Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother!
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: Tomorrow, December 8th, is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This wondrous feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Patronal Feast of the United States of America and it is a Holyday of Obligation. Please see the bulletin for the Mass times (8.00am, 12.15pm; 7.30pm).
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.
May the Immaculate Virgin help us all in these troubled times.
ADVENT EVENING OF PRAYER: On Thursday of this week December 11th, all are invited to an Advent Evening of Prayer. This will be similar to our Autumn Retreat which was in October, but it will be for only one night. The Evening of Prayer will begin at 7PM with Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament. After time for silent prayer and adoration, Father Gregory Rannazzisi will give our Advent meditation. The evening will then conclude with Benediction and there will be the opportunity for confession after the Benediction. I would encourage all of our parishioners to come to the Evening of Prayer. We must prepare ourselves for Christmas spiritually. Father Rannazzisi is the Vice Rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington and is well known to us through his appearances on TELECARE.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE: On Friday of this week we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On December 12, 1531, Our Lady left her holy image on the tilma of St. Juan Diego, a poor Aztec. The miraculous image is still in the great Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Protectress of the Unborn.
There will be a special Solemn High Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite (sometimes called the Extraordinary Form) on Friday evening at 7.00pm. The music will be traditional chant and polyphony.
Father Lachlan Cameron, the Director of the Office of Worship in the Diocese, will be our guest preacher that evening. Please make every effort to attend Mass in Our Lady’s honor. May the Holy Virgin, the River of Light (that is what Guadalupe means) ever illumine the darkness of our lives.
Benedicat Virgo Maria!
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda