Today we celebrate the 1st Sunday of Advent. The season of Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. Advent is one of the most beautiful and fruitful liturgical seasons within the Catholic Church, although it is brief, only 4 weeks. I invite all of us to use these next four weeks of Advent to spiritually prepare our minds, hearts and souls for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I challenge us, myself included, not to fall into the trap of the commercialization of Christmas. We need this time to prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ, who comes to us as a child. During this beautiful season, our scripture passage focuses on the prophet Isaiah. The prophet proclaims “prepare the way of the Lord, make straight a highway for our God.” May this season bring us the joy of welcoming Christ into the homes of our hearts.
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This Friday, December 8, the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be celebrated at each of the three churches, 8:00AM at Our Lady of Victory, 12:00PM at St. Peter Claver and 7:30PM at Holy Rosary. Through the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother, may we continue to grow closer to the heart of her son, Jesus Christ.
Wednesday Evening Advent Vespers
During the season of Advent, we will pray solemn vespers, (evening prayer) on Wednesday evenings. The theme this year is “Go to Joseph”, spiritually preparing ourselves for the birth of Christ, through the intercession of St. Joseph. This Wednesday, December 6, our Advent vespers will be held at Holy Rosary Church beginning at 7:00PM. We will welcome Father Josephjude Gannon, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn who currently serves as Pastor of the parish of St. Gerard Majella in Hollis, New York. Please be sure to join us.
Children’s Christmas Pageant 2017
This year we are inviting children of all ages to participate in our Christmas pageant, which will take place on Christmas Eve at the 5:00PM Mass at Holy Rosary Church. Rehearsals will begin soon! You may contact Michelle Joseph our Director of Faith Formation or Tamika Daniel our parish Youth Minister for more information about this year’s Christmas pageant.
Allow me to end with one of my favorite Advent hymns:
O Come Divine Messiah, the World in silence waits the day When hope shall sing its triumph and sadness flee away
Dear Savior haste, come, come to earth dispel the night and show your face
And bid us hail the dawn of grace. O Come Divine Messiah, the World in silence waits the day when hope shall sing is triumph and sadness flee away.
Wishing you a blessed and peaceful Advent Season,
Father Alonzo Cox