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Dear Friends,
Before we turn to the celebration of Holy Family Sunday, a word about tomorrow, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and New Year’s Day. Some years ago, the Bishops of the United States decided that when a holyday fell on a Saturday or a Monday that, while it was retained as a Solemnity, it would no longer carry the obligation to attend Mass (with the exception of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord). This is what happens this year. Tomorrow’s Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is not a day of obligation. Consequently, you are not obliged to attend Mass. Because of this, the Sunday evening Mass this weekend is celebrated as the Mass for Holy Family Sunday, and not an anticipated Mass of tomorrow’s Feast. Also please note the times for tomorrow’s masses, at 8:30 and 10:00 AM, 12:00 noon and 3:00 PM in Spanish.

Today is Holy Family Sunday, the day on which the Church celebrates family life and asks us to reflect on the family as the basic unit of society. It is the family in which we are nurtured and nourished and which, throughout our lives, offers the support that allows us to continue to grow and, at the same time, to be secure in the knowledge that there is a place where we are loved. It is in the family that we experience the ties that bind, bringing us together into the most intimate of all human relationships. We all know that families continue under a great deal of stress right now, not only because so many households now have to have two “breadwinners,” but also because of the number of marriage relationships that have failed and the stress of “blended families,” and the new reality of families within the context of same-sex relationships and whatever changes may be on the horizon, such as polygamous relationships.

As our reflection, I once again offer this prayer, composed by the poet Robert Louis Stevenson, for all our families and for the parish family of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It captures so many of the deepest wishes we hope for our families and it is my hope, prayer and wish for all of you.

Lord, behold our family here assembled. We thank you for this place in which we dwell; For the love that unites us; for the peace accorded us this day; for the hope with which we wait for tomorrow; for the health, the work, the food and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth.

Let peace abound in our small community. Purge out of every heart the lurking grudge. give us grace and strength to forbear and persevere. Give us the grace to accept and forgive offenses. Forgetful ourselves, help us to bear cheerfully the forgetfulness of others.

Give us courage and gaiety and a quiet mind. Spare us to our friends, soften us to our enemies. Bless us in all our endeavors. Give us the strength to encounter that which is to come that we may be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath and in all changes in fortune, and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving, one to another.

As the clay to the potter, as the windmill to the wind, as children to their father, we ask of you this help and mercy for Christ’s sake. Amen.

God bless all our families and this parish family of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and a very large and warm thank you for all of you who make this parish a real family.
All peace and joy in the New Year,
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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