Weekly pastor’s post (December 10)

Dear friends,

As we enter into the second week of the new liturgical year, I hope that Advent has been going well for you so far. For myself, I find that even though the season is relatively straightforward the days move too quickly. And with the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on Friday, it certainly was an eventful week!

This coming Sunday will be Gaudete Sunday – taking its name from the first word of the entrance antiphon: ‘Rejoice’! Marking the halfway point to Christmas, we will light the rose candle and use rose vestments. Its use is a neat visual mix of the coming Christmas season (whose liturgical color is white) and the current Advent season (whose liturgical color is violet) – put them together and you get rose.

This lighter moment is meant to be a retreat from the preparatory nature of Advent – but we ought not forget that Advent is a preparation. May we use this time well, both rejoicing at Christ’s coming and examining our hearts & lives, so that when He comes, He may find us ready.

yours in Christ,
Father Maurer

P.S. Saint Mark parish is offering extra confession times during Advent: Wednesday through Friday, from 5pm to 6pm and on Saturday from 3 pm to 4:30 pm.

P.S.S. This Friday we’re watching It’s A Wonderful Life. I hope you’ll join us! Our last movie night on December 22nd could still use your input – if you’re planning on coming then too, visit our online poll to vote on or suggest which movies we should watch.

December 11 – Today is the memorial of Saint Damasus I. He was elected pope in 366 – which was particularly unusual due to the fact that he was a deacon at the time. Moreover, another group tried to select their own pope and violently enforce their selection! Despite the struggles of his pontificate, Saint Damasus I was able to accomplish a great deal, including establishing Latin as the liturgical language of the Church as well as working to preserve & restore much of the physical heritage of the Church. Read more at Loyola Press.

December 12 – Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. During my time in seminary, I had the opportunity to spend two summers in Mexico for Spanish language-immersion classes. While I was there, I was able to visit the shrine of Guadalupe – I am still grateful for having the opportunity to pray there and see the tilma on which Mary’s image was miraculously placed. Though we do not have Spanish-speaking ministry at Saint Mark parish, I hope you’ll join me in venerating the Virgin of Guadalupe! Read more at Word on Fire.

December 13 – Saint Lucy – whose memorial is today – is one of the early Christian martyrs. Executed for her faith in the fourth century, her torturers first removed her eyes – but she refused to give in to their demands. For her faithful witness, she is not only venerated by the Church but included in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I). Read more at Franciscan Media.

December 14 – Today is the memorial of Saint John of the Cross. Due to the efforts of him and Teresa of Jesus, the first house of Discalced Carmelites was established – a joint effort to reform the Carmelite Order. Read more at the Vatican News website.