Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
On December 8th the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the solemn dogma defined by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1854. As Our Lady Immaculately Conceived is the patroness of the United States of America, this is a holy day of obligation in the United States.
*St. Joan of Arc Church will celebrate Mass at these times:
Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Blessed Pope Pius IX proclaimed on December 8, 1854:
"The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." - Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Christmas Giving Tree Program, sponsored by the St. Vincent de Paul Society, is underway! St. Joan of Arc parishioners have been very generous in the past creating a blessed Christmas for our neighbors in need!!! Trees decorated with ornaments listing recipient names and suggested gifts will be placed in the church on Saturday, Nov. 25th and remain until Dec. 3th.
Gifts will be collected in the Cafeteria ONLY during these times: December 9th before and after the 5:15 pm Mass and December 10th before the 7:30 am Mass until 1:00 pm. Please note: Gifts will not be accepted in the parish office. We cannot collect after the Sunday 5:30 Mass as the organizations pick up the gifts earlier in the day.
We are starting to advertise for a new Parish Manager to take the place of Dr. Barbara Hasson. I have purposely not hired someone right away so that I can get an idea of the real needs of the parish and what this position will entail. One of the responsibilities of the Parish Manager was the directing and supervising of all matters pertaining to buildings and grounds. Dr. Hasson did a fine job doing this and before her retirement taught our Maintenance Director, Matt Dunkle, what this part of the job involved. I am naming Matt as the new Director of Facilities starting at the beginning of the new fiscal year in July. (He is already doing the work now as Director of Maintenance.) Matt will be in charge of not only buildings and grounds but also the custodial staff.
As we move forward with the Parish Manager position, we want to get the best possible person and that may necessitate flexibility regarding hours, salary, benefits, etc. The position will be responsible in assisting the pastor in the overall administration of the parish with respect to all matters pertaining to personnel, finance, parish committees and organizations, and scheduling. Look forward to an advertisement about this position soon. It might be just the opportunity you are looking for!
Next week at the Noon Mass, Bishop Gainer will be with us as our Celebrant and afterwards will bless our new Parish Center and new Convent. There will be a light reception to follow. I have heard so many good things about our renovations and I know that the priests, the deacon and our staff are all acclimated to our new space and we are enjoying it just fine. The Sisters have told me that they love their new home and I am so happy about that as well. We have alleviated some of our space issues but we still have a few more to address, as well as addressing the fact that our Education Center (for REP and our parochial school) is 70 years old next year. I know that I have been talking about my vision for the future in bulletin columns and informally to parish organizations and individuals over the last two years but soon we (the Parish and Finance Councils, the Development Committee and the Building and Planning Committee) will give the parish a more formal presentation about our needs and ideas about where to go in the future. Look forward to more conversation about this in the new year! Until then, hope to see you all next week as we celebrate with our bishop this wonderful project of which we can be justly proud!
Once again, congratulations to Rev. Mr. Matthew Morelli, our parishioner, who was ordained to the diaconate this past Saturday at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. We are blessed to be having seven ordinations to the priesthood next spring. Please keep all of our seminarians in your daily prayers.
This past week we celebrated the wonderful Solemnity of All Saints as well as the Commemoration of All Souls. These two days begin the month of November in which we remember in a special way all of our beloved dead and also those who have been forgotten. We remember (with sobriety, not morbidity) the fact that all of us must die one day but it is our Christian hope that one day we shall see the Lord face to face. It is truly a Christian sentiment to “Remember death!” (Memento mori)
The month of November is truly the month of the dead but also the time of changing weather. Please be patient as we move from cooling to heating the church. It is hard enough to negotiate “thermostat wars” at home, much less for such a big space as ours! Wear layers if necessary. It is in things like this that we learn patience.
On All Souls Day, November 2nd, the St. Joan of Arc Parish Family remembered our deceased loved ones with a Mass of Remembrance. Those who were buried from St. Joan of Arc Church during this past year (Oct. 1, 2016-Sept 30, 2017) were remembered in a special way. During the month of November please pray for them, and all departed souls.
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