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.
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.
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.
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.
Our Stewardship Renewal is underway.Stewardship is a practical way to follow Christ and grow as a disciple. The treasure aspect of stewardship is the most sensitive. However, Jesus and Old Testament scriptures frequently talk about our use of treasure since it reflects what we truly value. Scripture tells us to tithe, a word that means a “tenth” or 10% of one’s income. The faithful were to give 10% from the first fruits of the harvest as an act of faith that God would care for them. The gift from the first fruits rather than the leftovers made it an act of faith. Their tithe provided for the temple/synagogue and for care of the poor.
Today we speak of tithing in the same way with the diocese recommending giving 8% to the parish and 2% to other charities. Since we do not have a school, you might want to adjust those percentages to give more other charities, or to groups in the parish that help those in need. However, the 10% tithe to Church and charities is a good benchmark. If the 10% seems impossible, start at 2 or 3% and try to grow that by 1% per year. Giving a percentage as first fruits connects our gifts to God’s gifts to us. Making it the first fruits rather than leftovers makes our gifts an act of faith. So during this time of stewardship renewal, consider how God has blessed you with financial resources. Consider how scripture asks us to return a percentage of those gifts back to God. Prayerfully fill out your stewardship renewal. Sign it as a pledge to God and send it back to the parish so we can help you grow as a follower of Christ.
We welcome a rather large group of catechumens and candidates at the 11:00 Mass this weekend that are learning about the Church through the RCIA process. Please pray for them in the coming months that their journey from now until Easter and beyond will be a journey of growth in love of God and community.
Our Book of Remembrance is in the Gathering Space below the photos of those that have died in the parish. Please write the names of your loved ones who have died during the past year in the Book of Remembrance. We will pray for them throughout this month.
Please Slow Down in the parking lot. Children are running around. We want to keep everyone safe.
Please lock your cars and remove purses, computers and other valuables. They are much safer in Church than in your car. Especially since it gets dark so early, items left in cars attract thieves. We have had occasional problems in previous years.