Article from Parish Bulletin – The Arrow on December 8, 2019
Monday, December 9, is the Patronal Feast Day of the United States of America, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since this year, the feast falls on the day after our Sunday obligation for the Second Sunday of Advent, it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. However, all are invited to attend our regular morning Masses at 6:30 am or 8:30 am. To be sure you are not confused about what this day celebrates, we recall that Saints Anne and Joachim, Mary’s parents, conceived her without original sin. Mary, chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus, was perfect from the moment of her conception. Pope Pius IX declared this a dogma of the Church in 1854. Nine months from now, we will celebrate the birth of Mary on September 8th. This feast, however, is a reminder to us why Mary is so special in God’s plan of salvation.
As we enter this second week of Advent, we continue to remember this is a time of preparation: Mary’s son, Jesus, the King of kings, is coming! Advent has come once again to help us set aside time to purify our hearts and souls. Whether that means being with God in prayer, attending Confession, volunteering in the community or cleaning house, Advent is the time for it. The Church gives us this time and opportunity to begin our new liturgical year by preparing well to welcome the King who comes to make all things new. (Revelation 21:15)
This Tuesday, December 10, we will have an interesting panel discussion regarding the many layers and challenges of immigration and the policies around this controversial topic. Please CLICK HERE to see the information, and plan to join us on Tuesday evening. On my recent visit to the border in Brownsville, Texas, I saw the human side of this issue and the many needs of the people caught in a great struggle for safety and a new beginning to their lives. The Catholic Extension Society was there to offer support and the healing hand and comforting heart of God to those most desperate and in need. Come to the panel discussion and see where the spirit may touch your heart or open your eyes and mind as most of us struggle to understand all the layers of the immigration issue.
Finally, something you should know… Saint Giles and Saint Luke parish schools are embarking on an interesting fundraising adventure, QUEEN of HEARTS! You may have heard or know about this type of activity that has been playing out in many parishs in the Archdiocese. It’s a 50/50 raffle that will help fundraise and support both schools. This is a great effort at sharing resources and support in the Oak Park/River Forest and surrounding communities. Watch for more details to come.
Have a great week ahead.
With you a Christian. For you a priest.
Father Carl Morello – Pastor of St. Giles Parish