Thank you all for all your generous support of our parish this year. Your thoughtful stewardship has enabled us to enhance our parish initiatives as well as our facilities. Your generosity to our Christmas Flowers enabled Deacon Charlie and our team of Church decorators to spectacularly transform our worship spaces throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons. A violet Advent blended beautifully into a blue Christmas. Our Lady must have been so very pleased. Thanks to them and thanks to you. Your financial and prayerful support of Our Lady of Peace Parish, and Notre Dame de Lourdes School is exemplary.
Remember that our new Mass schedule will take effect this week. Weekday Masses will be at Our Lady of Peace Mondays through Thursdays, and at Notre Dame de Lourdes on Fridays and Saturdays. Weekday Mass time remains at 8:30 preceded by Morning Prayer at 8:10. The weekend Mass schedule will be 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Sundays at Our Lady of Peace, with the Saturday Vigil at 4:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Peace. The Sunday Mass at Notre Dame de Lourdes will be at 9:30 a.m. beginning on Sunday, 7 January.
This is the beginning of a New Year and resolutions abound. Perhaps at the beginning of the New Year we can model ourselves after the example of the Holy Family and be channels of peace. Blessings to you and yours throughout our journey of faith in 2024. The following blessing is from Numbers 6. It is the first reading for the Mass on New Year’s Day.
The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!
The first week of January provides us with a trinity of saints of North America. Thursday, 4 January is the Memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Friday is the Memorial of St. John Neumann. Saturday is the Memorial of St. Andre Bessette. These three saints remind us of our duties to teach, to encourage, to lead, and to serve.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton converted to Catholicism after the death of her husband. Within five years of her conversion St. Elizabeth moved from New York to Maryland and organized the first religious community of women in the United States. St. Elizabeth is the first American citizen to be canonized as saint. The shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is in Emmitsburg, Maryland just south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The website for the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is: setonshrine.org
St. John Neumann was born in Bohemia. Upon moving to New York, he was ordained in the Redemptorist Religious Community. He served in many rural communities before being named the fourth bishop of Philadelphia. As bishop, St. John established in Philadelphia the parochial school system of Catholic education. St. John’s love for the Eucharist is forever enshrined in the practice of Forty Hours Devotion. As we continue our Eucharistic Revival, we pray for the continued intercession of St. John Neumann to maintain our desire and love for the Bread of Life. The shrine of St. John Neumann is located at 5th Stret and Girard Avenue in Philadelphia. The website is: stjohnneumann.org
St. Andre Bessette was a Religious Brother in the Holy Cross community. He was the porter of Notre Dame College in Montreal. In this ministry he would not only welcome visitors but receive them with avuncular joyfulness. St. Andre had a keen awareness of the needs of those whom he received. He would bless them through the intercession of St. Joseph and anoint them with a jar of Holy Oil that he kept near the entrance. These anointings led to miraculous healings spiritually, emotionally, and physically – all through the intercession of St. Joseph. St. Andre was instrumental in the establishment of St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal. He is known as the Miracle Man of Montreal. The website for St. Joseph’s Oratory is: saint-joseph.org