FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Pastor’s Notes

MASS INTENTIONS: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, December 17 + Ryan Ross King (Mommy & Guy King) 8:00 a.m. Sunday, December 18 + Mary Alderigi (Georgia Martin) 10:00 a.m. Sunday, December 18 For the People 5:30 p.m. Monday, December 19 Allan & Gina Stapleton & Children (Donor) 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 20 Mike Haas (Birthday) (Parish Family) 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 21 Kara Stapleton (D.J. Stapleton) 8:00 a.m. Thursday, December 22 Jay & Mary Stapleton & Children (Donor) 8:00 a.m. Friday, December 23 All Souls (Donor) 5:30 p.m. Saturday, December 24 Vigil Mass Christmas + Bill Dressel (Family) 12:00 a.m. Sunday, December 25 Midnight Christmas Mass For the People 7:30 a. m. Sunday, December 25 Christmas Day 9:00 a.m. Sunday, December 25 Christmas Day + U. A. & Marie Cornett (Dick & Marge Cornett)

SAINTS AND SPECIAL OBSERVANCES:

Sunday: Tuesday: Thursday: Friday: Saturday:

Fourth Sunday of Advent St. Peter Canisius; Winter Solstice St. John of Kanty The Vigil of Christmas The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Total collection: Dec. 10/11 $5,734.00 Average expenses last 4 weeks: $3,302.85 Total in Electrical Fund: $97,419.30 Total Pledged for Electrical as of 12/7: $110,359.25 Attendance: 5:30 PM (63) 8:00 AM (59) 10:00 AM (97) Holy Day: 5:30 PM (99) 8:00 AM (38) 7:00 PM (31) Religious Retirement Fund: $786.00

On this last Sunday of Advent, our focus shifts from preparation for Christ’s return to that of getting ready to celebrate His first coming at Christmas. We know that by her Immaculate Conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was prepared in a unique way for her role as mother of the Savior and Mother of God. God gave Mary a unique grace that none of us receive. But what about Saint Joseph? Was he prepared for the role he would be called upon to play as Jesus’ foster father? At first glance today’s Gospel passage would seem to imply that he was singularly unprepared. Yet, his actions following his angelic dream might imply otherwise. How many of us, if we had a dream about angels speaking to us would respond with the unquestioning immediacy that Joseph did? Most of us would likely just brush it off as we do all of our dreams and simply forget about it. Sure, we might speak about it to some close friend or family member, but that would likely be the end of it. But Joseph did respond and he responded in faith. And it is that faith that shows that in spite of his struggle with the situation of finding that Mary was pregnant with a child he knew was not his own that he was prepared. Saint Matthew says that Joseph was a righteous man. That meant that he took his faith seriously. He was devoted to following the Law and the Prophets with all his heart. But unlike the Pharisees who thought that keeping the Law meant only the external observance of its precepts, Joseph knew that it meant much more. He understood that it was based on the two great commandments of love of God and love of neighbor. It was that deep love of God and faith in God’s promises that enabled Joseph to respond as he did. If he had not been a man who practiced the virtues of faith, hope, and love, he would likely have divorced Mary quietly and simply walked away as fast as his feet could carry him. As we know, preparing to celebrate Christmas means more than decorating our houses, baking cookies, buying presents, singing carols, and writing Christmas cards. These things are only expressions of the joy we feel when we consider the gift of Christ. Instead, preparing for Christmas means living out our faith 365 days a year. It means practicing faith, hope, and love. It means being constantly open to God’s call to our hearts and our willingness to do whatever God calls us to do. Like Saint Joseph, we might have doubts about our worthiness to be God’s instruments; we may even be tempted to run away. But, as long as we are willing to say yes to God, God will work with us and show us how we can respond to His call in our own unique situations. In short, preparing to celebrate Christmas is the same as preparing for Christ’s second coming: it means becoming as holy as God knows each of us can be.

Father Tom MINISTERS: SAT. DEC. 24 5:30 PM VIGIL MASS SUN. DEC. 25 12:00 AM MIDNIGHT SUN. DEC. 25 9:00 AM_____ EUCHARIST: _ LILIA BABBITT 2. 3. PAUL KOCH, JANET NORTH, JOY ELLIOTT PAUL SEBASTIAN___________ LECTOR: LAYNE OURS & NATALIE SWAIN PAUL SEBASTIAN STEPHANIE SEBASTIAN______ SERVERS: GARRETT & GABE FRAZEE & BLAISE DAVISON JUSTIN MCCLELLAND 2. 3. COLTON STAPLETON ELIJAH & NOAH LEWIS & AYDEN STAPLETON 4. 5. ________ AYDEN STAPLETON _ USHERS: MIKE MCCONNELL KEITH ELLIOTT FRED CALVERT __ NATHAN FRAZEE MATT BOKOVITZ ___ _______________________ GIFTS: ADDISON NOLAN, BRADY METZGER, COYE OURS DANNY & AMILDA THOMPSON CALEB FRAZEE & CODY STAPLETON_____________________________________________________________________________________ CHRISTMAS CHILDREN: It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas. —Charles Dickens:

FATHER THOMAS HAMM, JR. PASTOR

DECEMBER 18, 2016 SUMMONED BY GOD

As Christmas draws near, Advent’s scriptures lure us into a world of dreams, signs, wonders, and the miracle of the virgin birth. Too often we allow the great stories of our faith, the ones that are most familiar, simply to wash over us. Today’s Gospel account of the events leading up to the birth of the Lord reads like a present-day soap opera. Yet Joseph’s courage, even in the midst of what must have been an incredibly confusing time, provides a model for us. Each week, we are summoned by God to embrace the way of goodness and truth through the proclamation of God’s holy word. Like Joseph, we are called to do as the Lord commands us. As we stand at the threshold of Christmas, let us have the courage to be open to whatever it is that the Lord will require of us as we celebrate the miracle of Bethlehem. Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co., Inc. R. C. I. A. No R.C.I.A. class today. Class will resume on January 8, 2017. If anyone is interested in becoming Catholic, returning to the Catholic Faith or just wants to learn more about the Catholic Church, please attend our Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). CONFIRMATION CLASS today Sunday, December 18 next Sunday, December 25 and Sunday, January 1 there will not be class. Parents and sponsors are encouraged and invited to any or all classes they would like to attend. THIS IS THE LAST WEEKEND FOR OUR ADVENT SALE OF RELIGIOUS ARTICLES PLEASE STOP OVER AND SEE WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING NEEDS. MASS ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 19 AND WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21 WILL BE AT 5:30 PM. LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS TO HELP DECORATE THE INSIDE OF THE CHURCH FOR CHRISTMAS: We will decorate the inside of the church for Christmas TOMORROW MONDAY, DECEMBER 19 starting at 9:00 AM. Anyone that is able to volunteer, your help will be most appreciated. In today’s Gospel, we hear that Jesus will be named Emmanuel, which means “God is with Us.” The mystery of the birth of Jesus is supremely a mystery of love. May each Christmas find us more and more like him: more humble, more holy, more happy and more full of God. Since Christmas is a time of love and gift giving, please share in Jesus ministry by giving a gift to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul so that those who are poor can know the good news of Jesus. PLEASE ATTEND OUR MEETING ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20 AT 7:00 PM. BIBLE STUDY THIS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21 6:15 -8:00 PM. PARISH SCHOOL OF RELIGION CLASSES THERE WILL BE NO CLASSES ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21 AND 28. PENANCE SERVICES: The next penance service will be at Sacred Heart Church in Point Pleasant on Thursday December 22 at 7:00 PM. Confession on Saturday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) will at 3:00 PM not at 4:30 PM. Any other time please call the Parish office for an appointment. CHRISTMAS CARDS: We are still selling boxed Religious Christmas Cards as a fund raiser for the electrical project. If you are in need, you can call the parish office. They will also be out at the advent sale. They are $10.00 for a box of twenty. NAMES ON THE PRAYER LIST WILL REMAIN FOR 30 DAYS AFTER 30 DAYS THEY WILL BE REMOVED UNLESS YOU NOTIFY THE OFFICE.

These names will remain until December 31, 2016 Please pray for the health and the healing of our friends and relatives:

Resty and Gisela Alonzo, Kali Blazer, Brett Bokovitz, E. V. Clarke, Aniston Cooper, Nathan Cummons, Harriett Davison, Karen Davison, Keith Davison, Betty Doerfer, Pam Franklin, Sue Freyberg,. Jonnie Lou Gabrielli, Albert Grable, Kelly Haas, Larry Haas, Betty Hamm, Everett King, Robert King, Noah Knackstedt, John Lemley, David Leport, Davey Mathney, Lee Ann Mollohan, Dorothy Musgrove, Phoebe Neal, Carla O’Dell, Jeanne Ours, Vickie Patterson, Linda Plymale, Mark Porter, Bart Repass, Herlinda Reyes, Jeff Rider, Remo & Helen Rocchi, Ken Ryan, Charlotte Shaffer, Lyle Shillington, Cameran Smith, Dr. Anthony Sola, Katy Sprow, Wendy Stiles, Irene & Charles Surber, Sandy Vanco, Tyler Ward, Harry White, Barbara Wickline, Patrick Wolfe and Tombo Woodward.

RELIGIOUS RETIREMENT FUND COLLECTION: Thank You for supporting senior religious. A sister from Indiana write, “Because of your kindness, our elderly sisters will have the comfort, security, and joy of living out their remaining years here in their home. You truly honor them and their many years of service by your generosity.” Religious across the United States offer sincere thanks for your generosity to last week’s collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious. MARCH FOR LIFE TRIP SPONORED BY THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS THURSDAY 1/26/17 FRIDAY 1/27/17. $100.00 if registered with payment by 12/31/16. Round trip motor coach bus, snacks on the bus, one boxed lunch, hotel accommodations (4 per room), two day metro passes, prayer materials, dinner. Pick up time for Gallipolis should be around 4:15 AM. There are registration forms on the table in back of church. MASS SCHEDULE IN CASE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER: If any school in Gallia County is delayed or closed Mass will be at 11:00 AM. PLEDGE CARDS: THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT HAS ALL READY RETURNED YOUR PLEDGES. YOUR GENEROSITY IS GREATLY APPRECIATED. If you have not done so it is not too late we still need your pledges. No pledge is too small. You can return them either in the collection basket or by mail. In order to complete the renovation project, the parish must generate capital. If you have any questions please call the parish office. When paying your pledge please use the Capital Improvement Envelope in your monthly envelope packet and mark on it ELECTRICAL PLEDGE.

TREASURES FROM OUR TRADITION By now, the first Christmas carols are heard in the home, but usually not yet in church. What is a “carol” anyway? Originally, a carol was any kind of communal song sung at a festival such as a harvest. By the thirteenth century or so, carols were associated with household celebrations. “Carol” comes from the Old French carula, meaning a circular dance. Carols weren’t for church, since the language of liturgy was Latin and the carols were in the common language. Their characteristic sound comes from medieval chord patterns, and they often have strong refrains for everyone to sing. Even in the churches of the Reformation, carols didn’t make it into church services until the 1870s or so, since there was a preference for psalms. Anglicans resisted popular carols; most of our beloved carols came via the Methodists, an offshoot of the Church of England. The Catholic Church generally didn’t admit carols to liturgy either, but we didn’t make laws against them. We are told that the beloved carol “Silent Night” comes from Catholic Austria and a harried parish music director. Joseph Mohr, the priest of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf, had written the words in 1816, but offered them to his music director, Franz Gruber, when the church’s organ broke. Mohr asked him to write a melody that could be played on guitar as a prelude to Mass. Gruber finished the tune just hours before midnight Mass in 1818. The people were shocked to hear a guitar in church, but were charmed by the sweet lullaby. The church was swept away by a flood in the 1990s and the village later relocated, but the townspeople have set up the “Silent Night Memorial Chapel” at the site. Today the carol is in print in some three hundred languages. How wonderful that the pipe organ broke on that night! —Rev. James Field, Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co. —Rev. James Field, Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co.

SUNDAY BULLETIN DECEMBER 18, 2016 FOURTH SUNDAY OF ...

and writing Christmas cards. ... draws near, Advent's scriptures lure us into a world of dreams, signs, wonders, and the miracle of the virgin birth. ... Displaying SUNDAY BULLETIN DECEMBER 18, 2016 FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT.pdf.

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