Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As we celebrate Christmas, there is a tradition that comes to mind that expresses the transforming effect of Christ's birth. That is, at midnight, the children in England were given bells to ring throughout the house. It was to remind them of the end of the reign of Satan through the birth of the Newborn King. As the prophet Isaiah proclaims about this beautiful day, "The Trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised!"
During Christmas time, there is much to celebrate. This Advent has been a beautiful season of preparation and I am grateful to so many people this week for making our celebration meaningful and prayerful. I bring them to your attention with the hope that you might add a few prayers of thanksgiving for each of them in exchange for their service to our community!
I am grateful to our parish priests who have worked tirelessly… particularly in the confessional and during our Advent Masses and services. I know that many lives were transformed by God's grace through the Sacraments. Fr. Doug Spina, Fr. Jonathon Prescott and Fr. Paul Avarez are a blessing to me personally as they are to our parish. I am also so grateful to our deacons. Deacon Al and Deacon Frank are wonderful men of God.
I also thank God for the incredible staff with whom Our Lord has blessed this parish. The countless hours and personal sacrifices that each staff member offers in loving service of Our Lord continues to amaze and inspire me every day.
I am grateful for all who are instructing others in the ways of the faith. Our catechists have responded to their baptismal call and go out and teach our faith especially to the young. Bringing others to know the love of God by sharing His truth in love is building up the Kingdom of God.
I am thankful to Our Lord for our choirs and musicians who inspire us on Christmas and throughout the entire liturgical year. I also want to thank all those assisting with the liturgy. They spend so much time away from their families (particularly in this Christmas season) to transform our church from the penance of Advent to the joy of Christmas!
I also want to thank our St. Vincent de Paul Society. Their humble service is a powerful Catholic witness in the community to the poor and disadvantaged. Between our outreach at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have assisted thousands of people.
The Knights of Columbus have shown great leadership throughout the year with their many efforts to build community. The new outdoor nativity scene is one of the many ways they seek to keep Christ present among us.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I thank you for your continued stewardship and support of the mission of our parish family. It is an honor to serve as your pastor.
May Our Lady be your solace and guide in every endeavor, joy, and trial! And may the Holy Eucharist be your wisdom and strength!
Fr. Don Kline, V.F. Pastor