This coming week we have a wonderful opportunity to take part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as we will have the Advent Penance Service on December 12th at St. Valentine Church. This service will begin at 7 p.m. with a little preparation followed by individual confession.
Besides Fr. Kishore and myself there will be Fr. Rick Hartmann and Fr. Sal Briffa from the Clergy Village and Fr. Pat Brennan from St. Paul of the Cross. Advent is a good time to heal all that keeps us from experiencing the divine love and mercy.
A Christmas Gift for Your Parish
I have mentioned it several times how I love being a priest and as a priest I have also mentioned how I dislike asking for money. While I firmly believe in the priority of spirituality over materialism, every year before Christmas I have to ask this of you because it’s something necessary for the parish. So here I come to remind you how important it is to make a generous gift to the parish at Christmas. The Archdiocese gives all parishes a special exemption from the 7% diocese assessment for the Christmas collection, so your Christmas contribution stays right here. And I assure you that every dollar you contribute will be used for the good and betterment of St Valentine parish community. Thank you for your generosity this Christmas as well as throughout the year.
For Families and Individuals
Prayer is the most powerful way each of us can prepare our hearts and minds to recognize Jesus in each of the people we will encounter at Christmas, and to extend his love and mercy to them. The following are suggestions for ways to pray as families and as individuals during Advent and beyond.
· Read and pray with Luke 2 and discuss how Mary and Joseph went from place to place in hope of being welcomed in Bethlehem, but could not find a room. Pray for the grace to welcome those they do not know, share their seats, smile, and encourage conversation.
· Pray for God’s grace to connect with a family who comes at Christmas, and to welcome them with radical hospitality.
· Pray for the courage to invite another family (or individual) to a Christmas liturgy.
· Pray intentionally for those who wills serve as liturgical ministers at the Christmas liturgies, for those who will assume particular hospitality roles, and for those who will attend the Christmas liturgies.
· For all Saturday/Sunday liturgies during Advent, invite parishioners to pray and fast for the guests who will attend the Christmas liturgies.
· Pray for protection for the parish during the Christmas liturgies. Ask the Lord to place a “hedge of protection” around the parish grounds, the building, all staff, parishioners, and guests: “Lord, place a hedge of protection around our parish grounds, the church building, all of our parishioners, and those who will join us for Christmas. Keep in what is holy and is of you, and cast out what is not. We ask this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.”
Taken from The AOD Radically Mission-Oriented Christmas Playbook