those who purchased the NEW NATIVITY SET for our church. It looks absolutely beautiful and I am sure all those who came into our church were as impressed as I was. I felt it did add a prayerful atmosphere for meditation as it shows God’s great love for us in coming into the world for our salvation. Thanks everyone and may God bless you for your generosity to OLV.
Just another reminder – IT IS NOT A SIN if one misses Mass due to the weather. I am positive that God would want us to be safe at home instead of taking a chance in the ice and snow, possibly injuring yourself or others. Please use common sense in deciding whether to drive or not on bad road conditions.
Please do not allow the SPIRIT OF THE CHRISTMAS SEASON to be thrown out like the old Christmas tree. We waited so long for the day to come, so many preparations were finished, so much planning occurred that to go back to “normal” (whatever that means) would be a shame. God’s love and mercy is to be celebrated every day of our lives until we can praise God in heaven for all eternity. May the Christmas love we celebrated a few days ago ring always in our hearts.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - After the Christmas pageant, a 6-year-old boy was asked if he remembered the gifts that the Magi brought to Jesus. He thought for a minute then said "gold, frankincense, and humor". HOW TRUE THOSE WORDS ARE – FOR OUT THE MOUTHS OF BABES…..