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Pastoral Message for Advent – Christmas 2017

As we prepare for this “Season of Miracles,” I draw your attention to the schedule of parish events and liturgies taking place throughout the month of December and into the New Year. Advent and Christmas is a time of gathering with family and friends, festivity, and delicious food! — but more importantly, it is a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. We not only celebrate His coming to earth as an infant in a stable in Bethlehem, but we cherish His presence among us in the Holy Eucharist, in the love that we share for one another, and in His abiding presence in our hearts. I encourage you to take some time out from the hustle and bustle of the season, whether it be for Mass, reflection on the holy scriptures, or quiet prayer in our Adoration Chapel, and enjoy some of the spiritual benefits of Advent. We also have some wonderful social opportunities to enjoy time together as a “family of faith,” in particular, our Parish Picnic on Sunday, December 3rd. As we celebrate fifty years as a parish, we are filled with gratitude for the many gifts that God continues to shower upon this community. I look forward to what God has in store for us, as we prepare our hearts for the “greatest gift”: Jesus Christ. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and peace in the New Year!

Faithfully,
Rev. Thomas J. Hallsten, KHS
Parochial Administrator

Advent & Christmas Schedule:

Saturday, December 2 - Santa’s Workshop in Piper Hall from 8:00 a.m. until finished.

Sunday, December 3 – First Sunday of Advent. Blessing of Advent Wreath at All Masses. RCIA Rite of Welcome at 9:00 a.m. Mass. Women’s’ Guild Bake Sale after all morning Masses. Parish Picnic from Noon to 3:00 p.m. Food, games, entertainment, and opening of the parish time capsule in celebration of St. Maria Goretti’s golden jubilee.

Friday, December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Holy Day of Obligation. Holy Mass at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 9– 2:30 p.m. Parish Christmas Concert, “The Greatest Gift” presented by the choirs of St. Maria Goretti Parish and Victory Lutheran Church. Featuring Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and seasonal carols and instrumental works. Free admission — open to the public.

Sunday, December 24 – **Fourth Sunday of Advent observed in the morning: Masses at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and Anticipated Mass on Saturday, December 23 at 5:00 p.m. **While Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, the faithful are encouraged to fulfill their obligation for the Lord’s Day and the Fourth Sunday of Advent by attending one of the Sunday morning or anticipated Masses, in addition to attending one of the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Masses.

Christmas Eve – two Masses at 4:00 p.m., one in the church with children’s Nativity Pageant (Fr. Thomas), the other in Piper Hall (Fr. Greg Rice ); 6:00 p.m. Mass (Fr. Thomas) 9:00 p.m. Mass (Fr. Thomas)

Monday, December 25 – Christmas Day – Masses at 8:00 a.m. (Fr. Thomas) & 10:00 a.m. (Fr. Thomas).

Sunday, December 31 – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph observed in the morning: Masses at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and Anticipated Mass on Saturday, December 30 at 5:00 p.m.

New Year’s Eve – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – Vigil Mass at 4:00 p.m.

Monday, January 1 – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God– Holy Mass at 9:00 a.m.

* * Holiday Office Closures * *

The Parish Office will be closed the following days:
Monday, December 25 & Tuesday, December 26 and Monday, January 1 & Tuesday, January 2, 2018
The Adoration Chapel will be closed on Christmas Day & New Year’s Day

A Prayer for My Parish

Almighty God,

My parish family is composed of people like me.
I help make it what it is. It will be friendly, if I am.
Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them.
It will do great work, if I work.
It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver.
It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship, if I invite and bring them.
It will be a parish family of loyalty, love, fearlessness and faith, and a parish with a noble
spirit, if I - who make it what it is - am filled with these same qualities.
Therefore, with the help of God, I will dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want
my parish family to be.
Bless my journey, Lord God, that I might build the Church through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.