Tuesday, we celebrate the Feast of Mary the Mother of God, a solemnity and holy day. The bishop dispensed us from the obligation for 2019, but we will celebrate the feast at 9:30 AM. So, I want to say thank you to all of you.
Thank you for participating in the life of Saint Anthony Parish this past year, worshiping regularly here at Saint Anthony or in the parish 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 your prayers and offering your participation in the life of the parish 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, (those who prepare the church for the season); 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 who 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 Sacrament where we receive the Body and Blood of Christ and then go out and live the Eucharist. 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 a 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 that sponsors shelter dinners and coordinates the gift giving for the children at the Saint Joseph family shelter. I am grateful for the Buildings and Grounds crew, Mary, Martha and Joseph Committee and to all of our catechists, elementary and sacramental preparation catechists, Junior High and High School Youth Ministry. I am grateful for our Pastoral Care Committee who sponsored blood drives, assisted with funerals and their preparations and who also made communion visits to the sick.
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 financial support enabling us to open the doors each day, pay our bills, and provide ministry to those in need. You stepped up and participated in the Increased Offertory Campaign that will enable us to keep ministering to others. Saint Anthony does not receive money from the diocese or the Vatican, we are totally self-funded. We rely on your financial support every Sunday, every month, every year. If you have not given this past year, please consider supporting Saint Anthony parish this coming year.
As we celebrate this feast of the Mary, Mother of God, I ask you, as parishioners, members of this family of faith to be like a mother and reach out to some of our parish members who aren’t coming 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 2019 a New Year of faith and hope as we give thanks for all that God does for us.
Christmas and New Year Blessings, Father Larry