I was determined to make this Advent much more a time of prayer and reflection. Today is just Tuesday so it is only two days into Advent but I must confess that there were countless times that I was just “busy” and not reflective nor thankful until much later when I did take time to reflect. Then I realized God had given me a bit of sunshine, plenty of good food to eat, the energy to complete the tasks I need to do, three dogs who love me and just wanted a bit of my attention, parishioner friends who cheerfully gave of their time to do something for the parish, a repair man who fixed the steam leak in the Parish House basement, I could fill this whole page listing the gifts of just the past few days. So if you have not done so yet, take a moment to quietly list the good things you were gifted with just today. Then say a big thank you to God.
Besides being the second Sunday of Advent, today is the day set aside for the Retirement Fund for Religious collection. For those of us who are older, we are very aware of the Religious who worked tirelessly in Catholic Schools, hospitals and agencies, usually for little or no pay. As a result, many religious communities do not have adequate savings for retirement and eldercare. Many fewer young people are entering religious communities today so there are far too few able to bring in any income to support the older religious.
Very few communities were as blessed as we Racine Dominicans. We had Sister Joseph Ellen (she taught business classes at Nativity High School in the past) who was a genius with finances. Because of her expertise she got the Racine Dominicans into Social Security at a time when after just three years, we were getting more in benefits than it was costing us to be enrolled. She was also wise about investing and put together a plan by which we knew what we needed in savings to be sure that we had adequate to care for each sister until her expected death and what we could therefore spend for ministry needs.
Few other communities had this. Many chose not to get into Social Security or did not have the funds to do so. Few invested in any savings. So many religious communities today do not have adequate funds to exist and care for their elderly. Their years of sacrifice for others leave them today with nothing to draw from except your generosity. Many of us were educated by religious men or women. Most of our Catholic hospitals were directed by religious communities and provided great health care when we needed hospitalization. Religious orders of men staffed many parishes, schools and charitable organizations. Now many of these communities need our help to survive.
When I give to a charitable fund I like to know how much of the funds actually go for the cause instead of administrative costs. For this collection, 94.4% is distributed to religious communities and the funds collected are distributed according to need. So please do your best to give.
This Tuesday , December 8th is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass is here at 7:00PM in the Winter Chapel (aka Church basement.)
December 12/13: Bring Gifts from house to church basement & If you took a tag
bring your gift to church.
December14-17: Wrapping, sorting, organizing
December18: Deliver Christmas to families
December19: Deliver Christmas to families and clean church
December 20: Decorate church after Mass
Sunday School Students to Senior Apartments to sing Christmas carols after Mass.
December 24th: Christmas Eve– 5:00PM
Children’s Christmas Mass and Jesus’ Birthday Party
Christmas Eve: 9:30 PM CHOIR CONCERT 10:00PM MASS
Christmas Day: Mass at 9:45 AM
New Years Eve: 5:00PM at Nativity
11:00PM at St. Charles with a Pot Luck Dinner/Party afterwards
If you took a tag from the basket for a Christmas gift for a child in the Christmas Program, all gifts need to be brought back next weekend. Thank you! If your family needs assistance for Christmas, please call the Parish House, Monday through Wednesday this week.
The sign up is out for Crunch Time. If you can help out a couple hours that week it would be greatly appreciated. There are many jobs, just look over the lists to find one you can do. Thank you!