4th Sunday of Advent

12-24-2023Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Peace and Joy in Our Lord Jesus!

It has been a good advent, albeit a quick one from my perspective. I think that means I am getting old. If you are traveling this week, have safe journey and Merry Christmas! If you are in town for Christmas, I look forward to seeing you again this evening or tomorrow for Christmas Mass and extending the Christmas greetings to you in person!

I do have a late “Advent to-do list” for you to consider this week that coincides with virtues and goodness that are connected to the peacefulness of Christmas.

Be repentant! That is the invitation spoken by John the Baptist. We are offering Saturday confession times from 3:00pm until 5:00pm. Also, every morning before the 8:30am Mass, there are usually two confessors available for confession most days. We are blessed to have three priests serving our parish! Call for an appointment if necessary. Confession is a great way to help us get right with God as we begin 2024.

Be prayerful! It would be great if parishioners could commit to extra prayer. On occasion, I stop and look at our Nativity Scene and simply recall the birth of Jesus and the gift of Emmanuel – God with us. It is a beautiful display and can inspire us. There are so many beautiful lessons for little ones about what the birth of Our Savior means for all the world. You may also pray in front of your own Nativity Scene!

Be obedient! I like praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary throughout Advent and Christmas season. I invite you to pray the 4th joyful Mystery for parents as it recalls the faith of Joseph and Mary who brought the Christ child to the temple for the Presentation of Lord. It reminds me of the 4th commandment that calls children to honor their parents and parents to act honorably. It might be good to review the goal of this mystery and commandment ahead of time!

Be humble! During these days when you may be blessed to be able celebrate our faith with family, it is our tendency to want to be right or to say things that perhaps bring up old wounds or even create new ones. Hold your tongue. It’s far more prudent to pray when you are frustrated or feeling judgmental. Fraternal correction is important but more affective with the words of correction are spoken in love and not anger.

Be prudent! This is my yearly appeal to families that have more flexible schedules to be more flexible! Perhaps to celebrate Christmas, you could hand over a seat for an elderly person who may be standing at one of our crowded Masses. Or maybe if you do not have little children you could come to another Mass so that the first Mass of Christmas is not so congested.

Be loving! During this season when we meditate on the great love God has for each of us by sending His Son, perhaps we can look for ways to outdo others in love. Good deeds and going the extra mile for others in your family during this season is a great way to chart a course for a happier New Year!

The Mass schedule for weekend December 24th/25th is as follows: Saturday, December 23rd will be the 4th Sunday of Advent. There will be 5:00pm Saturday Mass. Sunday morning Masses are at 8:00am and 10:00am. The 5:00pm Mass is actually the Christmas Eve Mass and NOT the 4th Sunday of Advent. The Masses for Christmas will be Christmas Eve Sunday, December 24th at 5:00pm and then again at 11:00pm Mass. On Monday, December 25th we will celebrate Mass for Christmas Day at 8:00am and 10:00am. An overflow Mass will be available livestream in the St. Bernadette Hall at these same times as needed. There will NOT be a Vigil Mass at 5:00pm on Monday, December 25th.

God Bless,

Fr. Don Kline, V.F.