Sacred Heart of Jesus Church - Serving the Communities of South Bend and Lakeville, Indiana
...derived from the first word of the Entrance Antiphon at Mass: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.                     Indeed, the Lord is near!” (Phil.4:4-5)
Advent is half over and Christmas is soon to follow!  This Sunday is further set apart by the custom of wearing rose vestments and the lighting of the rose Advent candle.      
Michael Weisser (Lisa) is home from hospital and has made it through Covid.  As some of you may know, he has been on oxygen for several years now.  If at St. Jude, you would see him coming to Mass and to Communion with one of the travel oxygen bags over his shoulder. He wants to thank the many who are part of the Prayer Line, and others of the parish who would have been faithfully praying for his recovery.  He was very pleased with his care when in hospital and Lisa said he received three drugs to help him get through the Covid and knock it out.  Doing well and back home!  Prayers make a difference and they certainly were appreciated by this recipient!

Speaking of Covid, I have now lost two Fort Wayne friends to the illness and one former parishioner from Goshen, so it has been close to home, as they say.  Many have weathered through it that both you and I know, I’m sure.  We continue to pray that for them there are no long-range effects, as they say can be a part of the illness. 
Our churches are still open and we have very good reason to hold fast to our need to be open.  In part it is because we do all we can to maintain a safe environment and no cases are linked to “attending church” in our diocese.  Your continued cooperation is part of how we have been so fortunate.  Follow the rules, please, and know that in doing so you are a blessing to all who want to be able to attend Church—keeping our doors open!

Our bulletin editor, Mary Ann, reminds us in the office that the company who prints the bulletins wants all copies “in” to them early-on in December.  Seems odd; I do not recall that necessity in the past, but at any rate; lest I miss the opportunity to say so, I want to (on behalf of our office and staff) wish each and all of you a very blessed season of Advent preparation for the Holy Season of Christmas.  May yours be happy, healthy, blessed, and all that it is meant to be in our Catholic Christian tradition.  It is not about parties, cookies, decorations or over-spending; it is about God’s love for us, such that he sent his only begotten Son into the world to bring salvation to you and me, and a long-waiting world.  Hold on to that truth and your faith in it through this otherwise busy season ahead. ~Fr. John
A Church Holy Day of Obligation

Masses at St. Jude
Monday, December 7 @ 5:30 p.m. (Vigil)
Tuesday, December 8 @ 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Mass at Sacred Heart Tuesday, December 8 @ 5 p.m.
For St. Jude Parish (and Sacred Heart, if not already doing so), we discussed doing the Prayer to St. Michael (as Bishop has requested of parishes to consider doing in these times) but we’ve not done so thus far because of already having a Prayer for Vocations.  Can one pray too much?  Well, maybe if done all at the same moments at the end of Mass and with other announcements as well!  Many such prayers are not necessarily intended for public times of worship as they are personal prayers of piety and devotion, to be prayed on one’s own.

Having said that, we still decided the times call for us to encourage prayer against Evil and the disvalues that seem to be creeping into our culture.  We don’t want to eliminate the parish’s desire to pray for more vocations to priesthood and religious life and dedicated laity serving the needs of the Church.  We can do both.  As when Bishop is in a parish for Confirmations or pastoral visits, he tends to begin the Prayer to St. Michael after the final blessing and as he is moving to the altar to reverence, and then proceeding to the foot of the steps to genuflect and leave. We can do the same.  Since ushers are dismissing by pews anyway, there is plenty of time for people to pray that prayer even if they are beginning to exit their pew.  The music person(s) will wait till the prayer is finished before beginning any postlude. 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS (OUTDOORS):  at St. Jude, many when walking between the rectory and the church, will notice that there are now The Stations posted beautifully along the walkway.  We can thank Nick Kenkel and Tom Grzesiak, and John Krisch for the hard work of placing the posts , as well as thanking many of the St. Mary’s families who donated to cover costs of materials.  They are the same outdoor Stations that used to line the one side of the parking lot at St. Mary’s.  Nick and Tom polished them all and put a sealer on them, so they should remain nice for some time to come.  Nick, Tom, and Bob Kusmiez, and others who helped with costs, also placed beautiful new outdoor Stations at Sacred Heart, at the cemetery and around the altar that is at the entrance.  We thank all involved (and if I missed recognition of someone) for their dedication to the Prayer of the Stations, and to their desire to see lasting improvements to the two campuses.  A special thanks to the Sacred Heart guys who took the initiative to make it all happen for BOTH parishes.  We’ve had the Stations that were from St. Mary’s since the parish was closed and it took this many years and those men to do something beautiful with them.  I’ve talked about it over the years, but never got it moving, to my chagrin.  Bless you guys! ~Fr. John
Help us, dear God, to see Your face in every veteran we encounter.  Guide us as we imagine new ways to support veterans and their families.  Bring healing and peace to all who have been wounded physically, mentally and spiritually during wartime.  

Help us bring Your saving grace to heal the invisible wounds of war.  We ask this in Jesus’ Holy Name.  Amen.