With our Christmas Trees lighting and Manger blessing this weekend, we are making our festival season more visible and charming. Thanks to the good will of 259 families/individuals who sponsored the Christmas trees. They will be pleased to see the names of their dear ones memorialized with a laminated plaque on each tree. As it happened last year, I’m sure that this year too we will see numerous people – parishioners and visitors alike – stopping by to enjoy the enchanting sight especially at night, reminding all what these trees surrounding the manger symbolize: the love of God manifested at the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
This huge project became a reality due to the hard work of so many. The parish staff, especially Vinnie Natale, Trish Stumper, Nathalie Godet & Ana Kelly, followed the lead that Msgr. Curry had done last year by an advance planning. Many volunteer groups like members of the Knights of Columbus, Boy Scouts, Teens from our parish and from St. Joe’s High School gave their time and energy on two Saturdays, enduring the cold and windy weather. We are glad that Patrick Gianotto from Franklin Electric is providing us with the electrical services. Numerous other volunteers – too many to name here – gave their time to make this happen. These efforts were lead by Mary Pat Burke-Grospin, Deacon John Radvanski, Julio Montero and others. We were blessed to receive a substantial amount as seed money for this endeavor from Bill Gleason of the Gleason Funeral Home. In the name of the parish community, I am truly grateful to all people of good will who helped in one way or other with this wonderful project that lights up, not only our church compound, but also our hearts.
Tomorrow, December 6, is the feast of St. Nicholas, better known as Santa Claus due to the gift-giving nature of the saint. Often people forget that Santa Claus and St. Nicholas are the same person as the saint’s name shifted from St. Nicholas to Santa Claus—a natural phonetic alteration from the German Sankt Niklaus as well as from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas. Please read more about him in this bulletin so that we can enlighten our children about the truth of Santa Claus.
This Wednesday, December 8, is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This dogma proclaims that our Blessed Mother was conceived without original sin. It refers to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother Anne, even though the gospel we hear at Mass this day is about the conception of Jesus. The relevance of this feast for us is to see in Mary an example of what God can do in a person and what we can do, if we put ourselves in God’s hands and at God’s service as Mary did. It will enable us to remain free from sin as much as humanly possible with God’s grace. It is the patronal feast of the USA and a Day of Obligation, I invite you to attend any of the Masses that day: 8 am, 12:10pm or 7:30 pm.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal