Dear Brothers and Sisters,
When I first arrived in the US, back in 2005, I was somewhat familiar with the celebration of Thanksgiving. My knowledge, however, was limited to what I had seen in the movies. I knew about food, the family gathering, and that it was a big deal. At my first thanksgiving here, I was surprised to the whole dimension of THANKS-GIVING. In other words, the whole aspect of giving THANKS was amazingly awesome to witness. Before the meal, the family that hosted me shared a time that they were thankful for. Their reasons were beautiful and inspiring.
The concept of giving thanks should be very familiar for us Catholics as well. We do that every Sunday when we come to mass. The original word for mass comes from the Greek Eucharist (like eucharistic ministers and eucharistic prayer), which means, THANKSGIVING. This particular action, even though it “lacks” stuffing, cranberries, turkey, and other thanksgiving dinner favorites, it does lead to our salvation. When the priest invites the congregation to “GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD”, we respond, “it is RIGHT AND JUST.” Then he continues, “it is truly right and just, our DUTY AND OUR SALVATION, always and everywhere to GIVE YOU THANKS, LORD…”.
At this time, personally, and on behalf of the priests and the whole parish, I would like to GIVE THANKS to God for everything that he has done, is doing and will continue to do. But it is also RIGHT AND JUST, MY DUTY (and salvation), always and everywhere to THANK YOU, PEOPLE OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION COMMUNITY. It would be unfair to name a single person who has helped me, because there are so many who did, and there are still others that I might not be aware of. Without your support, your kindness, your smiles, your words of encouragement, and your prayers, we would not be able to go through this year. The efforts of so many volunteers and staff, that day after day, contribute with their time and talent to the growth of our community. A special word also to the different committees, councils that help our IC community to flourish through their advice and hard work. All those who are engaged in the work of our school, who constantly share God’s love with our students and their families. We must thank also the many groups and ministries of our parish, who help us with the work of the sanctification of our parish. I would also like to add a special thank you to those who continue to financially support our school, our parish offertory, the special collections and particularly those who contributed to the fire restoration. All these donations are deeply appreciated. In short, THANK YOU!
Please read the message below from Evelyn Walton, from Birthright, who also wants to thank you.
As in past years the parishioners of Immaculate Conception have showered our local Hudson/Marlborough Birthright with generous donations to support their ministry of helping pregnant mothers in need. In addition to $855.00 in monetary donations we received abundant diapers, blankets, onesies, sleep and play outfits, snowsuits, crib blankets, bath necessities, diaper bags as well as lovingly-handmade sweaters and blankets! Your generous support enables Birthright to be a valuable community resource for pregnant mothers by offering pregnancy tests, material and emotional support, referrals for housing, furniture, medical care and other services a pregnant mother may need as she chooses life for her precious unborn baby. Because Birthright is an all volunteer organization every donation directly benefits these mothers and their babies. May God bless each of you for your generous response in reaching out to pregnant mothers and their babies with love, hope, and a helping hand!
Father Steven Clemence