Dear Parishioners of Holy Family:
The gospel chosen for this Sunday presents the familiar figure of John the Baptist proclaiming his message of repentance and preparing the way for the Lord. His message is one that is repeated frequently throughout the Advent season. While Advent is not primarily a penitential season, like Lent, repentance still is an important aspect of our preparation to receive the Lord with joy! If there is sin and darkness in our lives, that can crowd out the light, love, and peace that Christ wishes us to have during this Advent season. Repentance is often an uncomfortable word for many of us—because it reminds us that we aren’t perfect, that we still need to change and to let go. It reminds us that we need to go deeper into the waters of conversion. That surrendering more to Christ scares us because it means letting go of control, letting go of our need to have things done our way. But this process is essential if we are to make more room for Christ in our hearts and in our lives.
As mentioned in my pastor’s letter last week, a great deal of pain and brokenness has emerged from the sexual abuse crisis confronting the church. First and foremost, the victims who struggle to put the pieces of their lives back together. Then there are those whose faith has been shattered and they have left the church. We, as clergy, bear the guilt and shame of our brothers who have done these horrific acts. With all this pain and brokenness, there is a need for healing and restoration. With that in mind, the US Bishops have asked that during the Friday’s during Advent that people observe a time of fast and abstinence for healing and restoration. While this is strictly voluntary, I am asking that you, the parishioners of Holy Family, join your priests and bishops as we fast and pray on these Fridays of the Advent season for the victims and for our church that there will be healing, and restoration for all who have been impacted by this crisis.
Many thanks to all of you who have made a pledge towards our capital campaign, Celebrating the Past, Building for Our Future 60th Anniversary Capital Campaign. If you have not yet done so, please return your letter of intent so we can have an accurate picture of where we stand financially so we can move ahead with our plans. Especially with the end of the year approaching, this is a good time to consider making a gift for your charitable giving. Thank you again for all your support.
Fr. Dennis Paul
Second Sunday of Advent
December 9, 2018