A big thank you needs to be given to Angela Jones and Kristen McDowell who lead the way for this year's Holiday Bazaar. You ladies were a true joy and example of what I love so much about St. Anthony's. It was a wonderful time to see the different hand-made craft items that people from all over have created. A big thank you needs to be given to all the supporting staff of volunteers who did advertising, food, moving of furniture, and much more. A special thank you needs to be given to all the teens who showed up to help in the various ways that you did. You are an inspiration to us all!
Walking around the hall, I heard much laughing and joyful conversation. The vendors who came were clearly people who poured their hearts into their crafts. They are a sign to us of the beauty of God and his creative action amongst us. In speaking to the vendors, they were very pleased with the kindness and love St. Anthony's demonstrated to them. Good job everyone! Thank you!
Tis' the Season
Tis' the season to be jolly... not jolly in a saccharine-pollyannish kind of way. I mean true joy, good humor, and high spirit. The etymology of the word "jolly" can be also be connected with the Latin root, gaudere which means "to rejoice." If you are up on your liturgical facts, the third Sunday in Advent is Gaudete Sunday, a time to more fully express our joy for all that has been given to us by God. So for sure the time is upon us. It is a time for giving and thanksgiving. Yes, there are economic woes around us in our country, but what do you choose? I choose to let this season remind me of what is most important. I choose to see the big picture while helping those in need. Christ has conquered death and his gift of salvation is where I invest my hope and joy.
As of this writing, Thanksgiving is just a couple days away. So, if you are reading this prior to Thanksgiving, please receive my blessings and hopes for a time to recreate with God and family. If you are reading this after Thanksgiving, I hope you all had a restful day. I hope you didn't have to wake up too early for that bargain at the local store. I pray that you had ample time to catch up with your relatives and friends.
Now we are in the beginning of Advent, a time to prepare for Christmas, one of our greatest celebrations next to Easter. Advent is a time to prepare. We are being called by the Church to remember the miracle of Christ's first coming to us in a poverty only to conquer sin and death. It is also a time for us to prepare for the Second Coming which is a certainty, though the day is unknown. But the Church guides us so that we do not become lax in our waiting. Please make an effort to stay focused on the things that matter most. Be cautious of being caught up in the materialism of this time and the financial woes of the economy. Remember where our true hope is and who is our all in all (cf. 1 Cor. 15:28). Advent is a time of penance and joy. Penance, for we all need to constantly seek reconciliation lest we be found unprepared on the Day of the Lord (cf. 1 Thes. 5:2). Joy, for the incarnation is a reality that shows us the way (cf. Matt. 2:10). Please take time to prepare in a purposeful way. Mark your calendar to join in our parish's communal reconciliation service scheduled for Dec. 18th at 7pm. If that day and time does not work, keep your eyes peeled for the schedule for our area vicariate parish schedules. God bless you all and have a blessed Advent!
Offertory Program Update
Thank you for all who participated in the in-pew process of our Offertory Program. We will soon be sending out letters to those who did not participate for what ever reasons such as being home-bound or away with relatives. Again, the goal is to encourage as much participation as possible. Once we have entered all the data in our computer, we will be sending out a confirmation letter informing you of what we understand to be your financial commitment. It is an opportunity to double-check our data so as to maintain the most accurate information possible. If you signed up to begin giving electronically, we will also be sending you a form to fill out and return with a canceled check. As the time and talent data is also entered, you should expect a phone call from each of our ministers to thank you for your willingness to volunteer and to see how we can best help you discern your gifts for that given ministry.
2009 Offertory Program Calendar
Blessings in Christ,
Fr. William Holtzinger