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From the Pastor's Desk - November 23, 2011

Dear Parishioners,

As we begin today a new liturgical year with the Season of Advent and begin using the new Roman Missal, we remember that Christ came to save us and to make us and all things new. This began when he was born into our world on the first Christmas day and will reach its culmination when He comes again in glory at His Second Coming. Until then, He comes to us in the sacraments, especially the sacraments of Reconciliation and of the Holy Eucharist to make us new. As we prepare to celebrate once again His First Coming when He was born in Bethlehem, we pray that He will be born in our hearts in a new way this Christmas of 2011. To this end, it is the season of Advent that prepares us to have him renew our hearts as we celebrate Christmas. So, all of us are challenged to let the Advent liturgies and Scripture readings move us to look inside ourselves and recognize where we need Jesus to make us new. We need to ask of ourselves where we still cling to sin and where we can grow in love of God and neighbor.  To do this we need to take the time in the midst of the busyness of this time of year to pray and reflect. Also, it is imperative that we receive the sacrament of Reconciliation in preparation for Christmas, for which there will be ample opportunity to go to confession during the Advent Season (watch the bulletin for information next Sunday concerning the opportunities for this here at St. Joseph). I hope that all of us will seek to come to Jesus in prayer and the sacrament of Reconciliation, whether here at St. Joseph or another parish, so that He can give us the gift of growth in holiness, continuing to fashion us into the new persons that He desires that we become. The whole of our lives is really one big Advent, year-in and year-out we prepare ourselves to celebrate the greatest birth of all that we should desire: birth into the new and everlasting life of heaven, ready to meet the Lord when we go forth from this world at the moments of our deaths and when He comes again in glory on the last day.

As you should all be aware by now as I have already informed the parish in the bulletin, the Christmas Masses will be celebrated in the social hall due to the renovation of the Church not being completed until January. In the coming weeks please watch the bulletin for the times for Christmas Masses. I plan to celebrate two Masses on Christmas Eve so that all who wish to come to Christmas Mass on the evening of December 24th will be accommodated without, I hope, the social hall becoming too overly crowded.

Once again I want to congratulate Coach Adam Kuhl and the Platteview Trojans football team for playing in the C-1 State championship game at Memorial Stadium this last Tuesday.  While they did not end up taking State, it is awesome that they received silver medals and a trophy as the runner-up in C-1. I enjoyed being at the game and seeing them play their hearts out, using their God-given talents to put up a great effort. I imagine that it was a thrill for them to be able to play in Memorial Stadium and I hope that they enjoyed the great season that they had this year.

Have a blessed week and Happy Advent!

God bless,

Fr. Gutowski

This Week

Prayer Intention for the Week
For the sick: Joyce Cockerill, Kathy Ewing, Harriet Green,  Ted Riha, Duane Poser, Sally Leyden, Chrissy Skinner, Jerry Martin.

ACTIVITIES IN THE PARISH
Tues., Oct. 17, Ladies Guild, 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 18, RE, 6:15 p.m.