+ Parish Schedule for the Week of January 31, 2017 +

Sunday, December 31 [The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph]:
  8:00 am – Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
10:30 am + Robert Lambert – int. Jacques Family
*4:00 pm + Stella Skrzypek – int. Family  *(Holy Day)
Monday, January 1 [Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God / St. Zygmunt Goradowski]:
*10:30 am + Anthony J. Sojka – int. John & Ted Sojka Families *(Holy Day)
Tuesday, January 2 [St. Camillus and St. Peregrine Novena / Ss. Basil the Great
                                and Gregory Nazianzen]:
  5:30 pm + Joanne Klepadlo Murphey – int. Suzanne Kozloski
Wednesday, January 3 [St. Jude Novena / Holy Name of Jesus]:
  5:30 pm + Patrick Dominic Morawski – int. Friend
Thursday, January 4 [St. Elizabeth Ann Seton]:
  5:30 pm + Edward J. Sojka – int. John & Ted Sojka Families
First Friday, January 5 [St. John Neumann/Bl. Maria Marcellina Darowska/
                                St. Gaudentius Radion]:
Recitation of the Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus will follow Mass
 5:30 pm – Health & Blessings for Betty Fritz – int. Geraldine & Richard Ahearn
First Saturday, January 6 :
The Holy Rosary will be recited before Mass, Exposition of the
Blessed Sacrament, Litany of Loreto and Benediction following Mass
  8:00 am + Margaret Wilt Dornsife – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
  4:00 pm + Louis M. Kozloski – int. Joan Richotte
   6:00 pm (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners
Sunday, January 7 [Epiphany of the Lord]:
  8:00 am – In thanksgiving to the Holy Family
10:30 am + Joseph Klepadlo & Joanne Klepadlo Murphey – int. Marguerite, Marian, & Nan

 

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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31st is the Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  Special prayers will be offered at all the weekend Masses for blessing all our parish families.

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MONDAY, JANUARY 1st is the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.  Special prayers will be offered in thanksgiving for the past year and in supplication for blessings in the coming year.  We seek God’s blessings as did Mary.  Because of her Son, we can confidently call God, “Abba!”

 

                                  

TUESDAY, JANUARY 2nd is the Feast of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, Doctors of the Church.  St. Basil is the Father of Monasticism in the Eastern Church and St. Gregory was noted as a great Scripture scholar.  Both will be remembered in the Mass at 8:00 a.m.

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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3rd is the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.  Through the particular efforts of St. Bernardine of Siena, devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus was promoted through the inscription of the monogram of the Holy Name, IHS (Iesus Hominum Salvator), and the addition of the name Jesus to the Hail Mary.  We are called to believe in Jesus Christ, pay Him homage and to reform our lives.  This Feast will be remembered in the Mass at 5:30 p.m.

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 4th is the Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, an American saint from New York City who after her conversion to the Catholic Faith founded a religious teaching order in Emmitsburg, Maryland and grew in holiness and humility.  She will be remembered in the Mass at 5:30 p.m.

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 5th is the Feast of St. John Neumann who emigrated from Bohemia to the U.S., became the Archbishop of Philadelphia and was noted as a great educator and promoter of parochial schools.  His devotion to the Eucharist led him to establish Forty Hours Devotions in the United States.  He will be remembered in the Mass at 5:30 p.m. and his relic will be venerated following this Mass.

THE FIRST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is Friday, January 6th.  The Mass of the Sacred Heart will take place at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Litany of the Sacred Heart.  Confessions will be heard starting at 5:00 p.m.

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD and in Memory of Ralph & Helen Fronckus Family, a donation has been made to our Parish Renovation Fund by Mark D. Fronkus. Bóg zapłać!

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SATURDAY, JANUARY 6th is the Feast of Saint André Bessette known as the wonder-worker of Mount Royale.  Born in Canada, Blessed André lived and worked for a time in Western Massachusetts.  He became a brother of the Holy Cross.  His life work of charity and devotion to St. Joseph made him world famous.  His life was surrounded by miracles still in evidence at the shrine to St. Joseph which he built.  He will be remembered in the Mass at 5:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 7th is the First Saturday of the Month in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The Holy Rosary will be recited before the 8:00 a.m. Mass.  Mass will be followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Litany of Loreto, and Benediction.  Confessions will be available at 7:30 a.m.

THE WEEKLY NOVENA TO ST. JUDE will be prayed at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, January 3rd.  This is a continuing Novena and may be begun at any time.  All are welcome and encouraged to come and pray for the intercession of the saint of hopeless and impossible cases.

THE WEEKLY PRO-LIFE NOVENA will be offered before the 8:00 a.m. Mass on Saturday, January 6th.  Please come and beg God for an end to this terrifying evil which is destroying our nation!

HOLY HOUR AND MINI RETREAT – Join us before the Blessed Sacrament for the Holy Hour and Mini Retreat of the Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart.  The Holy Hour is every Thursday and the Mini Retreat is the last Thursday of every month in our church following the 5:30 p.m. Mass, from 6:16 – 7:15 p.m. with our Pastor, Fr. Seán O’Mannion, National Director of the Guard of Honor – USA.

OUR LADY’S HOLY ICON will visit the home of Betty Fritz for a week of prayer and petition for the needs of our Parish.  We thank you for this holy work of power and love.

PLEASE DON’T FORGET OUR GROCERIES for the Poor Project!  Many people who are having a hard time come to the Rectory for help.  Please help us to help them.  It is a sad and heartbreaking thing to turn someone away when we run out of groceries!  Any non perishable items that you can spare will be greatly appreciated – canned hams, tuna fish, peanut butter, baked beans, dry milk, canned soups and stews, jam, crackers, juices, etc.  Please leave them in the front vestibule of the church.

☼THIS BULLETIN is sponsored by the St. Stanislaus and St. Kazimierz Societies.

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NEW YEAR’S EVE is celebrated very differently in Poland.  It is a more quiet time for reflection on the past year.  There are services in Church asking God for forgiveness of the sins of the past years and prayers for blessings on the coming year.
    New Year’s Eve is called St. Sylvester’s Day in Poland.  (St. Sylvester was a great Pope in the early 300’s.)  In the cities there are parties after church services which are called Sylvester parties.
    The Sylvester Parties came about because of an old legend.  According to the story, Pope St. Sylvester I, imprisoned the dragon Leviathan in 317 A.D.  The belief grew that Leviathan would escape in the year 1000 A.D., set fire to the heavens and bring about the end of the world.
    Near the year 1000 a monk by the name of Gerbert became pope.  He was a scientist of sorts and spent his free time in his cell building strange machinery.  The people feared he was a sorcerer.  To make matters worse, Gerbert took the name of Sylvester II as Pope.  It seemed doubly certain then that as St. Sylvester I had imprisoned Leviathan, Pope Sylvester II would set him free.
    As December 31, 999 A.D. came closer, people lived in fear that they would suffer the horrible end of the world.  But as midnight came and went with not a sign of the dragon or the end of the world destruction, the release from tension was so great that the people rejoiced with parties ever since.  Hence the Sylvester parties of Poland and even our own New Year’s Eve parties.
    Meanwhile — what was Pope Sylvester II up to in his cell?  Was it sorcerer’s magic as the people feared?  Not at all!  Pope Sylvester II had been using his time to build a clock, which, perfected with the years, became the one we use today!  
    Pope St. Sylvester I will be remembered in the Mass at 8:00 a.m.  This Mass will also be an opportunity to thank God for the blessings of the past year and to petition our Heavenly Father for help in the coming year.

PRAY FOR VOCATIONS to the Priesthood from our Parish and for our Parish so that we might always have a Priest here to celebrate the Mass and administer the Holy Sacraments!  Please join in the Divine Mercy Chaplet to pray for vocations to the priesthood every Friday beginning at 4:45 p.m.

WEBSITE:  ChroniclesofCzestochowa.wordpress.com  Like us on Facebook
THERE WILL BE NO CATECHISM CLASSES because of the Christmas holiday, on the following date:  Sunday, December 31st.  Classes WILL RESUME Sunday, January 7th.  Because the Faith of our children is so important this and Easter Sunday are the only vacations our catechism classes ever have!

THE FOLLOWING MASS INTENTIONS have been sent to various Missionaries.  They will be offered as follows and you may attend the Masses here in our church as the Missionaries offer the Masses in their churches:
 
Sunday, December 31: 8:00 + Stephen J. Wilt – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Sunday, December 31: 10:30 + Thomas F. Wilt – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Sunday, December 31: 4:00 + Frank Waryas – int. James and Jean Koldis
Monday, January 1: 10:30 + Eugine & Lucile Wilt – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Tuesday, January 2: + Joseph Klepadlo – int. Irene & Family
Wednesday, January 3: + John R. Wilt – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Thursday, January 4: + Mary Lu Wilt – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Friday, January 5: + Louis M. Kozloski – int. Irene Klepadlo
Saturday, January 6: 8:00 + Martha Wilt McDaniel – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Saturday, January 6: 4:00 + Mae Kosewicz – int. Helen & Regina
   
PLEASE NOTE:  The above Masses not only assist the souls for whom they are offered, but they also help the Missionaries who often times receive very little help.  It also helps the people where the Masses are offered.  Bóg wam zapłać!

CHURCH CHOIRS:  The St. Cecilia Choir and Choristers, which sings at the Sunday 10:30 Mass and other special services, is always seeking additional singers of any experience.  We rehearse every Sunday in the choir loft following the 10:30 Mass, from 11:30 – 12:30.  For information, please see Henry Gaida or e-mail hgaida@gmail.com. The Saint Gregory Choir is accepting new members with any level of experience, adults and youths. One need only have a desire to sing in the Mass. We sing sacred chant and 16th century sacred polyphony. We meet to rehearse in the choir loft every Friday evening right after Mass or devotions. We sing at the 8:00 Sunday morning Mass.  For more information, call Robert Heath at 772-8738.

THE TERESIANS ARE STILL LOOKING for a few good men, women, or families willing to join us in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.  Out latest project is collecting “toiletries” from hotels.  These will be offered at the OLC community meals.  There is a marked container in the vestibule.  Do NOT buy them.  If you want to buy something, consider groceries for distribution from the rectory.  Nancy Faller (nafaller@aol.com)

Ten Points for the New Year

    Today and every year on New Year’s Day, we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God.  This is no coincidence.  We are, in effect being told that Mary is our gift and help for the coming year.  Mary is our special guide to lead us to Jesus and to eternal life.  What better gifts and what better guide could we have?!  I thought that for my sermon today I would keep it short and give everyone ten points for the coming New Year:

    1.  Our Blessed Mother Mary teaches us prayer.  See and learn how she asks her Son Jesus at the Wedding at Cana.  See how simply and quietly she insists: confidently, perseveringly, and see how she succeeds.
    2.  Look at Mary.  She is the Mother of two children:  Jesus and you.  Have confidence and fear not.  We are not alone.
    3.  God has inspired us to do good things and even great things.  Get to work, start now, and don’t put it off:  Our dreams won’t come true if we’re sleeping.
    4.  Keep appreciating and looking around at nature and the world we live in:  it is one of the greatest proofs for the existence of a God that loves us.
    5.  Make a daily appointment with God and then keep it as if we were meeting the most important person in the world…. because we are.
    6.  If you don’t have a Bible, get one.  If you’ve got a Bible, read it.  If you read the Bible, believe it.  If you believe the Bible, live it.
    7.  Always remember that God does not help us because we deserve it; He helps us because He loves us, and the love of God has no limits.
    8.  Forget those people and things that hurt us in the past.  We can’t work for the future by looking in the rearview mirror.
    9.  Prayer changes things; worry changes nothing.  When we choose to worry we are choosing not to trust God.
    10.  Confession, at least once a month, will constantly renew our chance for Heaven.  Why would anyone not want that?!

    Those are ten points for this New Year.  But I can’t resist adding just one more – a bonus.  Here it is:  Mark Twain once said:  “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.”  In other words:  We tend to worry about nothing.  We have to remember that God is in charge and as the Bible says, I can do all things in Christ Who strengthens me!

Happy and Blessed New Year!

 

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord,
And Let Your Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them.

