Happy 150th Anniversary!
December 1, 2018
Happy 150th Anniversary!!! This weekend, we celebrate 150 years as a parish! That is truly a remarkable achievement. Of course, it is not something that we have “accomplished”, but rather, we celebrate how God has worked in our parish through so many different families, through so many different generations. Jesus Christ risen from the dead has brought life to our parish through baptism and all of the Sacraments. We’re humbled because, led by the Holy Spirit and with the help of St. Nicholas, we simply carry on the legacy in our time. So many who were here so long ago are unknown to us, but some we know only their family names or long-ago relatives. We marvel at the timelessness of the faith, and how we must pass the faith on in our era knowing that generations after us will do the same if we do our part now. So, as we celebrate our anniversary, we look back with reverence, awe, respect, and gratitude, and we recommit ourselves to honoring their legacy by doing our best to love and serve the Lord here and now. St. Nicholas, Pray for us!
Welcome Archbishop Hebda! We rejoice to welcome Archbishop Bernard Hebda to celebrate our 150th at the 4 PM Mass this weekend. We are honored that the Archbishop has accepted our invitation to be with us for this special occasion. I know that he prays for all of the people of our Archdiocese daily and I ask you to please pray for him as well. With all of the responsibilities that he has in leading this archdiocese, I am sure that he greatly appreciates all the prayers that are offered. Every time we offer Mass, we pray for our bishop as well as the Holy Father and all the clergy. The Church does this because we know that the Church is not merely a human institution. We must always rely upon God’s help and God’s grace, and that is especially true for those who lead us. May God bless Archbishop Hebda with great wisdom, courage and faith as he leads us.
Advent begins! This Sunday we begin a new liturgical year as we begin Advent and prepare for Christmas. Advent is short again this year as Christmas Eve is the day after the Fourth Sunday of Advent which means the fourth week of Advent is only one day. We don’t have a lot of time to prepare ourselves spiritually to celebrate Christmas. When we celebrate a feast day, it’s not like other days that come and go. We try to take the time and the effort to recognize the Grace that our Lord gives to us in His birth and His incredible love for us. Advent is a good time to spend some extra time in prayer, or to read Scripture or a Spiritual book. Celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation is always an important part of Advent as we acknowledge that our Lord is our Savior and he is the one who saves us from our sins. The word Advent means “to come”. Come Lord Jesus, come and fill our darkness with your Divine light and open our hearts ever more fully to the wonders of your love!
Happy Anniversary and Happy Advent!
Feast of Christ the King
November 24, 2018
This weekend, the Church year comes to an end as we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. This feast day is relatively new in the life of the Church, only formally begun in 1925 by the promulgation of Pope Pius XI. At that time, the Church was concerned with rising secularism and nationalism and the devotion that some were giving to human institutions rather than to the Divine. Europe had just suffered the First World War in which misguided nationalism led to the death of millions while virtually resolving nothing. In Russia, communism was taking hold and promoting atheism and collective economic production as the highest values for mankind. Germany, in a downward spiral from World War I, was fertile ground for the Nazi party to take root and begin cultivating its evil designs. And in many countries of the world, rising secularism served to minimize religious belief in favor of promoting temporal happiness, individualism, and disinterest in anything beyond the natural senses.
In the midst of all this, Pope Pius XI sought to remind and proclaim that it is Christ who is our King. Christ is the one to whom we owe complete and total allegiance. Christ is the one whom we serve and give our total allegiance. Christ is King and Lord of all. The movements of secularism, nationalism, communism, and Nazism all offered false hope that somehow true happiness can be found in earthly schemes rather than devotion to that which is eternal. Our celebration of Christ the King, once again, powerfully reminds us that our ultimate hope is in our Lord and His Kingdom. As the Church year concludes, we are encouraged to think of that which ultimately remains; everything else is temporary. If anything is getting in the way of our total dedication to Christ and His Holy Church, then we must re-examine our lives, reflect upon where we have gone wrong, and re-devote ourselves to Christ, His Holy Church, and His Kingdom.
Your Servant in Christ,
November 17, 2018
Happy Thanksgiving! This Thursday, our nation celebrates Thanksgiving Day. This national feast day began with the uniquely American experience of the first settlers receiving great help from the Native American peoples in their first year in the new world.
The early colonists literally faced a life or death situation. Winters were harsh, the weather unpredictable, and they had to adjust to raising new crops in unfamiliar conditions. Most early colonies completely failed, leaving behind only the graves of the brave souls who tried and the total destruction of their colonies. The hope for a new life, which inspired them to sail across the ocean, turned out to be only a dream that was crushed by the harsh reality of what they faced.
One colony that did survive the desperate conditions did so with the help of the Native American people. After the first year, the colonists couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude to God and to their Native American friends. They collaboratively chose to celebrate the successful harvest with a feast. The tradition of Thanksgiving Day was begun.
In our modern era, we have so much, yet it can be difficult to feel a deep sense of gratitude because we take so much for granted. It may not be life or death as it was for the early colonists, but, for those of us who have had a big crisis or some other tragedy, it may be easier to summon up deep gratitude. It is so often our losses that help us to be able to appreciate what we have. The tragic fires in California in the past few weeks have taken scores of lives and thousands of homes, yet it has been impressive to see the survivors now express great gratitude for what little they have.
Whether we have lost greatly or not, each of us is incredibly blessed to be alive, to share the gift of faith, our great nation, and all that God has given to us. Please come and join us on Thanksgiving Day morning at 9 AM at Guardian Angels as we offer Mass and thank God for his gifts to us. Please bring something for the Food Shelf to offer for our neighbors in need. The parish office will be closed on Friday, November 23 and there will be no 6 PM Mass this Friday. I will offer Mass at 9 AM at Auburn Manor on Friday, November 23. May God make our hearts grateful to Him and to one another for all of our blessings.