New Year’s resolutions are part of our culture and a good thing. First, these resolutions are a sign of hope and a desire to grow and change. Secondly, while successful completion of the resolutions may not happen initially, success frequently does happen after a number of attempts, which ultimately brings growth in our lives. To succeed, I would suggest making your goals realistic, measurable and specific. It is not enough to say I am going to start exercising. Instead make a goal like, “I am going to go walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes starting on January 1st.” Then get a fitness tracker or even just a calendar to measure and keep track of your exercise. You may not succeed every week, but just keeping track will motivate you. The same can be said for prayer, set a specific time of the day and amount of time for prayer. Do not start with a plan for an hour of prayer a day. Instead start with the commitment to 5 or 10 minutes of prayer at a specific time every day. Once again, you may not succeed every day, but if you succeed 5 out of 7 days, that is a great step forward.
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.
We welcome the 16 candidates who are joining the Church and receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and Communion this weekend. We are blessed by your presence within our community. More Candidates will be joining at the Holy Saturday Night Vigil as well as several baptisms that night.
Palm Sunday is next weekend, March 19-20. We will begin Mass in the Gathering Space and process in to the Worship Space together.
Holy Week Services are Holy Thursday, March 24th at 7:00 PM; Good Friday Liturgy at 7:00 PM; and the Holy Saturday Vigil at 8:00 PM. The Easter Sunday Masses will be at 7:00, 9:00 and 11:00 AM. There will be no 5:00 Saturday Mass and no confessions on Saturday. There also will be Stations of the Cross on Friday at 3:00 PM.
Good Wine ministry is this Thursday, March 17th at 11:00 AM and will focus on a Gospel based way of approaching and praying with the Passion of Jesus Christ.
The 2016 Annual Fund: Youth will be calling today if you have not returned a pledge card. Please be kind to the callers. Once again, thank you for your generous support which allows us to accomplish these important projects. Please return your pledge cards today.
I got a bid for a polished concrete floor for the Ville. The bid was no more than the existing stained concrete and the hope is it will last longer. If you know something about the durability and upkeep of polished concrete floors, please give me a call. I would appreciate learning from your knowledge and experience.
Our last LIFE Event for the year is Sunday, April 3rd or Wednesday April, 6th. We will focus on Pope Francis’ first major Encyclical, Laudato Si—On Care for our Common Home. Pope Francis challenges us to care for the poor and to care for creation. Or as Pope Francis says, “Love God, Love Neighbor, Love Creation.” Sign up now because LIFE will be the week after Easter.
Our Lenten Reconciliation Service is this Thursday, March 10th at 7:00 PM.We will have several priests here for confessions. Take advantage of this opportunity to receive God’s forgiveness. Be healed by God’s mercy and love.
Daily Mass is now each Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM.We plan to continue this Wednesday evening Mass after Lent is over because of the remarkable response. We have had 60+ people these first couple of weeks and have moved to the Worship Space to accommodate everyone.
Stations and Soup are every Friday of Lent (except Good Friday) at 6:00 PM.
We have begun plans to remember the 25th Anniversary of the Andover tornado on Tuesday, April 26th, 2016. We are working with community groups here in Andover. The remembrance will be here at St. Vincent’s. If anyone wants to help organize this event, please let us know in the office.
Signs for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel have been installed. Pope Francis urged us to have the doors of the Church always open as a place for people to come and pray. While it is not practical for the whole Worship Space to be open 24 hours a day, we do have a wonderful Blessed Sacrament as an intimate place for people to come and pray. The Chapel is never locked and is heated and cooled 24 hours a day. It even has its own bathroom. Unfortunately, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel has been hidden to many parishioners, not to mention people that might be passing by. So we placed signs at the main entrances to the Gathering Space and on the Blessed Sacrament Chapel door. Hopefully, these signs will welcome whoever is looking for a quiet place to pray. As this Chapel is a place of prayer, I encourage those coming to Mass to avoid using it as an entryway. We always have the West set of doors on the North side of the Worship Space open before Mass.
The 2016 Annual Fund: We received approval from the Andover Site Planning Review Committee for our new storage shed, so that project should be happening in the next few weeks. We also have someone fixing up some of the damage to the walls of the Ville at this time. I also am getting more bids for the Ville floor and exploring other options since that project looks to be more expensive than expected. We will fix the floor, but we are exploring the best option for the long term. With their approval, we hope to have the shed built within the next couple of months. Thank you for your generous support which allows us to accomplish these important projects. Please return your pledge cards by March 12th.
Our next LIFE event is about how the Holy Spirit renews the Church and our lives in surprising ways. Come and learn more about the Holy Spirit. The LIFE event is next Sunday, March 5th or Wednesday, Marcy 9th. Sign up now.
Lent: What can God do for us? We begin Lent considering what we plan to do for God and what we will give up for God. However, the more important question is, “How do we need God’s help to heal our human brokenness?” Christianity is about more than self-improvement; even doing self-improvement for God. Our faith recognizes we need God’s help and God’s grace so we can become more grateful, generous and loving people. We usually do not seek God’s help until we have become so frustrated with our own efforts that we give up. Then we turn to God to ask for a particular virtue or a particular grace to heal or strengthen our hearts. We also can invite Jesus into our prayer, imagining Jesus is with us healing what needs to be healed within us. Or we can ask Jesus to take away the pain that stands in the way of forgiveness. Lent is a time to pour our hearts out to God, asking for healing, not simply a time to fix ourselves.
The 2016 Annual Fund: The really new project in the Annual Fund is the plan for a 24 x 30 foot storage shed. I have seen the need for more storage for a couple years. When I finally put the storage shed on a list with several other needs, the staff put the storage shed at the top of the list. The shed will cost about $16,000 with some extra concrete work outside the shed. We also will need to purchase some good storage shelves for the inside. The extra storage will help us with everything from storing Ville tables and chairs to Karate equipment to Volleyball and youth equipment for outside fun and games. We also will need some space to store things like snow blowers and ladders that cannot be stored inside. I will be going to a meeting this week with the Andover Site Planning Review Committee. With their approval, we hope to have the shed built within the next couple of months. This year, we actually hope to have all our Annual Fund projects done in the next couple of months with the exception of the Ville floor. The Ville floor must wait until July when we have an 11 day window with no activities when the work can be done. Thank you for your generous support which allows us to not only maintain our buildings but even add to them as our ministries grow.
Stations and Soup are every Friday of Lent (except Good Friday) at 6:00 PM.
Daily Mass is each Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM.We also have Daily Mass at 8:10 AM on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week.