Let your goodness, Lord, appear to us, that we, made in your image, conform ourselves to it. In our own strength we cannot imitate your majesty, power, and wonder; nor is it fitting for us to try. But your mercy reaches from the heavens, through the clouds, to the earth below. You have come to us as a small child, but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal love. Caress us with your tiny hands, embrace us with your tiny arms, and pierce our hearts with your soft, sweet cries. Amen.
Mother of God, we sing your praises,
but we must praise you even more.
Our speech is too feeble
to honor you as we ought,
for no tongue is eloquent enough
to express your excellence.
Mary, most powerful, most holy,
and worthy of all love.
Your name brings new life,
and the thought of you inspires love
in the hearts of those devoted to you.
–St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Advent is such an entry way; occurring right after the season of harvest and Thanksgiving. It marks the beginning of a new “Christian Year.” The past year may have brought us both joy and sorrow, success and failure. We end it giving thanks for the strength that carried us through. We are grateful for what we have learned and for what we still have as the year comes to a close. We invite everyone, adults and children, to participate in “My Advent Offering” folder, which is in the back of church. Take it home with you and return on Christmas Day and offer it to the Lord, along with the gift of your heart.
The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe commemorates the 4 apparitions of Mary in 1531 to the peasant Juan Diego on Tepeyac hill near Mexico City. Appearing like a Mexican princess, Mary told him that a church should be built there. When Juan told the bishop, he demanded proof. Mary sent Juan to gather some roses (unusual in December) to present to the bishop. When Juan opened his cloak to give the roses to the bishop, they also discovered a painted image the Blessed Virgin imprinted on the cloak, which is now preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Under this title, Mary was declared patron of New Spain (1710), of Latin America (1910), queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas (1945) and patroness of the Americas (1999).
Pope Francis reminds us that “like Jesus, Mary is close to all her sons and daughters; as a concerned mother, she accompanies them on their way through life. She shares all the joys and hopes, and sorrows of God’s people, which is made up of men and women of every race and nation.” “O Gracious and Loving Mary, Lady of Guadalupe, through your presence make us aware of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. May Christ send us blessings of peace and harmony, and may we receive love and the healing we need to get closer to him.” —Pope St. John XXIII (October 12, 1961)
We celebrated the 60th anniversary of the St. Gerard Majella Church, as well as the Feast Day of St. Gerard Majella. We had a lovely reception after mass on Sunday, October 15. Raffle ticket winners were announced. Pictures from the event are included below.