January 22nd | Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord

Last Sunday ended the Christmas season and I have not yet taken the opportunity to express some words of appreciation. Fr. Mark and I want to extend our appreciation and acknowledge all the time, energy, dedication and efforts that went in by so many of you to make our Advent and Christmas celebrations visually and musically joyful and prayerful.

The Art & Environment Committee consisting of Jeanne Daill, Linda Eichoff, Marty Kadzelia, and Karen Schwartz spent many months and hours reading liturgy documents, developing ideas, planning and procuring materials. They implemented their plans with the help of many volunteers. Those who helped set-up decorations indoors or outdoors for Advent and Christmas at the church and rectory include: Therese Tyk, who designed and made all the festive outdoor pots displayed at the entryways to church and the rectory. Others who helped in various ways with making bows, floral arrangements, moving trees and nativity figures, setting up and taking down, and various other tasks include: Len Eickhoff, Claudia Molina, Soledad Diaz, Jim Fisher, Phil Zwick, Anne Clark, Phyllis Anderson, Jessica Guajardo, Luz Rivero, Georgina Rodriguez, Cristina Ramirez, Rosy Pina, Maria Galvez, Veronica Manzanares, Daniela Molina, Jessica Molina, Jordan Young, Kurt Daill, Aaron & Ryan Woods, Cristina Ramirez, Ruben Manzanares, Miroslava Manzanares, Lucera Manzanares, Ruben Manzanares Jr., Imelda Orig, Shirley Staples, Elise Flagg, Chris Harvey,John Shea, Doug Tyk, Mary Orvino.

Unfortunately, the squirrel families that live in the trees behind the rectory played Christmas grinches! Mr. Feldman provided lights on the trees and bushes surrounding the outdoor Mary shrine, but the squirrels chewed the wires and the lights went out! They did it also to the colored LED lights on four large bushes outside the rectory. Shame on them!! They better watch out if I turn Chardonnay loose on them!!

The music, under the direction of our Director of Music Ministries Frank Sauter, was especially outstanding! The choral and orchestral music prior to midnight Mass was truly inspiring. Thanks to all who played instruments in the orchestra and to the guest conductor, Shaun Schaefers and to Ben Gruman who played cello in the trio version of “O Holy Night”. Thanks to our Adult Choir for their voices leading us in prayerful song and to soloist Emily Brink. Thanks to our Children’s Choir, Mercy Singers, and all the musicians and cantors who provided music for our Masses during the Advent and Christmas season. Thanks as well to all the liturgical ministers who served for Advent and Christmas Masses.

The parish staff thank all who dropped off goodies in the office for us to share. Fr. Mark, Deacon Senovio and I wish to extend our deep gratitude for all the personal gifts and cards we received. We are humbled by your generosity and kindness! We truly feel the love and support of the wonderful parishioners at Our Lady of Mercy.

Our 2019 Christmas collection through envelopes, cash, and on-line giving totaled $64,400. This is approximately $12,000 less than the Christmas collection last year. Thank you for your generosity.

Have a blessed week!

Fr Don