Happy Thanksgiving

11-21-2021Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Peace and Joy in Our Lord Jesus!

I really enjoy this time of the year in Arizona and in our parish. The weather is beautiful, our programs are in full swing, and people just seem to be more pleasant. It is a great time to stop, rest, and focus on our gratitude! Thanksgiving Day is all about giving thanks to God for His countless blessings in our life.

I have so many reasons to be thankful to God for the wonderful people of St. Bernadette. In recent months, our parish has made significant strides in our understanding of stewardship. People continue to register as a parishioner and new parishioners are becoming more active members of our parish. More and more folks are realizing that we are all stewards of God’s many gifts. Many of you have come together to provide the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner to many families through our St. Vincent de Paul pantry. It is inspiring to see the generosity to our parish and especially our brothers and sisters in need. Your generosity and thoughtfulness will make a beautiful difference to so many families this Thanksgiving.

Your food contributions are just the tip of the iceberg at St. Bernadette. Almost daily, I hear stories of your service and witness that extends by far beyond our parish boundaries to our brothers and sisters serving the hungry, the Knights of Columbus, the youth ministry programs, the religious education children and our students in our school are just a few ways that God’s love is shared with others. To hear of our students bringing the faith into their high schools and colleges is one of the many reasons to give thanks. I hear of parishioners bringing the faith into the workplace and to extended family members who are no longer practicing the faith. Then there are those who visit our homebound and our sick brothers and sisters in the hospitals. You bring the love of God perhaps where there was little before. So, yes, we have so many reasons to be grateful to God who provides for all our needs. I offer this prayer as a possibility for you to pray on Thanksgiving Day.

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Father, all of Creation rightly owes you thanks and praise. Your justice, love and mercy abound. We thank you this day for all that you have given us: For the Passion and Death of your Divine Son, we thank you Father, through the Cross, He redeemed the world. For the Church, we thank you Father, it is our beacon for salvation. For the martyrs and saints who give testimony to your Son, we thank you Father, their witness to your Son is our inheritance. For our loved ones and friends who have died and gone before us, we thank you Father, their love remains with us forever. For loving spouses, we thank you Father, together we seek you. For the gift of children, we thank you Father, they are your precious gifts to us and to the world. For the gift of our families, loved ones and good friends, we thank you Father, Through them we see the reflection of your Son. For jobs, our homes and all that we have, we thank you Father, give us only that which we need, as we seek Your Kingdom. For the bounty we are about to eat, we thank you through Christ Our Lord.

If you are traveling for Thanksgiving, I pray for a safe journey and peaceful time with your loved ones.