What an awesome way to celebrate Christmas with everyone you love. The Church and Chapel looked awesome. This year we had to end up holding the chapel Mass at 3:30 as the priest assigned to the 4:15pm time slot was called away to his own community. So we moved up the Mass to 3:30pm and ended the Mass at 4:03pm. The chapel was crowded and it was at capacity with the pews full and folks standing in the back and aisles. It was so full that we had to stop a group of people from entering the chapel, but most attended the 4pm Main Church Mass or the 7:30am Christmas Day Mass. I apologize to any families who may have been separated from a late family member trying to gain entrance. Next year we will publish a maximum occupancy count and will publish a head the count and the cutoff, so folks can make plans accordingly. Thanks to tall those who were understanding, and I look forward to being with you net year. The 4pm Main church was filled close to capacity, and the 7:30 and 11:30 Masses were somewhat full, though not so the 10:00am Mass. The Parish Council and I have spoken in the past of reconfiguring the Mass schedule, and ended up dropping the Christmas Eve 6pm Mass. That decision was based on the reality that the neighboring parishes had an 8pm and 10pm Masses, which were in close proximity. Folks are used to moving from church to church in the Marshfield/Duxbury parishes and each parish is considerate of the others, so for example we are the only parish to offer an 11:30am Christmas Mass. The Mass schedule for next Christmas will remain the same.
We have left out Christmas gifts for everyone, and about fifty copies remain for those who spent their Christmas out of town. The books are a continuation of the Dynamic Catholic Series and at 111-pages long, it is worth reading over the course of a few hours. There are many practical insights into how to move into a deeper spiritual life. Also we have the McDonald Funeral; Home and St Ann by the Sea Digital Media 2019 calendars at each exit and I would encourage you to take one while they last. It is very generous of the funeral home to supply them.
This is the first year I did not get involved in decorating the Church for Christmas, in the hopes of empowering our ART & ENVIRONMENT and the Knights of Columbus to step forward and put their handprint on this fun activity. The LOBSTER TRAPS look much better shaped in the form of a Christmas tree and I thank each of them for taking the time to undertake this work. Each evening I see families drive up to the church parking lot and take pictures of the tree along with loved ones. What a great way to give back to the community! This year we also sent 25 turkeys along with cartons of vegetables and fruits to Julie’s House and the Marshfield Food Pantry. Many families, including older couples, benefitted from the turkeys and turkey breasts, trimmings and desserts you supplied. May God reward your generosity with his abundant blessings.
I hope you have enjoyed the daily homilies on our Facebook account (accessed through our website www.stanns.net along with pressing the FB icon. They were shot in areas of the French Quarter in New Orleans, while the ones shot a few days before Christmas and on Christmas Day were filmed in the hallway of the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Twelve Days of Christmas have been shot inside the main church, surrounded by beautiful Christmas decorations. Sign up on FB for reminders of these postings and be sure to share it with friends. Happy New Year!