Dear Parishioners of our Beloved St. Paul:
Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother! During this holy time of Advent it is a great grace to celebrate one of the more glorious feasts of Our Blessed Mother, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. As is well known this Feast is kept on December 8th, exactly nine months to the day before we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8th.
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary means that Our Blessed Mother never knew the taint of the Original Sin. From the first moment of her conception in the womb of her mother St. Ann, Our Lady was full of grace; she was free from all sin. Thus do we say You are all-fair, O Blessed Virgin Mary, and no taint of sin is found in you. We may say that Our Lady shared in the great mystery of the redemption beforehand. She is younger than sin and in the words of the poet Longfellow, she is “Our tainted nature’s solitary boast.”
This truth of our faith must not be confused with the Virginal conception and birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This refers to that truth of our faith found in the Holy Bible that Our Lord was born of a Virgin. How fitting this would be for the Son of God would have no earthly father, but rather St. Joseph was the Guardian of the Redeemer. We pray at Holy Mass of the ever-Virgin Mary.
When December 8th falls on an Advent Sunday the feast of the Immaculate Conception is transferred to the next day, December 9th. However, in the law of the Church, while the joy-filled feast may be transferred, the obligation to attend Mass cannot be transferred. Thus there is no obligation to attend Mass on December 9th (December 8th is the day of obligation), but nonetheless many would like to attend Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Mass will be celebrated at 8.00am on Monday in the Rectory Chapel. May the Immaculate Virgin help us all.
New Hymnals You will have noticed that since the First Sunday in Advent we have been using our new red covered Missalette and Hymnal. We are very grateful to the donor who has given 900 of these books to the glory of God and to help us all to pray more fervently. The new books are more dignified and attractive in the pews. May we ask that you please not remove them from the Church and place them in the pew racks after Holy Mass. Please do not take the books apart or allow your children to do so. We hope these new books will serve our parish for many years.
New Carpet in the Sanctuary You will notice that the sanctuary carpet has been replaced. Again, we are most grateful to the donor who has provided this new carpet to beautify the House of God. The former carpet, as I am sure was obvious, was quite old. It was stained, burned, torn and ripped. It was way beyond a steam cleaning. The poor condition of the carpet was especially noticeable at the time of weddings and funerals. This new carpet is more worthy of the God of All Holiness. You will also notice that some chairs have been removed from the sanctuary (there had previously been 19 chairs there) to add to a greater sense of spaciousness and to rid the sanctuary of excess clutter.
Altar Crucifixes and Candlesticks We are grateful to those who have contributed to the purchase of an altar crucifix and candlesticks that will be placed on the altar of both our Church and Chapel. Several are still available for those who would like to memorialize a loved one. Please see me if you would like to contribute to this and memorialize a loved one.
Parish Party Please save the date of Friday May 16th. It will be our annual parish party held at the Cottage of the Milleridge Inn, our neighbors and parishioners. We are all grateful to Mrs. Paula Maturo and her committee who have already been working for several months so that we may all have a pleasant, enjoyable and grace-filled evening.
Parish Website Please note that since July our new parish website is www.stpaulsbrookville.org This has been announced in the bulletin for several weeks and is, of course, on the title page of the bulletin every week. The former website (www.stpaulbrookville.com) is no longer the official website of the parish. It had not been updated for over two years. That unofficial website is still on the web because the owner of the domain (not the parish) has not taken it down. Please use the new parish website which has weekly updates and the weekly bulletin and various schedules on line.
Please note that the Giving Tree is on the stage of the Parish Hall. Because of the winter weather the Knights are also selling their Christmas items in the Church Hall. Why not go there after Mass and buy some Christmas items from the Knights and take a gift suggestion from the Giving Tree and return the gift to the tree in the Parish Hall.
And finally on Saturday December 7 we will mark the 26th anniversary of the death of our second pastor Father William Galloway. Please remember this good priest in your prayers. The 5.00PM Mass on Saturday the 7th will be offered for him. We are most grateful to a kind parishioner who donated the means for the replating of Father Galloway’s ordination chalice. It was in a cupboard in the sacristy and blackened with age. It has now been restored to its former beauty and will be used at the Mass offered for Father Galloway.
Benedicat Virgo Maria!
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda