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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends
Varia – a number of unrelated thoughts:
This year, Advent is as long as it can possibly be, a full four weeks. Next year, 2017, it will be as short as it can be, the 4th Sunday of Advent actually falling on Christmas Eve. Does that mean you get an extra week of shopping this year – not really.

You may have seen the boom (or oversized fork-lift) somewhere around the rectory lately. That’s because they have begun the installation of the new rectory, energy-efficient windows. This project is funded through the parish portion of the We Are Living Stones Campaign. Once again, a big thank-you to the 545 households who pledged to the campaign. Please remember to continue to meet those pledges so we can move on to the next projects on the list.

Thanks to your generosity, we have already (1) sent the tithes to the three charities we identified, hired a Pastoral Associate for the Sick, the Elderly and the Homebound, and now are beginning the window replacement. There is still time to make a pledge and join our parish family in leaving our own legacy for the future. Pledge envelopes are in all the bookracks in all the lobbies.

Speaking of thank-you’s, a big thank you to the combined choirs of the parish, and our Music Director, Peter Sicko, for the outstanding performance during our annual Christmas concert and tree lighting. Because of a conflict with our Confirmation Retreat Program, I could not be there but I am told it was a wonderful evening. Congratulations on bringing the true spirit of Christmas alive in our community. And thanks to the crew that prepared the refreshments afterward and to all those who contributed so generously to the offering which will go to support The Sharing Tree. And thanks also to the congregation at both the 9:30 and 11:00 Masses for refraining from applause during the Mass. Of course, the choirs can always be thanked individually after the masses.

And speaking of annual Advent celebrations, this Wednesday evening, the parish will celebrate our Annual Advent Penance Service. The Penance Service is a communal celebration of the Sacrament of Penance which includes music, Scripture, quiet reflection and the opportunity to go to individual confession. The theme this year will be silence, you know, that thing that most of us never get a chance to experience. The silence will give all of us a chance to really examine our lives, to see where we’re living up to the challenges of the Gospel and to see where we fail. Failure – it’s a word most of us don’t like to hear. None of us wants to fail, at anything. But the reality is that we do fail, we fail to live the life of grace God showers on us and that failure is called sin. We all sin, sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small ways and the first step in changing that is to recognize it, to bring it to the Lord so He can heal it and send us back out, unburdened by the unspoken guilt we carry with us all the time.

The Penance Service is a great moment to do that because it has, built into it, a time for that serious reflection. And if you haven’t been in a long time, it’s actually easier because you don’t need to remember the formulas, and the Act of Contrition is recited together before individual confessions begin. So it makes it a perfect time to receive the Sacrament with peace of mind and heart renewed. Come and join us on Wednesday, December 21, at 7:30pm in the church. You’ll be glad you did.
God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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sgbcross 
Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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