Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we begin this fourth and final (full!) week of Advent, we might or might not feel ourselves ready to welcome the Lord at Christmas. If you are ready, then I pray that this will be a week of joyful anticipation, that you will look forward more and more each day to the celebration of our Lord’s birth next Sunday, and that in this week, you will receive deeper insight into the meaning of the Incarnation and birth of our Savior, not only in history, but in your own life. If you are not ready, then I pray that in the days to come, God would help you along the way, that you would be intensely aware of His presence with you in all things, and that any concerns, pressures, or anxieties you experience would be lifted from your heart. This is to be a week of preparation, it is true, but also a week of assurance. The readings at Mass each day this week turn our attention to the ways in which God fulfills His promises, reassuring us that God works, even in the most difficult and unlikely of circumstances.
To give us a boost of joy in this final week of Advent, I hope you will come and experience our children’s Christmas Pageant this afternoon (Sunday, Dec. 18) at 4 PM. In advance, I would like to thank all the children who have participated for their dedication to preparing this great story for us, and for the way they are teaching us through their words, songs, and presence. A special thanks is also due to Darcy Ronan and Patty O’Brien who took the reins in a big way to make this pageant happen. Their leadership and hard work is a gift to our parish – thank you! A final word of thanks to our director of music, Mike Lantowski, for helping our children to share and learn the faith through the words of their hymns!
Next week we come to Christmas! On Christmas Eve, we will have Masses at 4 PM and 6 PM, with overflow seating available in the Community Room. Our Midnight Mass is at midnight (a strange thing to specify, but important nevertheless!). On Christmas Day, Masses will be at 7:30 AM, 9 AM, and 11 AM. As always, we will be joined by many guests from out of town, and likely many who do not come to Mass regularly. We have the privilege of welcoming and encouraging, especially those who have not been to Mass in a while or with regularity, to our parish community and to a renewed relationship with the Lord. As special as Christmas Eve is, I would like to encourage all of us to keep Christmas Day sacred, too, remembering that Christmas Mass is not just a box to check, but an invitation to pray with the shepherds at the crib where our Lord finds His first earthly welcome.
One final word in this short note (in keeping with the reality that the time before Christmas is growing very short, indeed!) about the great sacrament of Reconciliation. We have reflected much in this Advent season about the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, John the Baptist, who calls us to repent and prepare the way of the Lord. That same Lord has given us a remedy for the wound of sin in the sacrament of Reconciliation. As we confess our sins, we truly receive the forgiveness Jesus came to bring, and so prepare that place for Him in our hearts. This sacrament will be available in several places throughout the week.
- Tuesday Dec. 20, 7 – 8 PM at Holy Cross Church (Tahmore Drive)
- Tuesday Dec. 20, 6 – 8 PM at St. Catherine of Siena Church (220 Shelton Road, Trumbull)
- Wednesday Dec. 21, 7 – 8 PM at St. Pius X Church
- Thursday Dec. 22, 7 – 8 PM at Assumption Church (Stratfield Road)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I hope it will be helpful to you in your final preparations to welcome our Savior when He comes. May God bless you in this fourth week of Advent, and may your preparations for Christmas be a true source of grace in your lives!