It is with tremendous gratitude that I write to you. I am still absorbing the many graces and
blessings we have received as a parish over these past few weeks and days. So much thought,
planning, and effort went into being sure we would worthily celebrate Christmas. I cannot even
begin to take the roll call of those who helped, but I do want to acknowledge that the parish-at-large
stepped forward when invited to be a part of our drawing together as a parish. A few areas that I
believe made a huge difference this season:
- The decorations on our grounds sent a sign that we were up and running, not hiding in fear,
and yet, in such a way that maintained our safety. It also served as a sign to the larger
community around us, which allowed us to answer Christ’s call to share His message with the
world. (Special thanks for the Luminaria, too!)
- The many people who worked to bring about our Gift Bags, from their design and planning to each item being constructed and assembled, and finally being gathered into a simple but
powerful sign that we are a untied and connected community, even when physically separated.
The power of this little gift cannot be overemphasized, for it reminded many who felt so isolated,
and perhaps forgotten, to know that they were fully a part of our parish family, and not at all
- The decorations in the church for both Advent, but especially for Christmas, made clear that this feast must be celebrated regardless of other circumstances. Complex planning and detailed
execution brought us to a space that truly reflects the importance of this time in our Church year.
- Our liturgies were celebrated with the proper solemnity and joy that are needed for such
wondrous mysteries. Again, throughout Advent and into Christmas our many ministers stepped
up (safely) to be sure those who could come, and those who attended virtually, would find their
faith strengthened and renewed. Special note here is due our Music Ministry, which sounded
better than ever. If you couldn’t see them you would have thought it was a multitude of voices,
when in fact it was fewer than usual. Our ushers also provided direction and guidance in ways
that we never had to in the past, and did so with grace and aplomb.
These are the things that are in my mind this morning. I also think of the many unseen
people, who do so much throughout the year, never seeking attention or acknowledgment. We
are grateful to all of you, as well.
And we are not quite done with Christmas. There is a gift that we will be giving to you
in the next couple of weeks. It is a book, that I think will allow us to continue the grace of
Christmas into the coming year. We will find a way to distribute these both at Mass and from
the Welcome Center. So, please be sure to get yours, as we hope you will find it inspiring, and it
connects to our next project , which we will all be sharing about in the near future.
In the meantime, my most profound thanks for all that all of you have done to make this
Christmas, even with the adjustments necessary, a most blessed and holy event in the life of our
parish. May God continue to bless you as the new year begins!