December 2, 2018

The Advent Penance Service will be December 13th at 7:00 PM. We will have several priests here for confessions. This sacrament of God’s mercy is an opportunity for us talk honestly with a priest about our struggles, perhaps gain some insight into how to move forward and receive God’s forgiveness. This sacrament helps us leave the past behind us and create a new path forward. I also offer the sacrament of reconciliation each Saturday from 4:00-4:40 PM.

 

Year End Gifts to St. Vincent’s are welcomed and needed. We are a little behind last year in our tithing income and we just barely had a balanced budget last year. So we need your help. Your gifts allow us to be a vibrant parish with good music at all our Sunday Masses; with Faith Formation for people at all stages of their faith journey; with an active outreach to those in need in our community; and with robust hospitality to build community and provide a warm welcome to all who enter our doors. Your support allows us to give flesh to God’s love and bring people closer to Christ. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

 

The Christmas Call to Sharing by the diocese asks you to support the 37 seminarians and the 19 retired priests of our diocese. We have been blessed with 20 new priests over the past 2 years, which is the fruit of both the financial and prayerful support of the people of the diocese over the past many years. Consider a special gift this Christmas to support our seminarians and retired priests. You may use the envelopes sent by diocese, or you can make a special donation through our online giving program.

 

Community Christmas is next Sunday, December 16, starting at 5:30 PM. There will be a pasta dinner for all, visits with Santa for the children, Christmas carols from our choir as well as the opportunity for the whole community to stop by and see our beautiful Nativity scene. The evening ends with an amazing concert by the Senseny Band in the Worship Space at 7:00 PM. Best of all, everything is free and everybody in the community is welcome. Please invite neighbors and friends to come join us for this joyous evening.

 

Christmas Mass times are Christmas eve, Dec. 24th at 4:00, 6:00 and 8:00 PM and Christmas morning at 10:00 AM. Christmas would be a good time to invite friends and neighbors that have nowhere else to go.

 

November 25, 2018

The December Life Event is today, Sunday, Dec. 2nd and Wednesday, Dec. 5th. It’s about Mary, beyond the Nativity.

 

The Advent Penance Service will be December 13th at 7:00 PM. We will have several priests here for confessions. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to receive God’s forgiveness and grow in your relationship with God. This sacrament of God’s mercy is an opportunity for us talk honestly with a priest about our struggles, perhaps gain some insight into how to move forward and receive God’s forgiveness. It helps us leave the past behind us so that a new path can be opened up for us to move forward. I also offer the sacrament of reconciliation each Saturday from 4:00-4:40 PM.

 

Too often the question of the sacrament of reconciliation revolves around whether God can forgive us in other ways. I believe God forgives us before we ask. However, we need to receive the gift of forgiveness so that it can grace our lives. It is one thing for God to give us a gift. God offers many gifts to us each day. However, how many of those gifts do we receive such as gratitude and God’s love. If we received all of God’s gifts and celebrated them, we would live as people filled with love and joy. Too often we fail to receive God’s gifts to us, celebrate them and share them with others. Come receive this special gift of God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation on Dec. 13th. Come receive each week God’s special gift of Christ’s Body and Blood. God wants to give us so much. Are we willing to receive God’s gifts, open them, celebrate them and share them?

 

November 18, 2018

Thank you for your support this past week. It has been both a week of sorrow over the loss of my brother, Msgr. Bob Hemberger and activity with the planning and celebration of his funeral at the Cathedral. I ask you to keep my family in your prayers.

 

Thanksgiving: Take time this week to truly give thanks. I especially encourage you to give thanks for the people in your life. At my brother’s bedside, when we realized he was not going to recover, I was touched deeply by sorrow and also by gratitude. I found myself filled with great gratitude for the many ways he touched my life. The people in our lives are God’s greatest gifts to us. So as you gather for Thanksgiving, look around the table and give thanks for the people surrounding the table. The food may be great, but having time with the people around the table is even better. May you be a blessing for all those around the table and may their lives bless you.

