Guadete! Joy!

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Dear Friends:

Peace and all Good! Today is “Gaudete Sunday”! Like the Fourth Sunday of Lent, today is one of joy in the midst of our spiritual preparations for Christmas. It is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin of the Entrance Antiphon for today. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” This opening hymn captures the mood of the entire Liturgy as we move forward and arrive ever closer to the great celebration of the Incarnation! Today, we have a sense of joyful expectation, an awareness that the fulfillment of God’s great plan for us is near.

Beginning tomorrow, our Hispanic Community and our Filipino Community will enter into nine days of joyful preparation for Christmas. All are invited to Las Posadas, the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and to the Masses of Simbang Gabi, the Filipino Novena in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Click the links for times and places, or see our worship page.

This past week has been a full one with delightful celebrations of Our Lady of Guadalupe and our first annual Christmas Carol Sing‐a‐Long and Tree Lighting ceremony! Each of these celebrations is a beautiful way for us to enter into the spirit of this joyful season! We offer our thanks and appreciation to all who worked so hard to make these events so beautiful and inspiring for us all!

This week, our parish will celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Tuesday at 1:00 in the afternoon. A number of priest confessors will be available for Confessions. John the Baptist cries out: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” If you have been away from this sacrament, now is the time to receive the compassionate love and mercy of God!

As we shortly begin a new year, the Parish Pastoral Council has initiated a new goal: Reaching out to Catholics who for one reason or another are no longer involved in the Church and have been away from our community. Perhaps this Christmas Season you find yourself or someone you know seriously considering a return to active participation in the Church’s life and worship. To facilitate a simple and kind way for Catholics to return home, we will begin a six‐week program of prayer and reflection led by fellow parishioners to welcome our brothers and sisters back into joyful communion. Please click here to read more details about this very important ministry of welcoming all people through the doors of our Church!

Fr. Oscar Mendez, OFM
Fr. Oscar Mendez, OFM

In closing, on behalf of our entire parish, I congratulate Fr. Oscar on the occasion of his 30th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. Fr. Oscar, we are grateful for your faithful ministry to the people of God here and in all the places in which you have served. Happy Anniversary!

Love, Fr. Vince