Blessings to you as we begin the season of Advent, a season of preparation. An important part of preparation for Christ’s coming is a good confession. Growing up it was understood that our family would go to confession during Advent and Lent every year. Our 2nd graders in PREP and in our parish schools will be receiving the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation for the first time during the month of December. For them (and for us), confession and absolution are part of the preparation for worthy reception of Holy Communion—God’s greatest gift to us this side of heaven. The communal penance service for our pastoral region is 7 PM this Tuesday at St. Julie’s.

Thank you to those who prayed for the members of our region who were on retreat last weekend. It was the culmination of the catechesis sessions that took place at St. Joseph on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The Immaculate Conception, our nation’s patronal feast day, is celebrated on Friday. It is a holy day of obligation; see inside for the Thursday and Friday Mass schedule. In the first reading we hear the first promise from God to send a Redeemer: “I will put enmity between your (serpent’s) offspring and hers (woman); he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel. The teachers of the early Church recognized Jesus as the one who crushes the serpent’s head. He is the one who frees us from sin. His offering, his love, his obedience are the source of grace that enables us to be forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Make room in your hearts; our Lord comes!

In Christ,

Fr. Rob