 

The December Life Event is Sunday, Dec. 2nd and Wednesday, Dec. 5th. It’s about Mary, beyond the Nativity. Sign up now before you get busy with Thanksgiving activities.

 

The new restroom is ready for use. We still have an accessory bar and a urinal screen that will be added when they come in. However, it can be used now. I want to thank in a special way, Shane Atwood, Bob Mann and Gayle Hilger for doing all the tile work. We have been blessed by your willingness to share your talents.

November 4, 2018

Stewardship calls us to be fully alive as missionary disciples. Being a missionary disciple doesn’t mean travelling around the world, but instead it’s bringing Christ’s light to every part of your life. The challenge is two-fold. First we need to constant grow in faith so Christ can be seen in us and we can see Christ in others. The Eucharist, Scripture, prayer and community are keys to this growth in Christ. They are an important part of the time we give back to God. They also bring joy and peace to our lives.

 

The second part of the challenge is to share Christ with others. We do that through service in the Church and beyond. It’s not about preaching, but living in a way that makes God’s love visible and meets of the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the person we are with. So reflect on how you are called to live stewardship; how you are called to grow in love of God and neighbor. Make a plan and return your stewardship commitment form by Nov. 18th.

 

Remember our LIFE Event tonight Sunday, Nov. 4th. It will be repeated Wednesday night on Nov. 7 (adults only on Wednesday).

 

Bishop Kemme is asking us to join in prayer and penance during this week of Nov. 5-11 in preparation for the U.S. bishops’ meeting this November. He asks us to pray that the bishops may follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in responding to the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse in the Church. Specifically, Bishop Kemme points to the following 3 intentions:  for the healing and support of all victims of clergy sexual abuse; for the conversion and just punishment of the perpetrators and concealers of sexual abuse; for the strength of bishops to protect and lead their people from all harm.

 

The murders at the Pittsburgh Synagogue were born from hatred and anti-Semitism. These violent acts make the dangers of scapegoating, tribalism and racism tragically visible. These evils come from deep within the human heart. We mourn the victims but we must do more. We must stand against any type of hate speech, which feeds these negative human instincts. Hate speech leads to hateful actions. We as Catholics must never be a part of such speech. Words matter. Internet posts matter. Hatred must be rejected wherever it is seen. Instead we are to see the face of Christ in each and every person on earth. The Holy Spirit calls us to act with love, goodness, gentleness and kindness. We must feed the good instincts of the human person and society toward empathy and love both in our words and actions.

October 28, 2018

All Saints Day on Nov. 1st is a Holy Day. We will have Holy Day Masses on Wednesday at 6:00 PM and Thursday at 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. The Halloween Parade that includes all the children in their costumes will take place before that Wednesday Vigil Mass on Oct. 31st. We moved our regular Wednesday evening Mass to 6:00 PM, immediately following the Andover Safe Halloween which is from 4-6 PM. St. Vincent will once again be a host site for Andover Safe Halloween where business can gather from all over Andover to hand out treats. Come join us either on Halloween or All Saints Day on November 1st. All Saints Day is the real reason for Halloween as it was originally known as All Hallows (“holy ones”) Eve.

 

All Saints Day reminds us of the many saints that guide us by the example of their lives and the wisdom of their teaching. You can be inspired by the Saints in a special way at our next LIFE Event on Sunday, Nov. 4th (children welcome) and Wednesday Nov. 7th (adults only).

 

Safe Halloween in Andover is sponsored by the Andover Chamber of Commerce. Business in the area give out treats from 4-6 PM on Halloween. St. Vincent’s is the site for business from far and wide to come and give out treats. Come join us and then go to the All Saints Day Vigil Mass afterwards at 6 PM. The Halloween Parade including all the children in their costumes will take place at that Mass.

 

Early Voting for Butler county residents will be at St. Vincent’s in Room 1A this Tuesday-Friday from 12:00 noon to 7:00 PM and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

 

Enjoy the beauty of the fall colors. We only need to look up to receive a glorious gift from God. Our delight is the best way to say thank you to God.