From Father Matthew's Desk
Birthday/Christmas Greetings Thank You—As all of you who were at Masses a couple weeks ago are already aware, I recently celebrated a birthday. I'm not one to make a big deal about birthdays, but I am grateful for the ways everyone had reached out—both by singing "Happy Birthday" at the weekend Masses, as well as those who sent messages, cards, and/or gifts. Thank you for all of it—I really do appreciate it.
Similarly, a few Christmas cards have begun to trickle in as well—thank you for the Advent and Christmas greetings!
Penance Service Information—In this time of "preparing the way of the Lord", it is especially important to seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Sacrament of the Forgiveness of Sins. Penance Service information for our Deanery can be found in the insert, along with a sample Examination of Conscience. If it has been a long time since your last confession, please take advantage of this opportunity.
Please note that Evening Masses and/or Holy Hour may change for the Mondays/Thursdays when Penance Services are scheduled. Consult the weekly schedule for details. Please also note that there was an error in the schedule given in last week's bulletin. The first Penance Service is This Monday 12/6 at 6:30 pm at St. Thomas More.
Holy Days of Obligation and You—Holy Days of Obligation can be a little confusing, especially when they fall on Mondays or Saturdays. Normally, there is no obligation when they fall on Monday or Saturday with two exceptions: Immaculate Conception (December 8) and Christmas—these are always days of obligation, as are all Sundays. There is no "double-dipping" to fulfill an obligation, so fulfilling the obligation for Christmas means attending Mass on the Vigil (after 4:00 pm) or any Mass on Christmas Day. Fulfilling the obligation for Sunday, December 26 (Feast of the Holy Family) means attending Mass after 4:00 pm on Christmas Day apart from the one to fulfill Christmas obligation (in practice, most parishes including ours will not have one scheduled anyways), or any Mass on Sunday.
The Feast of Mary, Mother of God is not a day of obligation this year, but we will still have both Vigil and Morning Masses (and no Saturday Vigil Mass on Saturday, January 1).
Advent and Christmas Resources—We have numerous resources available to everyone for this Advent Season. We have Little Blue Books (regular and large print) and Five Minutes With the Word. You can also find Oplatki in anticipation of Christmas and new Church calendars in anticipation of the New Year. All of these resources are available for a free-will donation.
Live Nativity—Join us for a Live Nativity on December 17 and 18 from 6:00-8:00 pm! Drive through to see the Nativity or join us for additional bonfire, music by parish choirs, and hot chocolate and other refreshments. No admission fee; a free-will offering will be taken. Please see the parish website/Facebook page for additional information.