Happy New Year! I hope this Advent Season is not only a preparation for December 25, the Birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ, but a preparation to seek Him more closely as we enter into a new year of reflection and prayer together upon His life, death, and resurrection. And, ultimately, this Advent Season is a preparation of our life and soul for his Second Coming which He promised.
That said, I invite you to take part in the Penance Service this Tuesday, December 3 at 7pm at St. Mary. It is being held for parishioners of all our cluster parishes: St. Mary, St. Bernard, St. Sebastian, and St. Vincent DePaul. The priests of these parishes will be available for individual confession and absolution.
Next Saturday the 4:30 Mass will be the Annual Celebration in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. All are invited to attend and join in afterward for some delicious foods and traditional dances from various Latino countries. Our Lady of Guadalupe is honored as the Patroness of the Americas.
Also, you are invited to Lessons and Carols on the Tuesdays of Advent at 6:30pm at St. Mary church. These are opportunities for our faith communities to come together in prayer to prepare for the Season of Christmas.
Since December 8 falls on a Sunday this year, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is moved to Monday, December 9. It remains a Holyday on the calendar, but it is NOT a Holyday of Obligation this year. Catholics are not obliged to attend Mass on this feast, but it is highly recommended since this is the feast of the Patroness of the United States of America.
As the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from the consequences of Adam and Eve’s original sin from the moment of her conception, let us reflect and pray for our nation. Sadly, even some Catholics have been led into believing there is no sin in artificial means of birth control, sterilization, abortion. Let us pray for those who are working tirelessly to bring about a new awareness of the sanctity of the body, sex and the marital act, and human life. Many of whom are married couples.
We don’t have to be twenty or thirty years old to learn more. We may have family members who are looking for ways to enrich their married life, debating about living together without marriage, or contemplating the termination of life in the womb. You and I are Christ’s messengers. What are you saying?
Want to know where to find Christ’s teachings on these matters – look to His Church – read or get media on topics such as the Theology of the Body; Natural Family Planning; statistics on marriage and divorce; the effects of cohabitation and birth controls; or some of Blessed John Paul’s talks on marriage. Much of it is available on line and referenced from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary who referred to herself as “the Immaculate Conception” in 1858 to St. Bernadette intercede to her son, Jesus Christ, that we stand firm in His teachings that lead to life and the joy of fulfilling his commands.
If all goes according to plan, then by the time you read this article the asbestos has been removed from the old school. The work to raze the building will begin shortly. And again if all goes according to plan, there will be nothing but a big hole at Christmas time.
The statue of Mary and Child, the sandstone Cross, and the 1897cornerstone will be salvaged for possible use when the 50-55 car parking lot is laid out.
On the back of this bulletin are local businesses that provide us the opportunity to stay in contact weekly. As we spend this holiday weekend giving thanks for our blessings, I am grateful to these sponsors to this parish, I ask you to show them your appreciation by supporting their ventures to our Akron and Catholic communities as often as you are able.
A blessed and peaceful Advent, Fr. Dan