This weekend we begin a new liturgical year, the Advent Season, and the beginning of a milestone celebration for St. Mary’s. Advent 2021 starts our three-year preparation for our 175th anniversary celebration. Over the next three years, our parish will be focusing on what Discipleship really means, and how we can become more authentic, aware, involved and passionate Disciples of Jesus Christ. This is a monumental endeavor that has an entire committee behind it. As you will see from our weekend liturgies this weekend, the signage now placed above the doors of our churches, and will witness in the coming weeks, a lot of planning and preparation are at work to help us celebrate St. Mary’s.
The three-year preparation is also a three-year celebration that will culminate in 2024. Each year a new theme will focus our efforts and energy on our role as Disciples at St. Mary’s. This is a time for all of us to look at our commitment to being a Disciple of Jesus, and ask ourselves if we’re doing our best? The theme this year to guide us is ‘I am a Disciple.’ Ironically, many people that I talk to have no idea that they are disciples of Jesus Christ. Many have no idea that baptism begins that important relationship, but that it takes a lifetime commitment of growing, learning and practicing to be the authentic Disciple Jesus calls us to.
As we begin this time at St. Mary’s, there will be opportunities for all of us to grow as Disciples, to reflect on our rich history, to appreciate the accomplishments of our parish and to celebrate one another. No matter how long you’ve been a part of St. Mary’s, this parish is your home and strives to help every person in growing their relationship with Jesus.
As we begin the season of Advent, this is a great opportunity for us to begin again. A new liturgical year, a new advent offers us the opportunity to look at our schedules and carve out time to find Jesus. Begin placing Jesus at the center of our lives and not focusing on the pressures and stresses of the holiday season.
Our fast approaching parish mission in combination with our Day of Mercy, is an outstanding way to begin this season enlightened and renewed. Fr. Gene O’Reilly will be joining us and I promise he will lift your hearts and spirits and will help us begin our parish celebrations for our 175th in the right fashion, focusing on Christ. Having our Day of Mercy on Dec. 7 – 8 will provide a great opportunity for all of us to begin again with 24 hours of Reconciliation being offered from Tuesday Dec. 7 at 8 pm – Dec 8 at 8 pm. Please make every effort to attend!
Ready or not, here we go! Let the preparations, celebrations and growth begin as we prepare not just to celebrate 175 years of St. Mary’s, but begin to plan for 175 more!