I. Welcome, Fr. Jason McClure! I am grateful to Fr. Jason for celebrating the 9:00 and 11:00am Masses this weekend at the Cathedral, which allows me to join many family members in Atlanta for what might be our Christmas gathering this year! My niece Chloe Carver, a Senior in high school, is casted in Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballad, now performed by countless dance companies primarily during the Christmas season. My sister, Ann, and her husband, Reg, have invited family to John’s Crossing to rejoice in their daughter’s talent and to celebrate. Thanks to Fr. Jason for his generosity! Roll out the customary St. Stephen Cathedral “red carpet” hospitality for him!
Rejoice (Gaudete) Sunday!
II. Now available—Online Giving! – You can now make your contributions to St. Stephen Cathedral online. It’s secure, simple, and convenient! In just a few minutes, you can create an account and choose one-time or recurring donations. Because the program is user-controlled, you can make changes at any time. If you are currently enrolled in our EFT program, we invite you to switch to this easy online program (we’re happy to answer questions and help!). Please read the insert in today’s bulletin. Feel free to call Eddy M. or Donna T. in the Parish Office for assistance or for questions. Visit www.ststephencathedral.org and click Give Online, or scan the QR code on the bulletin insert. Please note, at this time, online giving contributions may be made to our Regular (Sunday) Collection and our Restoration & Renewal/Porch Fund.
III. End-of-the-year giving – You may be eligible for tax advantages in making charitable contributions before the end of the calendar year. Some parishioners may soon need to take their annual minimum distribution from an IRA. I encourage you to keep your parish family in mind! If you are interested in donating stock or an IRA distribution, please contact our Business Manager, Eddy McFarland, in the Parish Office.
IV. Xavier Society for the Blind: Father Jamie Dennis, our Parochial Vicar (fancy words for assistant pastor) was asked to celebrate Mass for the St. Xavier Society for the Blind at Saint Patrick Cathedral in New York City on Tuesday, December 13, the Feast of St. Lucy, patroness of the blind. Father Jamie will be the first blind priest to celebrate Eucharist for this Society which offers assistance to the blind free of charge; they send him the Sunday Gospel and the prayers from the Roman Missal for each Sunday Mass of the year, plus Catholic magazines/materials in braille. He insists on traveling by train (no big surprise there!), and will leave Saturday pm, December 10, and return Thursday pm, December 15. Fr. Jamie will be available for autographs when he returns!
V. Our Lady of Guadalupe: The term “invasions of grace” was used by a theologian to refer to God being “on the move.” On December 9, 1531, when Juan Diego, a Christian Indian living near the present-day Mexico City, felt the “invasion of grace.” He experienced an apparition of Mary. The rest of the story is quite familiar: a shrine was built at the site; a people felt the compassion of God; the call to serve the poor was given. Mary, invaded by the grace of God, continues to be an instrument of God’s will. Where have you seen or experienced the “invasions” of God’s grace? Come to Mass Monday (7am or 12:05pm).
VI. Hispanic Ministry Collection in Owensboro: since 2004, our Hispanic brothers and sisters have been welcomed at Sts. Joseph and Paul Parish where they are being ministered to sacramentally, spiritually, and physically. So as not to burden one parish, ALL the Owensboro/Daviess County Catholic churches are taking up a collection near the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Monday, Dec.12), which will be used for our Hispanic sisters and brothers in the area. Be as generous as you can be!
VII. Advent Communal Reconciliation: John the Baptizer boldly and unabashedly calls us to reform (conversion/forgiveness), and also tells us the God will provide the help we need to change. Next Sunday, December 18, there will be a Reconciliation Prayer service at 2:00pm with 12 priests available as confessors. Please make the time to avail yourselves to this spiritual growth opportunity.