January 5, 2020-The Epiphany of the Lord

I.  Epiphany Vespers & International Potluck with BUNCO:  Please join our parish community for Vespers (“official” Evening Prayer of the Church) at 4:30pm on Sunday, January 5th, followed by followed by an International potluck at 5:00pm. We ask you to bring a dish from your country of origin! The parish will provide the drinks (unless you would like to bring your own bottle of wine)! We will be visited by three Kings! We will also cap off the evening with bunco for those who wish to play! A special thanks to James Wells, Hannah Bland and Crissy Stevenson for making our 7th Annual Epiphany Celebration possible. All are warmly welcome!

II.  College Students and Faith! As you return to your respective colleges/universities, I encourage you to connect with the Catholic campus ministry there (formerly known as Newman Centers). Why not get involved in a Scripture Study or a campus outreach!? You will never regret investing in your faith, your greatest resource for daily choices and for future happiness. It’s always good to celebrate Eucharist with you at our Cathedral! You are always welcome!

III.  It Time To Re-Connect? There are many reasons, I find, why people have left or wandered away from the Catholic Church: some have been hurt, some are disillusioned, some lack information or formation, some simply have grown slothful (spiritually lazy), some are searchers, etc. Whatever the reason, it might be time for you to re-connect more deeply with the Catholic Church. If this is good timing for you to join us, do not hesitate to contact Rick Rhodes (Director of Adult Ministries), Fr. Sinoj Pynadath HGN (Assist-ant Pastor/Parochial Vicar), or myself. We would consider it a privilege to sit and listen. You are also invited to an informal gathering on Thursday, January 9th at 6:00pm in our Community Center (gathering area on the lower level of our church). Bring a friend! Think about it. Talk about it. Pray about it.

IV.  Big THANK YOU to everyone who helped to make Advent/Christmas at Saint Stephen Cathedral beautiful and joyous:  Monthly Church Cleaning ministry volunteers; Advent candle bearers, those who helped to decorate the church (inside and out); all our liturgical ministers:  Sacristans, Altar Servers, Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Hospitality Ministers, and Children’s Liturgy of the Word Volunteers; our Choir, Cantors, and Musicians; and everyone who helped distribute gift books, those who carried up the infant Jesus for our beautiful Nativity creche. Every offering of time and talent makes a big difference! Thanks too, to seminarian Corey Bruns for the many ways his talents and generous offering of time have been such a blessing during this Christmas season.

V.  Mary & Joseph, and Jesus, Refugees in a Foreign Land: the truth is that our country is made up of immigrants from many lands; we have always prided ourselves that the United States is a “melting pot” of nations! Our moral tradition calls on all people of faith and good will to stand up in defense of life and human dignity; it’s a fundamental calling for us as Catholics. Welcoming the immigrant and migrant more broadly has a central place in the development of the Judeo Christian tradition. Stories in both the Old (Jewish Scriptures) and the New Testament (Christian Scriptures) highlight the fact that in providing hospitality to the stranger, we might also be unwittingly entertaining angels (Hebrews 13:2; Genesis 18:1–15). January 5–11 is National Migration Week, whose theme this year is “Promoting a Church and a World for All.” Bishop William Medley opened this event with Mass yesterday at the Cathedral. Hope you were there!