Bulletin (December 21, 2003)

This Sunday we offer our 11 a.m. Mass as a “six-month Mass” for Sharon Carriere. Her husband, Duane, and other members of the Carriere family will be present at the Mass. As I mentioned last Sunday, Sharon was a person who lived the joy of Christ in spite of great personal suffering. She had a debilitating disease called Wegener’s Syndrome, which caused her great pain, but Sharon hardly ever showed it. Sharon always greeting each person enthusiastically, making them feel they were the most important. For most of her adult life she dedicated herself to the parish, first as a volunteer, then as a member of the staff. On the anniversary of her death next June will be re-dedicate the Ailbe House library in memory of Sharon. You are probably aware we are in the process of refurbishing the library and the entire Ailbe House. Of course we can only advance according to available funds. We would gratefully receive any donations in memory of Sharon.

Thank you to all who contribute food and Christmas presents for needy families. Our parish St. Vincent de Paul and our Madre Teresa group have been working hard to make this a beautiful Christmas for all our brothers and sisters. A special thanks to Holy Family school children for their food drive and for their collection of items for Angelorum Pregnancy Services. At our November Parish Council meeting, we discussed making a simple invitation to people who were once a vital part of Holy Family, but who in recent years have gone elsewhere. During the first weeks of December I asked for names and addresses of those you would like me to invite back. This week I sent a letter asking them to “come home for Christmas.” Please do your part to invite other to return to their parish home, especially as we celebrate the great feast of Jesus’ birth.

The Christmas Masses will be special this year. Pat Waite has formed a beautiful children’s choir and they have been working hard to prepare for the 5 p.m. vigil Mass on Christmas Eve. Also this year we will have a Midnight Mass, preceded by a Service of Lessons and Carols at 11 p.m. This choir, directed on a volunteer basis by Paul Grady, has also been practicing diligently. On Christmas morning we will have Masses at 8 and 11 a.m. in English. The two-bit collection of the Christmas Masses will be for our parish St. Vincent de Paul.

After Christmas I am looking forward to seeing the third part of the Lord of the Rings. Friends who have seen the movie tell me it is wonderful. Tolkien’s masterpiece has captured the imagination of huge numbers of people, but most are not aware of his devout Catholic faith. His parents died when he was young and a priest raised him and his brother. He had a deep faith which influenced all aspects of his life. His spirituality centered on the Eucharist. He once wrote in a letter to his son, "I hold before you the one thing to love in life, the Blessed Sacrament." Describing his Catholic faith Tolkien wrote, "I fell in love with the Blessed Sacrament from the beginning--and by the mercy of God never have fallen out again." He also wrote of the "never-ceasing silent appeal of the Tabernacle." (See: Joseph Pearce, Tolkien Man and Myth, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1998, p.199 [TMM]) In a 1953 letter to Robert Murray, a Jesuit priest, Tolkien wrote, "The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision For the religious element is absorbed into the story and symbolism." (TMM, 100) As Peter Kreeft said, in our time they ring out like a clear bell in a foggy swamp. They reveal Truth Himself. No doubt that’s why The Lord of the Rings, in three separate polls, was named the Book of the Century.

Looking for a last minute Christmas gift? In the parish office you can purchase tickets for the Fr. Corapi retreat on March 5-6, here at Holy Family Parish. Fr. Corapi has a powerful message for high school students and young adults.

Este domingo tendremos una misa de seis meses por el eterno descanso de Sharon Carriere. Ella dedicó su vida a la parroquia como voluntaria y luego como miembro del equipo parroquia. A pesar de una enfermedad que le causó mucho dolor, siempre mantenía una sonrisa y recibió a cada persona con entusiasmo. En su primer aniversario de fallecimiento (junio de 2004) vamos a re-dedicar la biblioteca de la Ailbe House en su honor.

Gracias todos que contribuyeron regalos para niños y comida para familias necesitadas de nuestra comunidad. El día sábado, nuestro grupo de Madre Teresa, junto con el San Vicente de Paúl de la parroquia, ha distribuido estas donaciones para familias necesitadas.

La misa de Navidad en español comenzará a las 7 p.m., el día 24 de diciembre. El día de Navidad habrá misa en español a las 12:30 p.m. Las segundas colectas de estas misas serán dedicadas a los pobres por medio del grupo Madre Teresa. Si van al cine como familia durante el tiempo de Navidad, recomiendo El Señor de los Anillos (Lord of the Rings). El libro, en tres encuestas, fue nombrado como el mejor libro del siglo veinte. El autor, J.R.R. Tolkien era un católico muy devoto. Sus papás murieron cuando era niño y él y su hermano fueron criados por un sacerdote en Inglaterra. En sus cartas, escribió que el Santísimo Sacramento era el centro de su vida y que el Señor de los Anillos es fundamentalmente un libro religioso y católico.