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From the Pastor's Desk - December 2, 2012

Dear Parishioners,

Please be aware that this coming Saturday, December 8, is the holy day of obligation of the Immaculate Conception. This is the patronal feast day for the United States as our bishops from the beginning of our nation entrusted us to the protection of our Lady under her title of the Immaculate Conception. It is a day on which we especially pray for the material, moral, and spiritual well-being of our nation through the intercession of our Lady. We will have holy day Masses at 6:00 PM on the eve of the holy day, Friday, December 7, and at 9:00 AM on Saturday. The 5:00 PM Saturday Mass will only fulfill our obligation for Sunday Mass not for the holy day. Sorry! No two-for-ones! So, we need to attend Mass on Friday evening or Saturday morning here at St. Joseph or another parish. Remember that, just as for Sundays, we have a serious obligation to attend Mass on holy days. Only such things as illness or extreme weather conditions excuse us from the obligation.

As we begin Advent this weekend, it is important that we do especially two things in preparation for Christmas. First, we need to find time for quiet prayer, whether we do this at home or stop by the Church. From before morning Mass each day until at least 9:00 PM the church is open, so I encourage stopping by once a week during Advent for some quiet prayer time in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. Second, the best preparation for Christmas is to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, i.e., to go to confession. As you will see in the insert in this week's bulletin, in addition to the regular confession time on Saturdays (4:00 to 4:45 PM), that on the weekdays and weekend just before Christmas that I have scheduled extra times for confessions.

Also, please note on the insert the schedule of Masses for the holy day of obligation of Christmas. Since we are back in the church this year, the schedule will revert back to what it usually has been. Remember, too, that January 1 is the holy day of obligation of Mary, the Mother of God, so we need to attend Mass on either New Year's eve or day.

Happy Advent! Have a grace-filled and blessed week.

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.