Dear brothers and sisters,
Happy New Year! It’s incredible that we have already begun a new year; with this new start, we are in a new stage in our lives and we ask God for His guidance and protection. This Sunday (first day of the year) we celebrate The Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God. The Church gratefully contemplates the maternity of the Mother of God. Luke presents us with the “meeting” of the shepherds “with the Child” lying in the manger, who is accompanied by Mary, His Mother, and Joseph (Lk 2,16), a precious image of the Church in adoration. Jesus reclining in the manger, in an allusion to the Eucharist, in which we contemplate and adore with love; with this sign “He anticipates that He will be food for us”.
“At the beginning of the new year, let us place ourselves under the protection of this woman, the Holy Mother of God who is our mother. May it help us to preserve and meditate on all things, without being afraid of trials, with the joyful certainty that the Lord is faithful and knows how to transform crosses into resurrections. Let us also invoke her today as the People of God did in Ephesus. We all stand up, looking at Our Lady, and as the people of God did in Ephesus, we repeat her title of Mother of God three times. All together: “Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God.” (Pope Francisco)
Since we have left all the celebratory activities behind, it is time to return to our usual pastoral tasks; I invite all the groups and ministries not to faint in our evangelizing task, there is still much to do. Unfortunately the damages of the pandemic are still felt and one of those damages is the lack of commitment of some. Let’s not let this situation dominate us. One of the challenges that I want to make to all our leaders is to encourage their members who have not yet returned, to return, and to be enthusiastic about our evangelistic work.
I would also like to let you know that I am still somewhat concerned about the finances of our parish. As I told you last year, we are still 6% behind in our budget, specifically in the offertory – which is the heart that sustains the parish economy. It will significantly hit our finances and if we do not seek to solve it, it will affect us for the rest of the year. I ask you with charity to help me solve that 6%, by increasing your offertory a little. If we all unite to give a little more, we will be able to erase that deficit that can be generated. I also encourage you to make your donations online, Pushpay is our new online platform to donate, please consider it. It is an easier and safer way to donate. If you need more information call the parish office and we will gladly guide you in the process.
Finally, I invite all our men to come together in a parish men’s meeting that we will be held once a month to pray and reflect on different faith issues. The first meeting will be on Saturday, January 14th at Hannan Hall after the 8:00am mass. We will have Father Noah Morey, chaplain of Bishop Ireton High School, as our speaker. The theme will be, “Mary’s Yes in God’s project”, I hope many can attend. We hold these meetings every two months.
I wish you a happy 2023 year.