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My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
As we are about to begin the new Liturgical year with the beginning of Advent, at the request of our Bishop Thomas Olmsted, I step into this position as your Pastor for a while, rather unexpectedly. It is an honor to serve you who make up this community that I have come to know and love over the past nine years.
The four week season of Advent recalls the long period in the life of the Jewish people that covers the whole of the Old Testament history. We, on the other hand, look back to the coming into our world of God’s greatest Gift: His own Son, second person of the Blessed Trinity.
So the fundamental theme and focus of the Advent and Christmas season is GIVING. And our Guide is God our Father, giving us, again and again, the greatest Gift of all: His Son in our lives, and coming into us in the Holy Eucharist.
The joy of Christmas is not in the exchange of things, and the accumulation of “stuff.” The true JOY of Christmas – ah! – humbly accepting this Gift from our loving God, and then enabling this Gift to grow, as Jesus fills our lives always more and more.
Now what are we going to do to expand that Gift? The Gift grows as we give.
Whose life will you enrich this Advent by visiting, or encouraging? How might you help out, for example, by preparing a meal for one just not able to do it for themselves? Whose Christmas will you enrich with a friendly telephone call, or visit – face to face, or the offer of a ride to Mass? How will you use your love, generosity and imagination to be a gift to someone, or even more than one?
I call down almighty God’s blessings on each one, through all of this holy season.
Fr. Gregory Rice, MHM
Interim Pastoral Administrator
Advent and Christmas 2016
Sunday, November 27 - First Sunday of Advent. Blessing of Advent Wreath at All Masses. RCIA Rite of Welcome at 9:00 a.m. Mass.
Saturday, December 3 - Santa’s Workshop in Piper Hall from 8:00 a.m. until finished.
Sunday, December 4 - Second Sunday of Advent — Women’s Guild Bake Sale after all morning Masses.
Thursday, 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. 12 Noon Hour of Grace in Church.
Friday, December 9 - Auditions for the SMG Talent Show at 6:00 p.m., and again on December 10th at 9:00 a.m. in Piper Hall. The Talent Show is on January 21st at 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 11- 2:00 p.m. “A Festival of Lessons and Carols” presented by St. Maria Goretti Adult Choir
Monday, December 12 - Christmas Caroling with SMG Youth and the Women’s Guild from 5:30-8:30.
Sunday, December 18 - Fourth Sunday of Advent — Greccio Celebration – The crib and manger scene of the Holy Family with the Child Jesus has been a Christmas tradition for many centuries. Petting Zoo opens at 4:00 p.m.; Living Manger with Christmas Carols and Scriptures at 5:00 p.m. followed by a Hot Dog Supper in Piper.
Saturday, December 24 – Christmas Eve – two Masses at 4:00 p.m., one in the church (Fr. Greg Rice), the other in Piper Hall (Fr. Greg Menegay); 7:00 p.m. Mass (Fr. Bob Voss) 11:00 p.m. Mass (Fr. Greg Rice)
Sunday, December 25 – Christmas Day – Masses at 8:00 a.m. (Fr. Mike Boyle) & 10:00 a.m. (Fr. Greg Rice)
Saturday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve – Feast of Mary, Mother of God – Mass at 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 1 – Feast of Mary, Mother of God – (Normal Sunday Schedule) Masses at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m.
* * Holiday Office Closures * *
The Parish Office will be closed the following days:
Friday, December 23rd - Monday, December 26th
Friday, December 30th - Monday Jan 2nd
The Parish Office will reopen at normal business hours on Tuesday, January 3rd
The Adoration Chapel will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year’s Day
A Prayer for My Parish
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,