From the Desk of the Pastor

Bulletin December 17, 2017

Dear Friends,

This 3rd Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday. The word Gaudete is Latin and means “Rejoice.” We lit the rose candle on our Advent wreath to show that even in this penitential season there is meant to be a spirit of happy anticipation for Christ’s coming. The prophet Isaiah says of the coming Savior “The Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives… and to announce a year of favor from the Lord.” Jesus does all these things and more and so the preparation for the Christmas season is such a joyful time.

This past week the Boy Scout troop put up the beautiful Creche across the street from the church. It was nice to see everyone, young and not so young, working together to remind people of the real reason for the season. The baby Jesus is in the rectory waiting to come out at Christmas. Also, the Girl Scouts have helped decorate the prayer garden with lights and had their Christmas Carols and hot chocolate in the Auditorium after the 5 pm Mass on December 16th. I mention these two things because they warm our hearts and are ways for people to feel closer together as a parish community.

One of the things that Jesus does and wants us to do is to help “heal the broken hearted.” The Advent and Christmas seasons can be a sad time for many who are away from home or have lost loved ones. If you have a friend, neighbor or family member that you’re not sure has anywhere to go during this time would you consider calling them and including them in your Christmas plans? Wouldn’t it be nice to invite someone to a Christmas Mass, invite them to dinner or just to call and see how they’re doing? We all like it when someone reaches out to us when we feel lonely and forgotten.

Another great way to prepare for Christmas is to make a good confession. After all, Jesus has saved us from sin and already knows all about them so don’t be afraid. Our Advent Reconciliation Service is coming up on Monday, December 18th at 7 pm in the church. We will have both face-toface and the confessionals available. The school and RE kids just went and they did a good job. I know that the sacrament of Reconciliation is not used by Catholics as much as it should be. I will preach at the service and hope to help ease people’s fears that might have been away for years or even decades. Don’t be afraid! I promise to heed Pope Francis’ words when he tells priests not to make the confessional a “torture chamber.”

Remember, Jesus comes as the Divine Physician who wants to heal and forgive us, not to condemn us. This is the sacrament that He instituted for the post-baptismal forgiveness of sins so let’s take advantage of it. I receive this sacrament every month because I can’t absolve myself in a mirror! The kids can do it, I can do it… so can you. “Be not afraid.”

God bless you,
Fr. Mike Grisolano

Feel free to call with questions or concerns!
Parish Office
773-763-8228 or e-mail at mail@sttars.org