Give thanks! Being thankful is a key essence of what it means to be a Catholic Christian. This coming Thursday, our country will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. As such, we will have a special Mass of thanksgiving where I will be asking you to share what you are thankful for. Also at that Mass, I will invite everyone to come forward at the Preparation of the Gifts to donate nonperishable food items and money for our local St. Vincent de Paul. Such a gesture is a wonderful way to show God our thanks and express our desire to help those in need.

Now is also a time to discern what you will be doing for Advent. How will you prepare yourself for Christmas? Many of us put up lights on our homes. Some decorate the interior of our rooms. We put up manger scenes and even the Christmas tree. But, why do we do these things? We do them to show on the outside what we hope for on the inside. We hope that Christ will be born-again in our hearts. We hope that the darkness that can sometimes pervade our hearts and minds will be removed by the light of Christ. The Church has given us Advent in order to simply look at these things and prepare to celebrate the most amazing event in history, the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Finally, a way to give thanks and prepare our hearts is via the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We will be hosting the communal reconciliation services at St. Patrick of the Forest on Monday, Dec. 16th at 7 PM and then again at St. Anne’s on Tuesday, Dec. 17th at 7 PM. I expect many priests to come to our Advent service, so there will be many options for all. Please mark your calendars now. Prepare for Christmas by preparing for Advent, the advent of Jesus Christ in your heart.


Fr. William Holtzinger