A Blessed Mother, A Blessed Parish, A Blessed New Year!

In the Sanctuary of our beautiful parish, hangs an original oil painting, a gift to us by one of our dearest benefactors who died in 2012, Raymond Leight, Jr. The work of art is entitled, “Oy Vey!” (Luke 2:41) and features Mary standing outside the temple looking for Jesus. She was worried for days as she and Joseph searched for Him. In Ray’s depiction, she finds Him preaching in the temple courts and turns toward the crowd and raises her hand and explains, “Oy Vey!” (A Yiddish phrase expressing dismay or exasperation.) Yes, in a typical Jewish mother fashion!

This coming New Year’s Day, we will honor our Blessed Mother as we gather at 10:30am for the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Then we will once again bestow the next annual award to someone who exemplifies the deep love of our parish, just like Ray Leight did for so many years. We are grateful that the Leight Family Estate has provided us with a means to not only support the parish, but to honor our history and our life together as we, too, remember the life and legacy of Raymond Leight. A friend, a benefactor, and someone who touches us even to this day! I feel his love and strength as I remember fondly his care for this place.

We have built a grand vision for a parish here. A vision that has allowed us to become something very special – a place of love that welcomes so many and now cares for the poorest among us and gives sanctuary to those seeking a better life. Our outreach programs provide shelter for those who seek support from addiction and the coldness of homelessness. Our hearts have provided a means for people to provide a quality, private education to their children, and an historic cemetery to bury their dead near St. Francis. Our Pet Memorial Garden allows for those suffering the loss of one of God’s gentlest creatures to give a place of peace of memorial; a reward for their love that once so freely warmed their homes. Our Blessing Bag Program, Scarves with a Purpose and Prayer Shawls warm others in crisis or need and allows them to feel the love we so often feel here, too.

This coming month, we will announce something very exciting for our parish and community that will open our doors in a brand-new way this coming Lent! We are very excited and look to open our hearts in an ever-deepening way to provide more resources to give to those without faces, a means to be seen and loved again.

We have much to be proud of, but we have learned that it takes a lot of sacrifice and a lot of work to do what we have chosen to do by honoring what God has asked of us. It takes a village full of people willing to do God’s work, despite the world thinking us mad. This Tuesday morning, we will enjoy together once again, for the 10th time in a row, the Nativity of our Lord, Christmastide, an Octave of Christmas, in a brand-new year. We will bestow the Raymond Leight, Jr. Sacrificial Giving Award and we will enter more fully into the winter season with warm hearts.

I pray you well as we move ahead into proving to the world that the music we hear is not from our madness, but from our deep love of a man named Jesus, who have us His all. I pray you will support us with your end of year gift right now and allow us to bring to the world the love of God more fully.  An exciting year is ahead! Just watch!

Blessed New Year!

Monsignor +Jim, Pastor


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