Well, the Advent season is finally upon us and since the new church year begins…Happy New Year! This year of 2023 is Year A in the Sunday cycle of readings, which means we will be hearing from the Gospel of St. Matthew during the Sunday Masses. The Sunday cycle is a 3-year cycle (Year A is Matthew, Year B is Mark, and Year C is Luke), while the Gospel of John is read every year (during the second half of Lent and all throughout the Easter season). This only applies, however, to the season of Ordinary Time. During the holy seasons (Advent, Christmas, the season after Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and the season from Ascension until Pentecost), the gospels will be taken from all 4 of the New Testament books. Also, on special holy days and feasts (such as Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart, Assumption, All Saint’s, Immaculate Conception, etc.) the gospels come from all 4 evangelists.
The weekday readings (again, during Ordinary Time) are arranged in a 2-year cycle; Year I and Year II. This coming year of 2023, Year I will be used.
However, let us take the time to enter into the sacredness of Advent, and truly prepare our hearts for the coming of the Infant King. We can do this in simple ways, such as making use of our Advent wreathes (perhaps, lighting the candles each night at dinnertime) as well as waiting a few weeks before going all out with the Christmas decorations. I would recommend waiting until after the 3rd Sunday of Advent has passed, also known as “Gaudete Sunday,” which is the weekend of December 10th and 11th.
SOME VERY EXCITING NEWS TO REPORT!!
As many of you know, our very dedicated and faithful trustee, Sally Kingsley, passed away at the end of September. Sally was certainly devoted to this parish of Blessed Sacrament, and worked very hard to support and strengthen it in any way. Her death leaves a lasting void among us, and we are so indebted to her for many, many years of faithful service. God bless you, Sally…may our prayers on your behalf bring you comfort and consolation, and may you truly rest in peace!
Just as we have said our farewells to Sally, we also look towards the future and are hopeful for the gifts and talents of so many of you. After considering a number of different names for the position of PARISH TRUSTEE (and there were MANY wonderful and gifted people considered) I am very pleased to announce that ROSEMARY AILINGER has accepted my invitation to become our new trustee! Congratulations, Rosemary! I am truly grateful for your willingness to take up this role, and I know that you, supported by so many faithful parishioners, will be a valuable asset to our community for the future!
Along with our new trustee, I am also VERY pleased to announce that PAULA SHEEHAN has very graciously accepted my invitation to become the new parish coordinator for Catholic Charities! This was a role that Sally Kingsley did with great faithfulness and love, and it is no small thing that Paula has agreed to take up this responsibility. Thank you very, very much, Paula, for saying yes! I know that our Catholic Charities commitment will thrive and flourish under your leadership…thank you!
~ Fr. Martin Gallagher