December 19, 2014
Dear St. Joseph Parishioners,
Greetings and peace. A little fog is a whole lot better than snow or worse. It is looking like we will be blessed with great weather for Christmas.
- “You have found favor with God.” As the celebration of the Word Made Flesh approaches, the Church turns our attention to Jesus’ Mother Mary. She has found favor with God and through her we have as well. As our parish celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe Friday so we walk with Mary and Joseph through the nightly search for shelter (posadas) and are reminded of our call to listen to how God speaks to us—whether from on high or low, and especially in the words of the poor. Mary is a unique example of how God’s grace reaches us and she prefigures the message of Jesus with her song of hope (the Magnificat).
- I have all our weekend Masses: Saturday at 5pm; Sunday at 9:30am (English); 12noon (Spanish) and 5pm (Bi-lingual).
- The color of the week is “purple” once more—then it’ll be white or gold through Baptism of our Lord in 2015.
- Christmas Eve at St. Joseph features Children’s Programs at our 5pm (English) and 7pm (Spanish) Masses. Every child in the parish is invited and we have costumes for each and every one—and a real Baby Jesus at each Mass. Special thanks to Marsha Thompson, our School Music Teacher, for her leadership and the “first” performance via the School Christmas Program.
- Practices are after this Saturday 5pm Mass (English) and this Sunday Noon Mass (Spanish).
- For more information, visit with Liliana (email@example.com).
- Decoration of the Church will be with Louise Bishop and the Youth and more at 9am Monday, Dec. 22. All are welcome.
Christmas Schedule is the same as in past years:
Please note that there will be no 7am Mass on either Dec. 24 or 31. Also, no 8:15am Mass on Dec. 26.
- Christmas Eve
- 5pm Children’s Vigil
- 7pm Misa en español
- Choir Carols at 11:30pm
- Christmas Day
- Solemn Mass at Midnight (yes midnight means 12am—it’s easy to remember)
- Mass Christmas Day at 9:30am.
- Mary, Mother of God
- New Year’s Eve 5pm Mass in English
- New Year’s Eve 7pm Misa en español
- New Year’s Day 9:30am
- Our Hispanic community moved straight from the Novena to Posadas—evening gatherings re-enacting Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter on their way to Bethlehem. While in Spanish, all are welcome and the concluding evening includes a Pastorela with our Hispanic Youth Group in the Parish Hall following Mass at 5pm. A schedule of nights is also posted on facebook.
- Tonight is at 7pm with the Ramirez family 2428 Oklahoma Street.
- Tomorrow is at 7pm with the Aguilar family 1609 Irving Street.
- Congratulations to Isaiah Cullum who will be baptized on Saturday.
- St. Joseph School has had a great Friday with classes caroling at nursing homes and finishing finals and now enjoying a Christmas party before beginning Christmas vacation at 3pm. Our best to all and we look forward to their return in 2015.
- Please note that Religious Education Classes--Adult, Children and RE—are all off with Christmas holidays and resume Jan 4 (for Sunday), 6 (for Tuesday RCIA) and 7 (for Youth and Spanish Wednesday classes).
- Patty and our Youth will have activities. Check with her at firstname.lastname@example.org or with the Church Youth phone (918-348-6515).
- Our Choir and Knights of Columbus joined forces for a great evening of carols for our homebound parishioners and those in nursing homes. Thanks Patrick for driving the mini-bus (which was full plus two vehicles). It was a great group and a marvelous evening.
- Shirley Flaska and a team of helpers got our newest parish Christmas gift unwrapped and freshly steamed and ironed: maroon and very stylish we might add choir robes. Thanks so much Frank! They look as good as our Choir sounds.
- Speaking of Shirley, this season of song really has choir directors and musicians pushing to the limit. We look forward to hearing our bell choir and some marvelous music as part of our liturgies.
- Liliana and Liz are on their way to Tony Goetz Elementary School (Muskogee) at 2:30pm even as I finish this email. Students there have included our Infant Supply Closet and collected diapers, wipes and more for those in need. We are so grateful for their generosity.
- Speaking of generosity: the crib has arrived. Moms and Dads in the parish know that the arrival of a baby means all sorts of stuff is now essential—like diapers and wipes. As we prepare to set up our Nativity Set and decorations we also include bringing diapers and wipes for the little Jesus’s and Marias and all our little ones of every language and race.
- And, once we celebrate the Nativity and welcome the Lord adding a car seat—or a helmet would be grand. After all, child protection has made more than a few leaps since first century Bethlehem and Nazareth. Undoubtedly, children then just held on when Mom was on the burro. A little added safety is a good thing.
- Don Adamson has died. His graveside services were today at 11am. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.
- Welcome home to our college students and families back to Muskogee for Christmas. We always love seeing you.
- End of year giving carries with it real tax advantages for those who itemize. As December coms to its conclusion please be sure to clearly designate if a contribution is intended for 2014 or 2015. Otherwise, contributions will be listed as the date received.
- The Parish Office will be open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until noon. We will be open Monday –Wednesday, Dec. 29-31, until noon as well. Christmas and New Years obviously we’ll be closed.
May God bless you today and always.
St. Joseph Church and School