First Sunday of Advent: Here we go, another liturgical year begins this weekend with the First Sunday of Advent. When the Church celebrates Advent, we try to make present the expectancy of the Messiah. As we prepare for Jesus’ first coming among us, we renew our desire for His Second Coming as well. One of the best ways to prepare for Christ’s coming among us is to receive the gift of Reconciliation. The Church recommends that the faithful confess their sins at least once a year and this is a great time to do it. Our parish will host a penance service on Thursday, December 17, at 7 p.m. There are many other opportunities to attend a Reconciliation service as well, including at Holy Redeemer on Dec. 15 and at St. John’s in Fenton on Dec. 16.

Year of Mercy: The Year of Mercy for the Church begins on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8. We are working on many ideas to celebrate the Year of Mercy. We will share more details next week.

New Credence Table: Many thanks to parishioner Dave Gennaro, who made a beautiful new credence table for our parish. We wanted one that was a little taller so the altar servers didn’t have to bend down as much. We also moved the location of the credence table to behind the presider’s chair.

Alcove: We are adding new votive candles in the alcove by the Our Lady of Guadalupe paintings. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus for their generosity, and especially our Grand Knight Ken Mraz and his wife Staffinea for initiating this project. We are hoping that these new stands and candles will be up by the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12. She is the patroness of the Americas and of the unborn.

Membership Drive: Speaking of the Knights, they are in the midst of their membership drive. I hope many men of the parish will respond to the call to join the Knights. Both Fr. Gary and I are proud members.

Family Promise: Recently I stopped by the New Life Community Lutheran Church as they hosted families as part of the Family Promise program. We are a “support parish” of this very worthwhile cause. Thank you to our parishioners who volunteer to help cook meals and provide other support to these families. I am especially grateful to Lindsay Moore, Jim Distelrath, and Amy Deloney and their families.

A just judge: Recently I attended a young adult gathering in which they decided to have a ‘dessert cook-off’ between the men and the women of the group. They asked seminarian John Vinton and I to be the judges. It was really tough for us to decide based on a number of categories, but in the end the women won by ½ point—much to the dismay of the men!

A great idea comes to fruition: Thanks to one of our Religious Education teachers, Mrs. Stokes, who organized a bake sale that produced more than $700 to help our Outreach Center. I bought a bunch of delicious cookies and they went quickly. I would blame Fr. Gary, but he doesn’t eat many sweets.

A little correction: In a previous bulletin column I wrote that November is Black History month. I was reminded that Black History month is in February. Catholic Black History month is in November.

Hope you had a peaceful and joyful day of Thanksgiving with your family. May God bless you and your family during this Advent season as we prepare Christ’s coming among us.

Msgr. Jerry

Saint quote of the week comes from the Gospel of John 1:40-41 as we celebrate the Feast of St. Andrew on November 30:
“Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon (Peter) and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah.’ Then he brought him to Jesus.”

Monday – 6:30 a.m.

Tuesday – 8:15 a.m. and 7 p.m

Wednesday – 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Thursday – 6:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.

Friday – 6:30 a.m.

Saturday – 8:00 a.m. and vigil at 5 p.m.

Sunday – 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and seasonal evening Mass:

7 p.m. Memorial Day weekend in May to Labor Day weekend in September

5 p.m. after Labor Day to the weekend before Memorial Day weekend