Happy New Year on this Octave Day of Christmas! Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, whom we highlight this Christmas Season because she was so instrumental in God’s plan of salvation, as she bore the Son of God in her womb, so that he might dwell among us.
I would like to extend a special thank-you to all who helped out in any way to make the Christmas and Christmas Season liturgies festive and vibrant celebrations. First of all, thank you to all who came to celebrate Eucharist on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Saint John Paul II Parish: a total of 817 individuals. The participation in prayer and song was great! Thanks to the many people who came to help enhance the church environment for the Christmas Season at both church sites. Thanks to the musicians, many of whom did “double duty,” so that we could have beautiful and festive music at both Masses. Thanks to all who took part in liturgical ministry and those who took part in visiting and taking Holy Communion to the sick and homebound. And special thanks to Father Jim whose homilies and presiding at Mass (and the other sacraments) spiritually enrich our parish community.
Thanks to all who engaged in Christian Service Ministry in preparation for thisChristmas: baking cookies for the homebound and the food pantry, delivering poinsettias and cookies, caroling to the homebound and at the Nursing Care facilities, and donating gifts for the Advent Angel Giving tree.
Thanks to those who helped out behind the scenes in any way, including the Office Staff and parish volunteers who helped them.
Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to all who remembered me this Christmas: with cards, words of affirmation and appreciation, Masses, gifts, baked goods and other treats, and with helping me get settled back into the Rectory. I am most grateful for your kindness, love, prayers, and support of me and my ministry.
Blessings this Christmas Season!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