As we draw near to the great season of Christmas, I just want to wish all of you a holy, happy, and joy-filled Christmas! May you and your family be blessed with good health and much happiness.
As a small token of appreciation to all of the many volunteers in our parish, our Christmas gift this year is to offer a Mass each month during 2019 for you and your intentions. Check the bulletin for when those Masses are being offered if you would like to attend. These Masses are being celebrated on some Sundays and at both of our daily Masses. Thank you so much for all you do to make Saint Joan of Arc a thriving parish!
To all of our Altar Servers and MCs: A Christmas gift of movie tickets is waiting for you in the sacristy. Thanks for the time and service you give to the parish all year long!
To all the People of Saint Joan of Arc, my Midnight Mass (it is actually at Midnight!) will be for you, your families, and for all your intentions.
God bless you all and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Bishop Ronald Gainer will host listening sessions throughout the Diocese of Harrisburg in January and February of 2019. He encourages anyone with questions regarding the Grand Jury Report, the Diocese’s response to abuse, our path forward, or any other questions or concerns to attend one of these sessions. Each session will include opening remarks from Bishop Gainer and retired Pennsylvania State Police Capt. Janet McNeal, who was recently hired to oversee the youth protection efforts of the Diocese. Following their brief remarks, the floor will be opened for questions.
The schedule for these sessions is as follows:
In order to make the sessions welcoming and to encourage discussion,
video and audio recording will not be permitted.
If you are unable to attend one of these sessions but would still like to ask
Bishop Gainer a question, please email your question to AskBishopGainer@hbgdiocese.org.
This Third Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete Sunday.” The term comes from the beginning of the antiphon used at the beginning of Mass: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” “Gaudete” means Rejoice!” In the midst of this Advent Season, we recognize that the Birthday of the Lord is only nine days away! The liturgical color of purple is lightened to the color rose. Sometimes I think that we need to “lighten up” in our lives! If we Christians are supposed to “rejoice,” to “be joyful,” then we need to have a sense of humor, give others the benefit of the doubt, and get rid of all negativity. Saint Teresa of Avila used to say, “Lord, deliver me from somber saints!” and G. K. Chesterton wrote, “The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly!” Let us be joyful saints who don’t take ourselves so seriously. Life is good and God is even better! Yes, there are sorrows and sufferings but the blessings of the Lord are too numerous to count!
Have a good rest of this Advent Season!
Answers To Your Questions:
“Father, the money that I give to the collection each Sunday and Holy day…is that used exclusively by the parish?”
The answer is “Yes.” The monies that are collected each week go to pay all of our bills (salaries and benefits for our employees, maintenance of parish properties, support of our 61 ministries and organizations, utilities, and all the temporal needs of our parish). We pay an assessment to Bishop McDevitt High School and to help pay the salaries of our hospital chaplains. The only money that the diocese receives for its operations is from the Bishop’s Annual Lenten Appeal. That amount is an assessment from the diocese and if we have shortfall in meeting that assessment we make it up from parish savings. The money that you give really does stay in the parish!
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