December 9, 2018 – Second Sunday of Advent

On this Second Sunday of Advent, I would like to share with you a brief reflection from Pope Francis. “Life is a journey. It is a path, a journey to meet Jesus. It is for the Christian to continually encounter Jesus, to watch him, to let himself be watched over by Jesus, because Jesus watches us with love. He loves us so much and he is always watching over us. To encounter Jesus also means allowing oneself to be gazed upon by him. And the most beautiful gift is to meet Jesus. We meet Jesus every day. How? Our whole life is an encounter with Jesus: in prayer, when we go to Mass, when we do good works, when we visit the sick, when we help the poor, when we think of others, when we are not selfish, when we are loving – in these things we always meet Jesus. “But, Father,” you might say, “you know that this journey is horrible for me, I am such a sinner, I have committed many sins. How can I encounter Jesus?” But remember that the people whom Jesus most sought out were the greatest sinners. And those who believed in themselves righteous criticized him for this saying: this is no true prophet, look what kind of company he keeps! And Jesus said: I came for those in need of salvation, in need of healing. And along the way Jesus comes, heals us and forgives us-for we are all sinners.” So, with this in mind, and with the urging of John the Baptist in today’s gospel to repent, I invite you to our Advent Penance Service this Tuesday, December 11th at 7:00PM. This communal prayer service with the opportunity for individual confession is a great way to prepare for Christmas!

I would like to share with you a report on MercyFest 2018 held October 4th through 7th. Despite the rainy weather, the net profit was $20,538 which was a $2,562 increase over the previous year. Like last year, we will donate $1,200 to Hesed House. The remaining proceeds this year will go toward improving the sound system in the church. I would especially like to thank those who were chairpersons. General Chairs: Tony Leazzo, Tom Martin, Jennifer Leazzo, and Greg Sondag; 5-K, Spencer Coyle & Jennifer Sullivan; Sponsorship, Jennifer Sullivan; Pizza Dinner, Drew Eddy; Music, Bruce Daratta; Food, Mike Peluce & Jeremy Cairney; Security, Rob Pellegrini; Volunteers, Karen Schwartz; Silent Auction, Ann Marie Stone; Basket Raffle, Christine Harvey; Raffle, John Shea; Grounds, John Shea; Kids Activities, Carol Shea; Spaghetti Dinner, Felipe Chavez & Carol Chavez; Beverages, CJ Cox; Fun Fair, Michael Leazzo; Light the Night, Cindy Hapke; Mass in the Tent (didn’t happen due to weather), Phyllis Anderson. Thanks as well to the support of our Business Manager, Bob Gancarz. Also thanks to OLM staff Diane Reiter, Zara Tan, and Len Eickhoff for the many ways they assisted in preparing for MercyFest. Thanks to the over 400 volunteers, and thanks to all those who baked, donated items, and attended MercyFest! Your support was appreciated!!

On November 14th I met with representatives from the MercyFest Committee, Parish Pastoral Council, Finance Council, Fr. Mark and parish staff to discuss the future of MercyFest. I had some concerns and questions I wanted to express. I am happy to report that there is strong support for continuing MercyFest, but with some changes and modifications. The MercyFest committee invites your suggestions, ideas and input. Also, we determined that the main goal for MercyFest is to strengthen the bonds and friendship of the parish community through volunteer service; to pre evangelize our local community by inviting and welcoming them to our campus; and finally to have FUN!!! And if we make some money that would be great too! So mark your 2019 calendar now! MercyFest 2019 will be October 10 – 13. If you have any ideas you would like to share, contact the Chair of next year’s MercyFest, Tom Martin at:

Blessed Advent!

Fr Don