On behalf of Father Connolly, our lay pastoral staff and myself, I want to extend our warmest regards and wishes for a joyous Christmas celebration.
Each one of you know how much you mean to me, and how much your presence at the weekend Masses and Holy Day of Obligation mean to me.
While I might not know everyone’s name, I pretty much know your faces. Over these past many years I have had visitors remark on the unique ‘family atmosphere’ they feel when they worship with us. This is the greatest Christmas gift to me and it is one which I receive every week of the year! When someone misses Mass, I am sad, because it’s like the Sunday dinners I enjoyed as a boy on Everett Street in Allston. I fondly remember all six of us boys along with our parents sitting at the dining room table with the good china enjoying a roast beef dinner. We preceded the dinner with Mass at St Anthony’s. We had five priests in the rectory at that time, and while we had our dinner, a few blocks away, they too would be enjoying a similar dinner. In the present day, Sunday afternoons for me are devoid of all of this, and find me in an empty rectory working in my office while watching a game. You might think that this makes me quite lonely, but it doesn’t, as I look forward to celebrating the 7pm Mass and connecting again with other members of my parish family. While time brings changes in our circumstance, God continues to walk with us through life, bringing others into our life to provide company and love, which is what each of you does for me. Yes it is true, I don’t know all your names, but I do know that you are a part of my family, and I want you to know how much warmth and kindness I feel upon the embrace of your presence at Mass. I realize that Christmas for some of us might stir up different emotions, bringing forth feelings of melancholy sadness; which can be negotiated through the perspective of faith. In Catherine Rein’s reflection on Christmas she encourages us to get into the Christmas Spirit and avoid being “nattering nabobs of negativity.” Yes we can make the mistake of dwelling on ‘what use to be’ and ‘how good we once had it’ and we can miss parents, siblings, spouses and friends who are in Heaven. We should be happy for the reward they now experience, and realize that we will be with them soon, thus better appreciating the Advent Season. Will Rein explains that Advent is a season to prepare for the inevitable, the summit of our pilgrimage here on Earth, which is a place in Heaven. The greatest medicine for ‘Christmas Blues’ is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where we together celebrate the birth of Christmas, with our parish family members surrounding us. While you have a chance please remember our senior priests with a gift to the Christmas collection. I just received word that Fr. Peter Brudzynski, who served our parish many years ago, passed away 12/9/17. Please remember him in your prayers. The office will be closed for the Christmas Vacation. The Sunday 7pm Mass resumes on 12/31. There will be no vigil mass for the Holy Day of Obligation (Feast of Mary, Mother of God) but we will have a 7:30am and 10am on 1/1/18.