Happy First Sunday of Advent. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day, even if it meant a smaller gathering than usual. It's hard to believe that in less than four weeks we will celebrate Christmas. During these days I would like to invite you to attend Mass on Sunday at St. Agnes Church at 11:30 am or at 10:00am at St. Rose Church, or to watch Mass on Sunday mornings at 10:00am on our livestream.
As we all begin the Advent Season in preparation for the coming of Jesus at Christmas, here are my top three suggestions on preparing well:
- Make a good Sacramental Confession. Going to Confession prepares out heart to receive Jesus, because when we go to confession we humble ourselves in front of the One who humbled Himself by coming as a little baby. It makes our heart and soul ready to receive God because it says to Jesus: “Yes, I care about You. I care about you entering into me at Christmas in a new way.” Which one of us would invite someone to our home and not bother to clean the place up, and just leave it a mess? Confession purifies us and cleans our soul so we are truly ready to receive the Lord.
- Start praying each day for at least 15 minutes. As the first priority, not as the last add-on to life. Does God want the last spot in my life or the first? How can I spend most of my time relegating God to a place other than first, when in fact God is my creator and loves me?
- Think of others. Call at least three people you normally don’t talk to, or who maybe have something against you. Wish them a Merry Christmas and ask how they are doing. By reaching out and showing concern for others, we are reminded that Christmas is not about material things as much as spiritual things. And as it says in the Bible: “Love covers a multitude of sin”
This advent can be a great spiritual renewal for us all. Or it can just be the 25 or so days before we celebrate Christmas with or without our families. For me I’m asking God to make this Advent stellar—I’m sure He will make Christmas even more beautiful.
Father Dan Hennessey
Important information regarding Christmas Mass:
This year our Christmas Masses will require pre-arranged seating. With the COVID pandemic many things in our lives need to be done differently, and attending Christmas Mass this year is, unfortunately, no exception! In order to follow all the appropriate and necessary restrictions, each household at Mass will be seated as a household, socially distanced from other households or individuals. For this reason and to follow capacity restrictions, we ask each household to register their request for seating through the online platform. Seating is available for the Church and for the Church Hall, with a first come first served basis. Seating will also be available outside for those who wish to listen to Mass (we have good outdoor speakers set up). Other people may wish to listen to Mass from their car. Each Mass will be live streamed on our web site for those who wish to attend remotely from their own home.
The Christmas Mass schedule is as follows:
Saint Agnes, Middleton
December 24 Christmas Eve: 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm
December 25 Christmas Day 9:00am, 10:30am
Saint Rose of Lima, Topsfield
December 24 Christmas Eve: 3:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:00pm, Midnight
December 25 Christmas Day 8:30am, 11:00am
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
This year the Saint Vincent de Paul Society is happy to receive donations that will go to the needy this holiday season and winter. To give, you can send a check to the Saint Vincent De Paul Society (SVDP) and mail it to the parish offices at 22 Boston Street, Middleton, MA 01949. You can also give on our website.