Feast of the Holy Family

12-29-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today is the feast of the Holy Family. Traditionally, it was celebrated on the first Sunday after Epiphany. Since 1969, it has been celebrated on the Sunday after Christmas. It is an important feast not only because of the holiness of the Holy Family, but also because it teaches us that holiness is a part of each and every family. Sadly, this feast has been co-opted for political purposes from people on both the right and the left, but if we take the Christmas story seriously, the Holy Family is not political but rather theological and an example of faith. Mary and Joseph said "yes" to God's plan. God wanted to ether into His creation in order to redeem His people and to show us the extent of His love. He broke into the world through the Incarnation when he was conceived in the Blessed Mother's womb. He was placed in the arms of His Mother, Mary, and of His foster father, St. Joseph.

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Fourth Week of Advent

12-22-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Christmas is only a few days away. For the last eight years, I have been involved in parishes where we wrap up a book to give away to the parishioners for Christmas. It is an attempt to evangelize, especially those visitors who come to Mass only twice a year. Now, I know some of you are probably saying, "Who reads books anymore?" and that is a valid question. Very few people take the time to leisurely read a book and soak in the words on every page. Most people either read off their kindles or listen to books off of the internet or in their cars.

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Third Week of Advent

12-15-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

As we get closer to the celebration of Christmas, the Church, in her liturgies, ramps up the themes of hope and expectation. Today we use rose vestments, to take a break from the penitential color of violet, in order to express joy.

Next Sunday we will be hearing about the birth of Christ and how the angel approached St. Joseph in a dream and told him not to be afraid to take Mary into his home. Pretty soon, we will also experience the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and as we make our last preparations for Christmas day, the days start to become longer. We will not notice the light for a few weeks, but by the time we celebrate Epiphany in January, we should notice that the light that has come into the world, Jesus Christ, has started to dispel the darkness of winter as we move to rebirth of spring. Our more immediate concerns, at least for many people, are the last minute shopping for Christmas presents and preparing for the various Christmas parties that will be celebrated. As wonderful as it is that we want to share the joy of gift giving and the celebration of Christmas parties, we will need to make a concerted effort in these next ten days to remember what this season is really all about.

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Feast of the Immaculate Conception

12-08-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today, December 8th, is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, but today, in the Catholic Church, we are celebrating the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Because the Sundays of Advent have a special place in the liturgy, the Immaculate Conception is bumped to tomorrow, December 9th . The Immaculate Conception is also a Holy Day of Obligation, but this year, because it is bumped from Sunday to Monday, the obligation to attend Mass is lifted.

Of course, even though it is not a Holy Day this year, it is still an important day that we as Catholics celebrate, and it would be fitting to come to Mass Monday morning to celebrate our Lady. She is the Mediatrix of All Graces precisely because of this feast, which celebrates the conception of our Blessed Mother in the womb of her mother, St. Anne. The Catholic Church recognizes the importance of conception by honoring our Blessed Mother with this feast day, but it is not the only conception so honored.

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First Sunday of Advent

12-01-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

We have reached the beginning of the Liturgical calendar once again. Today begins the great season of Advent, the season of preparation not only for the commemoration of the birth of our Savior but also a reminder that there is a Second Coming of Christ. For many this second coming happens or will happen at our death, but our faith reminds us that Jesus will come again in glory at the Second Coming, as He Himself mentioned in Sacred Scripture many times. No one knows the time nor the hour of when He will come back, but in the meantime we live our lives in hopeful expectation that if He comes again during our lifetime we will be ready for Him. We are called to live each day as if it were our last. By doing so, we are called to a daily conversion so that we will be found worthy of entering into God's kingdom.

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