We are blessed with the joy and grace of the Christmas season. That spirit continues with today’s solemn feast of the Epiphany as the child Jesus is manifested to the whole world as our Savior and Lord. This is shown in the meaning of the Three Kings coming from far away to be with the newborn King. Our Christmas season concludes with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on Sunday, January 13.
I am well aware that many parishioners put forth a lot of time and energy to allow for these beautiful days of the Christmas Season to happen. Many people in the parish have a true sense of ministry as they share their talents and volunteer their time through their involvement in the Stewardship Commission, the Christian Service Commission, the Worship Commission, the Education Commission, and the Religious Education program. All of these groups were very busy during the Advent and Christmas seasons. We as a parish have benefited from their efforts and we are grateful.
I also express thanks to all of you for making my Christmas so joyful. It is indeed a time to proclaim our faith, to be inspired and encouraged as we all grow further in our faith. I appreciate all who sent Christmas cards, gifts and baked goods to the rectory. I enjoyed them all. Thanks.
The Christmas season is upon us. What a joy as we celebrate our faith! We are truly blessed as God comes to us. May we always know his presence with us and be able to share the goodness of God that is within us. May we show this in all of our relationships as we exercise patience, understanding, compassion and forgiveness in a special way during this holy season.
I thank you for being a part of our faith community here at Our lady of Refuge. I enjoy being your pastor and I appreciate the support you give in many ways so that our parish fulfills its mission. This has been a very good year. It is hard to measure growth in faith. However, this is our most important purpose. I pray that all that we do at the parish is a source of inspiration for our faith life.
We thank God for the blessings we have received. As we celebrate Christmas may we be very aware of all the blessings He sends our way, and may the New Year bring us many more blessings and graces to our parish and to our families. Merry Christmas!
New Pipe Organ Project Approved
The Archbishop received the recommendation of the Archdiocesan College of Consultors and approved our plan to purchase a new organ for our church. The contracts were signed at the end of November and the down payment was made. We have already made our first monthly payment (for December). The cost of the project is $499,860.00. The planning and approval process went very smoothly because of the support and generosity shown for this effort. I was able to show the Archbishop that we raised all the funds through your donations to the Catholic Services Appeal.
The design and ordering of the technical parts has already begun by the Noack Organ Company. The construction will take place at the company’s site in Massachusetts and delivery will occur next fall. The final stage will be the actual installation that will be completed a year from now. We have been assured we will have the new organ for next Christmas. I ask for your prayers for the continued success of this project.
Christmas and Year End Donations
I use the occasion of this season to encourage you to make a Christmas gift to the parish or a year end donation that might help your tax situation. If you missed some of your weekly donations during the year, this would be a great time to do the make-up. Your donations are always appreciated.
Just as with your own home, there are always some surprise expenses that you were not counting on. Our surprise this year occurred just recently in October and November with the failure of the boiler in our school. At the cost of $119,000 we replaced the entire boiler as quickly as we could. We were able to cover this cost through our savings account. That’s why we have a savings account.
Now we need to rebuild that account. God has indeed blessed our parish If you are able to respond to this appeal, I am grateful and so is the parish. Good, holy days ahead for all of us.
I am very happy to announce that our parish has 14 new altar servers who have completed their training and are very eager to assist the parish in celebrate of the Mass.
- Carson Abro
- Lourdes Abro
- Celeste Arabo
- Malayna Attallah
- Maverick Attallah
- Angelina Atto
- Brooklyn Barbat
- Gia Brikho
- Tessa Kallabat
- Lucy Mikhail
- Soffia Poota
- Patrick Riney
- Giavanna Tanguay
- Jude Yono
We congratulate these children on becoming altar servers and are grateful for their willingness to serve. We are always pleased to see the activity and involvement of the young people in our parish.
I send best wishes to all of you for a Happy Thanksgiving Day. We indeed have much to be grateful for in our personal lives, in our families and in our parish. So join us if you can for the 9am Mass on Thursday, and do have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.
This weekend we take up the collection for Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan.
Today each of us gathered here has the opportunity to answer the call to help people in our own backyard, who find themselves in vulnerable situations across the Archdiocese of Detroit. Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan walks with over 20,000 people each year by taking on the effects of poverty and helping those in crisis move toward a better life.
Some of the programs and services offered are: Adoption, foster care, supervised independent living; Adult Health Care Services; All Saints Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry; Behavioral Health and substance abuse counseling; Hispanic & Newcomer Outreach Services; Project Hope; Senior Volunteer Services.
Many people in our diocese continue to face uncertainty. Catholic Charities continues in their mission to provide compassionate, quality, professional services and support to those in need. Please consider making a donation. Thank you.
Envelopes are in the pews for your donation.