Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It’s almost time! Our weeks of Advent preparation are about to burst forth into the joy of the Christmas season. Non-Catholics are often perplexed that we don’t decorate or sing carols until Christmas Eve. As a respectful reminder to those who might wonder, it was the Catholic Church that instituted the celebration of Christmas to begin with, which we have always celebrated only after a period of spiritual preparation (Advent). In fact, “Christmas” in English came from “Christ Mass,” i.e., the Mass of Christ. Also, our word “holiday” came from a contraction of “holy day.” See how deep our Catholic roots run!
As you leave Masses this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, please accept the gift of Matthew Kelly’s new book, Rediscover the Saints. It’s a gift for everyone – visitor and parishioner. From Dynamic Catholic: This book “is a game-changer. It doesn’t chronicle the lives of popular saints—plenty of great books already do that. Instead, this book brings the saints to life and puts them front and center in your life. Because the saints remind you each day that holiness is possible and that you have great friends always cheering you on!” We are so grateful for our anonymous donor, who made this gift possible.
Of course, you’ll want to note the schedule of Masses for Christmas: Christmas Eve – 4pm & 6pm; Christmas Day – Midnight Mass begins at 12:00am midnight; then 10:00am & 12:00pm (Spanish). All Masses are in the church. For those who may not be familiar and are looking for a “more serene” Mass, please note that the 4:00pm is exceptionally full and geared towards our children. All other Masses should have more room and are, well, less “rambunctious.”
One housekeeping note: The Bishop is actively looking for another priest for our parish; however, a suitable one has not yet been found. Our Mass schedule is set up for two priests, and with the incredible help of Fr. Ernie Hepner (retired) and Fr. Renaurd West (from Our Lady of Peace), we have been able to “limp” along. Since a new priest doesn’t look likely, I will be modifying the weekly Mass schedule. Beginning December 24, we will suspend the 6:30am daily Mass on Tuesday mornings. (The Men’s Group will still meet for prayer at that time. You are welcome to join them.). Then, beginning January 8, we will suspend the 5:30pm daily Mass and confessions on Wednesdays. (You are welcome to join the school for Mass on these days at 8:15am) We pray that this is only temporary. Please pray for more holy vocations to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ. A young man may be waiting for you to ask him!
This Christmas, know that your intentions and those of your loved ones will be remembered in all of my Christmas Masses. On behalf of Fr. Hepner; our Deacons Bob Pierce, Steve Platte, and Al Matousek; and all the faculty and staff of St. Mary’s parish and school, I wish each of you, parishioners and visitors and your families, a Holy and Merry Christmas.
O come, let us adore Him!
Father WilsonBACK TO LIST