What a spectacular sight to see those 260-plus Christmas trees lit! They truly “Spread the Light” of this season celebrating the birth of our Savior. So many hands and hearts worked hard to make it a reality, beginning with those who sponsored each tree, dedicating it to someone special. Mary Pat Burke-Grospin, our Business Administrator, coordinated this project, with Jo-ann Piagintini and Pat Cullen. Julio Montero and Deacon John, who regularly supervised all logistics, had already fixed the rebars so that our volunteers – thanks to so many who showed up on both Saturdays – could attach the trees to the rebars and do the decorating with lights. Mr. Patrick from Franklin Electric took the lead in wiring/connecting the power. Knights of Columbus set up the manger, besides helping with trees. The parish staff – Trish Stumper, Vinnie Natale, Nathalie Godet, and Amy Hanna – helped with registration, keeping track, preparing and laminating the plaques, etc. Mr. Bill Gleason’s generous donation/seed money helped with the entire project. Thus we are grateful to a host of people (named and not named here) who made this a work of love bringing joy to all who come to see the illuminated trees or pass this way. May God bless everyone for their goodwill.
It was very gratifying to see more people attending church these past weekends, especially on the First Sunday of Advent as we entered a new Liturgical year of grace. This year, there are four full weeks in Advent to prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of the Son of God who is the Savior of the world. Please come to worship with us each Sunday, and invite someone to come with you.
Last weekend both of us priests spoke about extra times when we will be available for Confession. Why? The Sacrament of Reconciliation figuratively wipes the slate clean in any liturgical season, but Advent provides a poignant time to experience the joy of reconciling with God and with others, being one with Christ in the here and now, while celebrating His First Coming in His birth in Bethlehem and preparing for His Second Coming and all eternity. Hence I wish to remind you that on Tuesdays and Fridays after the 8 am Mass, you can avail of this Sacrament. And, on Saturdays (Dec. 3, 10 & 17), both of us will be available for Confessions from 3:00 – 4:30 pm. Besides, the parish penance service will be on Sunday, Dec. 18, 6:30 pm. Last-minute Advent confessions are as painful as last-minute Christmas shopping!
You may have already seen the Christmas and New Year Mass schedules. We will have two Masses at 4 pm on Christmas Eve (Saturday, December 24): one in the Church, and the other in the Cafeteria, followed by a 6:30 pm Mass in the Church. The Solemn midnight Mass with carols by our great Choir beforehand will be a divine experience you do not want to miss. On Sunday—Christmas Day—Masses will be at 10:00 am & 12 noon in the Church. These will be very helpful to those who want a preview or to plan ahead.
May this Advent help us to enter more fully into the spirit of what we are preparing for: Jesus who is the reason for this season!
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal