A TIME OF PREPARATION
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Every time we invite friends and family over for dinner, there is a lot of preparation that goes on beforehand. First, we need to cleanup and organize the house. Then, we need to buy all the ingredients to cook the dinner and have the recipes close at hand. Finally, of course, we need to open the doors to welcome our guests. The Season of Advent helps us to do the same for preparing for the second coming of Christ. There is a call of repentance/conversion, like the tidying up of the house just as this Sunday’s gospel invites us to “prepare a way of the Lord”. God gives us a time to dedicate ourselves in prayer as we welcome our greatest guest, Jesus Christ.
It is important to do a good preparation during this time and not focus only on gifts, greeting cards, and lights. For this reason, during Advent, we will have many opportunities to prepare ourselves spiritually. We begin by offering CONFESSIONS EVERY TUESDAY from 5:00-6:00pm in the Lower Church. Our celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception begins with a Triduum each day reflecting upon walking with Mary starting on Sunday, December 5th: Mary and Jesus, on Monday, December 6th: Mary and the Apostles, and on Tuesday, December 7th: Mary and Us, with Special Guest Bishop Robert Reed. This will be held each evening from 6:00-7:00pm in the Upper Church. We conclude with a special Mass on her Feast Day, Wednesday, December 8th at 7:00pm, followed by light refreshments in Meehan Hall.
During this time, our brothers and sisters from the Spanish community will be doing the NOVENA OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE in the lower Church at 7:00pm beginning Friday, December 3rd and concluding with the Mass for the Feast of Our Lady on Saturday, December 11th at 6:00pm. Then, as we turn our attention to Christmas we begin with LESSONS AND CAROLS in the Upper Church on Thursday, December 16th from 7:00-8:00pm followed by light refreshments in the Lower Church. On the same day, the Spanish community will begin the POSADAS at 7:00pm, which is a Spanish tradition of the novena of Christmas. Finally, on Sunday, December 19th we will feature a LIVE NATIVITY in the Meehan Hall Upper Parking Lot at 4:00pm in English, 5:30pm in Portuguese and 7:00pm in Spanish.
Coming soon, we will have information about IC Parish participation in the March for Life to be held on January 20th and 21st, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
We all know that December can be a very stressful time of year. However, with the right preparation and ingredients, when the time finally arrives, we are able to welcome the Infant Jesus into our lives with open arms.
Father Steven Clemence