Feast of the Holy Family

My Dear Friends in Christ,

What wonderful celebrations we had at our parish to share in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ! Our churches were beautifully decorated and I would like to thank everyone who gave of their time to prepare everything. Our liturgy committee and parish staff are attentive to the fine details of our celebrations, for which I am grateful. I would also like to thank our liturgical ministers (altar servers, lectors, Extraordinary Ministers) and our parish musicians. Without all of you, our celebrations would not have been possible. You also helped make Fr. Melwin’s first Christmas in the United States a most holy and memorable one.

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. It is a time to remember our call to model our earthly families after Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. As humans, our families will always have differences and struggles, but that doesn’t mean we cannot strive for the faithfulness, goodness, and holiness which are demonstrated for us. Some of our families are working towards this and others have a way to go. Whatever the journey of our individual families, we pray for all to look to Christ for guidance, especially when family life is challenging.

This coming Wednesday is a Holy Day of Obligation: the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. What a wonderful way to start our 2020- by turning over our lives to the Blessed Mother’s loving care. It all started when Mary said “YES” to God and the fulfillment of that blessing in Christ’s coming. We are now called into an intimate relationship with God. As we continue to celebrate in the joy of His coming let us be ever mindful of His great love and mercy for us all in the coming New Year.

Don’t forget that next Sunday is our Parish Feast Day! I am looking forward to a joyous occasion with the l0:00 am Mass at St. Stephen followed by a parish-wide celebration. It is a joy and privilege to celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord with all of you before I take my annual leave.

I will be leaving January 6th to go visit my family in India and I will return on February 6th. Even though I will be far away from you, my dear parishioners, I will keep you in my prayers. I entrust you to Fr. Melwin’ s spiritual care in my absence. In addition to covering the Masses, he will ensure all of your pastoral needs are met. As with last year, I will ask the staff to update you via the bulletin and social media on my adventures. I will do my best to send along photos and stories, time permitting. I ask that you will keep me in your prayers and know that you will be remembered in all Masses I say while I am away. I wish you joy, peace and happiness in the upcoming year 2020. Happy New Year!

Fr. Gilbert Mascarenhas SAC

“The community, as a moral body, would be destroyed if the spirit of charity were lacking.” – St. Vincent Pallotti

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