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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,

I wonder if you're having the same feelings that I am. I can't believe Christmas is less than two weeks away (ok, by 1 day only). But I'm also having a feeling that I'm sure you're not-that we seem to have been in Advent forever. Advent this year is one day shorter than the longest it can be. And next year it will be the longest-4 full weeks. How these two realities play in my mind is that at one and the same time I know how much I have to do but I'm fooled into thinking I have a lot of time to do it, but I don't. And neither do you. And we're on the same page with that one.

With so little time left before Christmas, if you are a person, or a family that has not yet returned to in-person worship, may I ask that you give that thought some reflection. What better time to return to worship than to celebrate God's gift to us of His love in Jesus Christ. As I have been saying in the bulletin for the last two weeks, though the world may not give formal recognition to it, the underlying reason for renewed hope every year is not Santa Claus (though he gives embodiment to that joy), is the realization that we are so loved by God that he came as one of us, in the flesh, to walk with us in our journey through life. These last 22 months have shown us how much we need that presence, to know that we are not alone in a world we don't control, even though we thought we did. The greatest, deepest aspirations of the human heart that life will be better in the coming year can be realized when we place our lives in the hands of that Solitary Life we welcome again on December 25th. Let your hearts be excited by that faith and trust and hope by joining in song and prayer, together with other believers, to give witness to God's place in your life by joining us for one of our Christmas Masses. And you can even get into the "swing of things" by coming next weekend, the 4th Sunday of Advent, in case you're out of practice.

Speaking of being out of practice, maybe that applies to the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well. I was just reading in today's local paper that the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic have taken a toll on Americans of all ages- isolation, anxiety, uncertainty. You can take them to a mental health expert, or you can take them to a doctor for medications or you can take them to the Lord, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation for His healing. Please be sure to check the announcement elsewhere in this bulletin, or the website or the Facebook page for the hours for the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance. They have been changed from those published in the flyer you received in the mail.

Please be sure to check out all the opportunities to deepen your connections with the parish family this Christmas. There's the Nativity Scene Context, as a contestant or as a judge. I did the route last year and it was really inspiring to see and experience these wonderfully different interpretations of the Nativity. There's also the Virtual Christmas Card from your family to the parish family. How uplifting to see the smiling faces of so many children (and 2 their parents, and pets as well), especially between masses throughout the whole Christmas Season. And then there's the beautiful, no-extraordinary-depiction of the scenes related to our redemption that occupies the St. Joseph Shrine in the church. You wouldn't believe it unless you actually get an up close look. I'm sure that taking the time to do any, or all, of these activities will get you ready for a truly hope-filled celebration of Christmas this year.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron


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