Christmas is only nine days away now. Children – and the young at heart – can feel the excitement building. Gifts will soon be under the tree. We have been preparing for Christ’s coming for two weeks. Retailers and radio stations have been preparing for Christmas for over a month. The nearness of the holy day is tangible and so today – Gaudete Sunday – we rejoice. We rejoice in God’s gift to us, not to be found under the tree, but in a manger and in our hearts.
This weekend we bless the Christ figurines. This is an old Roman custom of blessing the Christ Jesus figurines, called Bambinelli. It symbolizes the unity between liturgical actions here at church and traditions in our families where the nativity scenes are very commonly setting up.
On Saturday, December 15th our parish hosted Simbang Gabi (a Filipino Traditional Advent Mass). It was a very peaceful and joyful celebration attended by many guests and our parishioners as well. Big thanks to the Fil-Am Community of St. Bernardine for organizing and sharing with all parishioners this beautiful celebration. Well done!
As you may know, Game Day was a great success! Everyone who came enjoyed the food, merriment, and of course, a Bears win! Our profit from the Day will be just over $8,000.00, an incredible amount for a fun event. Once again, we will be sharing our proceeds with our community: $1,000.00 has been donated to the Forest Park Food Pantry; $500.00 will be donated to our St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry; and $500.00 will be donated to Housing Forward. Special thanks to everyone on the Committee. All their efforts combined to make this a successful and fun filled Game Day.
Last weekend, the second collection was taken for the Retired Fund for Religious. We collected $1,798.00. On behalf of many recipients I say a big THANK YOU!
In the Third Week of Advent more and more things will remind us that Christmas is near. Focusing on all things needed to be done to prepare our homes for the feast, let us remember the spiritual dimension of this holy time. May God bless us all to be the instruments of his love and mercy in the world.