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From the Pastor's Desk - December 27, 2012

Dear Parishioners,
As we celebrate the feast day of the Holy Family this Sunday, we look to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their love and respect for one another as the model for our family life. Whether in the family of the home or the family of the Church, we find in their example of holiness and their care for one another the challenge to always treat one another with reverence and to recognize the gift of each person's life. At the end of last year, on December 28, 2011, at his Wednesday audience, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the life of the Holy Family as reminding us of the importance of prayer in the family:

"The house of Nazareth is a school of  prayer where we learn to listen, to meditate, to penetrate the deepest meaning of the manifestation of the Son of God, drawing our example from Mary, Joseph and Jesus.

"The Holy Family is an icon of the domestic Church, which is called to pray together. The family is the first school of prayer where, from their infancy, children learn to perceive God thanks to the teaching and example of their parents. An authentically Christian education cannot neglect the experience of prayer. If we do not learn to pray in the family, it will be difficult to fill this gap later. I would, then, like to invite people to rediscover the beauty of praying together as a family, following the school of the Holy Family of Nazareth".

Speaking of the Holy Family, I encourage you to visit the Holy Family Shrine here in Sarpy County. It is a beautiful place to go as a family or as an individual to pray for our families, asking Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, during a visit there, to watch over and guide all of our family members. I expect Archbishop Lucas to designate the Shrine as one of the pilgrimage sites for obtaining the Year of Faith indulgence. I will provide further information on this once I have obtained it.

In my last column, when I spoke of recent gifts to our parish, I forgot to mention the statue of Our Lady of Fatima that is now in the chapel. It was donated in memory of Ray Heimes by Chuck and Diane Bruning, friends of Ray and his family. It has been placed in the area where Ray would sit for daily Mass and could be found praying beforehand. It is a beautiful reminder of Ray who gave so generously to our parish and Springfield community in various ways.

Thank you to all who helped to make our Christmas liturgies so beautiful, especially Candy Connery, our musicians, and our choir members, as well as Lisa and Cassie Kesler, Kathy Long, Theresa Starks, and members of our youth group who put up the Christmas decorations. Thank you to Carl Weiss who resized our Advent wreath and got it set up in church for Advent and then in the entry area for Christmas.

Also, I want to wish all of you a happy new year. I pray that it will be a grace-filled one for all of us.

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.