Happy second week of Advent! A week ago we began the season of Advent, a time of grace and preparation to receive Jesus in the manger of our hearts. For me it is one of the most beautiful times, because together with Christmas they make me enter an atmosphere of peace and meditation on the great mystery of the incarnation. We have also started a new month, the last month of this year, a year that has been fraught with great challenges but also with faith and renewed hope. Many things have changed this year and others may remain the same, but as Christians, we cannot stagnate, we must to look at Jesus who comes to save us and give us new life.
December is a month of many celebrations, including “The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception” and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I ask that we celebrate them with much love and enthusiasm. The solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day of obligation, therefore it is mandatory to attend mass. The hours for mass that day will be: 6:30am, 9:00am and 5:00pm in English and 7:00pm in Spanish. On December 12th, we will have solemn mass at 7:00pm and then serenade our Lady with Mariachi music.
I also would like to remind you that in preparation for Christmas, we will have an Advent Penance Service on Monday, December 19th, please put it on your calendar. We will be hearing confessions starting at 7:00pm; we will invite other priests to help us so that we all can be best prepared to celebrate Christmas Day. I invite you to please prepare for this day.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who generously made an increase in their weekly offertory, your increase will greatly help our parish family. Amen Generosity seeks to increase the weekly percentage in our offering; As we explained to you in the annual report, this year will be a bit more difficult than the previous ones. Although the pandemic is almost over, the ravages are still being felt. This year we are 6% behind in the annual budget, specifically in our offerings- which is the heart that sustains the parish economy. This will significantly hit our finances and if we do not seek to solve it, it will affect us in the future. I encourage you with faith and confidence in your generosity, to increase your weekly offertory a little. If we all unite to give a little more, we will be able to erase that deficit that can be generated. A piece of bread is built by many small particles of wheat, and when they come together they feed our hunger; as a parish we are similar to this example, we are all a small particle that make up this parish and if we come together we can do great things.
I hope you have a happy Advent season and that you enjoy this time of grace with all the activities that this month brings us to grow and improve ourselves as Christians. Oh, and don’t forget this month’s challenge – place a nativity scene in your home, make it visible and remind your family that Jesus is the center of Advent and Christmas.
I have you in my prayers.
God bless you.