November 28, 2021: First Sunday of Advent

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Dear friends in Christ,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I thanked our Good Lord for all of you in our pastorate and the blessing it is to be your Pastor. I also thank God that we have begun the Holy Season of Advent! It is a season of waiting. We are waiting for the day the Lord will return in glory. No one knows when that day will be. The only thing we are certain of is that every breath we take brings us closer to that day. During this Advent season, we are also waiting to celebrate the first coming of Christ on His birthday at Christmas. We know that soon December 25th will be upon us. I want to encourage you to hold onto this beautiful season of Advent. I know the blinking lights of Christmas draw us to jump right to that very special day but have no fear we have a whole Christmas season to rejoice in His birth. Right now, it is Advent, so may I gently encourage you hold back a little bit in the Christmas decorations and festivities. Enjoy these first few weeks of Advent by patiently waiting and fervently praying so we are truly ready for Christmas and not already tired of the festivities and music before it really begins.

I also hope everyone is ready to celebrate our first synod listening session next Sunday, December 5th. It will be held at 1 PM in the Saint Matthew church hall. We are trying our best to get ready to provide a prayerful time of deep listening and discernment where all can respond to the fundamental question of how the Church can and is truly journey with us through life. How are we doing in forming communion, fostering participation, and fulfilling our mission? Along with prayerfully hearing our reflections on these questions, I truly believe that this type of listening to each other is the key to healing wounds in our Church and in our world.

May God bless us all this Advent!  I am so thankful!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Matt

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Reflection for the first week of Advent!

Advent is the beginning of the season of expectant waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and His second coming.  After being inside for most of the past year due to covid, it is a time to focus on the Joy of the birth of Christ and the promise of his second coming. One of the ways we celebrate Advent is by lighting the candles of the Advent wreath.

The wreath is a never-ending circle symbolizing the eternity of God and the everlasting life we find in Jesus. There are four candles on the wreath, one for each week.  Three of these candles are purple, a color that signifies a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice.  The first violet candle symbolizes Hope the expectation of the coming Messiah.  The second violet candle symbolizes Faith. The third candle is rose, and it symbolizes Joy. The third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday and reminds us of the Joy we experience with the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The fourth week is another violet candle marking the last week of prayer and penance before Christmas.  This candle symbolizes Peace.  The message of the Angels brought to earth: “Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men.”

Join us for this Advent season of expectant Joy, prayer, penance, and sacrifice.

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Mass Times for Our Community

From the beginning of the pandemic through the transition to a new pastor, our community has been through a lot.  Our faith and our unity have been our strength.  As we start to come back together to worship, we hope our new trial Mass schedule with help us grow in faith and unity.  We wanted a Mass schedule that makes it possible for Fr. Matt and Deacon Paul to be able to celebrate with us.  We also want to emphasize that we are one Pastorate, one community, with two beautiful worship sites where all are welcome!

Our schedule is:

  • Saturday:  Confessions at 3 PM and Mass at 5 PM (Saint Matthew)
  • Sunday:  Mass at 9 AM (Saint Matthew) and 11 AM (Blessed Sacrament)

One Sunday Mass will still be livestreamed; the 1st and very last Sundays from Blessed Sacrament and the other Sundays from Saint Matthew.

We hope to continue this schedule for a while and then evaluate again how it is working as a Pastorate community going forward.  Hope to see you at our vigil Mass or the early or late Mass at either of our beautiful Parishes – all are welcome!

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Youth and young adults announcements!

The Faith Formation Center invites you to attend Family Faith Friday on December 3rd. Join us as we learn about Encountering Christ at Christmas. We will meet in the hall at Saint Matthew. Doors open at 6 PM and the story starts at 6:30. We will provide a lite dinner and drinks. Please RSVP to Rudy Dehaney by Thursday, December 2nd:  rudy.dehaney@archbalt.org

Youth Christian Students (or YCS) are monthly discussion groups that discuss different issues that we able to “see” the realities of young people, “judge” based on our gospel values, and “act” to change our realities to one we seek live in. The next meeting is on December 5th at 3 PM via Zoom. Any high school student is welcome to join with us.

You may access the meeting via the following link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82593377413

If you have not yet signed up for confirmation for the 2021 22 school year and have a child in the 10th grade or older, you may do so by filling out the registration form in the back of the church or online. Sessions will be starting in December. The registration link is:

https://form.jotform.com/213224444113139

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2022 envelope boxes!

Envelopes have begun to be distributed.  Please be on time and pick up your envelopes promptly.  They will be available by appointment to pick up during the week at the office and at weekend Masses until the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

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Have you heard about Synod 2021 – 2023?

Pope Francis has called the People of God to participate in the life and mission of the Universal Church.

Parish Synod listening session on Sunday, December 5th, at 1 PM in the church hallMore details to come!

Click here for a presentation given to the Pastoral Council about the Synod!

Click here for an FAQ sheet on the Synod!

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Christmas flower memorials 2021!

Forms are available to fill out and are due no later than Monday, December 13th.  Click the picture above to download the form!

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Advent and Christmas Mass schedule 2021!

Click the picture above to download the schedule!

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2021 Liturgy committee fundraiser!

Forms are available to fill out and are due no later than Sunday, December 19th.  Click the picture above to download the form!

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  • A Catholic Response to an Epidemic Please note that some of this information was published before all Parishes were closed.
  • Magnificat online – free resources for prayer including each day’s Readings for Mass (weekdays and weekends), Liturgy of the Hours, and more.  To access the Readings for Mass, scroll down to Magnificat online edition, U.S. edition.
  • My Parish App This the Readings and prayers for the Sunday Celebration of the Mass and much more!
  • Find more resources here!

 

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Online Rosary – Saturdays at 10 AM:

As covid-19 and other challenges to our society continue to be with us, our prayers and our actions are still needed!  Therefore, you are invited to join us for a chat, share what you are experiencing, and share what you would like to pray for as we pray the Rosary together.

For this meeting we ask you to register, just for an added layer of security. To register click this link and follow the directions:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAvcumgqzIrG9NsuLmWWuw8OlW8ivNW9TM8

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the meeting.  You can register up until Saturday morning at 9:30 AM.

 

 

 

Weekly Bible Study with Deacon Paul from Blessed Sacrament – Thursdays from 8 to 9 PM:

This Bible Study is conducted by phone conference and the conversation concerns the Readings for the coming Sunday.  Anyone is welcome to call in and participate or simply listen.

The number to call is:  425-436-6356 

When asked for the code dial:  698937

 

You can also join the call by ZOOM!

Join Zoom meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86893786919

Meeting ID:  868 9378 6919
By phone with no video:  1-301-715-8592

 

The Readings for each week’s Bible Study can be found on the USCCB website at the following link:

https://bible.usccb.org/readings/calendar

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You can watch one weekend Mass LIVE on Facebook and on YouTube every Sunday!  See the schedule above for Mass online.  Visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel to watch recorded Masses from previous weeks.

PLEASE call or check our website for ALL schedule changes.

The Parish office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM.  Please continue to send in your Offertory envelopes and consider signing up for GiveCentral online giving!

2021-12-03T08:02:46-05:00
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