Advent greetings everyone!
First and foremost, a big THANK YOU for all the support and contributions for our annual St. Nick Nite, held this past Saturday, on December 4th! A great deal of planning, organization, and effort went into this special night and it truly was a great event to host for Blessed Sacrament. As one of the biggest fundraisers for the parish and a special gathering this time of year, it was wonderful for me to see everything unfold for the first time.
I especially want to thank Jane and Ken Rozek for all their hard work and dedication! Also, I want to thank the army of volunteers who came to set up and clean up, to prepare food in the kitchen, and to organize crafts and activities for the kids. It was a great night to have young kids making Christmas themed ornaments, as well as older kids shooting hoops and running around the in the gym. Along with the events for the kids, a very special THANK YOU to Saint Nicholas himself! As the bishop of Myra (which is now modern day Turkey), as well as the cities of Bari and Venice in Italy, St. Nick swept in from the North Pole to greet everyone in the parish center. Thank you, St. Nick, and please keep us in your prayers!
Many of our parishioners and friends also went above and beyond to seek out donations and gifts for this evening. Whether they donated brand new appliances, gathered multiple gift cards and certificates to local venues, or sought donations for the food and paper products, these people did an OUTSTANDING job. I am very grateful to them, as are many people who left the evening with baskets and prizes to take home. Also, a big THANK YOU to the kids and young adults who brought baskets back and forth to winners.
Finally, congratulations to all of our cash prize winners! Wishing you all a continued joyous Advent, and hopefully those prizes will make things a little brighter…such as new holiday lights?
This weekend’s second collection is taken up for the Retirement Fund for the Religious. In our own particular parish of Blessed Sacrament, we were blessed to have the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, who arrived in 1931. Later in 1972, the Felician Sisters (Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Felix) came to continue the good work of spreading the gospel here in Tonawanda. Many of you can probably recall the positive contributions of sisters, brothers, friars and other religious, who taught you in high schools and colleges. Please remember them in your prayers, especially for those who have passed away, and for those entering into religious life for the first time.
For myself, I was taught at Christ the King Seminary by a truly holy Dominican friar, guided in spiritual direction by a remarkable Jesuit priest, and educated in the scriptures by a brilliant Franciscan sister. I am grateful for their dedication and love, especially as they guided me towards priesthood. This collection to support the religious is just one way, of many, in which I can say THANK YOU for helping me to know Christ Jesus personally and intimately.
~Fr. Martin Gallagher