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December 2016

November 2016

The Annunciation Window at Chartres Cathedral


Annunciation Window at Chartres
Annunciation Window at Chartres Cathedral



We celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation nine months before Christmas on March 25th. This year because the solemnity fell on Good Friday, the celebration was moved to April 4th.

Advent is an appropriate time to recollect what began 9 months ago with the announcement of the Angel Gabriel - the virginal conception of Jesus.

Next week we will celebrate the Immaculate Conception on December 8th - the Immaculate conception of the virgin Mary who was spared from Original Sin from the first moment of her existence.


Advent Resources for the Family

Each year the resources available on the USCCB website get better and better. 

Be sure to check out the daily Advent Calendar, reflections for each Sunday in Advent and a blessing for the Advent wreath in the home.

Advent Resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


Advent Calendar
There is an Advent Calendar and a Daily Family Calendar among other resources.

The Root of Joy Is Gratefulness

Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk now associated with a group called, reminds us that 

    It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

We're guilty of thinking the other way around, especially when we expect gratitude to spontaneously well up from an unhappy heart. To be grateful we must be observant and focus more on what we already have than what we feel need.

May we experience the joy which comes from gratitude this Thanksgiving!


St. Francis Windows Arrive - A Thanksgiving Surprise

Not only did Beyer Studios fabricate the remaining windows for the church before Christmas as they had anticipated, they finished them before Thanksgiving!

The windows were installed today in the North Transept. I took these photos at 4 P.M. when the sun was not at its brightest, but we'll get another set in better lighting.


These are most of the remaining events in the life of Francis cut from the full-sized windows we purchased from the former St. Francis of Assisi parish in Germantown, Philadelphia. 

Thanksgiving For Life

                A statement from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York Chairman, 
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities

Seven jurisdictions in the United States have now opened the legal door to this dangerous abuse of medicine, an alarming trend that must be stopped for the sake of human dignity and the sacredness of life.

In Colorado, Proposition 106 legalized the ability of a doctor to write prescriptions for the sole purpose of killing another human being, and the ability of insurance companies to refuse treatment of patients they consider terminal. The DC law is the most expansive and dangerous so far. It goes beyond assisted suicide by allowing third parties to administer the lethal drugs opening the door even further to coercion and abuse.

Every suicide is tragic, whether someone is young or old, healthy or sick. But the legalization of doctor-assisted suicide creates two classes of people: those whose suicides are to be prevented at any cost, and those whose suicides are deemed a positive good. We remove weapons and drugs that can cause harm to one group, while handing deadly drugs to the other, setting up yet another kind of life-threatening discrimination. This is completely unjust. Our inherent human dignity does not wane with the onset of illness or incapacity, and so all are worthy of protection.

The act of prescribing a fatal, poisonous dose, moreover, undermines the very heart of medicine. Doctors vow to do no harm, and yet assisted suicide is the ultimate abandonment of their patients. 

What seriously ill – and often depressed -- patients need is authentic support, including doctors fully committed to their welfare and pain management as they enter their final days. Patients need our assurance that they are not a burden -- that it is a privilege to care for them as we ourselves hope to be cared for one day. A compassionate society devotes more attention, not less, to members facing the most vulnerable times in their lives. 

So doctor-assisted suicide must now be opposed with renewed vigor. Catholics must join medical professionals, disability rights groups, and other concerned citizens in fighting for the authentic care of those facing terminal illness.

Get Ready For The New Year

The new church liturgical year, that is. The new church liturgical year begins on the First Sunday of Advent. Do you know the six seasons of the liturgical year? There are many online resources for those who would like to follow the year with a liturgical calendar. The USCCB has published a pdf version of the calendar available for download here

2017 Liturgical Calendar from USCCB


Church Construction Update

Picture1Work on the two new stained glass windows is proceeding and the maker hopes to have them installed in the two clear windows in the North transept by Christmas.

Additional acoustical sound panels are scheduled to be installed this Friday. They should clarify the sound in the transepts as well as the already installed panels have improved the sound in the nave.

Very preliminary planning is being done for the artwork to be installed on the reredos above the Tabernacle. Watch for more information on this over the coming months.

Holy Cross Mini Parish Office on Sundays After the 10:30 AM Mass

BzkidzlemonadestandBeginning in December, coincident with the opening of the mass intention book for the year, we would like to experiment having an outreach parish office in the North transept in the large, mostly unused "cry-room."

A volunteer would staff the desk after the 10:30 AM mass for approximately 30 minutes or so, to serve the people who have attended that mass. A wireless connection to the parish office computer system will allow us to schedule memorial masses, distribute Memorial Mass cards, reserve Memorial Candles in the Prayer Garden and distribute new parishioner registration forms.

If the experiment is successful, we'll consider expanding it to other masses.

We need volunteers to learn the mass scheduling software (easy) and be available by schedule from approx. 11:30 AM to noon. Please call the Parish Office 


Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI Memoir Published: Last Testament In His Own Words

81eQcFzry1LIf you are interested in a reading a thoughtful book for Advent, Benedict XVI's interview with Peter Seewald compiled as the book, "Last Testament in His Own Words" will reward you well.

A thoughtful, humble and reaslistic assessment by the former pope of his time of service to the Church before, during and after his papacy. It is sad to listen to him report his declining health and energy, but his insight and most especially his love of Jesus Christ remains undimmed.