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Dear Members and Friends of St. Joseph Church,
I hope that your Thanksgiving Day feasting will prepare you well for the Season of Advent. We have a tendency to overlook the Church’s liturgical season in the face of our culture’s emphasis on Christmas as an economic event. We are constantly bombarded with messages that urge us to buy, buy, and buy! The Season of Advent offers a different and ultimately much more important message. Through the readings and prayers of this liturgical season we are reminded to prepare, prepare, prepare! This preparation focuses on the return of Christ in triumph in the first part of the season, and only after Dec. 16 does our attention turn to the Nativity, or birth, of our Lord Jesus.
To help with our preparation for what is ultimately important, there are a number of activities I will highlight.
Saturday, December 4, Confessions will be heard at Immaculate Heart of Mary at Noon and at St. Joseph at 3:30pm. This day will also mark the 2nd anniversary of music ministry for Jason Volovar. Please consider joining the choir or becoming a cantor to help with his many gifts that he provides for our worship.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception(Wednesday, December 8th) is a holy day of obligation. The Mass schedule is 9:00 am at IHM. Here at St. Joseph Mass will be at Noon and 6:00pm.
Saturday, December 11, we will accept our Candidates for Confirmation at the 4:30pm Mass.
Monday, December 13, all parishioners in our region will have the opportunity to celebrate Reconciliation at the Communal Penance Service held at St. Michael in Canfield. On Tuesday, December 14 the Communal Penance Service will be at IHM. On Thursday, December 16, the Communal Penance Service will be at Saints Mary and Joseph in Newton Falls. The service will begin at 7:00 pm. at each location. There will be several confessors available. In preparing for the return of Christ and the celebration of Christmas, Confession is literally good for the soul!
Sunday, December 19, IHM will host the musical event, An Advent Cantata, at 4:00pm in the Church.
The Eucharist will be celebrated at 4:00 pm on Christmas Eve. We will have Mass at 9:00 am on Christmas Day. At Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mass will be at 5:30 pm Christmas Eve and at 10:30 am on Christmas Day.
Please note: There will be no regular 4:30 pm Mass on Saturday, December 25!
Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God will be at 4:00 pm on New Year’s Eve at St. Joseph.
The Mass on Saturday, January 1, at 4:30 pm will be for the Epiphany!
I am eager to celebrate the holidays with all of you this year. Praying that God continues to bless and keep you, I remain