Archives for December 2015

From the Pastor – December 20, 2015

Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel. (Is. 7:14)   Behold [Mary], you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1:31-32a)   In William Shakespeare’s play, “Romeo and Juliet,” the two lovers have a dialogue about their own names.  It begins with Romeo hearing Juliet call his name:  “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?”  Later in the dialogue, Romeo responds:  “It is my soul that calls upon my name:  How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night, Like softest music to attending ears!” This quote has been paraphrased to something like:  “there’s nothing so sweet as the sound of one’s own … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – December 13, 2015

“Brothers and sisters: Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again:  rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.” (Phil. 4:4-5 ) This third Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete Sunday” from the Latin St. Paul uses when he tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always”: gaudete in Domino semper!  The spirit of the Liturgy in Advent is one of expectation and preparation for Christmas and the Second Coming of Christ, but our penitential attitude is suspended on Gaudete Sunday so that we might focus on the joy of our Redemption, which should never be far from our hearts. To highlight the importance of Gaudete Sunday, the priest wears rose vestments and lights a rose candle on the Advent wreath. Why do we mark this day by focusing particularly on joy?  It’s because the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – December 6, 2015

“John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, a voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” (Luke 3:3-4)   In the ancient world, there were no interstates.  Roads were little more than worn down paths that were constantly being affected by traffic or weather.  One of the hallmarks of the Roman army is that they built roads wherever they went.  But when there was a battle, roads and bridges would be destroyed in order to stop the advance of the enemy.  But one thing was certain: when word came that someone important was coming, the people would do their best to fix the roads or build new ones … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – December 27, 2015

The shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.  All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.” (Lk 2:15-18) Christmas can carry with it a lot of nostalgia for many of us.  The season brings back memories of past Christmases, and might be particularly difficult for those who’ve recently lost loved ones.  We might remember the happy times that we had, and we might be filled with a little heartache.  It’s interesting that the word “nostalgia” is formed by two Greek words, ?????? (nóstos), … [Read more...]

Holy Days Mass Schedule

Mary, Mother of God Thursday, December 31 6:00pm Vigil Mass Mary, Mother of God Friday, January 1 8:00am & 10:30am Mass (all Masses at St. Stephen Church) … [Read more...]

Advent Morning of Recollection

Catholic Women in Action, a committee of The Catholic Foundation, invites you to a end an Advent Morning of Reflection Monday, December 7, 2015, beginning at 8:00 AM with Mass and reflection by Monsignor Christopher Nalty, followed by guest speakers John and Jenifer Besh on how you can spiritually prepare your family for Christ’s coming and help evangelize others.” … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 29, 2015

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Lk 21:36) This Sunday we begin the Holy Season of Advent, a time when we prepare to celebrate the first coming of Christ in the manger at Christmas while looking with expectation toward His second coming in glory.  It’s a time when we’re called to be “vigilant,” meaning to “keep watch” for danger.  And what is that “danger”?  In the Gospel today, Jesus mentions “there will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.”  In one sense, this is really our experience in the present world that has so much access to information technology.  We hear about … [Read more...]