From Fr. David’s Desk
Dear Friends in Christ,
Today’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord concludes the liturgical season of Christmas. It may seem a little strange that Christmas continues so late into January this year; it kind of does to me. Furthermore it may appear to some onlookers that we in the Church are too clingy to Christmas and don’t want to let go of it! Perhaps there is some truth to that suggestion, but I prefer to think along with Holy Mother Church that Christmas is worth savoring, that the extraordinary mystery of the Incarnation needs to be pondered over a number of days (even if the extended period does seem a bit odd sometimes!) Besides, it means more opportunities to linger on the joy of Christmas, to sing the great timeless carols, and to bask in the season’s beauty (and goodies?) That’s not such a bad thing!
How then does Baptism tie in with Christmas? My homily this Sunday fleshes that out a bit, but suffice it to say here that it is all about holiness. God’s ineffable holiness has appeared to us in Jesus Christ (Christmas Day); this holiness has been manifested to the world (Epiphany); a sharing in this same holiness is now offered to us (Baptism.) That’s about as plainly as I can put it! But what about holiness as it pertains to us; can we expound on that point so we know what to do about it? For that, stay tuned for the homily (if you didn’t hear it already)….
Since this Sunday concludes the Christmas Season, it is an opportune time for me in just a few words to offer my deepest heartfelt thanks and admiration to all of you at St. Mary for contributing to the joy, beauty, and professionalism of our Christmas celebrations. I think together we “did” Christmas very well, and I hope you share my pleasure in that regard! There will always be room for improvement of course, or “sharpening the saw” as Dr. Stephen Covey elucidates in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We celebrate what goes well, and tune up what needs sharpening. I for one am always learning; I incorporated a couple of things this Christmas season I have not done for other Christmases, and I have some of you to thank for those ideas!
Again, thank you to each and all of you for making Christmas a wonderful season here at St. Mary! You are a very special people, and I am honored all the more this year to be your pastor.
Coming to St. Mary’s this New Year!
Taize Prayer Service on Friday, January 25th at 7:30PM
This service will last for one hour. It is simply designed to help you rest in the Lord’s loving arms as your week comes to an end.
What is Taizé prayer?
Taizé prayer is a quiet, simple way of prayer designed for people of all Christian traditions. These candle lit services include songs sung repeatedly and meditatively to help us contemplate the presence of God; prayers of praise and intercession: and at the center of every prayer service, a long moment of rich silence which offers an irreplaceable opportunity to encounter God.
Taizé prayer is a meditative form of prayer which strives to make faith a simple expression without diluting it. Many of the songs are derived from psalms. Their repetition enables us to interiorize the beauty and even the “roughness” of the biblical words. Through repetition, the words linger within us with a newfound weight and transparency.
This meditative prayer leads your body and mind to slow down enough to listen to the voice of God deep within you. Don’t expect this to happen immediately, however. Taizé must be experienced several times before entering it wholeheartedly. Take time to become familiar with the mantras so they become automatic. Once this happens, it is incredible how prayerful the experience can be and you will be amazed when you are actually able to enter into it fully.
It’s a great way to start out the New Year and enrich your prayer life and relationship with God!
Here’s something to SMILE about! 🙂
St. Mary’s Church is now connected with AMAZON.SMILE! What is Amazon.Smile? Amazon is dedicated to giving back to charitable organizations like our parish. When you buy online at Amazon, you have the opportunity to have .05% of your purchases donated to St. Mary’s by Amazon. When you sign up for AmazonSmile, you’ll be asked to select from over a million of charities to support. But you can skip this step and click on our unique link. Then you’ll be taken to smile.amazon.com and then automatically asked if you want to support St Mary Church.
Our unique charity link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-2182123
Don’t forget to sign up for St. Mary’s MyParish App today!
Just text App to phone number 88202 or visit myparishapp.com to download. St. Mary’s will not automatically beone of your choices because we are a national parish which means we have no boundaries. Just type in St. Mary 1407 and the site will be available for you to click on and join. Keep yourself up to date on parish events, daily readings, messages, Pope Francis messages, and programs to enhance your faith journey.