The Third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday. The Latin word ‘gaudete’ means ‘rejoice’. The Church, as a good mother, knows that waiting is hard for her children. She reminds us that Christmas is near and tells us to rejoice as we approach the great festivities of the Incarnation. The liturgical color of royal purple is changed to rose for the Third Sunday of Advent as a call to lighten our hearts and spirits.
That Christmas is near is an understatement. This year the Fourth Sunday of Advent falls on December 24. A few short hours after completing the liturgies of the Fourth Sunday of Advent, we will begin the Masses of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In order to allow our Arts and Environment Committee to transform the church into Christmas glory, we will not celebrate an 11:30 a.m. Mass next Sunday. Please plan accordingly to participate both in the liturgies of the Fourth Sunday of Advent and of Christmas Eve or Day. “See you at Mass” takes on special meaning next weekend!
Thank you for your great generosity to the special Collection for the Retired Religious that was taken up last weekend. That collection surpassed ten thousand dollars! Having Sister Mary Luke Jones with us was a beautiful reminder of the gratitude we owe the religious Sisters and Brothers who so selflessly cared for us over the years. It is now our opportunity to care for them. Last Sunday’s collection was a sign of our affection and gratitude especially toward the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Our Lady of Grace Monastery who served Christ the King in the ministry of Catholic education for decades.
Thank you also for your generosity to the United Catholic Appeal. We have already reached 85% of our parish goal with 22% of our parishioners having made a pledge to the appeal to date. If you haven’t made a gift to the appeal yet, please remember the Church in your end-of-year giving. It would be great if could meet or even surpass our goal by the time Archbishop Thompson visits the parish on January 7.
Finally, thank you for your wonderful generosity toward the Giving Tree project. I have watched in amazement as gifts by the hundreds have been arriving at the parish. These gifts will make for a very special Christmas for the families and individuals who will receive them. Thank you also to the army of volunteers who help deliver the gifts.
Finally, next weekend we will welcome many visitors and friends to the parish for the Christmas Masses. May we extend a warm welcome to all who join us!
See you at Mass!