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Pastor's Page 2021-12-05

Dear St. Gabriel Parishioners:

  • Archbishop Etienne invites you to come back to Mass. I, too, join Archbishop to also invite you back to celebrating the Eucharist begin in this Holy Season of Advent. The following is part of the invitation letter from the Archbishop:

“…The general obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation (including the Saturday/vigil Mass) is to be reinstated (CIC, can. 1247) during Advent on December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.  Advent is a wonderful time to draw near to Christ. It is time to renew our faith through personal reception of the sacraments and rebuild the relationships and community life of our parishes.

As has always been the case, those who have a serious reason are excused from attending Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2181). This includes those who are ill, have significant health risk factors or care for someone who is ill or immunocompromised, as well as those who have significant fear or anxiety about contracting COVID in a large group.

Be a part of our family of faith.  Make the Lord’s Day a true celebration of the Resurrection, and a great celebration of being renewed in his life, mercy and love.”

Second week of Advent:  Prepare the Way

So many aspects of modern life seem designed to keep us feeling overwhelmed and scattered, scrambling in a thousand directions at once — and the “holiday season” often amplifies the anxiety.

Into this chaos steps John the Baptist — “a voice of one crying out in the desert,” reminding us, in this Sunday’s Gospel reading, of our Advent mission: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”

The sacrament of reconciliation is a beautiful and powerful gift that Jesus has given us for just this purpose. As Pope Francis has said, “When I go to confession, it is in order to be healed, to heal my soul. To leave with greater spiritual health. To pass from misery to mercy. … The center of confession is Jesus who waits for us, who listens to us and forgives us.”

  • The Second Sunday of Advent Season every year, we encounter the voice of John the Baptist in the desert echoing the words of the prophet Isaiah: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths… …” 

John the Baptist taught the people of his day and our day that the Messiah comes to save us from the powers of despair, darkness and death and to put us back to God.  John the Baptist’s life and mission remind us how badly we need a Savior to save us, in order that we might be all that we are called to be and do all the we have to do to live in the Light.

    • Advent is a mystery that transforms and not simply informs.
    • Advent remains with its paradoxical combination of waiting and hastening, suffering and joy, judgment and deliverance; and ultimate HOPE. To hope, in the true Advent fashion, is to live with the certainty of unfulfilled desire.

Taking these clues from John the Baptist, the last prophet in the New Testament, each of us and our parish community are preparing the way of the Lord in a “physical and spiritual way”.  The many activities are taking place in our lives and in our parish community, this symbolized this physical process of preparation.  I hope that, as you participate in the many activities from our parish community early in this Advent Season, will lead all of us to that special preparation for the Lord coming into our lives and our world.

  • Along with the regular Scripture readings of this First Advent week, let’s also reflect with people of our local Church, the Archdiocese of Seattle, in preparing for a meaningful Season of Grace in the “Knowing Jesus Christ, Embracing His Mission”. Read through these four pages to get an overview and focus on steps 3, 4 and 5 for intentional reflection for these 4 weeks of Advent and try to live it out in this Holy Season of Advent & Christmas and this coming New Year 2022.
  • A few important dates in the Advent Season:
  1. Tree of Love (Christmas Giving Tree) – Take a name tag at the Main Entrance and consider giving a Christmas gift for a person in need.
  2. Wednesday, December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Masses at 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
  3. Advent Communal Penance Service: Thursday Dec. 16 - 7:00 PM at St. Gabriel, Port Orchard with opportunity for individual confession after the Penance Service.  
  4. Simbang Gabi – Novena Prayers in preparation for Christmas – Saturday Dec. 18 – 6:30 PM.
  5. Individual Reconciliation:
    • Tuesday 14:                12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
    • Wednesday 15:           06:30 PM to 7:30 PM
    • Friday 17:                    06:30 PM to 7:30 PM
    • Tuesday 21:                12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
    • Wednesday 22:           06:30 PM to 7:30 PM
  • The Calendar Year is coming to the end soon. I’d like to take this opportunity “to thank” for your participation in many different ministries and volunteer opportunities in our parish community.  Especially, I’d like to thank for your Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure in the year of 2020.  Please be aware that “all tax deductable contribution” to the parish has to be done in the last week of December up to December 31 to be included for 2018.

 

Christ’s Peace, 
Fr. Phuong Hoang

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