December 3, 2017

Dear Parishioners:
Sia Lodato Gesu Cristo! Sempre Sia Lodato!

Happy New Year! Here we are, eleven months into the calendar year, five months into the fiscal year, about twelve weeks into the academic year — and our church has chosen this Sunday, about four weeks before our actual New Year, to be the start of our liturgical year. Would it have been a better idea to begin the church year with the calendar year? I think not. It is really a great idea that our liturgical year transcends and invades all those other cycles. That interruption reminds us — sharply — that the Christian community lives out time in a wholly different framework. Just as we have taught the whole world to mark all planetary history with Christ at the center, and all other time before and after him; and, so we insist on placing our “church year” slightly out of sync with the secular calendar year. The birth of Jesus the Messiah centers our sense of time. Further, we begin the church year by focusing on our need for God, which He began to be address in a whole new way with the Incarnation of His Son. Today’s Scripture readings help us contemplate our need for God. It is a constant, continuous need and hopefully each of us is aware of this. With the beginning of a “new” liturgical year and with the 800th Anniversary Year of the Mercedarian Order beginning next month, we are initiating an ancient custom of the Friars and celebrate the Saturday Salve Tradition at our 4pm Anticipated Mass each Saturday evening. This custom of honoring our Lady of Mercy dates back to the earliest years of our Order’s foundation. It will take some time for all of us to become familiar with the chants, however I have no doubt it will jell! Lastly, I wish to express my gratitude again to everyone who prepared, organized and worked the Thanksgiving community meal here on Thanksgiving Day. Special thanks to Fr. Bob Stec and the parishioners of St. Ambrose for all they do in planning this; for their support and solidarity. It is a beautiful expression of charity to share what one has with others – share time, food, support and prayer. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Magnificat Advent calendar prayer books available at the entrances of the Church. Take time during this grace filled season to prepare spiritually for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Be assured of my prayers for all of you – Happy Advent and peace out. – Fr. James, O. de M.

L’atteggiamento della vigilanza, richiamato dal Vangelo, e collocato tra due certezze: la prima venuta di Cristo con l’incarnazione, e la seconda venuta del Cristo glorioso, che segnera l’incontro definitivo dell’uomo con Dio. In questo tempo di attesa i cristiani sono chiamati a far fruttificare i doni di grazia ricevuto.