I hope you have a joyous time with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day. Anticipation mounts as many parishioners prepare to offer our first Thanksgiving Dinner for the general public. I am so proud of Linda Wardenburg and Becky Pettit who have been so instrumental in making it all happen. Way to go ladies!
Our Thanksgiving Day Mass at 9 am will kick off a day of love in action. If you plan to come to that Mass, try not to come empty handed. The collection taken on that day will be directed to our local St. Vincent de Paul who is in serious need. Because the Oregon Food Bank has redirected many of its resources towards victims of the hurricanes in the South, we have been receiving a fraction of food stuffs that we need. Therefore, please consider making an effort to also bring some nonperishable food items as well as toiletries to Mass which we will gather at the foot of the altar during the Preparation of the Gifts. I hope that our sanctuary will be full of gifts for the St. vincent de Paul. What great symbol that will make of our willingness to help out those less fortunate. We may not be able to solve the world's hunger problem, but we can sure make a dent here locally.
Pope John Paul II TV Program
A week from Thanksgiving, ABC will be airing their version of the life of our late Pope entitled, "Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II.". Amidst the constant blast of immoral programs on TV, it's nice to see something wholesome and positive about the faith. You may notice that the program is being aired at the same time as our Advent Mission (see below). My advice is not to miss the mission and dust off that VCR of yours. So you need not pit one event against another. Besides, that way you can fast forward through the commercials. I heartily encourage you to consider watching this program when you can. While I haven't seen it myself, it reports to be a "reverent" view of his life.
Advent and Preparation
This coming Sunday, we begin Advent, the time to prepare for the great solemnity and season of Christmas. Commercially, Christmas arrived immediately after Halloween, but we Catholics recognize that Christmas is still a month away. The Advent season is our way of spiritually preparing ourselves.
As a parish, we will be offering many opportunities in which you can prepare your family. This Sunday, we are offering our Advent Event where you can get involved in crafts that will create a more festive environment at home as well as prepare your own advent wreath for prayer. We will also be hosting Br. Robert Rodriguez, OFM as he guides us through our parish mission which begins this Tuesday. Our younger members will be presenting a Christmas play and go caroling to the local Good Shepherd homes in our area. Finally, we will be offering two chances at our parish to celebrate communal reconciliation services. Make sure to check out the dates for all these activities in our bulletin or go online to our parish calendar.
Please make this Advent a special one by slowing down, focusing on the things that are most important, avoiding the commercialism of the season, and nurturing your relationship with Christ and your family. May this Advent offer you a new chance to prepare your heart for the coming of Christ.
O Come Emmanuel!
Fr. William Holtzinger