Message from the Pastor
November 29, 2020
FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, this weekend we begin a new liturgical year with the beginning of our ADVENT SEASON. Advent symbolizes the present situation of the Church in these “last days” (Acts 2:17, Hebrews 1:2), as God’s people wait for the return of Christ in glory to consummate his eternal kingdom. The Church is in a similar situation to Israel at the end of the Old Testament: in exile, waiting and hoping in prayerful expectation for the coming of the Messiah. Israel looked back to God’s past gracious actions on their behalf in leading them out of Egypt in the Exodus, and on this basis, they called for God once again to act for them. In the same way, the Church, during Advent, looks back upon Christ’s coming in celebration while at the same time looking forward in eager anticipation to the coming of Christ’s kingdom when he returns for his people. In this light, the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” perfectly represents the Church’s cry during the Advent season: “O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, Until the Son of God appears. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.” While Israel would have sung the song in expectation of Christ’s first coming, the Church now sings the song in commemoration of that first coming and in expectation of the second coming in the future. May our preparation over the next four weeks fill us with hope and anticipation, not only for the celebration of Christmas Day, but also for the celebration when Christ Himself will come for us in glory.
After receiving direction from the Diocese and talking with Fr. Jonathan and Deacon Dave, the CHRISTMAS MASS SCHEDULE (subject to change from orders from the Diocese) is as follows:
- Masses will be celebrated on Christmas Eve at 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, 8:00, and 10:00 PM
- Masses on Christmas Day will be celebrated at 9:00 and 11:00 AM.
- Masses will be celebrated in the gym and church at the same time. WE WILL ONLY
USE THE GYM WHEN NECESSARY FOR OVERFLOW CROWDS. Please come
to the church first to see if you will be directed to the gym.
- With distancing and spacing, we added the Masses to accommodate those who want
to come to church. I will not refuse anyone admittance either to the church or gym.
- There will be NO MORNING MASS ON CHRISTMAS EVE.
- There will be NO MORNING MASS ON THE SATURDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS NOR
- There will be NO MORNING MASSES ON MONDAY, the 28th and only a 9:00 AM
Mass on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 29-30, with Adoration being
postponed, and no scheduled confessions.
- I am asking parishioners to be understanding with the adjustments in the schedule, especially after Christmas. With your priests possibly celebrating 18 Masses from Thursday to Sunday, a little breathing room is needed for Fr. Jonathan and myself, as well as time to spend with family and friends.
The totals came to me concerning the FOOD TRUCKS we had a few weeks ago. The total profit for OLV is $2,256.59. This amount is $677.90 over the food sold at last year's bazaar. So, we did better this year with the food trucks. I am grateful to those who made this event such a great success, from the organizers to all who came to support by buying the food. Thanks so much. Hopefully, we can get back to normal in the year 2021.
I am not quite sure about the NORTHERN DEANERY PENANCE SERVICES. With the gathering of large crowds and enforcing the distancing regulations, we are still in the planning stages as to how we are going to handle it. As soon as I know and if and when we will have the services around the deanery, I will let you know so that you can plan for the Christmas Celebrations.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - A 5-year-old daughter called out and asked her dad to help her with a very difficult puzzle that she could not figure out how to get started. Her father asked, “What is it supposed to be when it’s finished?” She replied, “According to the picture on the box, it’s a tiger.” He went into the kitchen and saw the puzzle spread all over the table. He studied the pieces for a moment, then looked at the box, turned to her, and said, “No matter what we do, we’re not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger. Now, let’s put all these Frosted Flakes back in the box.”
The RECTORY WILL BE CLOSED from Thursday through Sunday. This will allow priests and staff to spend some time with loved ones celebrating the holiday. We will reopen on Monday at 9:00 AM.
Just a reminder that the DONATIONS FOR THE “GIVING TREE” are due by Monday, November 30. Because of the pandemic, parishioners are only asked to return their donation in the envelope provided and the gift cards will be purchased by the committee itself.