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Advent IV

December 23, 2007 – Advent IV
Today is the Fourth Sunday in Advent. Christmas Confessions will be heard before and during the morning Masses. Our special Adult Christmas Collection will take place during all Masses. The last of our Advent Vespers are sung at 1:15 PM with Benediction.

Today is our ST. GERTRUDE THE GREAT RAFFLE—and your last chance to purchase raffle tickets before the drawings after the 11:30 AM Mass. Please visit Helfta Hall after Mass and find “just the right” Christmas gift for that special someone and, maybe, win a prize at the raffle drawings. Support our parish and our school and have a wonderful time.

CHRISTMAS MASS NOVENA
Today is the final day to remember your loved ones in our Christmas Novena of Masses which begins Christmas Day. Envelopes may be found in the vestibule and the Gift Shop. Envelopes must be turned in today to be on the altar for Christmas.

CHRISTMAS EVE – FAST AND ABSTINENCE
Christmas Eve is a traditional day of Fast and complete Abstinence from meat, and a last penance before Our Lord’s birth. Unless legitimately excused, all Catholics between the ages of 21 and 59, inclusive, are bound by the Church’s law of fast, and all who have attained their 7th year must keep the abstinence—no meat on this day.

2008 COLLECTION ENVELOPES
The 2008 Collection envelopes are available in the vestibule. Please pick up your envelopes today.

2008 ROMAN CATHOLIC CALENDAR
This year’s calendar is available for purchase in the Book Store. The price is $6.00. Every Catholic home should have a traditional calendar.

SUNDAY CATECHISM CLASSES
Children’s Catechism classes are suspended December 30th and January 6th. Catechism classes will resume on Sunday, January 13th.

THE ROSARY CONFRATERNITY will meet at 9:30 AM in front of the Auburn Avenue Abortion clinic to pray the Rosary on Saturday, December 29th. A light breakfast will follow the 8:00 AM Mass before proceeding to the abortion clinic.

NEXT SUNDAY
Next Sunday is the Fifth Sunday of the Month. Vespers and Benediction are at 4:45 PM.

SET YOUR MISSAL: DECEMBER 30TH. Sunday Within the Octave of Christmas. Pref: Nativity.

UPCOMING EVENTS
FORTY HOURS: JANUARY 4 – 6TH

The greatest feast of this season, because of its antiquity and theological importance—outranking even Christmas itself—is that of Epiphany, Christ’s manifestation to the Gentile world in the person of the Magi. This beautiful feast we will solemnize this year as we keep Forty Hours on the weekend. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 4, 5, and 6th, Forty Hours Devotions will be held at our church. Please plan to spend some time with Our Lord on these days. There are many hours when adorers are needed. The Forty Hours’ Devotion honors the time Our Lord’s Adorable Body passed in the Holy Sepulcher, and obtains for the Church, as well as for each soul, all of the pressing needs of the day by this most efficacious prayer. Please plan to attend one or more of the special Masses, as well as to take an hour of Adoration where it is most needed: Saturday afternoon from 3-5:00 PM, and Sunday from 1-5:00 PM. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed after the 5:45 PM Mass on First Friday evening. The moving and very touching Procession and Litany of the Saints conclude opening ceremonies, and are repeated Sunday evening at 7:00 PM following the annual Parish Appreciation Dinner for our workers and volunteers. During the course of this exposition, if a visit is made to the Blessed Sacrament, there is granted an indulgence of 15 years. A plenary indulgence on each of the days of the exposition provided the faithful make their Confession and Holy Communion.

• January 4th: Opening of 40 Hours – First Friday
5:00 PM Confessions
5:30 PM The Infant of Prague Novena and Sacred Heart Novena/First Friday Devotions
5:45 PM Solemn Opening of 40 Hours
7:30 PM (Approx.) Parish Potluck
8:30 PM Hour Hour
ADORATION WILL CONTINUE ALL NIGHT AND THROUGHOUT THE DAY ON SATURDAY.

• January 5th: Vigil of Epiphany – First Saturday
6:30 AM Low Mass
7:10 AM Rosary & First Sat. Devotions
8:00 AM Low Mass
9:00 AM Solemn High Mass
ADORATION CONTINUES ALL DAY
1:30 PM First Vespers of the Epiphany
5:00 PM Compline and Benediction

• January 6th: Feast of the Epiphany
6:30 AM Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
ADORATION CONTINUES ALL DAY
7:30 AM Low Mass with the blessing of gold, frankincense & myrrh following the Mass. Home Blessing packs will be available in the vestibule.
9:00 AM Solemn High Mass
11:30 AM Low Mass
4:00 PM Second Vespers of the Feast
5:00 PM Parish Appreciation Dinner
5:45 PM Low Mass
7:00 PM Closing Forty Hours Pro-cession and Litany of the Saints

Parish workers and volunteers please join us for our annual Appreciation Dinner on Sunday, January 6th beginning at 5:00 PM in Helfta Hall. The church will provide the main course, holiday beverages and a cake. Please bring a little something “special” to share – salads, fruit, vegetables, – “your specialty”. This is where we normally beg you to let us know if you’re coming. But, each year virtually no one signs up, or calls, so we have to guess—which means either too much or not enough food. The willingness to notify and make a commitment (even for so minor an event as an appreciation dinner–in your honor) has gone the way of so many social graces in today’s society. It is a direct result of modernism’s–“keep your options open” mentality, something better might come along. (Translation: “I just might not feel like it when the time comes.”) We really do want all of you to come. Each year we have so much fun at these “family” get togethers, and we miss those of you who can’t be with us. Mark your calendars and don’t forget! Sunday is a family day, and your “church family” really would like to enjoy a holiday evening with you.