Pastor’s Desk – December 26, 2021

Dear Fellow Parishioners,
 
As I write this message to you, the days of hope are drawing near.
 
Even though Christmas falls on Saturday this year, our Christmas and Sunday Mass schedules remain largely unchanged from past years, in order to serve our parish families who traditionally attend a particular Mass and plan their family celebrations around it.
 
The one big change is that at the 4:00 p.m. Mass on Christmas Eve, there will be no acting out of the Nativity Gospels by our children in Religious Education. Our RE program is attended by students of multiple schools and school districts, and for that reason is still in distance learning mode.
 
The prospect of children from multiple local schools and districts who have not been studying together, plus relatives traveling through airports near and far, crowded into our large (but not infinite) church, seemed to be too much of a risk. This decision was made well before the Omicron variant became the reality it now is. Much as I will miss it, caution seems the better course at this time. (Cute as they are, I will not miss the angels’ glitter, which is nearly impossible to get out of the carpet…)
 
Our Remembrance Service last Monday, December 20th, had perhaps the most beautiful, and most personally moving, music I have heard in some time. Those who attended had the opportunity to create angels in memory of loved ones. We feel their absence in a particular way during the holidays.
 
Finally, I must mention the remarkable generosity of your response to our Giving Tree as well as your gifts to our St. Vincent de Paul Society and to our parish. Your gifts to families double in value because they are gifts twice over: to the children who receive them, and to parents relieved to know that their children will be getting a special gift or two. As for your monetary gifts to the parish, I administrate them with great care, and am most grateful. Your gifts to our parish and its outreach programs represent money well spent, especially for those who struggle every year to find gifts for loved ones who already have all they need.  
 
I wish you and your families a blessed and hope-filled Christmas. Even after the challenges of this past year, Christmas is again what it has been since Christ’s birth in Bethlehem: a chance to begin the world anew. May every blessing – health, peace, faith, hope and love – be yours now and throughout this coming New Year.
 
With every blessing,
Fr. Bill Donahue 
 

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