From Our Pastor: The Epiphany of the Lord
This weekend is the liturgical end of Christmas with the Solemnity of the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord tomorrow. The traditional end of Christmas was always February 2, the presentation of the Lord in the temple. In the Epiphany we have the revelation of Christ to the world. In the baptism we celebrate the beginning of Christ’s public ministry and the model for us to follow in the transforming waters of the new baptism in the Holy Spirit. In the feast of the presentation of Jesus in the temple we celebrate the light of Christ In the world to cast out the darkness. In these profound days of these mysteries of our faith, much is spelled out for the revelation of our salvation.
Next weekend we have the pleasure of welcoming our bishop Thomas John Paprocki to the parish for a pastoral visit and confirmation. Every five years the bishop will make one of these visits. He will meet with the staff, the councils, and you the people to come to know you all more. He wants to hear from you and us to hear directly from him. While here he will also confirm our children and give them their first communion. It is an honor to have our chief shepherd of our diocese, our apostle, our high priest here with us. Where the bishop is gathered with his priests and people, there is the church. So let us welcome him with great fervor.
He will be here for confirmation at 1p.m. on January 14, and he will also celebrate the 4:30 mass. Also if you are a member of the parish council, the finance council, or the school board, please save the date of his visit and leave the opportunity for dinner and discussion open around 6 p.m. in the parish hall after the evening mass. Please attend these liturgies and welcome him to our parish. Tell him of the great things happening here and let him know of our devotion to the bishop of our diocese.
In a few weeks, Feb. 11-12, Steve Agrisano will play at all of the masses here at St. Francis Solanus, and then Feb. 13 and 14 he will give us a parish mission. Please keep these dates available and make the time. Steve is a big name in the Catholic world, especially in the Catholic music world. It is very exciting to have him here! Some have asked if they can help sponsor his visit or offset the substantial cost to bring him here. If you or your business would like to make a donation to this event, please contact the parish office and we will be very excited for the help and for any kind of advertising for the sponsorship of the event. I am always grateful for those who step forward to make these wonderful events possible.
Thank you to all those who attended the memorial mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI this past Wednesday. It is so very humbling to see so many come to pray for the repose of the soul of this faithful servant of servants of God. If you have not read his encyclical, “God is Love,” please do so, or read any of his writings. He is a great teacher on a level all can grasp. What a humble and gentle shepherd. Please continue to pray for the repose of his soul.
Lastly, many have asked what a “first offering” is in the envelopes. It offsets the cost to the parish of the envelopes themselves. It helps us pay for the cost of printing and shipping these envelopes. Usually, we collect about half of the year’s cost or less of what is needed to pay for this need. Anything you give to this cost is greatly appreciated.
In the new packet of envelopes you will receive a monthly capital campaign envelope. You may put in monthly, you may donate directly from your investment accounts or retirement accounts, tax free directly to the parish, or make a large one-time donation. You will be hearing much more about the many projects this capital campaign is going to fund, but also for a more specific pledge, in which what you have already given may be included in that pledge. We have much to take care of and most of it needed to be done some time ago! I thank you in advance for any of your help in responding to the Lord’s call to provide for the needs of the parish.
-Rev. Steven Arisman