Advent and Lent are great times to grow, and one of the best ways to advance in the spiritual life is to make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is a time to look at your life honestly, not in shame or disgrace, but with hope for something better, something more life-giving, something more fulfilling. I have been “hearing confessions” for a long time now and I cannot think of a single person who has walked away humiliated or embarrassed. In fact, most people walk out of the confessional lighter, happier and more determined to become a better version of themselves. Who doesn’t need that?

We have an opportunity for Reconciliation every Saturday before the evening Mass, but you can call any rectory (you need not go to your own parish) and make an appointment with a priest. On Wednesday evening, December 22nd, we will have a Parish Penance Service at 7 pm. We will have a short common service and then the opportunity for individual confession of sins and absolution. I will stay as long as it takes.

Christmas Mass Schedule:

It might be a good time to plan ahead for Christmas. Christmas on a Saturday is somewhat problematic, so please read this part carefully. Here is the schedule:

December 24, Christmas Eve, we will have only one morning Mass at 6:15 am. Then, that night we will have two Masses to celebrate Christmas, one at 5 pm and one at 10 pm. The 10 pm Mass is our “Midnight” service. (Personally, I am grateful that this parish celebrates that early, because as I get older and older it becomes incredibly difficult to stay up that late.)

December 25, on Christmas morning, we will likewise have two Masses at 8 am and 10 am.   Christmas as you see is on a Saturday, which means that we will not have a 5 pm Mass for Sunday on Christmas evening. Sorry. I will be celebrating with my family.

December 26, we will have our regular Mass schedule for Sunday, the Feast of the Holy Family (7:30, 9 and 11). So to repeat: NO SATURDAY EVENING MASS ON CHRISTMAS EVENING.

Opportunities to Share:

As you may have heard there are multiple opportunities to share your love with others this Christmas. There have been boxes at the entrances to Church to be filled with nonperishable items for the food pantry at Immaculate Conception in Maplewood. Beyond food, you may want to also put in your gift, toiletries. A friend of mine shared a meme about what to put in your food box and what to avoid giving, and toiletries, of all sorts, were at the top of the list of things to give.

Those boxes are to be brought back this week.

Second, we have our Giving Tree. This could not be easier to do. Many of the ornaments have very specific things to buy and even some have the places to go to purchase them. Then, if you have an ornament from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, you don’t have to wrap it. (I am a hopeless gift wrapper. When I wrap presents they are an absolute mess. Thank God for cards and gift bags!!)

Next, we have a pancake breakfast today with Santa to help benefit our twin parish in Haiti. I have been blown away by this parish’s response to the needs of our broth- ers and sisters in Haiti. They have had a lot to deal with this past year, earthquakes and assassinations, and so it is good that we think of them around this season.

Finally, you can help Holy Redeemer School by participating in our PIP (Parents in Part- nership) Program to benefit our school. Edu- cation has always been a huge priority for me when I donate, both here and at my for- mer school Borgia High. Catholic schools make the most of the gifts they are given and the need is always great.

Have a great end to the Season of Advent!! 

Father Kevin

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