Dear Parish Family,Fr. Chas
Due to the bulletin publishers’ deadlines for the holy days, I am writing this to you on Dec. 23, even before the Christmas season begins.  Thank you in advance to all our parishioners who have volunteered for the special hospitality we extended to all those attending our Christmas Masses.  By being attentive and giving of yourself to others, you have given witness to the true spirit of Christmas!  I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas thus far!  The feast of the Epiphany we celebrate this Sunday, Jan. 3, has traditionally been celebrated on Jan. 6, after the Twelve Days of Christmas (Dec. 25 to Jan. 5).  To make it easier for the faithful to participate, however, most dioceses have transferred the feast’s observance to the Sunday between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8 inclusive.

December was one very busy month for our Christian Service Committee!  The annual Cookie Walk benefited their various projects and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.  This year, there were TWO Christmas Giving Trees:  one that helped families in need of gifts for their children and a second new giving tree with tags from the St. Vincent de Paul pantries who were in great need of food and household supplies.  There was a lot of hard work that goes into organizing and executing these service projects, so please join me in expressing our appreciation to our Christian Service Committee members:  Barb Socie, Beverly Dillay, Cassie Mydosh, Dan & Denise Lindsay, Daphne Smith, Lesia Pikaart, Diane Manor, Diane Ellis, Jackie Garrison, Jeanne Everett and Mary Miskowski. Not only are we grateful for the Christian Service Committee for spearheading all of this, but I want to thank and commend you, our parishioners.  If it were not for you, there would be no gifts to give!  On behalf of Christian Service, Barb Socie expressed:
As parents picked up their family gifts on Saturday, all of them expressed their heartfelt appreciation, some with tearful thanks, and all with joyful hugs and prayers.  This project was an amazing show of the corporal works of mercy in action.  The Christian Service Committee is grateful for your help in making this a very successful project.  Saturday morning’s gift wrapping, while listening to Christmas music, was made more enjoyable because of your extra hands-on help too.  “God’s gift of peace is our prayer for you, with our thanks and love at Christmas and the whole year through!”
Finally, the season of Lent has an early start this year with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 10. I mention this now because I’d like for folks to “save the date” for our next Alpha in which I would invite all of our parishioners to take part as their Lenten spiritual exercise.  It will be on Friday evenings beginning February 12!
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Chas