Edwin Marzalek 12/31/1953
Francis Waryas 12/31/1967
Beatrice M. Marziarz 12/31/1990
Mary “Molly” Pervere 12/31/2007
Eusebius C. Kelley 12/31/2013
Edward Baranowski 1/1/1936
Franciszek Zajec 1/1/1956
John Choleva 1/1/1972
Mary Sokolowski 1/1/1975
Josephine E. Milewski 1/1/1987
John A. Ciesunski 1/1/1995
Helen Muszynski 1/1/2016
Sophie Kozik 1/2/1933
Julia Escott 1/2/1984
Robert E. Talbot 1/2/2002
Charles J. Kabaniec 1/3/1986
Anthony J. Krejmas 1/3/1998
Joanna M. Sak 1/3/2016
John Provost, Jr. 1/3/2017
Frank Sak 1/4/1973
Edward J. Sojka 1/4/1996
Evelyn W. Kalinowski 1/4/2007
Wojtiech Korcz 1/5/1940
Chester Waryas 1/5/1982
Stephen J. Janek 1/5/1992
Andrew Rastallis 1/5/1997
Grace M. Wikowski 1/5/2000
Edward T. Boliski 1/5/2012
Louis M. Kozloski 1/5/2012
Marya A. Bialecki 1/6/1990
June R. Murphy 1/6/2010
Carl Tela 1/7/1969
Mieczyslaw Brzozowy 1/7/1969
Zigmund J. Kawecki 1/7/1980
Adam C. Markowski 1/7/1994
Mary Zak  1/7/1997
Helen Sak 1/7/2013

Remember the Holy Souls in Your Prayers

TWO PILGRIMAGES TO WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES – The World Meeting of Families will be held in Dublin, Ireland from August 21-26, 2018.  Two great pilgrimages (8 or 12 day) are planned which include daily Mass and visits to numerous shrines (Knock, St. Peter, Nat’l. Shrine to St. Oliver Plunkett, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Valentine, Venerable Matt Talbot, Tomb of Venerable John Sullivan, depending on which pilgrimage you choose) and many places of interest.  For more information contact Grand View Tours at (610-361-7979), visit http://www.catholicsindublin.com, or contact Fr. Jonathan Reardon at Holy Family Parish in So. Deerfield (665-3254).

CATHOLICS COME HOME – God, our Father, created a big and loving family in His Church.  Learn more about our Catholic Faith: a Church filled with beauty, miracles, heroes, history, love and peace.  Provided is a wide array of helpful and thought-provoking resources that will help you more clearly understand the Catholic Church and its teachings.  Visit http://www.catholicscomehome.org.

ALTERNATIVES PREGNANCY CENTER – Pregnancy Tests, Counseling, Support Services, and Post Abortion Support, All Services Free and Confidential, 466 Main Street, P.O. Box 344, Greenfield, MA  01302-0344 — (413) 774-6010

✠ Prayer for the Blessing of Families ✠
 
Priest–    Our help is in the + Name of the Lord!
All–        Who made Heaven and Earth!
Priest–    The Lord be with you!
All–        And with your spirit!
Priest–    Bow your heads in prayer and ask for God’s blessing upon your families and upon the family we call our parish.
All–        Heavenly Father, bless our family and parish with Your grace. Let Your Spirit guide us in word and deed so that our light may shine before all and lead all who know us to give You praise!
Priest–    May our homes be filled with the spirit of love, with the obedience of faith, and the strength of hope!
All–        Make our lives happy in Your service, and bring us in Your love to Your Eternal Home!
Priest–    Father, All-Good, we praise Your Name; and ask this blessing through the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and good St. Joseph.
All–    Amen!

PLEASE NOTE that every day of the month is set aside to pray for a specific priest or deacon of Franklin County.  Please join in dedicating every day to one of the clergymen designated in our calendar.  The intentions for this week are:

Sunday                                       Fr. Roux
Monday                                     Clergy who are sick                            
Tuesday                                     Fr. Campoli      
Wednesday                               Fr. Lisowski
Thursday                                   Fr. Bermudez
Friday                                         Deacon Rabbitt
Saturday                                    Fr. Reardon

 

 

+ PARISH SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 24, 2017 +

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24 [Fourth Sunday of Advent/]:
8:00 am – Health & Blessings for Sr. Maria Faustina Scherman, MSSR – int. Ron & Monica
10:30 am + Eugenia Lee & James Brady Bender – int. Al & Cathy Becklo
** Vigil of Christmas **
The Hay and Manger will be blessed before this Christmas Mass
*4:00 pm + Jeanne Klepadlo Murphy – int. Wanda Kozloski
*12:00 Midnight – For the Benefactors of our Parish
MONDAY, DECEMBER 25 [THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD]:
*8:30 am (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners
*10:30 am – For our Parish and Parishioners
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 26 [St. Camillus and St. Peregrine Novena /St. Stephen]:
5:30 pm + Joseph Klepadlo – int. Wife, Irene
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27 [St. Jude Novena / St. John the Evangelist]:
5:30 pm + Frederick F. Becklo – int. Al & Cathy Becklo
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28 [Holy Innocents]:
5:30 pm + Blanche Sojka Golonka – int. John & Ted Sojka Families
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29 [St. Thomas à Becket]:
5:30 pm + Living & Deceased members of the Becklo Family – int. Al & Cathy Becklo
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30:
8:00 am + Wanda Morawa – int. Jacques Family
4:00 pm + Joanne Klepadlo Murphey – int. Mom & Family
6:00 pm (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31 [The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph]:
8:00 am – Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
10:30 am + Robert Lambert – int. Jacques Family

+ KRÓLOWO POLSKI MÓDL SIĘ ZA NAMI +
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24th – The Vigil Mass of Christmas Eve will begin at 4:00 p.m. with the Blessing of the Christmas trees, Manger and the Christmas hay to await the coming of the Christ Child. Carols will be chanted in English, Polish and Latin. After the Mass, which will be in English, the congregation following an old Polish tradition is welcome to take a memento of the Blessed hay for the centerpiece on their Christmas Eve dinner table.

THE MIDNIGHT MASS of the Shepherds will begin at exactly 12:00 MIDNIGHT. It will, however, be introduced at 11:30 p.m. December 24th with a concert of carols in English, Polish and Latin. As the bells ring the midnight hour of Christmas morning, December 25th, the time of the birth of the Christ Child, a statue of the Infant Jesus will be blessed and carried in solemn procession around the church and then enshrined in the manger. The Mass will follow in English.

SPANISH MASS FOR CHRISTMAS DAY will be celebrated on Monday, December 25th, at 8:30 a.m.MONDAY, DECEMBER 25th – The Mass of Christmas Day will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the solemn proclamation of the birth of Christ and the solemn procession to the manger. Mass will be in English with carols chanted in English, Polish and Latin.

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PASTERKA is the name given to the Polish Midnight Mass. Pasterka means Shepherds Mass and it is filled with all the joy and pageantry the Polish people can muster for this holy commemoration of the moment when God became man. The crib is blessed, processions are held, the bells are rung and the choir is at their best. Everything and everyone is directed to the Holy Christ Child – God Who became like us to save us!


THE FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN (December 26th) – For the Polish people, the feast of St. Stephen is celebrated as a continuation of Christmas. It is sometimes called “Drugie Święta” – the Second Holiday.
St. Stephen is called the Protomartyr because he was the first Christian martyr — the first individual to die for his Faith. He was one of the seven deacons that the Apostles ordained (Acts 6) to help them with the work of the early Church. St. Stephen proved to be a gifted preacher and stressed that God was to be found everywhere, that the world and all His creation is sanctified by His loving presence.
St. Stephen also preached strongly to those who failed to recognize the reality of God and who refused to acknowledge Jesus. The Bible tells us that St. Stephen “was a man filled with grace and power, who worked great wonders and signs among the people.” (Acts 6:8). Because of his strong message of truth, St. Stephen was stoned to death by anti-Christian forces. A convinced Christian to the end, St. Stephen prayed “Lord Jesus receive my spirit” as he was cruelly put to death and with his last breath he cried out in a loud voice “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” (Acts 7:59-60). His death eloquently speaks of our duty as Catholics to love so completely that we can even forgive and love our enemies and those who would hurt us.
There are a number of Polish customs associated with this feast day. It is a day of fun and games. People jokingly throw grain at each other as a reminder of the manner of death St. Stephen died and as a prayer for protection by the saint and for a good harvest. On this day priests, deacons, nuns and altar boys are often greeted this way after Mass to remind them that they must live a life so completely dedicated to Jesus, so committed to God, that they should be willing and prepared to die as St. Stephen died.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27th is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist. He will be celebrated with a special blessing of wine at the end of the 5:30 p.m. Mass. This traditional Polish custom is observed in commemoration of a legend from the life of St. John. The story goes that St. John was presented a goblet of poison wine by individuals who were angry at the Gospel of love he was preaching — a love that makes us the Children of God. This seemed too much for the enemies of John. It was too good for mortal humanity so they decided to eliminate him for teaching what they felt to be a dangerous doctrine.
As St. John took the goblet from his enemies, he prayed and blessed the wine, as was his custom. Immediately a black snake was seen coming out of the cup. The poison had left miraculously in the form of a serpent.
In Polish churches this story, of John’s trust in God, is recalled by the blessing of wine after the Masses of this feast. People bring a bottle of wine to be blessed and usually a crystal goblet of wine is also blessed and all present share in its goodness before the long cold walk home. The wine that is taken home is shared by friends and family as a token of God’s love.
THERE WILL BE NO CATECHISM CLASSES because of the Christmas holiday, on the following dates: Sunday, December 24th and Sunday, December 31st. Classes WILL RESUME Sunday, January 7th. Because the Faith of our children is so important this and Easter Sunday are the only vacations our catechism classes ever have!

THE WEEKLY NOVENA TO ST. JUDE will be prayed at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, December 27th. This is a continuing Novena and may be begun at any time. All are welcome and encouraged to come and pray for the intercession of the saint of hopeless and impossible cases.

THE GENTLEMEN OF ST. JOSEPH will meet on Wednesday, December 27th at 6:00 p.m. for a Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament followed by a meeting in the undercroft. The Gentlemen of St. Joseph is a group of men dedicated to answering the call of Mary to lead families to her son, Jesus.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28th is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, celebrating the little children who were martyred by Herod in his desperate and greedy concern for his throne. Special prayers will be offered during the 5:30 p.m. Mass for the holocaust of holy innocents martyred every year in our nation through abortion.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29th is the Feast of St. Thomas Becket who was martyred because he strenuously defended the freedom of religion and the rights of the Church. He will be remembered in the Mass at 5:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30th is the Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Special prayers will be offered at all the weekend Masses for blessing all our parish families.

THE WEEKLY PRO-LIFE NOVENA will be offered before the 8:00 a.m. Mass on Saturday, December 30th. Please come and beg God for an end to this terrifying evil which is destroying our nation!

HOLY HOUR AND MINI RETREAT – Join us before the Blessed Sacrament for the Holy Hour and Mini Retreat of the Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart. The Holy Hour is every Thursday and the Mini Retreat is the last Thursday of every month in our church following the 5:30 p.m. Mass, from 6:16 – 7:15 p.m. with our Pastor, Fr. Seán O’Mannion, National Director of the Guard of Honor – USA.

WEBSITE: ChroniclesofCzestochowa.wordpress.com Like us on Facebook
OUR LADY’S HOLY ICON will visit the home of Carol Kostecki for a week of prayer and petition for the needs of our Parish. We thank you for this holy work of power and love.

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD donations have been made for Christmas Flowers in memory of the following: In memory of Raymond & Louise Kervian, Lawrence & Helen Pelletier, and David W. Phillips from Joyce & Tina / In memory of Leskie & Gertrude Phillips from Tina / In memory of Sr. Mary Rosalie, Charles and Cecelia Gloski, Mattie Stepanek and Sandy Miner from Joyce. Bóg Zapłac!

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD a donation has been made to the parish Renovation Fund in memory of Joe & Stella Skrzypek from Eileen Boucher Nikopoulos. Bóg wam wielki Zapłać!!

POLISH CHRISTMAS CAROLS are sung until the 2nd of February. The Christmas season, for the Polish people, starts on Christmas Eve. Advent is Advent — a time of preparation and anticipation. Unlike many Western cultures, where Christmas carols and celebrations begin by December 1st, the Polish people spend that time in prayerful waiting. The time after Christmas is the time for celebration.
Unlike the Christmas songs of other countries the Polish carol (called a Kolęda) is not only a prayer but it is also a story — a kind of musical drama telling of the miraculous birth of Jesus. These Kolędy are a musical expression of genius and profound religious conviction. Many Polish carols date from the early 17th century and reflect, not only the folk culture of the day, but the royal and courtly life of the nobility.
The word Kolęda is taken from the Latin word meaning the first day of the month and reflects the ancient custom of pre-Christian feasts in mid-winter. With the coming of Christianity, the theme became the birth of Jesus.
Many of the Kolędy are based on the majestic Polonez, a royal and stately dance from the courts of Polish kings. One such Kolęda, “W Złobie Leży” was based on the Polonez played at the coronation of Wladyslaw IV (1632 – 1648).
Adam Mickiewicz, in writing about the beauty of Polish Christmas carols, said: “I doubt whether there is another country which can boast of such a collection of carols as Poland has. It would not be easy to find any other nation’s poetry with feelings so pure, of such an extreme sweetness and delicacy.”
Wesołych Świąt

THE RITES OF THE WIGILIA* SUPPER even dictates the menu. There is always an odd number of courses. This is an old Polish tradition which says that an even number is conclusive – the end – but an odd number implies a continuation and a bounty. Even the number of courses is a symbolic prayer in the Wigilia ceremony for “our daily bread”.
The Wigilia feast is traditionally meatless – for it is the last day of Advent and the meatless fast must be observed. But it is also the eve of great anticipation – the time when God became like us – when Heaven touched earth with great power. So the fast is observed – but the vegetarian meal is festive and bountiful. At least seven courses are included and often as many as eleven or fifteen courses are served!
Another requirement for the Wigilia Supper is that the menu should represent the produce of all the farmer’s land and industry and all the sources of God’s goodness should be represented. Most often there are delicately flavored mushrooms for the woods, fine wheat or millet for the field, sweet apples or plums for the orchard, tasty potatoes, cabbage and beets for the kitchen garden and herring and pike to symbolize the waters. It is important to at least try or sample from every dish in gratitude to God for His kindness and bounty. Not to do so would imply disrespect to God for His mercy!
A typical seven course menu for the rites of Wigilia might include:
1. Herring and marinated mushrooms with herbs.
2. Clear Barszcz and mushroom uszka
3. Broiled Pike with delicate horseradish sauce.
4. Cabbage soup with potatoes lightly flavored with onions.
5. Pierogi filled with spicy cabbage, light cheese, sweet fruit or berries.
6. Fruit compote.
7. Pastries, coffee, nuts and candies.
*Wigilia, the Christmas Eve Dinner, is sometimes also called Wilia.

PASTERKA is the name given to the Polish Midnight Mass. Pasterka means Shepherds Mass and it is filled with all the joy and pageantry the Polish people can muster for this holy commemoration of the moment when God became man. The crib is blessed, processions are held, the bells are rung and the choir is at their best. Everything and everyone is directed to the Holy Christ Child – God Who became like us to save us!

THE FOLLOWING MASS INTENTIONS have been sent to various Missionaries. They will be offered as follows and you may attend the Masses here in our church as the Missionaries offer the Masses in their churches:

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24: 8:00 + Joanne Murphey – int. Dorothy Kosewicz
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24: 10:30 + Mary Kosewicz – int. Dotty Kosewicz
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24: 4:00 + Edward Margola – int. James and Jean Koldis
MONDAY, DECEMBER 25: Midnight + Chris Gatautis – int. Friend
MONDAY, DECEMBER 25: 10:30 – Markne Jarvenpea – int. Uncle Dana
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 26: + Edwin Putala – int. Katheryn Putala & Family
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27: + Alan & Patricia Tailby – int . The Shaughnesseys
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28: + Paul & Josephine Milewski – int. Family
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29: + Mary R. DiMascola – int. Son
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30: 8:00 + Alfred & Frances Archibald – int. Daughter
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30: 10:30 + Mary Kosewicz – int. Daughter

PLEASE NOTE: The above Masses not only assist the souls for whom they are offered, but they also help the Missionaries who often times receive very little help. It also helps the people where the Masses are offered. Bóg wam zapłać!

THE TERESIANS ARE STILL LOOKING for a few good men, women, or families willing to join us in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Out latest project is collecting “toiletries” from hotels. These will be offered at the OLC community meals. There is a marked container in the vestibule. Do NOT buy them. If you want to buy something, consider groceries for distribution from the rectory. Nancy Faller (nafaller@aol.com)

PRAY FOR VOCATIONS to the Priesthood from our Parish and for our Parish so that we might always have a Priest here to celebrate the Mass and administer the Holy Sacraments! Please join in the Divine Mercy Chaplet to pray for vocations to the priesthood every Friday beginning at 4:45 p.m.

ALTERNATIVES PREGNANCY CENTER – Pregnancy Tests, Counseling, Support Services, and Post Abortion Support, All Services Free and Confidential, 466 Main Street, P.O. Box 344, Greenfield, MA 01302-0344 — (413) 774-6010

Merry Christmas — Wesolych Swiat — Feliz Navidad

THE OPŁATEK for the Polish people is the most important element in the Christmas celebration. It is part of the family rites at the Wigilia supper on Christmas Eve and is used by friends and neighbors at parties and gatherings during the holiday season.
The Opłatek is a small piece of bread-wafer often embossed with religious images of Our Lady and of scenes depicting the birth of Jesus. These designs are usually excellent examples of Polish folk art and are often preserved in Art Museums to show the unusually wide scope of the decorative arts of the Polish peasants.
The word Opłatek is taken from the Latin word “Oblatum” meaning sacred bread. In the past, this holy bread, or Bread of Love as Opłatek is sometimes called, was made with great ceremonies and rites. The choices wheat was chosen and the workers wore liturgical robes and chanted hymns during the process.
The Opłatek symbolizes days of harmony, when what is to be forgiven is forgiven and what is to be forgotten is forgotten. The sharing of the Opłatek signifies that everyone in the universe is related – we are all God’s children – we all have His Divine power.
The Opłatek, that Bread of Love, so frail and perishable, has for all Poles a mystical meaning which cannot be explained. At Christmas time it is even sent to absent members of the family and to close friends separated by distance, to draw them close in a spiritual union with their loved ones. To receive a piece of Opłatek is a special blessing. It says that the recipient is loved in a holy way and that the choicest blessings are prayed over them.
Christmas Eve in Poland is called Wigilia. The Latin origins of the word Wigilia are the same as those of the English word “vigil,” meaning keeping watch in expectation of something. Of course, what the Christian world awaits on this date is the birth of Jesus, the Christ Child. The Catholic custom is that of attending midnight Mass or “Pasterka,” a name that comes from “pasterze” the Polish word for shepherds who, according to the evangelists, were the first to greet the New Born King.
In Poland in common parlance, Christmas is referred to as “Gwiazdka,” or little star. And it is the appearance of the first star in the eastern sky that Polish children await most eagerly on Christmas Eve. This is because this evocation of the Star of Bethlehem signals that the Wigilia festivities can start.
At the Wigilia Supper the rite of sharing and breaking the Opłatek is both simple and moving. The host and hostess first share and break the Bread of Love – the Opłatek – with each other and then with all the members of their family and guests. With the breaking, good wishes, blessings and prayers are exchanged and shared. It is a time of spiritual gift-giving. Sometimes the blessings take the form of spontaneous poetry – but this is often an art form reserved to the old.
A piece of Opłatek is often saved after Christmas to use in time of sickness. It is administered to the ill as a blessing-prayer for healing. It is a strong affirmation of the love of family and friends.
In some parts of Poland and among some Polish-Americans there is the custom of saving a few squares of the Opłatek and of creating religious ornaments with them. Some of them are made into stars and miniature cradles for the Baby Jesus. Others are made into tiny churches and complicated globes – often with a tiny figure of Jesus holding the cross in the inner circle of the world-globes to signify His rule over the universe.
Usually these ornaments were carefully hung by a thread from the ceiling. With the movements in a room it gently swayed to and fro and old timers often prophesied the coming weather from the direction in which these lacy ornaments moved.
Adam Plug remembered these Opłatek ornaments of his Polish childhood and wrote: “When father glued together a fine star enclosing a tiny cradle, he hung it to the ceiling by a thread. I knew for certain this was the same star which shone down upon Jesus in the manger. I rocked the little cradle on the thread with my childish breath, and really felt I was rocking the real little baby Jesus to sleep, singing Him a kolęda.”

PLEASE DON’T FORGET OUR GROCERIES for the Poor Project! Many people who are having a hard time come to the Rectory for help. Please help us to help them. It is a sad and heartbreaking thing to turn someone away when we run out of groceries! Any non perishable items that you can spare will be greatly appreciated – canned hams, tuna fish, peanut butter, baked beans, dry milk, canned soups and stews, jam, crackers, juices, etc. Please leave them in the front vestibule of the church.

TWO PILGRIMAGES TO WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES – The World Meeting of Families will be held in Dublin, Ireland from August 21-26, 2018. Two great pilgrimages (8 or 12 day) are planned which include daily Mass and visits to numerous shrines (Knock, St. Peter, Nat’l. Shrine to St. Oliver Plunkett, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Valentine, Venerable Matt Talbot, Tomb of Venerable John Sullivan, depending on which pilgrimage you choose) and many places of interest. For more information contact Grand View Tours at (610-361-7979), visit http://www.catholicsindublin.com, or contact Fr. Jonathan Reardon at Holy Family Parish in So. Deerfield (665-3254).

THIS BULLETIN is sponsored by the St. Stanislaus and St. Kazimierz Societies.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord,
And Let Your Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them.

Josephine Sojka 12/24/1957
Mary Waraksa 12/24/1958
Viola Nadeau 12/24/1989
Edward F. Margola 12/24/1990
Walter P. Sokoloski 12/2419/92
Rolland Richotte 12/24/1993
Helen Deskavich 12/24/2012
Helen Molongoski 12/24/2012
Catherine Dobosz 12/25/1926
Casimier Seredejko 12/25/1945
Julia Sierakowski 12/25/1963
Joseph C. Kaminski 12/25/1982
Paul P. Deskavich 12/25/2016
Anthony Prohowicz 12/26/1935
Stanislaus Najda 12/26/1954
Adam Tuminski 12/26/1974
Stanley C. Semaski 12/26/1976
Eleonare Bakula 12/26/1981
Andrew J. Schab 12/26/1987
Anna E. Walton 12/26/2004
Scott L. Thompson 12/26/2008
Carl Rogaleski 12/27/1969
Edwin J. Putala 12/27/1985
Stephanie C. Zamojski 12/27/2000
Rose N. Simondiski 12/27/2010
Caroline M. Brzozowy 12/27/2011
Bernard J. Fritz 12/27/2013
Stanley Bak 12/27/2016
Michael Putala 12/28/1947
Mary Kosewicz 12/28/1972
Joseph P. Zamojski 12/28/1978
Joseph J. Gozeski 12/28/1988
Jennie C. Rastallis 12/28/1996
Blanche A. Golonka 12/28/2000
Julia Czarnecki 12/29/1954
Ralph L. Kovalsick 12/29/1978
Walter J. Sak 12/29/1992
Arthur A. Paulin 12/29/2003
Helen G. Adzema 12/29/2008
Peter Koscinski 12/30/1922
Victoria Kliszka 12/30/1927
Casimier Kalinowski 12/30/1932
Michael Romejko 12/30/1948
Anna Bocon 12/30/1964
Edwin Marzalek 12/31/1953
Francis Waryas 12/31/1967
Beatrice M. Marziarz 12/31/1990
Mary “Molly” Pervere 12/31/2007
Eusebius C. Kelley 12/31/2013

Remember the Holy Souls in Your Prayers

CATHOLICS COME HOME – God, our Father, created a big and loving family in His Church. Learn more about our Catholic Faith: a Church filled with beauty, miracles, heroes, history, love and peace. Provided is a wide array of helpful and thought-provoking resources that will help you more clearly understand the Catholic Church and its teachings. Visit http://www.catholicscomehome.org.

DID YOU KNOW? Poland’s highest point is Mt. Rysy at 8,199 feet (2,499 m); its lowest is near Raczki Elbląskie at 6.56 feet (2 m) below sea level.

A Christmas Carol
by G. K. Chesterton

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The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ-child stood on Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down

 

The Legend of the Poinsettia
It once was the custom in Mexico for the villagers to leave a gift for the Baby Jesus in their church on Christmas Eve. In one small village, a little boy who had no gift to bring prayed to God for a way to show his love for the Infant King. God, in His mercy, looked down on the boy and answered his earnest prayer by causing a flower to bloom where he knelt – a flower so brilliant and fair. The miraculous flower was formed like a star with leaves that were red and so bright, and the boy’s precious gift has come to be known as the “Flower of the Holy Night.”

“‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:15b-16

 Prayer for the Lighting of the Fourth Advent Candle

Priest Blessed are you, Sovereign Lord, merciful and gentle: to you be praise and glory for ever. Your light has shone in our darkened world through the child-bearing of blessed Mary; grant that we who have seen your glory may daily be renewed in your image and prepared like her for the coming of your Son, who is the Lord and Saviour of all.
ALL Blessed be God for ever.

The last violet candle is lit with the rose candle
and the two previously lit violet candles.

Priest Let us pray: O God, eternal majesty, whose ineffable Word the immaculate Virgin received through the message of an Angel and so became the dwelling-place of divinity, filled with the light of the Holy Spirit, grant, we pray, that by her example we may in humility hold fast to your will. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
ALL Amen.

CHURCH CHOIRS: The St. Cecilia Choir and Choristers, which sings at the Sunday 10:30 Mass and other special services, is always seeking additional singers of any experience. We rehearse every Sunday in the choir loft following the 10:30 Mass, from 11:30 – 12:30. For information, please see Henry Gaida or e-mail hgaida@gmail.com. The Saint Gregory Choir is accepting new members with any level of experience, adults and youths. One need only have a desire to sing in the Mass. We sing sacred chant and 16th century sacred polyphony. We meet to rehearse in the choir loft every Friday evening right after Mass or devotions. We sing at the 8:00 Sunday morning Mass. For more information, call Robert Heath at 772-8738.

PLEASE NOTE that every day of the month is set aside to pray for a specific priest or deacon of Franklin County. Please join in dedicating every day to one of the clergymen designated in our calendar. The intentions for this week are:

       Sunday                       Monday                 Tuesday                          Wednesday

Our Seminarians             Vocations     Our Deacon Candidates            Fr. Cullen

                          Thursday                      Friday                       Saturday
                        Fr. Pawlus           Clergy in Pergatory      Clergy who are sick

+ Parish Schedule for the Week of December 17, 2017 +

Sunday, December 17 [Third Sunday of Advent]:
8:00 am + Patricia Collins – int. Brendan Collins
10:30 am + Mary Malley – int. Daughter, Susan Malley
Monday, December 18:
 8:00 am + Chester Kabaniec (6th Anniversary) – int. Wife, Children
Tuesday, December 19 [St. Camillus and St. Peregrine Novena]:
  5:30 pm + John Malley – int. Sister, Susan Malley
Wednesday, December 20 [St. Jude Novena]:
  5:30 pm – Conversion & Salvation for Mary Ellen Malley – int. Sister, Susan Malley
Thursday, December 21 [St. Peter Canisius]:
  5:30 pm + Stephen Golonka – int. John & Ted Sojka Families
Friday, December 22 :
  5:30 pm – Health & Blessings for Mary Ellen DeVito – int. Betty Fritz
Saturday, December 23 [St. John of Kanty]:  
  8:00 am + Joseph Klepadlo – int. Family
  4:00 pm + Roland Richotte – int. Wife, Joan, Son & Granddaughter
  6:00 pm (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners
Sunday, December 24 [Fourth Sunday of Advent/]:
8:00 am – Health & Blessings for Sr. Maria Faustina Scherman, MSSR – int. Ron & Monica
10:30 am + Eugenia Lee & James Brady Bender – int. Al & Cathy Becklo
** Vigil of Christmas **
The Hay and Manger will be blessed before this Christmas Mass
*4:00 pm + Jeanne Klepadlo Murphy – int. Wanda Kozloski
*12:00 Midnight – For the Benefactors of our Parish
Monday, December 25 [The Nativity of the Lord]:
*8:30 am (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners
*10:30 am – For our Parish and Parishioners

Christmas at Our Lady of Częstochowa Church

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24th – The Vigil Mass of Christmas Eve will begin at 4:00 p.m. with the Blessing of the Christmas trees, Manger and the Christmas hay to await the coming of the Christ Child.  Carols will be chanted in English, Polish and Latin.  After the Mass, which will be in English, the congregation following an old Polish tradition is welcome to take a memento of the Blessed hay for the centerpiece on their Christmas Eve dinner table.

THE MIDNIGHT MASS of the Shepherds will begin at exactly 12:00 MIDNIGHT.  It will, however, be introduced at 11:30 p.m. December 24th with a concert of carols in English, Polish and Latin.  As the bells ring the midnight hour of Christmas morning, December 25th, the time of the birth of the Christ Child, a statue of the Infant Jesus will be blessed and carried in solemn procession around the church and then enshrined in the manger.  The Mass will follow in English.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25th – The Mass of Christmas Day will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the solemn proclamation of the birth of Christ and the solemn procession to the manger.  Mass will be in English with carols chanted in English, Polish and Latin.

PASTERKA is the name given to the Polish Midnight Mass.  Pasterka means Shepherds Mass and it is filled with all the joy and pageantry the Polish people can muster for this holy commemoration of the moment when God became man.  The crib is blessed, processions are held, the bells are rung and the choir is at their best.  Everything and everyone is directed to the Holy Christ Child – God Who became like us to save us!

A WORKBEE TO SET UP THE CHRISTMAS decorations in the church will take place on Sunday, December 17th at 4:30 p.m. (after Vespers) and Monday, December 18th following the 8:00 a.m. Mass.  Volunteers are needed and encouraged.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19th – The blessing and lighting of the Parish Christmas Trees in preparation for the Christ Child will take place before the 5:30 p.m. Mass.

 

saint-peter-canisius-elizabeth-duggan

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21st is the Feast of St. Peter Canisius, a leading voice in the Counter-Reformation and founder of several colleges and author of many books.  He is known as the “Second Apostle of Germany” and will be remembered in the 5:30 p.m. Mass.

WEBSITE:  ChroniclesofCzestochowa.wordpress.com  Like us on Facebook

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ST. JOHN OF KANTY was born in Kanty, Poland in 1390 and is celebrated on December 23rd.  After brilliant studies, St. John was ordained a priest and became a professor of Theology in Krakow.  For a time, he was also the pastor of the church in Olkusz.  He was a serious man, but humble and kind.  He was known to all the poor and his few possessions were always at their disposal.  He kept only the money and clothes absolutely needed to support himself.  He slept little, ate sparingly and took no meat.  He worked hard and prayed even harder.
    St. John was ever kind, humble and generous but he still suffered opposition.  He led an austere and penitential life.  Many Catholics today can understand all the humility, kindness and generosity but they find the penitential style of his life hard to accept.  Self discipline seems to be reserved for athletics and the military, certainly not religion.  But St. John proves them wrong.  Self discipline and penance can and does build, not only good Christians, but Saints.  He will be remembered at the 8:00 a.m. Mass on December 23rd.

The Rectory Open House
All Parishioners and Friends are cordially invited to the Rectory Open House on Sunday, December 17th
from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
All are welcome to come any time during the day to share in refreshments, good wishes and Holiday Fellowship.

THE WEEKLY ST. JUDE NOVENA will be prayed at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, December 14th.  This is a continuing Novena and all are welcome to come and pray for the intercession of the Saint of hopeless and impossible cases.

THERE WILL BE NO CATECHISM CLASSES because of the Christmas holiday, on the following dates:  Sunday, December 24th and Sunday, December 31st.  Classes WILL RESUME Sunday, January 7th.  Because the Faith of our children is so important this and Easter Sunday are the only vacations our catechism classes ever have!

THE WEEKLY ST. JUDE NOVENA will be prayed at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, December 20th.  This is a continuing Novena that may be begun at any time.  All are welcome to come and pray for the intercession of St. Jude, the patron of desperate cases.

☼THIS BULLETIN is sponsored by the St. Stanislaus and St. Kazimierz Societies.

The “O Antiphons”

    The “O Antiphons” refer to seven special antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat (the name given to Mary’s prayer found in Luke 1:46-55) during Vespers (Evening Prayer).  They are used during a special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23, with Dec. 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil. The “O Antiphons” were first used by the Church in the 8th and 9th centuries.  They are based on various titles used for the Christ in Scripture and incorporated into antiphons.  In these “O Antiphons” the Church expresses her deep longing for the coming of the Messiah.
    The Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is based on the “O Antiphons” and was written sometime during the 9th Century.

The Antiphons

December 17
O WISDOM, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: COME, and teach us the way of prudence. Amen. (In Latin: “O Sapientia…”)
December 18
O LORD AND RULER of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: COME, and redeem us with outstretched arms. Amen. “O Adonai…”
December 19
O ROOT OF JESSE, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: COME, to deliver us, and tarry not. Amen. “O Radix Jesse…”
December 20
O KEY OF DAVID, and Scepter of the House of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: COME, and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death. Amen. “O Clavis David…”
December 21
O DAWN OF THE EAST, brightness of light eternal, and Sun of Justice: COME, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. Amen. “O Oriens…”
December 22
O KING OF THE GENTILES and their desired One, the Cornerstone that makes both one: COME, and deliver man, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth. Amen. “O Rex…”
December 23
O EMMANUEL, God with us, Our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: COME to save us, O Lord our God. Amen. “O Emmanuel…”
Notice how the “O” antiphons are used in the popular Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”:

 

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.

CHORUS: Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee,
  O Israel!

O come, Thou Wisdom from on   high,
who orders all things mightily,
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
CHORUS:  Rejoice….

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty, and awe.
CHORUS:   Rejoice….

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free,
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave
CHORUS:  Rejoice….

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
CHORUS:  Rejoice….

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer,
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
CHORUS:  Rejoice….

O come, Desire of nations, bind,
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of peace.
CHORUS:  Rejoice…
 
COFFEE HOUR – For those of you are waiting for your children during C.C.D. classes – and for anyone else who can join us for that matter – there will be a Coffee Hour at the Rectory following 8:00 Mass (from 9:00 – 10:00).  Please come by for a cup of coffee, some home made baked goods, and friendly company.  Please use the side door of the Rectory.
 
TWO PILGRIMAGES TO WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES – The World Meeting of Families will be held in Dublin, Ireland from August 21-26, 2018.  Two great pilgrimages (8 or 12 day) are planned which include daily Mass and visits to numerous shrines (Knock, St. Peter, Nat’l. Shrine to St. Oliver Plunkett, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Valentine, Venerable Matt Talbot, Tomb of Venerable John Sullivan, depending on which pilgrimage you choose) and many places of interest.  For more information contact Grand View Tours at (610-361-7979), visit http://www.catholicsindublin.com, or contact Fr. Jonathan Reardon at Holy Family Parish in So. Deerfield (665-3254).
OUR LADY’S HOLY ICON will visit the home of Kathy Eichorn for a week of prayer and petition for the needs of our Parish.  We thank you for this holy work of power and love.

THE WEEKLY PRO-LIFE NOVENA will be offered before the 8:00 a.m. Mass on Saturday, December 23rd.  Please come and beg God for an end to this terrifying evil which is destroying our nation!

HOLY HOUR AND MINI RETREAT – Join us before the Blessed Sacrament for the Holy Hour and Mini Retreat of the Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart.  The Holy Hour is every Thursday and the Mini Retreat is the last Thursday of every month in our church following the 5:30 p.m. Mass, from 6:16 – 7:15 p.m. with our Pastor, Fr. Seán O’Mannion, National Director of the Guard of Honor – USA.

THE FOLLOWING MASS INTENTIONS have been sent to various Missionaries.  They will be offered as follows and you may attend the Masses here in our church as the Missionaries offer the Masses in their churches:
 
Sunday, December 17: 10:30 + Chet Galcis – int. Connie
Thursday, December 21: 5:30 + Mary R. DiMascola – int. Son
   
PLEASE NOTE:  The above Masses not only assist the souls for whom they are offered, but they also help the Missionaries who often times receive very little help.  It also helps the people where the Masses are offered.  Bóg wam zapłać!

THE TERESIANS ARE STILL LOOKING for a few good men, women, or families willing to join us in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.  Out latest project is collecting “toiletries” from hotels.  These will be offered at the OLC community meals.  There is a marked container in the vestibule.  Do NOT buy them.  If you want to buy something, consider groceries for distribution from the rectory.  Nancy Faller (nafaller@aol.com)

PRAY FOR VOCATIONS to the Priesthood from our Parish and for our Parish so that we might always have a Priest here to celebrate the Mass and administer the Holy Sacraments!  Please join in the Divine Mercy Chaplet to pray for vocations to the priesthood every Friday beginning at 4:45 p.m.

ALTERNATIVES PREGNANCY CENTER – Pregnancy Tests, Counseling, Support Services, and Post Abortion Support, All Services Free and Confidential, 466 Main Street, P.O. Box 344, Greenfield, MA  01302-0344 — (413) 774-6010

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord,
And Let Your Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them.

Julia Mlewski 12/17/1939
Joseph Dobosz 12/17/1952
Mary Pluta 12/17/1958
Henry A. Gaida 12/17/1973
Rose Dunican 12/17/1996
John Yarmac 12/18/1962
Alexander Oleksiewicz 12/18/1967
Victoria Korcz 12/18/1973
Chester J. Kabaniec 12/18/2011
Joseph Oleksiewicz 12/19/1965
Anna Pieciuch 12/19/1967
Josephine Holewa 12/19/1973
Antonia Milewski 12/19/1975
Frank M. Dudek 12/19/1981
Henry P. Siciak 12/19/1995
Magdelena Rudnicki 12/20/1931
Helena Karp 12/20/1955
Michael Saharceski 12/20/1967
Stephen A. Golonka 12/20/1978
John S. Zebrowski 12/20/1989
Katarzyna Choleva 12/21/1950
Kenneth A. Black 12/21/2011
Josepha Ponkowski 12/22/1926
Francis Ponkowski 12/22/1937
Frank Dlugosz 12/22/1959
Joseph W. Ranahan 12/22/2013
Fleurette Witalisz 12/22/2016
Walter Wysk 12/23/1972
Edward Waryas 12/23/1997
Josephine Sojka 12/24/1957
Mary Waraksa 12/24/1958
Viola Nadeau 12/24/1989
Edward F. Margola 12/24/1990
Walter P. Sokoloski 12/2419/92
Rolland Richotte 12/24/1993
Helen Deskavich 12/24/2012
Helen Molongoski 12/24/2012

Remember the Holy Souls in Your Prayers

 

WORLD WAR I: BEYOND THE FRONT LINES – World War I, fought from 1914-1918, was the modern world’s first international conflict. Approximately 11 million soldiers were killed, and the war’s toll including civilian casualties exceeded 20 million. By Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918, more than 116,000 Americans died as a result of the war. Of these, more than 1,600 were Knights of Columbus. Both the first and last American military officers to die during the war were K of C members. The Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn. commemorates the 100th anniversary of the United States’ participation in the war with an exhibition, World War I: Beyond the Front Lines (Apr. 6, 2017 – Dec. 30, 2018). The exhibition provides an historical retrospective of the war and includes interactives, images and artifacts from the Knights of Columbus Museum collection, Supreme Council archives and borrowed materials from private lenders and organizations. A series of WWI-related lectures and presentations will be offered throughout the course of the exhibition. For more information, visit http://www.kofcmuseum.org.

✠ Prayer for the Lighting of the Third Advent Candle ✠
 
Priest    Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, just and true: to you be praise and glory for ever.     Your prophet John the Baptist was witness to the truth as a burning and shining     light. May we your servants rejoice in his light, and so be led to witness to him who     is the Lord of our coming kingdom, Jesus our Saviour and King of the ages.
ALL    Blessed be God for ever.
 
The rose candle is lit with the two previously lit violet candles.
 
Priest    Let us pray: Incline a merciful ear to our cry, we pray, O Lord, and, casting light on     the darkness of our hearts, visit us with the grace of your Son. Who lives and reigns     with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
ALL    Amen.
 

PLEASE NOTE that every day of the month is set aside to pray for a specific priest or deacon of Franklin County.  Please join in dedicating every day to one of the clergymen designated in our calendar.  The intentions for this week are:

Sunday                           Pope Francis
Monday                          Deacon Nolan
Tuesday                          Bishop Rozanski
Wednesday                    Deacon DeCarlo
Thursday                        Fr. Bombardier
Friday                              Fr. DiMascola
Saturday                         Bishop McDonnell                     

CHURCH CHOIRS:  The St. Cecilia Choir, which sings at the Sunday 10:30 Mass and other special services, is always seeking additional singers of any experience.  We rehearse every Sunday in the choir loft following the 10:30 Mass, from 11:30 – 12:30.  For information, please see Henry Gaida or e-mail hgaida@gmail.com.
    The Saint Gregory Choir:   So you didn’t take Latin in school?  Most of us didn’t either!  So you don’t read music?  Many of us are still learning the basics!  So you’re busy?  So are we!  Who are we?  We call ourselves the St. Gregory Choir; we’re folk like you who like to sing to God’s greater glory.  The music we sing is sophisticated, but we aren’t, and we need you.  Don’t let flimsy excuses keep you from singing some of civilization’s greatest music–the Church’s vast treasury of chants, hymns, and polyphony (a fancy name for four part pieces).  We rehearse for seventy-five minutes after Friday Mass and twenty minutes before the Sunday first Mass.  Come give it a try.  No auditions, no experience necessary, and no solos the first twelve months.  We promise!  We sing at the 8:00 Sunday morning Mass.  For more information, call Robert Heath at 772-8738.

Parish Schedule for the Week of December 10, 2017 +

Sunday, December 10 [Second Sunday of Advent]:
 8:00 am – Grace & Blessings for Jill Rose-Fish – int. Betty Fritz
10:30 am + Richard M. Conway – int. Wife, Carole Conway
Monday, December 11 [Pope St. Damasus I]:
 8:00 am + Bernie Kobera – int. Family
Tuesday, December 12 [St. Camillus and St. Peregrine Novena/ Our Lady of
                Guadalupe]:
 5:30 pm + Walter & Sophie Sojka – int. Sons, Robert, Richard, & James
Wednesday, December 13 [St. Jude Novena / St. Lucy]:
  5:30 pm + Antonina Osmola Sojka – int. John & Ted Sojka Families
Thursday, Nov. 14 [St. John of the Cross]:
  5:30 pm + Anne Sojka – int. John & Ted Sojka Families
Friday, December 15 :
  5:30 pm – Health and Blessings for Betty Fritz – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Saturday, December 16 :
  8:00 am + Fr. Bruno Cocuzzi and all living and deceased members of the St. Joseph
Chapter of the Discalced Carmelites Secular Order
  4:00 pm + Raymond F. Kervian (25th Anniversary) – int. Joyce & Tina Phillips
  6:00 pm (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners
Sunday, December 17 [Third Sunday of Advent]:
8:00 am + Patricia Collins – int. Brendan Collins
10:30 am + Mary Malley – int. Daughter, Susan Malley

+ Królowo Polski Módl Się za Nami +

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11th is the Feast of Pope St. Damasus I.  He is best known with St. Jerome for gathering the scattered books of the Bible into the Bible we now have.  In other words, it is thanks to St. Damasus and the work of St. Jerome that the world has been able to preserve the Bible.  He will be remembered in the Mass at 8:00 a.m.

PAINTING OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE is December 12th and recalls the four apparitions of Mary to a Native American, Saint Juan Diego.  The most startling aspect of the vision is the permanent miracle which is an image of Mary miraculously and inexplicably imprinted on the cloak of St. Juan Diego that remains to this day at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico.  A reproduction of this miraculous icon is enshrined in the front vestibule of our church.

garofalo_-_saint_lucy_-_google_art_project

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13th is the Feast of St. Lucy, an early Christian martyr.  She is the patroness of the eyes and those suffering from disease of the eye.  She will be remembered in the Mass at 5:30 p.m.

st-john-of-the-cross-2

 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14th is the Feast of St. John of the Cross who with St. Teresa of Avila founded the Discalced Carmelite Friars.  His writings soar to great spiritual heights and he is given the title “The Mystical Doctor”.  He will be remembered in the Mass at 8:00 a.m.

THE WEEKLY ST. JUDE NOVENA will be prayed at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, December 14th.  This is a continuing Novena and all are welcome to come and pray for the intercession of the Saint of hopeless and impossible cases.

THE PARISH COUNCIL will meet on Wed., December 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the church undercroft.  The Christmas Services and the results of the bazaar will be discussed.

THERE WILL BE NO CATECHISM CLASSES because of the Christmas holiday, on the following dates:  Sunday, December 24th and Sunday, December 31st.  Classes WILL RESUME Sunday, January 7th.  Because the Faith of our children is so important this and Easter Sunday are the only vacations our catechism classes ever have!

THE WEEKLY ST. JUDE NOVENA will be prayed at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, November 23rd.  This is a continuing Novena that may be begun at any time.  All are welcome to come and pray for the intercession of St. Jude, the patron of desperate cases.

THE WEEKLY PRO-LIFE NOVENA will be offered before the 8:00 a.m. Mass on Saturday, November 11th.  Please come and beg God for an end to this terrifying evil which is destroying our nation!


THE OPŁATEK IS NOW AVAILABLE in the front church Vestibule.  The Opłatek is the Polish Bread-of-Love for Christmas Eve.  It symbolizes days of harmony, when what is to be forgiven is forgiven and what is to be forgotten is forgotten.  The sharing of the Opłatek signifies that everyone in the universe is related…we are all God’s holy children…. we all have His Divine power to love!
    The Opłatek, that Bread-of-Love, so frail and perishable, has for all Poles a mystical meaning which can not be explained.  At Christmas time it is even sent to absent members of the family and to close friends separated by distance, to draw them close in a spiritual union with their loved ones.  To receive a piece of Opłatek is a special blessing.  It says that the recipient is loved in a holy way and that the choicest blessings are prayed over them and for them!
    At the Wigilia (Christmas Eve Supper), the rite of sharing and breaking the Opłatek is both simple and moving.  The host and hostess first share the Opłatek with each other and then with all the members of their family and guests.  With the breaking, good wishes, blessings and prayers are exchanged and shared.  It is a time of spiritual gift-giving.  Sometimes the blessings take the form of spontaneous poetry, but this is often an art reserved to the elderly.   
    A piece of the Opłatek is often saved after Christmas to use in time of sickness as a sacramental-prayer.  It is administered to the ill as a blessing-prayer for healing and it is a strong affirmation of the love of family and friends.
    If you have forgotten this beautiful old custom in your family, why not revive it again this year and if you have never practiced this tradition of love, why not try it this year?  Each envelope with the Opłatek has a short explanation of the tradition and a prayer that may be used on Christmas Eve.

THE FOLLOWING MASS INTENTIONS have been sent to various Missionaries.  They will be offered as follows and you may attend the Masses here in our church as the Missionaries offer the Masses in their churches:
 
Sunday, December 10: 8:00 + Julia Welber – int. Nancy Faller
Wednesday, December 13: 5:30 + Mary R. DiMascola – int. Son
   
PLEASE NOTE:  The above Masses not only assist the souls for whom they are offered, but they also help the Missionaries who often times receive very little help.  It also helps the people where the Masses are offered.  Bóg wam zapłać!

WEBSITE:  ChroniclesofCzestochowa.wordpress.com  Like us on Facebook
OUR LADY’S HOLY ICON will visit the home of Carol Gloski for a week of prayer and petition for the needs of our Parish.  We thank you for this holy work of power and love.

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD and in memory of Beverly Reil a donation has been made to our Parish Renovation Fund by Dennis Grader.  Bóg zapłać!

The Rectory Open House
All Parishioners and Friends are cordially invited to the Rectory Open House on Sunday, December 17th
from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
All are welcome to come any time during the day to share in refreshments, good wishes and Holiday Fellowship.

HOLY HOUR AND MINI RETREAT – Join us before the Blessed Sacrament for the Holy Hour and Mini Retreat of the Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart.  The Holy Hour is every Thursday and the Mini Retreat is the last Thursday of every month in our church following the 5:30 p.m. Mass, from 6:16 – 7:15 p.m. with our Pastor, Fr. Seán O’Mannion, National Director of the Guard of Honor – USA.

THE TERESIANS ARE STILL LOOKING for a few good men, women, or families willing to join us in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.  Out latest project is collecting “toiletries” from hotels.  These will be offered at the OLC community meals.  There is a marked container in the vestibule.  Do NOT buy them.  If you want to buy something, consider groceries for distribution from the rectory.  Nancy Faller (nafaller@aol.com)

PRAY FOR VOCATIONS to the Priesthood from our Parish and for our Parish so that we might always have a Priest here to celebrate the Mass and administer the Holy Sacraments!  Please join in the Divine Mercy Chaplet to pray for vocations to the priesthood every Friday beginning at 4:45 p.m.

COFFEE HOUR – For those of you are waiting for your children during C.C.D. classes – and for anyone else who can join us for that matter – there will be a Coffee Hour at the Rectory following 8:00 Mass (from 9:00 – 10:00).  Please come by for a cup of coffee, some home made baked goods, and friendly company.  Please use the side door of the Rectory.

Fasting for Advent
David G. Bonagura, Jr.

    Christmas is here.  Or so the shopping malls, television ads, newspaper circulars, and radio waves would have us believe.  Advent, the season of spiritual preparation for the birth of Christ, has long been swallowed up by the glitter and lights of “the Holiday Season,” which reaches its climax not with the Epiphany of the Lord on January 6, but with the Epiphany of a New Year.  Consumer Christmas, lamented by believers for years, is not likely to relinquish its grip anytime soon.
    But there is something we can do as individual believers both to prepare ourselves spiritually for Christmas and to fight the secular tide.  It is a practice older than Christmas itself, a mandatory observance in centuries past, and a discipline recommended by our Lord himself: We can fast for Advent.
    Fasting is a form of penance, which at first glance seems out of step in the season of hope.  Yet it is the need for and the action of penance that prepares us for the coming of the Savior, who has come to save us from our sins.  And He will not save us unless we first repent – acknowledge our sins and our need to be forgiven – and then manifest our repentance through acts of penance: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
    Prayer and almsgiving are still rightly associated with Christmas, the season of giving.  But fasting in the month of December, as the sermons of Pope Leo the Great (reigned 440-461) show, is a practice once encouraged of the faithful.
    “What is more effective,” Leo proclaimed one December, “than fasting, by which we approach God, and, resisting the devil, we overcome indulgent vices.  For fasting has always been food for virtue: chaste thoughts, reasonable desires, and more sound deliberations profit from fasting.  And through these voluntary afflictions, our flesh dies to concupiscence and our spirit is renewed for moral excellence.”
    Fasting, by depriving us of worldly goods, sharpens our efforts at combatting sin and acting charitably.  But we see from Leo’s exhortation that fasting and the spirit that comes with it, far from turning Advent into a shorter Lent, help us resist the temptation of reducing Advent into an extended shopping spree.  From fasting, we receive the grace to gaze upon the manger instead of ritzy displays, the shepherds instead of models, the Magi instead of Macy’s.
    Of course, combatting sin is never out of season, and the Sunday Mass readings for the first half of Advent point us in this direction.  The first Sunday of Advent is not directed toward the advent at Bethlehem, but at the end of the world when Christ will return as our judge: “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come.” (Mark 13:33) The second Sunday introduces St. John the Baptist, the gateway to the Nativity, who bids us to prepare our hearts for the Lord by accepting “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mark 1:4) For the Baptist, there can be no Christmas without prior penance.
    Fasting produces in us one further effect that is not often discussed, and it is one that points to the essence of Advent – longing.  When we fast, our bodies clamor for what we have willingly forsaken, be it food, comfort, entertainment, or other goods.  Rather than respond with indulgence, we can respond with prayer: “Lord, hasten to fill the emptiness within me this Christmas, as I know only you can fully satisfy the longings of my soul.”  With an empty stomach and an expectant heart, the age-old prayer of Israel – O come, O come, Emmanuel –rings with new poignancy and vigor.
    Consumer Christmas would have us believe that our longings can be satiated with the latest gift item or fashion trend.  But fasting’s discomfort reminds us that satisfaction from material goods is fleeting; only God, the source and end of all regular desires, can truly satisfy.  Hence fasting can fortify us to perform the necessary material preparations for Christmas –shopping, baking, decorating, card writing, wrapping, cooking – in a spirit that looks beyond the trimmings to their ultimate purpose: the great celebration of God coming to live among us.  Even children, teeming with excitement over coming gifts and arrivals, can be reminded of the real Gift who comes at Christmas simply from encouragement to give up one small thing during Advent.
    In the same sermon, Pope Leo adds that “since salvation of our souls is brought about not only by fasting, let us add works of mercy for the poor to our fasting. . . .so that whoever from his just labors offers a sacrifice of piety to God, the author of all goods, he may merit to receive from them the reward of the heavenly kingdom.”
This Advent, as we add fasting to our prayer and almsgiving, may we also merit to receive the same reward, found not in a store or catalogue, but away in a manger.                                
-www.thecatholicthing.org
 

TWO PILGRIMAGES TO WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES – The World Meeting of Families will be held in Dublin, Ireland from August 21-26, 2018.  Two great pilgrimages (8 or 12 day) are planned which include daily Mass and visits to numerous shrines (Knock, St. Peter, Nat’l. Shrine to St. Oliver Plunkett, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Valentine, Venerable Matt Talbot, Tomb of Venerable John Sullivan, depending on which pilgrimage you choose) and many places of interest.  For more information contact Grand View Tours at (610-361-7979), visit http://www.catholicsindublin.com, or contact Fr. Jonathan Reardon at Holy Family Parish in So. Deerfield (665-3254).

Pope St. Damasus I

    When Constantine became Roman emperor in 312 A.D. and authorized the toleration of the hitherto proscribed Christians, these followers of Christ, no longer kept austere in faith by the threat of death, all too often began to swagger about.  Even some of the bishops of Rome were not immune to the temptation to relax and live pompously.  In fact, one pagan senator observed sarcastically, “Make me bishop of Rome and I will be a Christian tomorrow!”
    Pope Damasus I held fast to the ideal for which the martyrs had died.  He was a Roman deacon in the service of Pope Liberius.  When Liberius passed away in 366 A.D., the choice of his successor occasioned an embarrassing dispute.  Most of the clergy and laity chose Deacon Damasus, now a man of 60.  But a small yet influential faction picked the Deacon Ursinus.  The opposing factions even came to blows.  The election of Damasus was finally upheld, but he still had to exonerate himself before state and church regarding a malicious charge brought against him by the stubborn partisans of Ursinus.
    Even when he had been enthroned, Damasus was faced with 18 years of political and theological turbulence.  He enforced with vigor various reform measures, but he was not always completely successful in his dealings with the emperors and the Eastern churches.  All this ferment sounds rather familiar in our own day.  However, Damasus defended the primacy of the bishops of Rome over the Church.  He also became the first pope to apply to the bishopric of Rome the title “apostolic see” because it was founded by Saints Peter and Paul.
    Pope Damasus was well versed in the sacred scriptures.  The great scripture scholar St. Jerome, who was for a time the pope’s secretary, bears witness to this.  It was St. Damasus who commissioned Jerome to revise the then-current Latin text of the Bible.  Before the pope died, St. Jerome was able to put into his hands the corrected New Testament.  This became part of the “Vulgate” Bible that remained the official Latin Catholic version of the Church until recently.
    In spite of the worldliness of many contemporary Christians, Pope Damasus retained, as we have said, a reverent devotion to the Christians of the days of persecution.  The Church in Rome would continue for several centuries to use the underground cemeteries (“catacombs”) in which many of the local martyrs had been buried.  Damasus was careful to maintain and adorn these sanctified places.  In them he set up a large number of marble tablets bearing inscriptions that he himself had devised.  His friend Furius Dionysius Filocalus carved them in one of the most beautiful typefaces ever designed.
    Damasus dearly wanted to be buried in the little chapel of St. Calixtus’ catacomb where a number of his predecessors were interred.  His wish was not fulfilled, but he was able to record on a tablet in that chapel: “I, Damasus, wished to be buried here, but I feared to offend the ashes of these holy ones.”
    For his actual burial place, he composed the following inscription that testified to his faith in the Child born in Bethlehem:
    “He who walking in the sea could calm the bitter waves, who gives life to the dying seeds of the earth; He who was able to loose the mortal chains of death, and after three days’ darkness could bring again to the upper world the brother for his sister Martha; He, I believe, will make Damasus rise from the dust.”
    We, too, express that faith in the power of our Savior whenever we profess the Nicene Creed, as St. Damasus did: “Et exspecto resurrectionern mortuorum et vitam venturi saeculi”; “I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.  Amen.”
–Father Robert F. McNamara

ALTERNATIVES PREGNANCY CENTER – Pregnancy Tests, Counseling, Support Services, and Post Abortion Support, All Services Free and Confidential, 466 Main Street, P.O. Box 344, Greenfield, MA  01302-0344 — (413) 774-6010

CATHOLIC CRUISE TROPICAL CARIBBEAN – Come and sail away on a 7 night tropical Caribbean cruise with Fr. John Harper, Dec. 31-Jan. 7, 2018 on Holland America’s Eurodam out of Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades)), Florida Ports of Call:  Key West, Florida, Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos, Amber Cove (Puerto Plata), Dominican Republic, Half Moon Bay, Bahamas (Cruiseline Private Island).  Prices begin at $3,168 for two passengers which includes all port fees and taxes.  Daily Mass offered.  Deposits of only $350 per person will reserve your cabin.  Space is limited.  For further information or to register, contact Doug or Eileen at 860-399-1785 or Doug@CatholicCruisesandTours.com.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord,
And Let Your Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them.

Frank J. Puhala 12/10/1965
Nellie Seremeth 12/10/1973
Frank J. Bocon 12/11/1995
Carl S. Hoynoski 12/11/1996
Kenneth A. Rosewarne 12/11/1998
Dr. Edmund B. Olchowski 12/11/2000
Genevieve E. Krol 12/11/2007
Casimier Kurtyka 12/12/1935
Joseph Kurkulonis 12/12/1949
Anna Yarmac 12/12/1962
Edward Krysiak 12/12/1988
Mary Woznakewicz 12/12/2001
John Nadolny 12/13/1938
Leo Piecuch 12/13/1942
Mary Grygo 12/13/1959
Antonina Hajduk 12/13/1961
Antonina Sojka 12/13/1974
Bernard Kurtyka 12/13/1974
Charlotte Kelley 12/13/1978
Anne Sojka 12/13/2005
Helen B. Krejmas 12/13/2012
Tadeusz Wojtasiewicz 12/14/1950
Anna Yarmak 12/14/1962
Julian Kulesa 12/14/1975
Raymond F. Kervian, Sr. 12/14/1992
V. Dorothy Fulton 12/14/2006
John Kawecki 12/15/1950
Edwin C. Parry 12/15/1998
Sophie Piecuch 12/16/1928
Arlene J. Letourneau 12/16/1998
Julia Mlewski 12/17/1939
Joseph Dobosz 12/17/1952
Mary Pluta 12/17/1958
Henry A. Gaida 12/17/1973
Rose Dunican 12/17/1996

Remember the Holy Souls in Your Prayers

WORLD WAR I: BEYOND THE FRONT LINES – World War I, fought from 1914-1918, was the modern world’s first international conflict. Approximately 11 million soldiers were killed, and the war’s toll including civilian casualties exceeded 20 million. By Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918, more than 116,000 Americans died as a result of the war. Of these, more than 1,600 were Knights of Columbus. Both the first and last American military officers to die during the war were K of C members. The Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn. commemorates the 100th anniversary of the United States’ participation in the war with an exhibition, World War I: Beyond the Front Lines (Apr. 6, 2017 – Dec. 30, 2018). The exhibition provides an historical retrospective of the war and includes interactives, images and artifacts from the Knights of Columbus Museum collection, Supreme Council archives and borrowed materials from private lenders and organizations. A series of WWI-related lectures and presentations will be offered throughout the course of the exhibition. For more information, visit http://www.kofcmuseum.org.

DID YOU KNOW?  Poland has 120,562 square miles (312,255 km2) of area, which makes the country slightly smaller than New Mexico.

✠ Prayer for the Lighting of the Second Advent Candle ✠
 
Priest    Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, just and true: to you be praise and glory for ever.     Of old you spoke by the mouth of your prophets, but in our days you speak through     your Son, whom you have appointed the heir of all     things. Grant us, your     people,     to walk in his light, that we may be found ready and watching when he comes in     glory and judgment; for you are our light and our salvation.
ALL    Blessed be God for ever.
 
The First and Second violet candles are lit.
 
Priest    Let us pray: Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the paths of your Only     Begotten Son, that through his coming, we may be found worthy to serve you with     minds made pure.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns     with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
ALL    Amen.
 

DID YOU KNOW?  Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikołaj Kopernik) was born in 1473 in Toruń (Thorn), Poland. He was educated at Kraków’s Jagiellonian University and after that joined the Catholic priesthood. On his return home from studying in the famous Renaissance universities in Padua and Bologna, he became administrator of the northern bishopric of Warmia in 1497, also working as a doctor, lawyer, architect, and soldier. He lived for 15 years in Frombork, where he constructed an observatory and undertook his research, which he later wrote down in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium; its revolutionary contention was that the sun, not Earth, was the center of the planetary system. The work was published by church authorities in Nuremberg in 1543, the year Copernicus died. It was later banned by the papacy, but re-allowed into scholasticism in 1582 with Pope Gregory.

PLEASE NOTE that every day of the month is set aside to pray for a specific priest or deacon of Franklin County.  Please join in dedicating every day to one of the clergymen designated in our calendar.  The intentions for this week are:

Sunday                            Deacon Bucci
Monday                           Deacon Ratte’
Tuesday                          Fr. Bermudez
Wednesday                    Pope Francis
Thursday                        Fr. Aksamit
Friday                              Deacon Bege
Saturday                         Fr. O’Mannion

+ Parish Schedule for the Week of December 3, 2017 +

Sunday, December 3 [First Sunday of Advent]:
  8:00 am – Health & Blessings for Bishops, Priests & Deacons of the Diocese
10:30 am + Stephen Wilt – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Monday, December 4 [St. John Damascene]:
 8:00 am – Benefactors of Martha Wilt McDaniel – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Tuesday, December 5 [St. Camillus and St. Peregrine Novena]:
 5:30 pm + Frank Malley – int. Daughter, Susan Malley
Wednesday, December 6 [St. Jude Novena/St. Nicholas]:
 5:30 pm + Margaret Piasecki – int. Dorothy Kosewicz
Thursday, December 7 [St. Ambrose]:
*5:30 pm – Health & Blessings for Paul Edwards – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Friday, December 8 [The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary]:
*Holy Day of Obligation*
*8:00 am + John Lambert – int. Jacques Family
*5:30 pm – Health & Blessings for Sr. Agnes Loretta of Our Lady Queen of Peace – int. Pelc Family
Saturday, December 9 [St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin]:
 8:00 am – Special intention for Betty Fritz – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
 4:00 pm + Joanne Klepadlo Murphey – int. Family
 6:00 pm (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners
Sunday, December 10 [Second Sunday of Advent]:
 8:00 am – Grace & Blessings for Jill Rose-Fish – int. Betty Fritz
10:30 am + Richard M. Conway – int. Wife, Carole Conway

+ KRÓLOWO POLSKI MÓDL SIĘ ZA NAMI +

PLEASE NOTE!  This weekend, December 2nd and 3rd, will be our first weekend with the new Ignatius Pew Missal, published by Ignatius Press and the Augustine Institute.  Please note that they are set-up slightly differently than our old missalettes, and are designed to last a whole year—please treat them with care!

mary19-damascene

MONDAY, DECEMBER 4th is the Feast of St. John Damascene, the last of the Greek Fathers who defended the veneration of images, composed hymns and preached many sermons in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  He suffered greatly for his defense of Church doctrine and he will be remembered in the Mass at 5:30 p.m.

nikolaus

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6th is the Feast of St. Nicholas.  Polish children do not have a “Santa Claus,” but they do have Święty Mikołaj – St. Nicholas!  St. Nicholas, however, does not simply fill stockings and hand out gifts and goodies!  St. Nicholas dressed as the Holy Bishop that he is, visits the homes of Polish children.  He comes riding on a great white horse or sometimes in a fine coach pulled by six white horses.  At his side is a little angel with two large bags and an old broom.  One bag has fine gifts and the other sticks and stones.  As the Holy Saint enters the cottage everyone rises and politely greets him with “Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!”  (Praised be Jesus Christ!)  The Saint reverently answers “Na wieki wieków.  Amen!”  (Forever and ever.  Amen!)  Then the children line up.  St. Nicholas then questions the children on their catechism and their behavior.  If the answers are satisfactory a gift from the first bag – but if not – a stone from the second bag and a spanking with the old broom!

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7th is the Feast of St. Ambrose, a model Pastor, untiring preacher, and defender of orthodoxy.  He wrote many Liturgical hymns and is listed as one of the four Doctors of the Latin Church.

 

 

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8th is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and a Holy Day of Obligation, in which we celebrate the purity of Mary as the Mother of God.  The Masses for the Holy Day will be Thursday, December 7th at 5:30 p.m. and Friday, December 8th at 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.  Mary, under the title of Immaculate Conception, is also the patroness of our country and special prayers will be offered at the Masses for our nation

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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9th is the Feast of St. Juan Diego.  In 1531 our Lady (of Guadalupe) appeared four times to Juan Diego at Tepeyac, near Mexico City.  Known for his holiness, he devoted himself, tradition says, to the pilgrims who came to see the miraculous image of the Virgin imprinted on his cloak.  He will be remembered in the Mass at 8:00 a.m.

The First Sunday of Advent
December 3rd

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    The blessing of the Advent Wreath and the lighting of the first candle will take place at all the weekend Masses; Saturday, December 2nd at 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, December 3rd at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.  The Advent Wreath symbolizes the children of Israel waiting for the Messiah through the centuries as well as our own spiritual preparation to welcome the Christ Child, the Holy Messiah on Christmas morning.  The Advent Wreath is a set of four candles set in a wreath of evergreen.  The evergreen, sometimes richly decorated, symbolizes the beauty of Christian hope in the loving promises of God.  The perfect circle of the wreath represents the eternity of God.  The four candles mark the four Sundays of Advent which immediately precede Christmas.  One of the candles is lit on each Sunday of Advent until by Christmas all the candles are lit!  Three of the candles are violet colored reflecting the penitential spirit of the Advent season.  One candle is rose colored reflecting the joy of the Gospel on the Third Sunday of Advent.  The four candles represent, not only the four weeks of Advent when we wait for the coming of the anniversary of the birth of Christ on Christmas Day, but of the four thousand years that the Jews waited for the coming of Jesus as the Messiah.  It also reminds us that we are now waiting for Jesus to come again. . . at the end of the world!
    The candles of the Advent Wreath are given the following names:
    1.   The PROPHECY CANDLE, a reminder of the foretelling of Jesus’ birth by the Old Testament prophets.
    2.   The BETHLEHEM CANDLE, recalling the words of the Prophet Micah that the Christ Child would be born in Bethlehem.
    3.   The SHEPHERDS’ CANDLE, a reminder of the first people to worship the baby Jesus.  This is the rose colored candle and reflects the anticipated joy of the Gospel for this Sunday.
    4.  The ANGELS’ CANDLE lit on the Sunday before Christmas in remembrance of the Angel who spoke to the Virgin Mary at the conception of Jesus and of the Angels who appeared to the shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem that first Christmas Eve.
THERE WILL BE NO CATECHISM CLASSES because of the Christmas holiday, on the following dates:  Sunday, December 24th and Sunday, December 31st.  Classes WILL RESUME Sunday, January 7th.  Because the Faith of our children is so important this and Easter Sunday are the only vacations our catechism classes ever have!

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GUESS WHO’S COMING!  St. Nicholas, of course!  The CCD annual St. Nicholas Party will be after the 4:00 Mass on Saturday, December 9th.  This party is for all children, preschoolers through 6th grade.  Highlights of this special evening are:  the Infant of Prague Novena with the Blessing of the children and the Offering of Vigil Lights during Mass, Ed Popielarczyk, the Magician, back for another side-splitting display of his magic skills, supper and carols, plus the arrival of St. Nicholas with gifts for all.  Please sign up in the church vestibule, or call Joanne Dowdy 498-0241.  (All children are asked to bring a plate of Christmas cookies and a $3.00 fun gift to share.) This is a special evening for our children.  Be sure to include it in your Advent schedule!

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IN HONOR OF THE INFANT OF PRAGUE we will have the special rite of the Blessing of Children in our parish on Saturday, December 9th.  All parents are encouraged to bring their children and infants to the 4:00 p.m. Mass for this special blessing.

THE WEEKLY ST. JUDE NOVENA will be prayed at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, November 23rd.  This is a continuing Novena that may be begun at any time.  All are welcome to come and pray for the intercession of St. Jude, the patron of desperate cases.

THE WEEKLY PRO-LIFE NOVENA will be offered before the 8:00 a.m. Mass on Saturday, November 11th.  Please come and beg God for an end to this terrifying evil which is destroying our nation!

COMMUNITY MEALS – Our final Community Meal in 2017 will be on Wednesday, December 6. We are responsible for the main meal, breads, beverages and dessert and a small group of volunteers to help serve the meal, which takes place at the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield. There is a sign-up sheet in the front vestibule with aluminum pans for your convenience for our dinner.   Please contact Cathy Becklo at 413-863-2267 or at acbecklo@comcast.net if you would like more information or have any questions. Thank you for all the wonderful effort that keeps this program running so beautifully!

OUR LADY’S HOLY ICON will visit the home of Terry Dempsey for a week of prayer and petition for the needs of our Parish.  We thank you for this holy work of power and love.
The Rectory Open House
All Parishioners and Friends are cordially invited to the Rectory Open House on Sunday, December 17th
from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
All are welcome to come any time during the day to share in refreshments, good wishes and Holiday Fellowship.

THE OPŁATEK IS NOW AVAILABLE in the front church Vestibule.  The Opłatek is the Polish Bread-of-Love for Christmas Eve.  It symbolizes days of harmony, when what is to be forgiven is forgiven and what is to be forgotten is forgotten.  The sharing of the Opłatek signifies that everyone in the universe is related…we are all God’s holy children…. we all have His Divine power to love!
    The Opłatek, that Bread-of-Love, so frail and perishable, has for all Poles a mystical meaning which can not be explained.  At Christmas time it is even sent to absent members of the family and to close friends separated by distance, to draw them close in a spiritual union with their loved ones.  To receive a piece of Opłatek is a special blessing.  It says that the recipient is loved in a holy way and that the choicest blessings are prayed over them and for them!
    At the Wigilia (Christmas Eve Supper), the rite of sharing and breaking the Opłatek is both simple and moving.  The host and hostess first share the Opłatek with each other and then with all the members of their family and guests.  With the breaking, good wishes, blessings and prayers are exchanged and shared.  It is a time of spiritual gift-giving.  Sometimes the blessings take the form of spontaneous poetry, but this is often an art reserved to the elderly.   
    A piece of the Opłatek is often saved after Christmas to use in time of sickness as a sacramental-prayer.  It is administered to the ill as a blessing-prayer for healing and it is a strong affirmation of the love of family and friends.
    If you have forgotten this beautiful old custom in your family, why not revive it again this year and if you have never practiced this tradition of love, why not try it this year?  Each envelope with the Opłatek has a short explanation of the tradition and a prayer that may be used on Christmas Eve.

THE FOLLOWING MASS INTENTIONS have been sent to various Missionaries.  They will be offered as follows and you may attend the Masses here in our church as the Missionaries offer the Masses in their churches:
 
Sunday, December 3: 8:00 – Health & Blessings for Fr. Charles DiMascola
                    – int. Nancy Faller
Sunday, December 3: 10:30 + Margaret Mattews – int. Nancy Faller
Monday, December 4: 8:00 – Rev. Mr. Matthew Christopher Morelli ~ Ordination to                         the Transitional Diaconate – int. Nancy Faller
Tuesday, December 5: 5:30 + Mary R. DiMascola – int. Son
Wednesday, December 6: 5:30 – Fr. Sean O’Mannion – int. Nancy Faller
Thursday, December 7: 5:30 – Rev. Mr. Francis Philip Omondi, MSC ~ Ordination to                         the Transitional Diaconate – int. Nancy Faller
Friday, December 8: 8:00 – Rev. Mr. Peter Nguyen Quach ~ Ordination to the                     `        Transitional Diaconate – int. Nancy Faller
Friday, December 8: 5:30 + Palma Catherine Ferrari – int. Nancy Faller
Saturday, December 9:  8:00 + George B. * Ursula E. Faller – int. Nancy Faller
Saturday, December 9: 4:00 + Therese Haus – int. Nancy Faller
   
PLEASE NOTE:  The above Masses not only assist the souls for whom they are offered, but they also help the Missionaries who often times receive very little help.  It also helps the people where the Masses are offered.  Bóg wam zapłać!

CHURCH CHOIRS:  The St. Cecilia Choir and Choristers, which sings at the Sunday 10:30 Mass and other special services, is always seeking additional singers of any experience.  We rehearse every Sunday in the choir loft following the 10:30 Mass, from 11:30 – 1:00.  For information, please see Henry Gaida or e-mail hgaida@gmail.com.
    The Saint Gregory Choir:   So you didn’t take Latin in school?  Most of us didn’t either!  So you don’t read music?  Many of us are still learning the basics!  So you’re busy?  So are we!  Who are we?  We call ourselves the St. Gregory Choir; we’re folk like you who like to sing to God’s greater glory.  The music we sing is sophisticated, but we aren’t, and we need you.  Don’t let flimsy excuses keep you from singing some of civilization’s greatest music–the Church’s vast treasury of chants, hymns, and polyphony (a fancy name for four part pieces).  We rehearse for seventy-five minutes after Friday Mass and twenty minutes before the Sunday first Mass.  Come give it a try.  No auditions, no experience necessary, and no solos the first twelve months.  We promise!  We sing at the 8:00 Sunday morning Mass.  For more information, call Robert Heath at 772-8738.  

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord,
And Let Your Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them.

Catherine Kozik 12/3/1929
Joseph Bukowski 12/3/1940
Waclaus Piotrowicz 12/3/1949
Aniela Siciak 12/3/1953
Victoria A. Zabko 12/3/2010
Peter Zajac 12/4/1927
Blanche G. Denkewicz 12/4/1994
Marion Hmieleski 12/4/2009
Ralph V. Fronckus, Sr. 12/4/2016
Walter A. Kowalezyk 12/5/1985
Harlen E. Thomas 12/5/1998
Richard M. Conway 12/5/1999
Mary B. K. Croteau 12/5/2002
Genevieve J. Niedzwiecki 12/5/2004
Helen M. Prondecki 12/5/2011
Helen E. Puchalski 12/5/2013
Ralph Fronkus 12/6/1934
Frances Zamojski 12/6/1956
Florence M. Kortz 12/6/2000
Randall G. Senn 12/6/2003
Edalia “Dolly” Marszalek 12/6/2006
Stanislava Zurko 12/7/1935
Piotr Noga 12/7/1952
Anthony Nowak 12/7/1958
Sophie S. Duda 12/7/1988
Mary H. Zewinski 12/7/1995
Edmund R. Dunican 12/7/2002
Charles J. Gibowicz, Jr. 12/7/2007
Chester J. Osowski 12/8/1988
Gaetana I. Eichorn 12/8/1989
Jennie F. Monkiewicz 12/8/1991
Sigmund Molongoski 12/8/2002
Edwin Nowak 12/9/1925
Apolonia Zorzuski 12/9/1945
Josefa Kuczewski 12/9/1968

Remember the Holy Souls in Your Prayers

HOLY HOUR AND MINI RETREAT – Join us before the Blessed Sacrament for the Holy Hour and Mini Retreat of the Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart.  The Holy Hour is every Thursday and the Mini Retreat is the last Thursday of every month in our church following the 5:30 p.m. Mass, from 6:16 – 7:15 p.m. with our Pastor, Fr. Seán O’Mannion, National Director of the Guard of Honor – USA.

THE TERESIANS ARE STILL LOOKING for a few good men, women, or families willing to join us in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.  Out latest project is collecting “toiletries” from hotels.  These will be offered at the OLC community meals.  There is a marked container in the vestibule.  Do NOT buy them.  If you want to buy something, consider groceries for distribution from the rectory.  Nancy Faller (nafaller@aol.com)

DID YOU KNOW? Krąków’s Jagiellonian University was established by King Casimir III the Great in 1364 and is the oldest university in Poland and second oldest in Central Europe.
PRAY FOR VOCATIONS to the Priesthood from our Parish and for our Parish so that we might always have a Priest here to celebrate the Mass and administer the Holy Sacraments!  Please join in the Divine Mercy Chaplet to pray for vocations to the priesthood every Friday beginning at 4:45 p.m.

COFFEE HOUR – For those of you are waiting for your children during C.C.D. classes – and for anyone else who can join us for that matter – there will be a Coffee Hour at the Rectory following 8:00 Mass (from 9:00 – 10:00).  Please come by for a cup of coffee, some home made baked goods, and friendly company.  Please use the side door of the Rectory.
 
PLEASE NOTE that every day of the month is set aside to pray for a specific priest or deacon of Franklin County.  Please join in dedicating every day to one of the clergymen designated in our calendar.  The intentions for this week are:

Sunday                         Fr. Lisowski
Monday                        Fr. Reardon

Tuesday                        Deacon Rabbitt
Wednesday                  Deacon Culliton

Thursday                      Msgr. Yargeau
Friday                            Deacon Leary
Saturday                       Fr. Roach

TWO PILGRIMAGES TO WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES – The World Meeting of Families will be held in Dublin, Ireland from August 21-26, 2018.  Two great pilgrimages (8 or 12 day) are planned which include daily Mass and visits to numerous shrines (Knock, St. Peter, Nat’l. Shrine to St. Oliver Plunkett, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Valentine, Venerable Matt Talbot, Tomb of Venerable John Sullivan, depending on which pilgrimage you choose) and many places of interest.  For more information contact Grand View Tours at (610-361-7979), visit http://www.catholicsindublin.com, or contact Fr. Jonathan Reardon at Holy Family Parish in So. Deerfield (665-3254).

CATHOLIC CRUISE TROPICAL CARIBBEAN – Come and sail away on a 7 night tropical Caribbean cruise with Fr. John Harper, Dec. 31-Jan. 7, 2018 on Holland America’s Eurodam out of Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades)), Florida Ports of Call:  Key West, Florida, Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos, Amber Cove (Puerto Plata), Dominican Republic, Half Moon Bay, Bahamas (Cruiseline Private Island).  Prices begin at $3,168 for two passengers which includes all port fees and taxes.  Daily Mass offered.  Deposits of only $350 per person will reserve your cabin.  Space is limited.  For further information or to register, contact Doug or Eileen at 860-399-1785 or Doug@CatholicCruisesandTours.com.

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Hail Mary, Conceived Without Sin
Tim Staples

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 Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” First John 1:8 adds, “If any man says he has no sin he is a liar and the truth is not in him.” These texts could not be clearer for millions of Protestants: “How could anyone believe Mary was free from all sin in light of these Scripture passages? What’s more, Mary herself said, ‘My soul rejoices in God my savior’ in Luke 1:47. She clearly understood herself to be a sinner if she admits to needing a savior.”

The Catholic Answer
    Not a few Protestants are surprised to discover the Catholic Church actually agrees that Mary was “saved.” Indeed, Mary needed a savior! However, Mary was “saved” from sin in a most sublime manner. She was given the grace to be “saved” completely from sin so that she never committed even the slightest transgression. Protestants tend to emphasize God’s “salvation” almost exclusively to the forgiveness of sins actually committed. However, Sacred Scripture indicates that salvation can also refer to man being protected from sinning before the fact:
    Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. (Jude 24-25)
    Six hundred years ago, the great Franciscan theologian Duns Scotus explained that falling into sin could be likened to a man approaching unaware a deep ditch. If he falls into the ditch, he needs someone to lower a rope and save him. But if someone were to warn him of the danger ahead, preventing the man from falling into the ditch at all, he would be saved from falling in the first place. Likewise, Mary was saved from sin by receiving the grace to be preserved from it. But she was still saved.

All Have Sinned Except . . .
    But what about “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) and “if any man says he has no sin he is a liar and the truth is not in him” (1 John 1:8)? Wouldn’t “all” and “any man” include Mary? On the surface, this sounds reasonable. But this way of thinking carried to its logical conclusion would list Jesus Christ in the company of sinners as well. No faithful Christian would dare say that. Yet no Christian can deny the plain texts of Scripture declaring Christ’s full humanity either. Thus, to take 1 John 1:8 in a strict, literal sense would apply “any man” to Jesus as well.
    The truth is Jesus Christ was an exception to Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8. And the Bible tells us he was in Hebrews 4:15: “Christ was tempted in all points even as we are and yet he was without sin.” The question now is: Are there any other exceptions to this rule? Yes—millions of them.
    Both Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:9 deal with personal rather than original sin. (Romans 5 deals with original sin.) And there are two exceptions to that general biblical norm as well. But for now, we will simply deal with Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8. First John 1:8 obviously refers to personal sin because in the very next verse, John tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins . . .” We do not confess original sin; we confess personal sins.
    The context of Romans 3:23 makes clear that it too refers to personal sin:
    None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave. They use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. (Rom. 3:10-14)
    Original sin is not something we do; it is something we’ve inherited. Romans chapter three deals with personal sin because it speaks of sins committed by the sinner. With this in mind, consider this: Has a baby in the womb or a child of two ever committed a personal sin? No. To sin a person has to know the act he is about to perform is sinful while freely engaging his will in carrying it out. Without the proper faculties to enable them to sin, children before the age of accountability and anyone who does not have the use of his intellect and will cannot sin. So, there are and have been millions of exceptions to Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8.
    Still, how do we know Mary is an exception to the norm of “all have sinned?” And more specifically, is there biblical support for this claim? Yes, there is much biblical support.

The Name Says it All
    And [the angel Gabriel] came to [Mary] and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:28-30)
    Many Protestants will insist this text to be little more than a common greeting of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary. “What does this have to do with Mary being without sin?” Yet, the truth is, according to Mary herself, this was no common greeting. The text reveals Mary to have been “greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be” (Luke 1:29, emphasis added). What was it about this greeting that was so uncommon for Mary to react this way? We can consider at least two key.aspects.
    First, according to biblical scholars (as well as Pope John Paul II), the angel did more than simply greet Mary. The angel actually communicated a new name or title to her. (cf. Redemptoris Mater, 8, 9). In Greek, the greeting was kaire, kekaritomene, or “Hail, full of grace.” Generally speaking, when one greeted another with kaire, a name or title would be found in the immediate context. “Hail, king of the Jews” in John 19:3 and “Claudias Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greeting” (Acts 23:26) are two biblical examples of this. The fact that the angel replaces Mary’s name in the greeting with “full of grace” was anything but common. This would be analogous to me speaking to one of our tech guys at Catholic Answers and saying, “Hello, he who fixes computers.” In Hebrew culture, names and name changes tell us something permanent about the character and calling of the one named. Just recall the name changes of Abram to Abraham (from “father” to “father of the multitudes”) in Genesis 17:5, Saray to Sarah (“my princess” to “princess”), in Genesis 17:15 and Jacob to Israel (“supplanter” to “he who prevails with God”) in Genesis 32:28.
    In each case, the names reveal something permanent about the one named. Abraham and Sarah transition from being a “father” and “princess” of one family to being “father” and “princess” or “mother” of the entire people of God (see Rom. 4:1-18; Is. 51:1-2). They become patriarch and matriarch of God’s people forever. Jacob/Israel becomes the patriarch whose name, “he who prevails with God,” continues forever in the Church, which is called “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16). The People of God will forever “prevail with God” in the image of the patriarch Jacob.
    What’s in a name? According to Scripture, quite a lot.
    St. Luke uses the perfect passive participle, kekaritomene, as his “name” for Mary. This word literally means “she who has been graced” in a completed sense. This verbal adjective, “graced,” is not just describing a simple past action. Greek has another tense for that. The perfect tense is used to indicate that an action has been completed in the past resulting in a present state of being. “Full of grace” is Mary’s name. So what does it tell us about Mary? Well, the average Christian is not completed in grace and in a permanent sense (see Phil. 3:8-12). But according to the angel, Mary is. You and I sin, not because of grace, but because of a lack of grace, or a lack of our cooperation with grace, in our lives. This greeting of the angel is one clue into the unique character and calling of the Mother of God. Only Mary is given the name “full of grace” and in the perfect tense, indicating that this permanent state of Mary was completed.

Ark of the (New) Covenant
    The Old Testament Ark of the Covenant was a true icon of the sacred. Because it contained the presence of God symbolized by three types of the coming Messiah—the manna, the Ten Commandments, and Aaron’s rod—it had to be pure and untouched by sinful man (see 2 Sam. 6:1-9 and Ex. 25:10ff; Num. 4:15).
    In the New Testament, the new Ark is not an inanimate object, but a person: the Blessed Mother. How much more pure would the new Ark be when we consider the old ark was a mere “shadow” in relation to it (see Heb. 10:1)? This image of Mary as the Ark of the Covenant is an indicator that Mary would fittingly be free from all contagion of sin to be a worthy vessel to bear God in her womb. And most importantly, just as the Old Covenant Ark was pristine from the moment it was constructed with explicit divine instructions in Exodus 25, so would Mary be pure from the moment of her conception. God, in a sense, prepared his own dwelling place in both the Old and New Testaments.
1.     The Ark of the Covenant contained three “types” of Jesus inside: manna, Aaron’s rod, and the Ten Commandments. In Hebrew, commandment (dabar) can be translated “word.” Compare: Mary carried the fulfillment of all these types in her body. Jesus is the “true [manna] from heaven” (John 6:32), the true “High Priest” (Heb. 3:1), and “the word made flesh” (John 1:14).
2.     The glory cloud (Hebrew Anan) was representative of the Holy Spirit, and it “overshadowed” the Ark when Moses consecrated it in Ex. 40:32-33. The Greek word for “overshadow” found in the Septuagint is a form of episkiasei. Compare: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The Greek word for “overshadow” is episkiasei.
3.     David “leapt and danced” before the Ark when it was being carried into Jerusalem in procession in 2 Sam. 6:14-16. Compare: As soon as Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s salutation, John the Baptist “leaped for joy” in her womb (cf. Luke 1:41-44).
4.     After a manifestation of the power of God working through the Ark, David exclaims, “How can the Ark of the Lord come unto me?” Compare: After the revelation to Elizabeth about the true calling of Mary, who was carrying God in her womb, Elizabeth exclaims, “Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43)
5.     The Ark of the Lord “remained in the house of Obededom . . . three months” in 2 Sam. 6:11. Compare: “Mary remained with [Elizabeth] for about three months” (Luke 1:56).

The New Eve
    It is important for us to recall that New Covenant fulfillments are always more glorious and more perfect than their Old Testament types, which are “but a shadow of the good things to come” in the New Covenant (Heb. 10:1). With this in mind, let us consider the revelation of Mary as the “New Eve.” After the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, God promised the advent of another “woman” in Genesis 3:15, or a “New Eve” who would oppose Lucifer, and whose “seed” would crush his head. This “woman” and “her seed” would reverse the curse, so to speak, that the original “man” and “woman” had brought upon humanity through their disobedience.
    It is most significant here to note “Adam” and “Eve” are revealed simply as “the man” and “the woman” before the woman’s name was changed to “Eve” (Hebrew, “mother of the living”) after the fall (see Gen. 2:21ff). When we then look at the New Covenant, Jesus is explicitly referred to as the “last Adam,” or the “New Adam” in 1 Cor. 15:45. And Jesus himself indicates that Mary is the prophetic “woman” or “New Eve” of Genesis 3:15 when he refers to his mother as “woman” in John 2:4 and 19:26. Moreover, St. John refers to Mary as “woman” eight times in Revelation 12. As the first Eve brought death to all of her children through disobedience and heeding the words of the ancient serpent, the devil, the “New Eve” of Revelation 12 brings life and salvation to all of her children through her obedience. The same “serpent” who deceived the original woman of Genesis is revealed, in Revelation 12, to fail in his attempt to overcome this new woman. The New Eve overcomes the serpent and as a result, “The serpent is angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God, and bear testimony to Jesus” (Rev. 12:17).
    If Mary is the New Eve and New Testament fulfillments are always more glorious than their Old Testament antecedents, it would be unthinkable for Mary to be conceived in sin. If she were, she would be inferior to Eve who was created in a perfect state, free from all sin. – http://www.catholic.com

WORLD WAR I: BEYOND THE FRONT LINES – World War I, fought from 1914-1918, was the modern world’s first international conflict. Approximately 11 million soldiers were killed, and the war’s toll including civilian casualties exceeded 20 million. By Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918, more than 116,000 Americans died as a result of the war. Of these, more than 1,600 were Knights of Columbus. Both the first and last American military officers to die during the war were K of C members. The Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn. commemorates the 100th anniversary of the United States’ participation in the war with an exhibition, World War I: Beyond the Front Lines (Apr. 6, 2017 – Dec. 30, 2018). The exhibition provides an historical retrospective of the war and includes interactives, images and artifacts from the Knights of Columbus Museum collection, Supreme Council archives and borrowed materials from private lenders and organizations. A series of WWI-related lectures and presentations will be offered throughout the course of the exhibition. For more information, visit http://www.kofcmuseum.org.

ALTERNATIVES PREGNANCY CENTER – Pregnancy Tests, Counseling, Support Services, and Post Abortion Support, All Services Free and Confidential, 466 Main Street, P.O. Box 344, Greenfield, MA  01302-0344 — (413) 774-6010

✠ Blessing and Lighting of the Advent Wreath ✠
 
Priest    Dear brethren (brothers and sisters): how beautifully in this season of Advent the     Church provides that we should recite the words and recall the longing of those     who lived before our Lord’s first coming.  May we learn through their example to     have a great longing for the day when he will come again.  We do well to consider     how much good our Lord did by his first coming, and how much more he will do     for us by his second.  This thought will help us to have a great love for that first     coming, and a great longing for his return.
ALL    Keep us, O Lord, while we remain on this earth, in a serious seeking after     You, and in an affectionate walking with You, every day of our lives; that     when You come, we may be found not hiding our talent, nor serving the flesh,     nor asleep with our lamp unlit, but waiting and longing for You, our glorious     God for ever.  Amen.
Priest    Let us pray: Almighty and ever-living God, pour down, we beseech You, Your     blessing ✠ upon this Advent wreath, so that as these candles are lit, our hearts may     glow ever brighter with the fire of ardent love of You, and that as we await with     joyful expectation the Nativity of Your Son, we may with confidence behold Him     when He shall come to be our Judge.  And may the blessing of Almighty God, the     Father ✠ and the Son ✠ and the Holy ✠ Spirit descend upon this Advent wreath     and upon each of us here today.
ALL    Amen.
 
The Advent wreath is sprinkled with Holy Water.
 
Priest    Blessed are You, Sovereign Lord, God of our ancestors: to You be praise and glory     for ever.  You called the patriarchs to live by the light of faith and to journey in the     hope of Your promised fulfilment.  May we be obedient to Your call and be ready     and watchful to receive Your Christ, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path; for     You are our light and our salvation.
ALL    Blessed be God for ever.
 
The First violet candle is lit.
 
Priest    Let us pray: Stir up Your power, we pray, O Lord, and come, that with You to     protect us, we may find rescue from the pressing dangers of our sins, and with     You to set us free, we may be found worthy of salvation. Who live and reign with     God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
ALL    Amen.