Fr. Mike’s Communication for the November 29, 2020

1st Sunday of Advent I 29 November 2020

“Yet, O Lord, you are our father;
we are the clay and you the potter:
we are all the work of your hands.”

-Isaiah 64:7

Brothers and Sisters,

It’s all about time.

To that end, we all long for an end to 2020. Understandably, this is a year that brought drastic changes and sadness to our lives. Unfortunately, assigning an arbitrary date for its demise will not provide an end to this pandemic. Our days remain uncertain. With the gift of lasting grace, only our Lord can offer certainty and the fullness of life despite our current circumstances. Hang tight to this promise as we hang in there together.

As slowly as time has progressed during these past months, I’m still stunned to write; Advent is next week! And so begins worthwhile preparations for the coming of our Lord. This time of year brings joy, but the concept of Jesus’ arrival can be confusing, at least to me. After all, Jesus has already come. Jesus continually comes to us, entering our lives daily, and He will return, marking the beginning of eternal life. On top of all that, these are not three distinct comings. The Lord is here and now, but he has always been. The Lord Jesus entering our world was not a moment that has passed, but a moment that actively fills every moment of time and space with God’s abiding presence. It’s essential when pondering these mysteries to remember that our limited understanding of time, along with inadequate ways we have to describe time, add to our confusion. We are human with human knowledge, and that’s okay.  

The opening reflections of our Advent resource from Ignite Your Parish quotes the great Catholic author, G.K. Chesterton, “Our perennial spiritual and psychological task is to look at things familiar until they become unfamiliar again.” Let’s remember this sage advice as we begin and experience the four weeks of this Advent season. We must go beyond our sense of “boredom,” which often labels any experience that is not exciting or adventurous worthless. Appreciating the reality of time is not exchanging the hours and minutes to accomplish tasks but to treasure each passing minute as opportunities to encounter the Lord.

I encourage you also to consider our reading from Isaiah as we welcome the first day of Advent during a pandemic. God describes himself as “our Father” but also as a potter with clay on his wheel. If you’ve ever tried to make something out of artist clay, you know that when hard or brittle is difficult to shape. Let us pray that the Lord’s grace keeps us open and flexible these next four weeks. Let us also stay united in prayer this Advent for one another, that we might be a source of encouragement not to rush the process but look for meaningful moments in time to prepare for the coming of our Lord. Blessed Advent to you and your loved ones. May the Lord soften our hearts as we enter into this new year!

Some of the key considerations for this week:

  • Sign up” for Mass for December 5-6, register here.
  • OFFERINGS DURING ADVENT– Advent is a season filled with longing and renewed hope. Come and be fed by the riches of our Lord’s presence.

▫ The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered:
Wednesdays, 11am-12pm  (outdoors, in front of Church) & 6pm-7pm (outdoors, in back of Church)
Fridays, 4 pm-6 pm (in the Church, off the Narthex)
Monday, December 14 from 4 pm-7 pm
Tuesday, December 15 from 4 pm-7 pm
Saturday, December 19 from 1 pm-4 pm
Tuesday, December 22 from 4 pm-7 pm – This the last opportunity to receive the sacrament before Christmas. 

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the Altar, in the Church & Live Stream
Wednesdays, 2 pm to 7 pm and Fridays from 2 pm to 10 pm;

 Special Adoration Events:
Friday, December 4 at 7:30 pm, Adoration with Lessons & Carols-style prayer and praise.
Friday, December 11 at 7 pm, Holy Hour Sisters in the Lord (with Scripture & Music)
Friday, December 18 at 7 pm, Holy Hour Brothers in the Lord (with Scripture & Music)
*The Church remains open for private prayer Mondays & Tuesdays, 7:45 am to 3 pm, Wednesdays, 7:45 am to 7 pm, and Fridays, 7:45 am to 10 pm. The Church will not be open on Christmas Day after the last Mass of the day.

Blue Christmas Prayer Service on Monday, December 14 at 7 pm

Masses for Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Monday, December 7 at 7 pm
Tuesday, December 8 at 8:15 am and 5 pm

  • For years, young adults have had profound experiences by dedicating a “gap year” to engage in Christ-centered ministry, whether with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, the Peace Corp, the more recent FOCCUS. Modeled after the Jesuit Volunteer Corp experience of a post-college year, the Ignatian Volunteer Corp offers a renewed opportunity for folks who are a bit older to rediscover their passions and giftedness. If you are considering retirement or are already retired, consider praying about the IVC in Baltimore. IVC can match your skill-set to their great work of over 30 nonprofit partner agencies. Volunteers commit to 1 or 2 days of service per week and meet monthly for spiritual reflection in the Ignatian tradition. Zoom-in for a virtual information session on either December 8 at 9:30 is or December 10 at 7 pm. Registration is required at or email:
  • Catholic Charismatic Renewal presents Jesus 2020: EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT,  a virtual conference (Dec 11/12) streamed from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Register online and consider hosting a virtual gathering with family to share in the fruits of reflection and experience this fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

In the Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett