Kudos to ALL who helped transform our little church from Advent to Christmas ~ especially: Katie Hepner, Diane Bowersox, Tom Czerwinski, Mary Ann Kenkel, Patti Cole, Mary Beth and Phil Hamilton and Theresa Wysong!
I couldn’t do it without you! THANK YOU!! ~ Marilyn Miller
A very blessed and holy Christmas to each of you, your families and your loved ones! Fr. Greg and I will be remembering all of you in our Christmas Masses and in the Octave following. You bring so much joy and happiness into our lives all year through and this is a wonderful time to tell you how much your friendship and support are so greatly appreciated. I speak for all our staff. So many of you take the time and make the extra effort to convey words of kindness and thanks to us all and it means so much. Blessings to you; peace and all good Joy! Happy Christmas! And a holy and prosperous 2022!
~ Fr. John, Fr. Greg, Ana Maria, Jenni, Emily, Carol, Rachel, Joyce, Cory, Heather, Tom, Elva, Mary P., Katherine, Phyllis, Steve M., Lisa, and Mary Ann.
Our Christmas Masses will be celebrated on Friday, December 24th at 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday, December 25th at 8 a.m. & 10 a.m. If you can volunteer to serve in your ministry, please sign-up on the sheet posted on the bulletin board.
There is so much talk these days about who has not returned to church or the number of young people who seem to not care about church at all (NONES as they seem to like to be termed). It is sad and disturbing, true, and especially for the many who find great value in having been a part of the Catholic Church and a parish family, and very true for the parents of these young people (and to a clergy who have dedicated their lives to promoting the Gospel and the value of a faith community).
What occurred to me though the other day is that, in so many aspects of life these days, we all seem to be focusing much-too-much on the negative side of trends, politics, divisions, economy, and much more. In just this last weekend, I heard confessions from several who were returning to the church after either a Covid-hiatus or just an absence of more than a few years. Each week I see both new faces at weekend Masses as well as some I have not seen for a while who are returning. What I choose to focus on and celebrate are those who are personally responding to the call of God—God never stops calling His creation back to Himself! One can get too caught up in who “isn’t” and let that bring one down, but that seems to buy into the work of the Devil in that he would like to see us with feelings of despair—whatever the matter or issue of life. Further, none of us can assume responsibility for the lazy, the ambivalent, or the lukewarm; it is their life and their choice or lifestyle, and you or I can rarely change that. To what end to dwell on it?
The reality is (as I’ve said so many times to parents whose children no longer go to Mass), the journey is between God and the individual and He has given them a free will. If we do our best to be a living example of what Faith is all about and how it moves us in our lives, we are doing our part. Being preachy on the matter is not being a witness, as we all understand; rather living the Faith and the Christian calling is the best witness.
On the matter of numbers, I think Jesus said “Feed my sheep” not “count them”! But too, He did go after the one lost sheep and carried him back on His shoulders, or so the image goes. That’s much different than harping or nagging too. It is more an image of loving and caring in a very personal way. Just my thoughts and maybe only mine, but offered for consideration. ~Fr. John