I. How “visible” is your Baptism to those around you? Jesus enters John’s baptismal waters today. God expresses approval: Jesus is the one God sends, the one the people longed to see. He is not a quick, powerful solution to immediate problems. He is gentle and single-minded and will accomplish his purpose guided by the wisdom of God and the power of God’s love for us. The Servant will be rejected, but will continue to trust God’s will. What difference does our baptism make in our daily lives?
II. Opportunities for Life needs you. A girl facing a difficult decision regarding the life of her unborn baby needs you. A baby whose mom is thinking about abortion needs you. Opportunities for Life (OFL) is the Kentucky Catholic Church’s ministry to abortion-vulnerable women and men. OFL volunteers offer hope and resources to callers who find the courage to seek help. Volunteers answer the Helpline from their homes, at times that are convenient for them. OFL offers training workshops in preparation for service in this life-affirming ministry. You are invited to contact OFL for more information, 1-888-496-3638. This week’s special collection is for this ministry. Be as generous.
III. Epiphany Concert and International Potluck was good despite the sudden drop in temperature. Special thanks to Michael Conley, Director of Liturgy and Music, and our choir, as well as to Sr. Suzanne Sims and Janet Murphy, who were part of a quintet. Folks brought a dish from their country of origin; we had plenty of tasty dishes shared for a delicious meal! Special “kudos” to the three well-dressed kings (George Kurtz, Clayton Lewis, Justin Millay) who journeyed long and hard to join us with gold, frankincense, and myrrh, as well as a King cake. Joseph Kurtz was the privileged person to receive the piece of cake, courtesy of Claire Lewis, with the baby Jesus figure! Joseph gets to bring the King cake next year!! Special gratitude to our International Meal coordinator, Lupe Ellis, and her competent crew: Carmen Goetz, Mary Lou Greene, Brenda Clark, Theresa Ray, Chona Curry, Monika Logan, Martha House, Rita Mauzy, Rosemary Payne, and Deacon Dirck Curry. Thanks, too, to all those who pitched in during the event!
IV. Annual Priests’ Convocation will be Monday, January 12, to Thursday, January 15. This year, the priests of the Diocese will gather with Bishop Medley at St. Meinrad Retreat Center for a retreat instead of continuing education. During this same week, I will be at a convention for cathedral rectors in Minneapolis, MN. (Why can’t this be in Florida at this time of year?!). Pray for Bishop Medley and all the priests of our diocese, and of course, for me and Fr. Suneesh Mathew Kulathanapatika. (If you think “Suneesh” is difficult to remember, attempt pronouncing his real last name!)
V. Mass Schedule This Week: Fr. Suneesh and I are away this week; therefore, on Monday, January 12, there will be a 7:00AM Mass at St. Stephen Cathedral, but no noon Mass. There will be no Masses at St. Stephen Cathedral on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Our regular Mass schedule resumes on Friday, January 14. The Carmel Home will have Mass each day at 6:55AM!
VI. Christmas Gratitude! As we wrap up the Christmas season today with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I want to THANK YOU for your cards, food, candy, gifts, parties, and prayers for me, Fr. Suneesh and the parish staff. These acts of kindness and thoughtfulness do not go unnoticed; they mirror in a very human way God’s generosity to us! Thank you! Merci! Grazie! Danka!
In Joy and Hope,