The Feast of the Holy Family

12-29-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Mary and Joseph did everything they could do to protect the Christ child. They had already had to deal with so many hardships. The Holy Family then has to leave everything and move to a foreign country to avoid the king, who wanted to kill Jesus. Jesus is just a week old and already there is trouble. Surely there was another way. Couldn't God have somehow just "taken care of Herod? Why did the Holy Family have to suffer so much!

I think most of us have asked ourselves the same question especially when there is a family crisis or a tragedy. It can be a real test of our faith that comes when we come face to face with some sort of injustice or undeserved illness, some crisis in our family -- an unexpected death, an accident, someone slanders us, our health or we lost our job. It can be very easy to feel like God has forgotten about us. In those dark moments, we can fund ourselves asking the question again: why was this necessary?


Merry Christmas

12-22-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today is the 4th Sunday of Advent. Because so many of us will be traveling over Christmas, I want to take this opportunity, on behalf of our parish staff, to wish all of you a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Over the next few days, we will be wrapping up our Christmas preparations—decorating, buying and wrapping presents, sending cards, and baking. Of course we must remember the most important preparation of all… spiritual ones.

One thing we could all pray for are the visitors coming to our parish. Each Christmas, our churches are filled with visitors who come to pray before the Manger; go to confession; and experience the beauty of the Catholic liturgy.


Gaudete Sunday

12-15-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are called to expect the Lord's return at any second. We are called to be joyful about it. Do you have joy in your heart?

This Sunday is the Third Sunday of Advent. It is also known as Gaudete Sunday, the Sunday we light the pink candle on the Advent wreath. Gaudete means to rejoice. It's as if the lightening of the color from purple to the lighter rose should be reflected in our attitudes. Our Lord is inviting us to rejoice!

You might be surprised to know that the Advent season is a season that calls us to fasting and penance. Fasting and penance are ways to prepare our hearts and minds as we lead up to the feast of our Savior's birth. The whole season of Advent reminds us of the joy that is to come. It is also a 'break' that gives us a chance to recall the hope we have because of the coming of Jesus.


Our Lady of Guadalupe

12-08-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

From December 9-12, the American Church celebrates the appearances of the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Guadalupe in present-day Mexico City. It was during these days in 1531 that Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego. The Virgin Mary appeared 5 times as a sign of God's mercy and love, most fully and perfectly expressed in the conception of God the Son in her womb.

On December 12, 1531, the local bishop, Juan de Zumarrága, asked Juan for proof that Mary had appeared. In a later encounter, Our Lady asked Juan Diego to gather roses from the hilltop (where roses are not common, especially during winter). He did, collecting them in his cloak or tilma. Later, opening the cloak in the presence of the bishop, the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was discovered to be imprinted on the tilma itself.


What is Advent?

12-01-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The word Advent means coming, and the season prepares us to celebrate the coming of Our Blessed Savior. Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year for the Roman Catholic Church. On the first day of Advent, which begins this year on December 1st, the Church celebrates its New Year's Day. The date for the beginning of Advent falls each year on the Sunday closest to November 30th - the feast day of Saint Andrew the Apostle.

Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that Advent is part of the Christmas celebration. In fact, Advent is a separate time of preparation all its own. For the Catholic Church, Christmas doesn't begin until the first Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve and it continues until the "Octave of the Epiphany" which occurs on January 14th.