Letter from Msgr. Schaedel for bulletin of December 19, 1999
Well, here we are—the fourth and last Sunday of Advent. Are you ready for Christmas next Saturday? I hope so!
The main thing I am thinking of in terms of being ready is our heart, our mind, and our very soul. The ideal way to prepare ourselves for Christmas is to heed the call of John the Baptist, "Repent!" This afternoon (Sunday) at 2:00 p.m. we will have our Advent Penance Service in conjunction with the other parishes that support our elementary school, Central Catholic. They are Good Shepherd, Sacred Heart, and Saint Patrick.
The Penance Service consists of a brief period of prayer, Scripture, an examination of conscience, and the chance for individual confession and absolution. (This is essential to the sacrament.) I invite as many as possible to attend this convenient opportunity for confession today (Sunday).
In addition, we will have confessions this Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 7:00 and this Friday, Christmas Eve, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Last weekend I led a group pilgrimage to New York City. We did many wonderful things, including the "Jubilate Deo" Christmas Concert at Lincoln Center. It is conducted by Msgr. Carl Marucci. Msgr. Marucci and his priest-brother, Louis, have formed a group that presents this concert each year. It is a wonderful concert that concentrates on the spiritual and the sacred—the true meaning of Christmas.
[By the way, our neighboring parish—and my "home parish"—Holy Name in Beech Grove has a wonderful Christmas Concert today (Sunday). It is presented at 3:00 and again at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.]
Back to the New York Pilgrimage. It was great. Last Monday morning we celebrated Mass at New York City’s Holy Rosary Church. It is also the official New York Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton. She is a New York woman who is the first native-born American to become a canonized saint.
The site of this church is a former home of Elizabeth Ann Seton and her family. The family was rather wealthy. She and her husband, William, had five children. They were both devout members of the Protestant Episcopal Church. William died an early death. Elizabeth was attracted to the Roman Catholic Church, mainly in her sense that Christ was truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
She was received into the Church and began what we know today as the Sisters of Charity. She is also considered the foundress of the American Parochial School System. New York’s Holy Rosary Church has quite a different history compared to our own Holy Rosary Church. It was a wonderful pilgrimage from the "Jubilate Deo" Concert to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the wonderful Christmas program at Radio City Music Hall.
Last Sunday, people from across the nation brought the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe the patroness of Life, to every abortion site in the U.S at precisely 3:00 p.m. They prayed to ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to intercede for unborn children and their mothers. Holy Rosary parishioners and others prayed at "A Woman’s Choice," (21st and Ritter). Over twenty-five persons were there to pray that Our Lady intercede for our country and end this evil of abortion in our country and throughout the world. Praise God!
Good News! Not all of our United Catholic Appeal pledges are in, but we have met and even slightly exceeded our goal. Congratulations! United Catholic Appeal contributions enable us to help Home Missions and do our part in Shared Ministries of the Archdiocese (e.g. homeless shelters like Holy Family at Sacred Heart, soup kitchens and food pantries, and so on)
If you have not returned your Parish Stewardship Commitment card and United Catholic Appeal pledge card, please do so right away. Now that we have met our United Catholic Appeal goal, 50% of everything we receive goes directly to our parish. The Parish Council voted last Fall to give the other half to Home Missions. God has blessed us; He will bless us if we are generous with others.
This week our parishioners will receive a special Christmas letter from Father Duvelius and myself. Although we cannot do it individually and more personally, we want to send you our very best for the Christmas season. We also remind you of our Christmas schedule here at Holy Rosary. We also send you a special little gift from your parish. It’s just a token of our gratitude for your goodness and your faithfulness to Holy Rosary.
Check out our schedule of Christmas Weekend Masses elsewhere in this bulletin. See you in church!
Sincerely yours in God's Providence,
Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel