December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve Masses are at 4:00, 6:00 and 8:00 PM on Sunday, Dec. 24th. Our one Christmas Day Mass is at 10:00 AM. The 4:00 PM Mass on Christmas eve is the one Mass that is crowded and overflowing so I would advise coming early if you want to get a seat in the Worship Space. The rest of the Masses should have plenty of room for everyone.

I extend a warm welcome to all visitors to our Christmas Masses. I hope God touches you with love and peace through our Christmas celebrations. However, we want to offer you more. We want to help you grow in God’s love throughout the year.

 

 “Rediscover Jesus” by Matthew Kelly is our gift to all parishioners and visitors to our Christmas celebrations. The book is an easy read with short chapters. My hope is this book will lead you closer to Jesus. We will have discussion groups with this book starting in January. We also are looking for leaders for this discussion groups. Call the office if you can help.

 

St. Vincent’s is a community focused on being the compassion of God, both to those who come to us and reaching out in service to the community. We extend God’s compassion to all who come to us regardless of where they are at on their life’s journey, regardless of race, economic status, marriage situation or sexual orientation. We want to be God’s compassion to all those who could not find a place in other parishes. We also are God’s compassion in service to the community around us, especially serving those in need here in Andover and Wichita. Come to receive compassion. Come to share compassion with those in need.

 

The Parish Offices will be closed on Dec. 25-26 for Christmas. We will be open Dec. 27-29.

Support the mission of St. Vincent’s within and beyond our Church walls. Year-end gifts are needed and most appreciated. These special year-end gifts support everything from music and liturgy, to faith formation for all ages, to youth ministry, to children in Catholic Schools, to the St. Augustine Indian Mission, to our work helping those in need in the Andover community and beyond. Your generosity and the gifts of your time and talent allows us to do so many good things. You can always give in person or you can go online and give at www.svdpks.org .

Our Christmas collection is for the retired priests and seminarians. The diocese currently has 46 seminarians and 23 retired priests. Your support is most appreciated as this one collection is the primary support for our future and retired priests.

I want thank all who helped with Christmas Caring and Sharing here in Andover. Two hundred fifty children and many families will have a better Christmas because of your generosity and help. I also want to thank all those who helped with our Community Christmas. It was a great celebration for our parish family and other guests who joined us. 

December 17, 2017

Christmas Eve Masses are at 4:00, 6:00 and 8:00 PM on Sunday, Dec. 24th. Our one Christmas Day Mass is at 10:00 AM. The 4:00 PM Mass on Christmas eve is the one Mass that is crowded and overflowing so I would advise coming early if you want to get a seat in the Worship Space. The rest of the Masses should have plenty of room for everyone. Our various choirs will sing at the Christmas Eve Masses.

Our Sunday schedule will not change for the weekend of Dec. 23-24. And in case you are wondering, both Sunday and the Christmas Masses are obligatory, especially since Christmas is one of the great feast of the Church. There is no one Mass that fulfills both days since they are different liturgies. You also may receive communion at more than one Mass on Dec. 24th. Going on Saturday night at 5:00 PM for Sunday would be a great way to avoid going to 2 Masses in 1 day.

A Community Christmas is this Sunday, Dec. 17 from 6-8 p.m. at St. Vincent’s. Santa will be here and we will have a spaghetti dinner for everyone. We also will have choirs doing Christmas carols. Come and invite your friends.

The Parish Offices will be closed on Dec. 25-26 for Christmas. We will be open Dec. 27-29.

Support the mission of St. Vincent’s within and beyond our Church walls. Year-end gifts are needed and most appreciated. These special year-end gifts support everything from music and liturgy, to faith formation for all ages, to youth ministry, to children in Catholic Schools, to the St. Augustine Indian Mission, to our work helping those in need in the Andover community and beyond. Your generosity and the gifts of your time and talent allows us to do so many good things. You can always give in person or you can go online and give at www.svdpks.org .

Our Christmas collection is for the retired priests and seminarians. The diocese currently has 46 seminarians and 23 retired priests. Your support is most appreciated as this one collection is the primary support for our future and retired priests. 

December 10, 2017

The Advent Penance Service is this Thursday, December 14th at 7:00. Take advantage of this opportunity to be renewed in God’s mercy and love. We will have several priests here for confessions. We also welcome our many of our children to this beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time.

A Community Christmas will be here at St. Vincent’s next Sunday, Dec. 17 from 6-8 p.m. Santa will be here and we will have a spaghetti dinner for everyone. We also will have choirs doing Christmas carols. Come and enjoy the evening. Please invite your friends. We are inviting everyone from the parish and everyone from Andover and the surrounding communities.

Support the mission of St. Vincent’s within and beyond our Church walls. Year-end gifts are needed and most appreciated. These special year-end gifts support everything from music and liturgy, to faith formation for all ages, to youth ministry, to children in Catholic Schools, to the St. Augustine Indian Mission, to our work helping those in need in the Andover community and beyond. Your generosity and the gifts of your time and talent allows us to do so many good things.

We welcome Fr. Mark Beran from St. Augustine Indian Mission our sister parish. We help support their school, which seeks transformative change for their students and their families. Part of being a sister parish is not only the financial support but also developing relationships by visits back and forth. If you are interested in visiting St. Augustine’s talk to Fr. Mark after Mass.

Thank you to the Michelle Vitarelli Memorial Golf Tournament for a generous gift of $6735 for the benefit of Youth Ministry at St. Vincent’s. A special thanks to Gene, Janice and Andrea Vitarelli as well as all others who helped make this event a success.

Thank you to the Knights of Columbus for a gift to help provide the Bibles for our Confirmation candidates.

December 3, 2017

The Advent Penance Service is Thursday, December 14th at 7:00. Take advantage of this Advent opportunity to celebrate forgiveness and be renewed in God’s mercy and love. We will have several priests here for confessions. We also welcome our many of our children to this beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation. May we all be touched by God’s mercy.

Hearing God’s Call is the focus of the December Life Event which is today, Sunday, Dec. 3rd for families and Wednesday, Dec. 5th for adults only. I hope to see many of you there.

An Andover Community Christmas will be here at St. Vincent’s on Sunday, Dec. 17 from 6-8 p.m. Santa will be here and we will have a spaghetti dinner for everyone. We are inviting everyone from the parish and everyone from Andover and the surrounding communities. We also will have choirs doing Christmas carols. Come and enjoy the evening. Please invite your friends.

Advent starts today. We prepare to receive Christ when he comes again and we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth. Expectation and hope create the mood for Advent. Hope is so needed in our world. Hope lifts our spirits and moves us to action. Without hope, we do not even try to improve ourselves or our world. Hope reminds us God is present and God’s grace helps us do amazing things in our lives and our world. So let us stir up hope and may that hope lead us to prepare ourselves to receive Christ our Savior in this Advent time and at Christmas. 

November 19, 2017

A special Thanksgiving Mass will be this Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. The regular 5:30 Wednesday Mass will be at 6:00 p.m. The building and office will be closed both Thursday and Friday of this week as the staff takes time off to give thanks.

We welcome and pray for all 54 Confirmation candidates this weekend. We pray this will be a special year of growth in God’s love and the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis has declared this Sunday as the first World Day of the Poor. St. John writes, “Let us love, not with words but with deeds.” Pope Francis wants us to focus on how we care for the poor. Here at St. Vincent’s we are highlighting ministries that serve the poor such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society in the parish; Christmas Caring and Sharing here in Andover as well as the Summer Lunch Program; service at The Lord’s Diner and the Lord’s Diner Murder Mystery Fundraiser. We also help support St. Augustine Indian Mission in Winnebago, Nebraska. Finally, we help with Warming Souls that helps the homeless during the winter months in Wichita. In the last few years, we have steadily increased our involvement in programs that help the poor, not only in Wichita, but also right here in Andover. I am constantly amazed at this parish’s generosity to the poor both through direct service and financially.

Gratitude is the foundation of real love and the foundation of stewardship. Too often our service to others comes with expectations. We expect others to return the favor or at least say thank you. We expect to be recognized for our service and receive praise from others as good and generous people. Gratitude is the way for us to break out of our natural human service and reward mentality. Once gratitude takes over our hearts, we love without expecting a future reward. Instead we simply want to share the gifts we have received. Gratitude is the foundation of love.

Make this a week of Thanksgiving. I encourage each person to take time each day this week to recall the blessings of your life. Ask God to help you see these blessings. Consider the blessings of family, of your life growing up. Consider the blessing of friends. Consider the blessings you have received directly from God and faith. Consider the blessing of work and your hobbies, of family and children. Consider the talents you have been given, your good heart and moral compass. Consider even the blessing of some of the hard times of life that helped you mature and grow as a loving person. Reflect each day this week on your blessings and let God fill your heart with gratitude. Make this Thanksgiving week about more than food, football and shopping.