Dear Friends in Christ:
Quí Ông Bà và Anh Chị Em thân mến trong Chúa Kitô:
Estimados Amigos y Amigas en Cristo:
We celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday. Gaudete is the imperative of the Latin word gaudeo which means “rejoice.” We hear the word “rejoice” or themes of joy several times in today’s scripture readings, prayers of the Mass and hymns. The entrance antiphon that is prayed when there is no gathering hymn (at 7 am Sunday Mass) states: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near. (Phil. 4:4-5).” We hear “rejoice with joyful song...crowned with everlasting joy, they will meet with joy and gladness” in the first reading from Isaiah.
Are we able to echo confidently the joy we are challenged to live out? Where do we find joy and are we able to rejoice, even with our struggles and crosses? We all have the experience of being around people who focus only on the negatives which is so unpleasant to endure. Let us challenge ourselves to emphasize the joyful things in life. Who would be attracted to us and the Catholic faith and worship if we do not find joy and hope from the faith? Try and find the good in each situation. Whether it be a positive experience or viewing something as a learning lesson, try to find the positive in everything that may unfold during this potentially stressful time of year.
This weekend is known also as Rose Sunday because the Church encourages rose colored vestments, as well as on the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday). It is up to the preference of the priest celebrant to wear rose or purple vestments—both are acceptable.
Cardinal DiNardo is celebrating today’s 5 pm Vigil Mass and administering the Sacrament of Confirmation to our 26 high school students. “The sacrament of confirmation strengthens the baptized and obliges them more firmly to be witnesses of Christ by word and deed and to spread and defend the faith. It imprints a character, enriches by the gift of the Holy Spirit the baptized continuing on the path of Christian initiation, and binds them more perfectly to the Church. (Canon 879)” All Catholics should have all 3 sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation). If you as an adult have not received Confirmation, contact ASAP Selma DeMarco, our Director of Faith Formation. Adult Confirmation preparation sessions begin in January.
Pray for our high school Confirmation candidates that they will continue to be open to God’s ways & the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude (courage), knowledge, piety & fear (wonder/awe) of the Lord (Catechism #1831). May they also be open to the fruits of the Spirit which are “perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity (Catechism #1832).”
Sunday, 8:30 am-2:30 pm is our parish blood drive. Walk- ins are welcome. All are invited to the 7 pm Mass Monday, Dec. 12 for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The KC’s are holding their annual clothing drive for Magnificat Houses. Clean out your closets and donate your gently used winter coats, jackets and clothing. The deadline for Share Your Blessings gifts for the children is this weekend. But if you forgot, bring them to the Cathedral Centre ASAP this week. FYI, Jordyn Woods has agreed to serve as coordinator of Parish Outreach. She is very enthusiastic and dedicated. Pray as we enter into this transition stage of leadership.
I am so grateful to your commitment to the parish. I understand that at times it is a challenge to get here with road closures. The weather also has a profound influence on Mass attendance which occurred last weekend. But when such realities occur, remember your weekly church contributions need to be made up since our weekly expenses occur whether you are here or not. Last weekend, our contributions were down $6,450! If someone had not contributed a $2,000 donation, our deficit would have been $8,450! Also, see p. 11 for my note about how Christmas and New Years falling on a Sunday will affect us negatively with 2 less collections.