The Pastor's Pen
Today we step into a new liturgical year as we begin the season of Advent. This is the shortest Advent possible, with the Fourth Sunday of Advent falling on Christmas Eve. No doubt these weeks will fly by. I hope you will use The Little Blue Book, that you received in the mail. The reflections are on the Infancy Narrative of St. Matthew. Take six minutes a day, as it says on the introductory page, for quiet prayer and reading. The book provides the framework to enjoy one of the Church’s oldest traditions of prayer called lectio divina – sacred reading. Step out of the busyness of these days to make your spiritual preparation for Christmas. Be sure to read about the two step marriage process in the time of Joseph and Mary for Wednesday this week. Set your Advent wreath in a prominent place as a focal point for this holy season. Additionally, sign up online for Your Best Advent Ever to get daily emails from Dynamic Catholic. O Come O Come Emmanuel!
I want to draw your attention to the new artwork in church, just hung last week for the Feast of Christ the King. In the vestibule is the beautiful mosaic of Christ the King, placed there to say who we are; you are entering the Church of Christ the King. We have never had His image in the vestibule before. In the church located in the archways by the choir is the mosaic of St. Joseph, holding the child Jesus. Never before have we had an image of St. Joseph, which balances the mosaic of Mary. I specifically chose this image of Joseph holding Jesus, just as Mary is holding the Christ child. Each of these pieces is actually an icon in mosaic. In the back, by the Reconciliation Room are four new icons of the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Their color is spectacular. Icons are meant to draw you into their beauty and mystery, where God speaks to your heart. Imagine these saints, before and behind us, wrapping us in their prayers. All these art pieces were donated by parishioners and the Altar and Rosary Society. Additionally, the new high table in the vestibule was paid for by a parishioner and the Men’s Club. Thanks to their generous stewardship, these beautiful additions to our church were at no expense to the parish budget.
I am grateful as well to the small group from the Church Renovation Committee that assisted with all this. Our vision was to bring beautiful art into our beautiful church. We have a 21st century church, now with art forms going back over a millennium. The Church has been a preserver of the arts. Go up close to these pieces to see the fine details of the tiles, the colors, and praise the Lord.
With the small group assisting me, we had a vision to keep the vestibule uncluttered. Hence the attractive, acrylic wall rack for bulletins and flyers and pamphlets. Note there are no bulletin boards. When something important is to be posted, we will use boards on the tripods. Note that the pictures of Pope Francis and Bishop Paprocki are back up on the walls. The final touches are to put the title over the mosaic with a spotlight. No doubt you are walking into a Catholic Church.
Our first Season of Stewardship: Disciples in Action, was well done. On Commitment Sunday, 251 households returned their Intention Card for time, talent and treasure come 2018. Thanks to all who responded. You will be contacted soon for your chosen ministry. For your year-end giving, please consider your parish first so we can make up our budget shortfall going into the new year. You can see that pledges are being completed for our capital campaign, and other giving has been outstanding. But dollars in the regular collection for our normal operations have been short. I am counting on you to keep us fiscally strong. Today we begin using the new Breaking Bread hymnals. Please use tender loving care with the book to last the next 52 weeks.
Advent peace to you,