11-28-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Bulletin deadlines required me to write this column before Thanksgiving, so I can’t tell you how mine went. I can tell you that I was looking forward to it as I wrote these words!

Today we begin the holy season of Advent. While it’s easy to think of Advent as a time to prepare for Christmas, it’s really much more than that. The word Advent means ‘coming’ – and Advent is indeed a time to get ready for the coming of Christ.

As Catholics, Advent makes us think about not just one, but two, of Christ’s comings. While we are certainly getting ready to celebrate His first coming at Christmas, Advent also reminds us to get ready for His Second coming on Judgement Day.

Indeed, it is that Second Coming that is the main focus of today’s readings. In the Gospel Jesus tells us to be ready for His Second Coming. He reminds us that we don’t know when it will be, so we should be ready for it all the time.

We do this by living by His teachings each day. Praying and worshipping Him, practicing honesty and purity in relationships, and showing compassion and mercy to the poor are just a few ways we get ready for Jesus’ return. So is seeking His forgiveness for our sins, especially in Confession.

We will have two priests on duty during the regular Saturday Confession times (9:00–9:30am and 3:15–4:15pm) this Advent. We will also have a Penance Service on Mon, Dec 13th at 7:00pm with lots of priests to help hear Confessions. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities to prepare your heart and soul for Christ’s coming.

To help you prepare for Confession, I have placed pamphlets about making a good Confession around the Church. I hope you find them helpful. We will also insert an Examination of Conscience in the bulletin before the Penance Service, to help you prepare for that, too.

I also placed some nice pamphlets about Advent in the pamphlet racks around the Church. I hope you will find them helpful. You can also find little videos and other informative things about Advent on FORMED, an online source of good Catholic material for the whole family. I’ve seen good Bible studies and great movies about saints on FORMED. Information to use it can be found elsewhere in the bulletin.

Two important feasts honoring our Blessed Mother also occur during Advent. The Solemn Feast of the Immaculate Conception is on Wednesday, December 8th. Every Catholic who is able to do so has a serious obligation to attend Holy Mass that day. Masses will be on Tue, Dec 7 at 5:30pm and Wed, Dec 8 at 6:45am and 8:00am, and 12:10pm and 7:00pm. Let’s all be sure to honor our Blessed Mother at Mass that day.

Additionally, the Third Sunday of Advent, Dec 12, coincides with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe this year. We will have special devotions to Our Blessed Mother at the 11:00am and 1:00pm Masses that day. Everyone who would like to do so is invited to bring a rose to present to our Blessed Mother at the conclusion of those Masses. More information can be found on our parish website, or by calling the Parish Office.

Please keep praying that Hail Mary for me each day, and be assured of my daily prayers for you. May God bless us with many graces and much spiritual growth this Advent.

Have a great week!
Fr. John