I hope that all of you had a restful and enjoyable celebration of Thanksgiving. I so enjoyed starting off Thanksgiving day with Mass, and it’s the one day where I don’t preach but all of you do. During the time for the homily people are invited to share from the heart about why they feel grateful. This year many Spanish-speaking people took the microphone to speak and Philippe Kreiter translated. One person, an immigrant, expressed gratitude for being in a parish where he could feel safe and accepted, and to be one parish community at Mass on Thanksgiving Day. What we shared expressed the true spirit of Thanksgiving, which is about joyful gratitude to God.
Earlier in the week, the students of Holy Redeemer School delivered 1,138 lbs. of food items to our St. Vincent de Paul office. The students carry out an annual food drive in order to help fill the Christmas boxes that will be delivered by St. Vincent de Paul volunteers. This is a beautiful way that our students reach out to families of humble means. Nick Santangelo told me how proud he was of our students. He also mentioned that drivers are needed to help deliver the Christmas boxes to families. If you can help, please contact St. Vincent de Paul.
Another way to serve the poor this time of year is through the Giving Tree. This little tree in our church vestibule allows our parish families to bring joy to countless families struggling to make ends meet. Consider grabbing a tag off the tree when you enter the church next time. They are going fast!
Lastly, many of you have enjoyed attending our “Chili Event” at the parish rectory right before Christmas. This year, Fr. Chris, Fr. Michael and I have decided to host it on Sunday, January 12, which is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, from 2:00-5:00pm. It seemed to us that the time before Christmas is too busy for most families, which is why we made the switch. This year we will also be serving a Mexican dish called posole, along with the chili. So now we will call this the “Chili and Posole Event.”
This Advent, may our joyful gratitude for the gift of Christ express itself in ways that bring joy to others, especially to those who find life so burdensome.