(Letter from Msgr. Schaedel for bulletin of November 28, 1999)
Advent is here! We are preparing for the great Feast of the Incarnation, Christmas, the Word Made Flesh. The vestments are violet, the Gloria is omitted at Mass, and the Liturgy is a bit more somber. We recall the longing and waiting of the Chosen People before our Savior was born.
We are also approaching the Great Jubilee. The Year 2000 proclaims two thousand years of Christianity! We are the Catholics who will "walk our Faith across the threshold" into a new millennium. Christ: Yesterday, Today, and Forever. What a wonderful time to be living our Faith.
The notion of a "holy door" is a way to symbolize this. Last Sunday, at the cathedral, Archbishop Buechlein sealed one set of doors closed. He will open them again on Christmas Eve. This symbolizes this bringing our Faith into a new era, over a threshold of time. The Holy Father will open the Holy Door at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City that has been sealed for twenty-five years at the same time.
In the Roman Catholic tradition, a Holy Year or Jubilee is a great religious event. It is a year of forgiveness of sins, reconciliation between adversaries, of conversion and receiving the Sacrament of Penance, and consequently of solidarity, hope, justice, commitment to serve God with joy and in peace with our brothers and sisters. A Jubilee year is above all the year of Christ, Who brings life and grace to humanity.
Let me remind you that there is an opportunity for confession before all Masses, seven days a week here at Holy Rosary. Please make use of this essential sacrament as part of your preparation for Christmas and the Great Jubilee during these four weeks of Advent.
This week’s Criterion has lots of detail about how we will celebrate the Great Jubilee 2000 here in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. More about the Great Jubilee 2000 next week.
This Friday, December 3, is the Feast of Saint Francis Xavier, patron of our archdiocese. Pray for our local Church especially on that day.
That same evening, December 3, the Marian Center is sponsoring a talk by yours truly on the coming of the millennium. It’s at 6:45 pm. The Marian Center is located on the lower level of the Divine Mercy Perpetual Adoration Chapel, 3356 West 30th Street; adjacent to Cardinal Ritter High School. All are welcome to attend.
As you can see, the roofing crew has arrived. They came on Monday. The rain came on Tuesday. O, well, at least they are on the job and soon our new roof will be a reality. We’ve been waiting for years to get this project off the ground. Please pray for its success and safety.
Once again, let me bring to your attention THE PARISH STEWARDSHIP CARDS! You’re probably getting tired of reading this or hearing this. I’m getting tired of writing it and saying it. But, until we get 100% of the cards turned in, we’ve got to keep bringing it up!
PLEASE! If you have not turned in your commitment card, please do so this week. We want a prayerful response from everyone. The phone committee of the parish council will call those we do not hear from. So, if everyone turns their card in, it will save lots of work. As I said last weekend, if you cannot participate at this time mark it "$-0-." That way we know that you saw the card and made your own prayerful decision.
Be sure to mark both top and bottom of the card in reference to your financial gifts. This is a bit confusing. Some have already turned their cards in and not marked the bottom, even with a zero (-0-). We will need to contact them again to make sure we understand their intention. Although the card is perforated, do not separate the card. We will do this in the parish office.
Again, we ask that everyone turn in his or her card as soon as possible. We would like to get things together on our Stewardship Campaign and United Catholic Appeal before the end of November.
Our "Giving Tree" project for Advent is on. Select a nametag from the tree, and then purchase a gift for that person. Return the wrapped gift to church no later than Sunday, December 12. If you have questions, please call Marie Pittman-Oechsle at 632-3087 or the parish office at 636-4478.
Sincerely yours in God's Providence,
Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel