I. Feast of Mary’s Immaculate Conception: Thursday, December 8th, is Holy Day of Obligation (. . .of Opportunity). Mass schedule: Vigil Mass at the Cathedral is Wednesday, December 7th, 6:00 p.m. and on Thursday at 7:00 a.m., 12:05 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Chapel at 7th and Sycamore. This is a Patronal Feast Day for our entire country. Mary, under her title of “The Immaculate Conception” is the patroness of the United States of America. Chosen by God, Mary reverses the sin of Eve. Because of
her obedience, God’s salvation is made know to all the nations. Pope Clement XI, in his Bull, Commissi Nobis, established the Solemnity of the “Conception of Mary by St. Anne,” in 1708. Mary, the mmaculate Conception, is also patroness for Spain, Tanzania,and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
II. St. Nicholas will visit our parish on Sunday, December 4th, 5:00—7:00 p.m. While this gathering is for everyone of every age, you will want to bring your children. Please bring a pot of soup in a crockpot to share. How do you teach your children to be generous? What lesson is to be learned in the gift of giving?
III. In Memory/Honor of: an intimate and spiritual way to remember a loved one is to donate flowers for Christmas. This is also an appropriate way to honor someone living. You will find an envelope in your tithing packet marked “Flowers for Christmas” or you can simply drop an envelope in the collection basket (or mail), with the name of the person being “remembered” or “honored” and your name. These flowers—living memorials—will grace our sanctuary and church throughout the Christmas season.
IV. Save the Date! We will offer a weekend Parish Retreat in Lent for those 17 years of age and older. It will begin on Friday, March 24th at 5:30 p.m., include Saturday, and end on Sunday, March 26th at 5:00 p.m. Really, it’s only 48 hours—but what a difference two days of reflection on the quality of your faith will do for your faith life. This Koinonia (which means community of faith) experience will deepen your faith.
V. Do I See Giving as a Burden? Throughout Sacred Scripture God calls us to be generous givers. Yet, giving seems so difficult in our present age of plenty. Abundant new products continually tempt us. Along with basic needs, our money can buy us fun gadgets, beautiful homes, luxury vehicles, amazing experiences, secure investments, and so much more. Why would we want to give it away? The problem or challenge may be in the way we look at giving. “Do not let your hands be open to receive, but clinched when it is time to give” (Sirach 4:31). Please return your Time, Talent, and Treasure pledge this week; your support of St. Stephen Cathedral through prayer, service in ministry, and financial giving is important and deeply appreciated.
VI. The Gift of Stock: recently our parish has received two generous stock gifts, which not only helps our parish ministries, but provides an additional tax advantage for the donor. In the name of St. Stephen Cathedral community, I want to thank two parish families for their generosity and thoughtfulness in
their gifts to the parish. If you would be interested in donating stock before the end of this calendar year, please contact our business manager, Eddy McFarland, 270.852.8426, soon.
VII. George Frederick Handel’s Messiah, composed in 1741, tells the story of Jesus Christ from Birth to Ascension. The 76th presentation will be performed at Third Baptist Church by the Owensboro Choral Society on Sunday, December 4th at 2:30 p.m. This delightful tradition is made possible by many in
our local community including some from our own parish who always make me feel proud. Remember our Arts at the Cathedral performances: Monday, Dec. 5th, 7:30 p.m., OCTC Chorus Christmas Concert, and Friday, Dec. 9th, 7:00 p.m., Kentucky Youth Chorale Christmas Concert.