Christmas Every Day

Dear Parishioners,

On December 25, we celebrated Christmas, the birth of our Savior. Since then, it has been the Christmas season in the church, continuing the celebration of Jesus coming into the world.

The first Sunday after Christmas was the Feast of the Holy Family. On that day, we celebrated the family that was formed on Christmas; Saint Joseph, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus our Savior.

The second Sunday after Christmas was the Epiphany. We celebrated the Three Wise Men who were led to the newborn Jesus by following a star. When they arrived, the Wise Men presented Jesus with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Today the Christmas season ends with Jesus, now an adult, being baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Jesus would then begin His public ministry, teaching about the Kingdom of God.

The Christmas season is a beautiful time in the church, remembering Jesus’s birth and the events that followed. Although the season has ended, Jesus is always present. Let’s continue to make Jesus visible.

Christmas is a time when family and friends come together. We think especially about those who are less fortunate and we make a point of giving God time in our lives. If we continue to do this, we will make Jesus visible not only at Christmas, but every day.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

A Family

Dear Parishioners,

I hope everyone enjoyed this past week as we celebrated Christmas. I am sure many of you were together with your families, exchanged presents and enjoyed special time together. I know after the Masses Christmas Day I went to see my family. We exchanged presents and I enjoyed the time with them.

Today we celebrate the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. When we think of them, about what they’ve done and who they are to us, it’s difficult to think of them as any ordinary family. Yet the Holy Family presented to us in today’s Gospel is a truly human family. What they experienced when they lived here on earth is very similar to what so many of us experience in our own lives.

When Mary gave birth to Jesus, a family was formed. Now Joseph already had to make a difficult decision when he learned that Mary was expecting a baby. Then he and Mary were forced to travel to a strange town where Mary would give birth. Because they couldn’t find a room, Mary was forced to give birth in a stable, which is where she gave birth to Jesus and laid Him in a manger.

Today, in our families, we fulfill God’s plan as we go about our regular way of life. Throughout all the changes that have come about in modern living, the family has remained important. It is through regular family life that we can grow in holiness and in knowledge of God’s Will. It is by facing Life’s happiness and difficulties together as a family that we grow in understanding and in love.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Christmas

Dear Parishioners,

We’re about to celebrate Christmas, and there are many traditions that we may follow. Of course there are Christmas cookies, decorating the tree and the exchanging of presents. When we think of these traditions, we think about coming together with family and loved ones.

On Christmas, we’re celebrating a family; the family that was formed that night in a stable in Bethlehem. We’re also celebrating the love that we continue to receive from that stable. That loves brings us together to celebrate Christmas!

At this time, we also want to remember anyone who is in need of our prayers. Christmas is a difficult time for those who are alone, who have recently lost a loved one or are battling a serious illness. We want to pray for them and that they’re able to recognize the Christ child.

We also want to remember our servicemen and women, along with their families. As we continue to pray for peace, let’s also pray for our troops to return home safely and be together with their families.

Christmas has that unifying force. We celebrate that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son into the world so we could be saved, so we can one day live with God for all eternity. As we celebrate Christmas, let’s recognize the love God has for each one of us. Let’s return that love through our love for God and for one another.

To all Parishioners of St. Joseph and your families, have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Rejoice!

Dear Parishioners,

It is the third Sunday of Advent, and Christmas keeps getting closer. In the Catholic Church, the third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday. The word “gaudete” is Latin for rejoice. It sets a tone of joyful expectation for the Lord’s birth.

By following the message of love that Jesus gave us, we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Jesus also taught us humility, to love our neighbor as ourselves. By living as Jesus taught us, we make Jesus visible and will have a true celebration of Christmas.

“May I be no one’s enemy, and may I be the friend of that

which is eternal and abides.

May I love, seek and attain only that which is good.

May I wish for all people’s happiness and envy none.

May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me.

May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent.

May I, to the extent of my power, give all needful help to

my friends and to all who are in want.

May I be able, by gentle and healing words, to soften the pain of those in grief.

May I respect myself. May I always tame that which rages within me.

May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked

things they have done, but know good people

and follow in their footsteps.”

Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 263-339)


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Advance Man

Dear Parishioners,

Back in ancient times when a king planned to visit a certain town, he sent an “advance man” ahead of him. Because few ancient roads were paved with gravel or stone, the advance man would have the people fill up mud holes and straighten out the paths. Another thing the advance man did was instruct the people in the proper protocol for receiving the king.

In the season of Advent, the Church is the advance man. It focuses our attention on Jesus. It tells us Jesus is coming and discusses how to prepare for Him.

In today’s gospel, John the Baptist was Jesus’s advance man. He saw that the roads were prepared and told the people to be kind to one another, just as Jesus teaches us.

As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’s coming, we too want to follow Jesus’s teaching of kindness to one another. Along with preparing to celebrate Jesus’s birth, we’re also preparing for Jesus’s second coming when we receive our final judgment.

So let’s see the church as Jesus’s advance man. In our kindness to one another, we’re following Jesus’s message of love. Then we will be preparing to celebrate Jesus’s birth at Christmas. We will also be preparing for His second coming at the end of time.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick


Preparation

Dear Parishioners,

The season of Advent has begun. At this time of year, it is getting darker earlier and the temperature outside is colder. It is also the time of year when we enjoy coming home in the evening to the warmth of our home and to be with our family.

The season of Advent is a season of preparation. We are preparing to celebrate the birth of our Savior. On the first Sunday of Advent, the first candle on the Advent wreath is lit. Each Sunday in Advent, an additional candle will be lit symbolizing that we are closer to Jesus’s coming into the world.

It is important to remember that every day for us is a time of preparation. In the season of Advent, we prepare to celebrate when Jesus first came into the world. But every day we are preparing for when Jesus comes a second time and we face our final judgment.

During the season of Advent, we may feel closer to one another as we buy gifts and plan for our Christmas celebration. We may also find ourselves being kinder to one another as we prepare for our special day. But the extra time we give to God and the extra goodness we show to one another is not only to happen during Advent. This is how Jesus asks us to live every day.

We truly show our love for God and others in Advent as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Let’s be sure to remember that every day is a time of preparation. So after we celebrate Christmas, nothing needs to change. Jesus will come again. Let’s prepare for His coming that day the same way we prepare to celebrate His first coming – through our love for God and one another.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

A Humble King

Dear Parishioners,

Today in the Catholic Church, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Jesus’s kingship represents the greatest gift for which we are thankful, the gift of eternal life.

Jesus was a humble king. He showed His greatest power by giving His life for us. By His dying and rising, He gained for us forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.

‘When we go to the Lord in prayer, we thank Him for everything He has done for us. Let’s always remember to thank Him for the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Parishioners,


This coming Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together with family and loved ones and reflect about everything for which we are thankful.

We can all think back to people who have been important to us, along with special events that have taken place. As we do this, we can recognize so much for which we are thankful. When we gather around the table, we can share with one another something for which we are particularly thankful.

Mass will be celebrated here at St. Joseph’s Church at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. As we look back throughout this past year as well as our entire life, we can come to Mass and thank God for the many gifts He has given us.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our parishioners and your families!


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick