Today with our celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord we complete the Christmas season. It indeed has been a holy time as we have celebrated the mysteries of our faith. I thank you for being a part of it and I am grateful to all the parishioners who contributed their time and talent to enhance our festive feasts.
Our joy was increased by the completion of the installation of our totally new pipe organ on December 14th. This was a major accomplishment on the part of our parishioners. Everything went so smoothly. It all started with an outstanding response to the 2018 Catholic Services Appeal in May 2018. We used the structure of the CSA to raise the funds for the new organ. You were so generous in your donations and so faithful in fulfilling your pledges that we confidently proceeded with the project. We received permission from Archbishop Vigneron and construction of the organ by Noack Organ Builders began in December 2018 in Georgetown, Massachusetts. During the summer, we prepared the site in the church for the new organ. Delivery to our church of the new organ took place on November 4th. In a matter of six weeks the installation was completed. We were so happy to have the organ in place for the Christmas season. After four weeks of use, and being extremely satisfied with the quality and the beauty of the organ, we made the final payment to the Noack Organ Company this past week and the project is completed. Alleluia!
I want to invite you to the dedication ceremony for the organ that will take place at 4pm on Sunday, February 23rd. There will be a formal blessing ceremony that I will lead followed by a concert led by Olkukola Owolab who was the consultor on our organ committee who provided his expertise to this successful project. He is a professor at the University of Michigan Music School. He is excited to show the capabilities of our organ through his concert. Do plan on coming.
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 continues until next Sunday as it concludes with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
I am well aware that many parishioners put forth a lot of time and energy to allow for these beautiful days of the Christ-mas season to happen. Many people in the parish have a true sense of ministry as they share their talent and volunteer their time through their involvement in the Christian Service, Worship, Education and Stewardship Commissions, the Evangelization Committee and the Faith Formation 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.
I pray that this Christmas Season will be a faith-filled time for you. The joy of these solemn Christmas days continues until Sunday, January 12th the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
I want to encourage you to attend Mass on New Year’s Day. We are providing Masses on Tuesday, December 31st at 5pm and Wednesday January 1st at 9:30 and 11:30am. It is the Solemn Feast of Mary, the Mother of God. This is very significant as we recognize the role of our Blessed Mother in the Christmas story. It is also appropriate on New Year’s Day to come to Church and pray for a peaceful, holy, safe and healthy year ahead. We also know January 1st is a day for us to make resolutions for the new year! It is through our determination and the help and strength of the Lord that we will succeed. Come and pray for that success.
Happy New Year!
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!
I want to let you know that our project to repair the wall between the church and the social hall has been completed. From the church side you might not notice any difference. The color is the same. However, additional soundproofing was put along the bottom of the entire wall as well as on the end panels. It was the social hall side that showed the wear and tear of many years. The panels have been refreshed and look very attractive to enhance the look of our social hall. You may recall this project is the result of your donations to the 2019 Catholic Services Appeal. Having reached our target, the donations received over our target are returned to us. We were able to pay for this repair through your generosity.
On a similar note, our new organ is being built in Massachusetts and we await its arrival by truck on October 28. The organ company will begin immediately to install it and will be finished by mid-December. This project has been completely paid for through your overwhelming response to the 2018 Catholic Services Appeal. Wonderful things are happening at Our Lady of Refuge Parish because of the goodness of its members.