Today we celebrate the Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Before I comment on this feast, I want to say thank you. Thank you for participating in the life of Saint Anthony Parish this past year, worshipping every Sunday or at least worshipping regularly here at Saint Anthony or in the many parishes you attend because you are taking care of a family member, traveling with sons and daughters to and from college, traveling on business or just getting away for long weekends and vacations.
Thank you for sharing your time and talent with the par ish as one of our dedicated liturgical ministers helping us to deepen our faith through worship; as a lector, inspiring people to love the scriptures because of your prayerful proclamation of God’s Word, altar servers who assist at the altar, Eucharistic Ministers who distribute the Eucharist, the Environment and Art Committee members, or those who prepare the church for the seasons; or the singers and musicians who lead us in song prayer; and our laundry sacristans and Mass sacristans who prepare both churches for Liturgy each weekend. The ushers/greeters ensure everyone has a seat, take care of emergencies and assist with the collection. Everyone contributes something to the praise and glory of God. Your voices raised in prayer inspire us to want to gather together each Sunday to be nourished at the table of God’s Word and the table of life where we receive the Body and Blood of Christ and then go out and live the Mass. We say that we gather as a family of faith, a community regularly gathered in prayer to enrich our spiritual lives
and support one another. A special thank you for those who took the risk of joining an ARISE faith sharing group and loved it.
Thank you for sharing your time and talent by serving in one of our parish committees, groups or organizations from the Saint Anthony Seniors (S.A.S.) open to anyone over the age of 55 to the Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening Bible Study Groups. Saint Anthony Outreach sponsors shelter dinners and coordinates the gift giving for the children at the Sobrato and Saint Joseph family shelters. I am grateful for the Buildings and Grounds crew, Mary, Martha and Joseph Committee and to all of our catechists, pre-school, Children’s Liturgy of the Word, elementary and sacramental preparation catechists, Junior High and High School Youth Ministry. I am grateful for our Pastoral Care Committee who sponsored three blood drives, assisted with funerals and their preparations and who also made communion visits to the sick. In particular, I am grateful to the rectory committee whose hard work have helped us move forward with the remodel of the rectory.
On behalf of the whole parish I am grateful for your financial sacrifices to support the ministries, administration and facilities of this parish. You have been generous with your stewardship of treasure enabling us to open the doors each day, pay our bills, and provide ministry to those in need. You have been very generous to the rectory campaign and exceeded our goal. If at all possible, if you have not increased your Sunday contribution over the past year, please consider a 3% increase in your commitment of support.
As we celebrate this feast of the Holy Family, I ask you, as parishioners, members of this family of faith to reach out to some of our parish members who haven’t come as regularly as they used to. Please call the ones you know and invite them back, invite them to gather here for worship so that we can be a fuller family of faith, growing in the love of the Lord. I pray blessings on you as we enter into 2016, a New Year, the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Christmas Blessings, Father Larry