Bulletin (December 25, 2005)

During these past weeks, many people have wished us “Happy Holidays.” I realize this greeting is an attempt at cultural inclusivity, but you and I can take it in a deeper sense. The literal meaning of holiday is Holy-Day. The word holy means set apart or sacred to the Lord. I hope that this Christmas is a holiday for all of you, a day to remember the greatest gift: God-made-man and born as a child in Bethlehem.

The Irish have a lovely blessing for Christmas, which I would like to extend to you:

May the right hand of God ever hold you in keeping
Through coming and going, through waking and sleeping,
May the love of the Christ-Child your spirit be lighting
And the smile of His Mother your heart be delighting;
May Blessed St. Joseph be near you in sorrow,
And the high Saints of Erin be guarding your morrow,
May Peace be your treasure, and long be your living,
With joy in good measure for taking and giving.
In friendship go leor beyond bound or expressing
To your door I am sending this Christmas blessing.

When you have a quiet moment after Christmas, I recommend two helpful booklets. One is the Guide to Narnia, which answers 100 questions about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. If you haven’t yet seen the movie, you will no doubt desire to do so during the Christmas holidays. The booklet will help you understand the deeper meaning behind this beautiful children’s story – and it will help you to discuss it with your children or grandchildren. A second booklet that you should have in your home is Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth. With over five million copies in print, it is the most popular short explanation of the Catholic way of life. It lays out God’s plan for you: “What you must do to be saved.” Pillar of Fire is well worth reading (or re-reading) as we begin a new year. You will find these booklets in our vestibule pamphlet rack, along with other worthwhile reading material. For the Guide to Narnia, we ask a $4 donation and for Pillar of Fire, $1, which can be placed in the collection or one of the candle stand strong boxes.

Since Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, the Feast of the Holy Family is celebrated on December 30 (Friday). Please make an effort to attend the 8:30 a.m. Mass for our parish’s patronal feast. There will also be a Spanish Mass at 7:30 p.m. this Friday. Next Sunday (New Year’s Day) is the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. English Masses will be at the regular times: 5 p.m. Saturday, 8 and 11 a.m. Sunday morning. There will be a bilingual Mass on New Year’s Eve at 11 p.m.

May God grant you and your family a Holy Christmas and a New Year filled with his blessings!

De parte del Padre Ramón, el Diacono Abel y todo el equipo parroquial, quisiera expresar el deseo que Vd. tenga una Feliz Navidad y que el Año Nuevo esté lleno de la bendiciones de Dios. Mi deseo es que todo miembro de nuestra parroquia reciba el don mayor – el Niño Dios mismo. El quiere bendecir nuestros hogares con paz, armonía y bienestar pero tenemos que abrir nuestros corazones a él. Como dice un bello himno de Navidad:

Noche de paz, Noche de amor 
Llena el cielo un resplandor
En la altura resuena un cantar 
Os anuncia una dicha sin par 
Que en la tierra ha nacido Dios 
Hoy en Belén de Judá. 

Como ayuda a vivir el significado de nuestra fe, quiero recomendar el librito Columna de Fuego, Columna de Verdad. Se puede comprar por solamente un dólar a la entrada Roxbury del templo. También hay folletos y libros en inglés, incluyendo el Guía a Narnia, que contesta a cien preguntas sobre la película, El Leon, la Bruja y el Ropero. Recomiendo la película para toda la familia durante este tiempo de Navidad. Que Dios los bendiga abundantemente.