Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe
Offertory Commitment Sunday. Last Sunday I preached on the importance of parishioners giving to our offertory collection—the source of almost all our funding in running the parish. As I said then, it was a hard homily to give, but I also know that for many it was a hard homily to hear. I want to thank you all for listening so intently and patiently, and for all the kindness you showed me after Mass.
During my homily I talked about the need to recognize the many gifts God has given each of us, as well as our need both to be grateful and to use those gifts for the good purposes God intends for them. And I asked you to spend some serious time this week praying and discerning about this, and in particular, to ask Him how He wants you to use those gifts for the good of our parish family. I am confident that you did, and I hope your prayer was fruitful.
I also mentioned in the homily that you should receive a brochure about all this in the mail. I hope you all received that brochure, and that it was helpful in this process. If you did not receive that brochure you should be able to find copies near the exits to the church today, or you can call or email the parish office and we’ll send you a copy.
And finally, I asked you to come back this week prepared to make a specific commitment as to how much you would give weekly to the offertory in the coming year. Today is the time for commitment. Thank you and God bless you for your generosity.
As soon as we’ve got all the commitment cards recorded, hopefully in the next week or so, we will be sending a letter to you confirming the amount of your commitment. In that letter we’ll remind you of the various ways you can pay, especially encouraging you to use the offertory envelopes that are mailed to you each month, or by using Faith Direct, which securely and automatically charges either your bank account or credit/debit card every month.
Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving—isn’t that what my homily last week was all about, and isn’t it at the root of your generous giving to the parish? God has given us too much to be thankful for.
In my homily last week I talked a little about my transition from accountant to priest. What I didn’t say is how thankful I am for this beautiful gift of priesthood. There’s not been one day in the 18-plus years of my priesthood that I didn’t thank the Lord for calling me to this, although I could never thank Him enough.
This week I also thank the Lord Jesus for His saving love and grace that He continues to shower on me. I thank Him for my family who is always so supportive of me, and for the help of my brother priests, especially Fr. Kenna, as well as Fr. Nguyen, Fr. Daly and Fr. Scalia. But most of all this year, I thank Him for entrusting me with this parish, and with all of you, my spiritual children, my parish family.
A blessed, happy and safe Thanksgiving to all of you and your families!
Advent. Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, as we prepare spiritually for the celebration of the birth of our Saviour at Christmas. In the very good busyness of Thanksgiving week, please take some time to plan ahead for Advent so that it will truly be a time of holiness, not merely the shopping time between Black Friday and the day Santa Claus comes.
Next weekend we will have an insert with the full schedule of Advent events but please plan on you and your family taking particular advantage of the increased confession opportunities (every weekday evening from 6:15 to 7:00) as well as the many existing opportunities for weekday Mass.
Also, I invite you all to attend the three part Advent Series on “Male and Female He Created them: the Catholic Understanding of Marriage,” that I will be giving every Thursday in Advent. I’m still working on the talks, but this is my preliminary plan: We’ll begin the first week discussing the origins of the Catholic understanding of Marriage in nature and especially in Scripture. The second week we’ll focus specifically on the Church’s teaching on Marriage, and Marriage as a sacrament. Finally, in the third week we’ll discuss how the love of Marriage is reflected in sexuality—the true meaning of sex. I’m really looking forward to teaching this series and to seeing all of you there!
I also ask you to put “Lessons & Carols” on your calendar right now. Please join me, the lectors and the choir on Sunday, December 14, at 6:30pm for a program of beautiful Advent music and Scripture readings. Every year the crowd gets bigger because everyone who come loves it.
Immaculate Conception: Sung High Mass. Monday, December 8, is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is a Holy Day of Obligation. There will be no Vigil Mass for this feast this year, since that is not allowed when the vigil would be on a Sunday evening. So this year I’m adding an extra Mass on the 8th, and as a little experiment I’m scheduling it at 5pm. I’m hoping this might be convenient for kids in public school and their parents, as well as people coming home from work a bit early.
I’m also going to do something special at the regular 7pm evening Mass: I will offer it as a Sung High Mass (“Missa Cantata”) according to the Extraordinary Form (“Traditional Latin Mass”). This is in response to “popular demand” that arose after we did this in August on the Assumption of Mary. That was a great success, with standing room only crowd, most of whom was overwhelmed by the beauty of the ritual and music. This time we will not have a guest choir, but a schola formed of our own talented cantors. For those who found the Mass on the Assumption a bit too long, that was largely due to the beautiful but lengthy musical selections of our visiting choir, and will not be the case with our own schola. I am very much looking forward to this, and to seeing you there.
“Baby” Sofi’s Birthday Party Today. On Friday November 14, 2010 a newborn baby was left in our parking lot, where she was found by a parishioner. Today (Sunday, Nov. 23) we give thanks to the Lord for her life, and celebrate with her, Sofi, at her birthday party in our Parish Hall after today’s 12:15 Mass. All parishioners are invited and encouraged to come and say hello to our little Sofi!
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles