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Advent IV

This Year’s Advent Wreath

Daily Sermons
December 12 – Fr. Lehtoranta – When Mexico was a Catholic Empire
December 13 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Lucy, The Carrier of Light
December 14 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Faith and Humility of Our Lady
December 15 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Our Lady and the Fumi-E in Japan
December 16 – Bp. Dolan – Say Hello First

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Mother Nature sent out her Christmas cards early this year, but they were picture perfect as they arrived last week: bright sun, made brighter by white snow hanging on Christmas trees and greenery. Even the night was doubly bright with the full moon. But I think God wants Mother Nature to wear white in honor of His Mother. It was still the Octave of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Pure. Pure bright blinding white is she, clothed with the sun, immaculate.

This is an important Sunday. We usually have an excellent attendance on Advent IV, although it has been light since Thanksgiving. But I think some folk come the Sunday before Christmas, as a kind of a bow before the Baby, because they’ll be too busy for church come Christmas. But the Baby’s not here yet, and we’re just thinking about decorating. Come back for the Birthday!

I hope many of you will go back to Helfta Hall for the Bake Sale, and maybe the reception after Midnight Mass as well. As usual, bring something to share. Thanks for your participation in these parish events.

It’s nice to bring guests, family or friends; to one of our beautiful Christmas Masses. Fill them in a bit beforehand on what we’re about, dress code and reverence. Oh, and while everyone is welcome, your guest—especially children—should be told not to receive Holy Communion, unless they too are traditional Catholic, with the old faith and fasting and Confession. Ours is a different religion from the modern one. Be an apostle.

Since we have full confession availability during most Sunday Masses, there isn’t so much of a crunch for Christmas anymore. Still, we will offer confessions Christmas Eve morning. Do remember there is a special schedule on Christmas, and consult your bulletin. Christmas Masses are Midnight (starts at 11:15 or so), 9:00 AM (the beloved string quartet Mass), and 11:00 AM. No evening Mass.

Good news on two good priests, fruit of Fr. McKenna’s visit to Spokane. Fr. Vaillancourt, who had been “lost in the system,” was found thanks to the perseverance of his sister. Father is back to being his old self, after a long, long illness. While he did lose part of a leg, he has been fitted with a prosthesis and is practicing using it. Fr. McKenna had a good visit with him, and brought him the Sacraments.

Meanwhile Fr. Gerald Kasik, so ill with cancer, is said by his doctors to be responding to treatment. He still needs a lot of prayer. Fr. Kasik took Fr. Vaillancourt’s place in his illness, but himself was stricken this Fall. A good priest is hard to find. Please keep these two good priests in your good prayers.

We’re surely grateful for meals for priests. Last week we did very well. Sometimes, though, it’s a question of meals or priestly work, and we’d much rather attend to the spiritual, but we are used to eating, alas! So, let’s work together. If you are cooking, please use the Cucina Clerical website. For last-minute offerings, just let me know, or Fr. Lehtoranta, so the food doesn’t get missed. Sometimes we forget to check the fridge. We should be good for Christmas, as we were indeed for Thanksgiving. But there can be some pretty spare days in between….

So the other night after an excellent supper of Aztec Soup, I inveigled Fr. McGuire, of all things, into making Crockpot Pot Roast. He likes it, and was familiar with the concept, and it really is easy to do. It was delicious! A great winter dinner. The only problem is that when he started, after having shopped for the ingredients, he discovered we had the crock but not the pot, the lining having been lost. The soul of patience, Father returned to Kroger and all was well. But, as you know better than I, it does take time. Good thing we’re all saying our Morning Offering.

Let nothing be wasted these last days before Christmas. Many prayers, much patience, and some penance as well as longing will make His crib soft and cozy.

Blessed end to your Advent.

—Bishop Dolan