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St. Stephen

Listen to Bp. Dolan’s Christmas Sermon: The Christmas Gift of Hope

Bishop’s Corner
All of this past week, your devoted fellow members reported to the galley to give a hand with the oars, and help our Christmas celebration to come together. This always entails a certain amount of stress and fatigue, of course, as well as just that that kind of selfless giving in which God takes the lead, giving us His Only Begotten Son, born once at Christmas, but yesterday and today again by our celebration of the Holy Sacrifice.

It is the Mass that matters, and only the Mass that puts Christmas together – Christ’s Mass. It is the Mass which makes us to renew our spirit of sacrifice, to row together for God’s glory and man’s good, his eternal good.

Thank you, dear workers, and givers and volunteers, and faithful. Thank you for your gifts, your time, your sacrifices, which make our church to be such a splendid stable for the sacrifice of the Mass each Christmas, indeed, each Christ’s Mass, all year long.

My special thanks go to you who found time last Monday to be Fred Hauserman’s family – as indeed you are – for his funeral Rosary and Requiem. May his little boat swiftly reach the heavenly shore. Thanks for rowing him in.

“The young fathers,” Fr McGuire and Fr. Larrabee, departed on Wednesday for their Christmas missions. Fr. McGuire headed to Milwaukee, stopping in Saybrook, Illinois for a mission Mass for St. Isidore. He returns home after New Year. Fr. Larrabee will be helping Fr. Zapp (who recently had shoulder surgery) in Modesto, California at St. John Bosco. Father bought an almond grove there, and hopes to build a church for his growing congregation.

Two of my independent “priest sons” have a plan to help each other out. Fr. Adam Cyr has invited Fr. Ercoli to come to take over his Holy Redeemer Chapel in Seattle, Washington. Fr. Cyr hopes to pursue a monastic vocation with another priest in the wilds of Northern Idaho. We wish them all well, and promise them our prayers. May God bless their endeavors.

Indeed, let us pray for all priests, all of our fellow Catholics, our seminarians (we are happy to have Mr. Vili Lehtoranta with us again this Christmas) and, since it is St. Stephen’s day, for our enemies. In His goodness, God always keeps up their numbers, so that we might be sanctified and have our prayers more readily heard. Pray for your enemies and forgive them daily.

Do have a blessed week of Christmas. Try to make Christ’s Mass a part of it! Bring a bottle to be blessed Monday. Bring yourself to the altar crib in our shining stable. Bring Jesus in out of the cold, into your heart for Holy Communion.

I conclude by thanking again our decoration committee, our cleaners and choirs, editorial staff, sacristans and servers, and everyone who takes oars in hand, and helps us row.

A Blessed Christmas Week!
–Bishop Dolan