My Dear Parishioners,
November is upon us and, soon, preparations for the holidays will cause our lives to become very busy.
November conjures up many memories such as quiet, cool days, cuddling in blankets on a cold evening watching a high school football game, enjoying school homecomings, feasting on a holiday meal on Thanksgiving Day, and so on. November also offers us the opportunity to reflect on all that we have been blessed with during the past year.
While many people, even some Catholics, may only equate a new year on January 1st, November 30th is the day that begins our new Church year.
We begin this New Year with the season of Advent, a time of preparation and a time to make space in our daily lives to spend in prayer, reading scripture, reaching out to the less fortunate, making amends where necessary to bring peace to our relationships and, of course, shopping for our loved ones for gifts that express our love. Yes, shopping is okay, it is part of the upcoming celebration of Christmas, but it is important that we remember it is not the reason for Advent. Advent is a gift to us from the Word of God and the Church to prepare ourselves to be able to fully experience the joy of the Word become flesh, the birth of Our Lord among us.
I pray that each of you experience a Happy Thanksgiving with your family and loved ones and during this time pray for and remember those who may not experience a celebration this year.
Most Reverend Joseph A. Pepe, D.D., J.C.D.