……from your Pastor’s Desk
Christmas Letter 2020
With deep joy and gratitude, I extend to you my prayerful best wishes for a holy and blessed Christmas. As were this past Lent and Easter, this Advent Season has been like no other. Most of our Advent customs and even a ‘Penitential’ service have been abrogated. Yet, you have stayed faithful to your parish and to our God. It has been my prayer that during the last nine months each of you has found opportunities to reflect on your own faith and deepen your relationship with our Lord Jesus as our definition of ‘church’ has broadened. I hope the ‘Little Blue Book’ helped. I have heard from a number of you that it has. This is our sixth year of offering them. Be assured this will be an ongoing ‘Tradition’ for the Holy Spirit community.
Several years ago I received a Christmas card with this message on the cover:
“This Christmas, I wish you Jesus.”
On the inside it read: “Isn’t it nice to have everything!”
That does sum it up pretty well, doesn’t it?
In the midst of all our on-going challenges and concerns about recovery and restoration, the love of God the Father is made manifest to us in the wonderful gift of His Son, Jesus. With the angels in Bethlehem, our faith moves us to sing: “Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth!” We recognize that true peace on earth flows from our recognition and praise of God in our lives and our service to others. And we have such a generous out-pouring of both these last few years.
Christmas has a way of bringing to Church individuals and families who, for various reasons, have not been to Mass or the Sacraments for months or even years. What a wonderful and Grace-filled opportunity to put aside past differences and old habits and begin anew that prayerful relationship with the Lord and His Church Family. I extend to all of you an open, grateful heart of welcome, even if only through YouTube! Together, may we grow in strength and Grace to know and celebrate together God’s presence in our lives and His love for all His creation.
I’ve included below the Mass times for the up-coming Holy-Days. If you have never been to a Mid-Night Mass, I encourage you to do so this year. It is ‘candles’ only. Simple ‘a Capella’ music. No frills, just the beauty of the Nativity. A peaceful way to celebrate our Lord’s birth. We also have a similar mass on New Year’s Eve. Again, a peaceful, prayerful way to start the new year of 2021 with hopeful expectation. And, yes, both masses actually do start right at Mid-Night. And, yes it might be raining, but we will have canopies set up to accommodate those who attend.
May our Lord Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, bless you, your families and loved ones at this Holy time of Hope and Grace. May Mary, the Mother of the Child Jesus and our Mother, watch over you and our beloved Holy Spirit Parish.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May Christ abide in your hearts always (and, All Ways)!