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From the Pastor 01/14/18

We have now entered into Ordinary Time, and will stay in this liturgical season until February 14, Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of Lent. Allow me to finish the commentary on the meaning of Epiphany and baptism in our lives that I began last week. There is so much to say, and not enough room for printing each week. Some may say, stop writing so much, but I can’t help it!

In the mystery of the Epiphany, we then meditated on Christ’s manifestation to all nations that was represented by the Magi, the wise men from the East, who came to adore the Child.

Now, in the mystery of Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan River, we again encounter and represent the truth of the Lord’s incarnation and His manifestation as the Christ. Jesus’ Baptism is in fact His definitive manifestation as the Messiah or Christ to Israel, and as the Son of the Father to the entire world. Here we find the dimension of the Epiphany which was His manifestation to all nations. The Father’s voice from heaven shows that Jesus of Nazareth is the eternal Son and the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove shows the Trinitarian nature of the Christian God. The true and unique God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, shows Himself in Christ, through Him, with Him and in Him.

From the Pastor 01/07/18

This weekend we celebrate The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ. After the Sunday 6:00pm Mass this weekend we will invite our parishioners to take home a poinsettia plant. On Monday we will begin to take down all the Christmas decorations. Anyone who wants to help please come after the 8:00am Mass on Monday. Maintenance will be happy to have you help them.

This Solemnity of the Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts, though, throughout the centuries, it has celebrated a variety of things. Epiphany comes from a Greek verb meaning “to reveal,” and all of the various events celebrated by the Feast of the Epiphany are revelations of Christ to man. Like many of the most ancient Christian feasts, Epiphany was first celebrated in the East. Today, among both Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, the feast is known as Theophany — the revelation of God to man.

From the Pastor 12/31/17

A Blessed New Year to all! January 1 is the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God and the World Day of Prayer for Peace. Due to the fact that the Solemnity falls on a Monday this year, it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. But because Mary the Mother of God adds to the richness of this season you have two Pastor’s Columns in the bulletin this weekend! So much joy!

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Here is a prayer to the most Holy Family of Nazareth. All families should pray to the Holy Family for blessings and should strive to live a holy life, under the prayers of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace to love the Church as we ought, above every other thing, and always to show forth our love by deeds.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace to profess openly as we ought the faith given to us in Baptism, without fear or human respect.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace to share in the defense and propagation of the Faith whether by word or by the sacrifice of our fortunes and our lives.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace to love one another, and to live together in perfect harmony of thought, will and action, under the rule and guidance of our pastors.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace to conform our lives to the precepts of God and of the Church, so as to live always in that charity which they set forth ... Amen

Devotion to the Holy Family is a recent development, but one that naturally grows out of a love for Jesus and his family. The cult of the Holy Family grew in popularity in the 17th century, and several religious congregations have been founded under this title. The Holy Family also became portrayed in popular art of the period. On October 26, 1921 the Congregation of Rites (under Pope Benedict XV) inserted the Feast of the Holy Family into the Latin Rite general calendar. Until then it had been celebrated regionally. Popes before and including Benedict XV (especially Leo XIII) promoted the feast as a way to counter the break down of the family unit. Can you imagine what these Popes would say if they were living today, with so much break down of the family, and a complete misunderstanding of the family unit. Today we need to pray even more for the traditional Christian family. The Church celebrates the Feast on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

The Feast of the Holy Family is not just about the Holy Family, but about our own families too. The main purpose of the feast is to present the Holy Family as the model for all Christian families, and for domestic life in general. Our family life becomes sanctified when we live the life of the Church within our homes. This is called the “domestic church” or the “church in miniature.” St. John Chrysostom urged all Christians to make each home a “family church,” and in doing so, we sanctify the family unit. Just how does one live out the Church in the family?

From the Pastor 12/25/17

A blessed Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, and a Very Merry Christmas to all!

I wish to express my grateful thanks for your generosity to the Christmas Collection, which we depend upon for the financial stability of our beloved parish. And a special thank you to all who have been generous in the Christmas flowers collection.

As we come to worship the new born King of Kings, Jesus Christ, we come in thanksgiving to God for his many blessings in our lives, especially the blessing of faith and family. In a very special way please remember those who are alone this Christmas and those who have lost loved ones since last Christmas. This Christmas please take some time to make a phone call or visit someone you know who is alone or mourning the loss of loved ones. Christmas is a joyful celebration, but for many it is also a challenge. Let us not forget them and let us pray for them.

Let us also remember one another and our parish this Christmas, we have so much to be grateful for, especially the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist at Mass and in Perpetual Adoration. We welcome so many new families worshiping here at Christmas for the first time, and family members coming home for reunions. As I remind the children of the school every time I celebrate Mass for them: St. Gertrude Parish and School is a School of Love. Love for God and love for one another. This Christmas let us pray that every day we will grow in our desire to become “Intentional Missionary Disciples of Jesus Christ,” telling others of the love that we have discovered in the Christ Child born for the salvation of the entire world.

From the Pastor 12/24/17

A very blessed 4th Week of Advent. Many times the 4th Week of Advent is very short because Christmas falls sometime during that week. Well this year it is the shortest possible. The Fourth Sunday of Advent is being celebrated on Saturday and Sunday, December 23-24, and then the Christmas Vigil Masses begin the very same Sunday, December 24 at 3:00pm! What a decorating nightmare for your pastor! Things are very busy around here as we make last minute plans for our Christmas celebrations. May God bless and protect all of you during this Christmas Season, especially if you will be travelling.

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