What you need to know from this weekend’s bulletin:
December 12, 2021
This Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, we light three candles, two purple and one pink, of the four candles of the Advent wreath. The pink candle of the Advent wreath symbolizes our joy of realizing that Christmas is at hand.
Our reason for great rejoicing is Christ’s presence in our midst which began on the first Christmas Day. We see and feel Christ’s presence in people whose lives reflect His love, mercy and forgiveness. Although harder to see and understand, God is also with us in our pain and suffering. Our readings today urge us to move forward as we rejoice in the signs of God’s presence in our midst. And we are called upon to live as a sign of Christ’s presence in our daily life, in the midst of our difficulties and the challenges that we face in our journey of faith. As we hasten towards Christmas, let us offer the gift of Christ’s presence to our loved ones as well as to those who need most our love, especially this season. Let us be more generous with our gift-giving, knowing that we give on behalf of Him who gave up his life for our sake.
We give the gift of Christ’s presence even with gifts that come free for our sharing: the gift of listening, the gift of affection, the gift of laughter, the gift of solitude, the gift of favor, the gift of a written note, the gift of a compliment or the gift of a cheerful disposition. As a community, we share the gift of Christ’s presence through the gift of hospitality to newcomers, the gift of acceptance to those feel alienated or isolated or the gift of recognition to those who always do the “behind the scenes” work. We have also lined up activities that would help share the giftedness of our life, including the Christmas Hampers and other opportunities help those in need.
As Christmas approaches, let us share the giftedness of our life that has been redeemed by God’s becoming human in Jesus Christ. We have to realize that this period of the year that is considered the happiest can also be the lowest point for a growing number of people. Those of us who are struggling with difficulties and challenges at this time of the year understand that the approach of the Christmas season can make our life more stressful or even more painful.
The Christmas story is not entirely a pleasant one. The story that changed our human history is also made up of violent events and painful decisions for a lot of people involved in our history of salvation. The death of the prophets of the Old Testament, the martyrdom of John the Baptist and the slaughter of the Holy Innocents are also embroiled in the complicated drama of God’s becoming human in Jesus Christ.
The joy of Christmas is rooted in sharing Christ’s love and presence with others in community. The birth of the Emmanuel, which means God is with us, highlights the continuing presence of God in our world through the life we live as followers of Christ.
Fill a pair of socks with essentials for daily living such as: underwear, mitts, gloves, toques, Kleenex packets, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, bandages, shampoo, razors, shaving cream and, if you have room, candy bars. Hang the stockings onto the Stocking Tree in the Sanctuary. These stockings will be delivered to the Drop-In Centre on Monday, December 20. Thanks for your generosity!
“The Promise” Advent Mission
Join Michael Chiasson and the Access52 Team for a one-night mission designed to prepare and inspire your Advent experience on Wednesday, December 15 at 7 p.m. The night will be filled with inspiration, talks, stories and music. Free event. All ages welcome.
Text to Donate New Number
Our text to donate number has been updated to (833) 768-0514. Please save this number if you donate using this method.
SSVP Christmas Hampers:
Hamper Night is on December 14
Thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers working behind the scenes, Christmas Hampers will be distributed on December 14. SSVP is working to meet the needs and deliver hampers while maintaining the safety of our volunteers and recipients. Many thanks to all who have contributed Angel Tree gifts, and monetary donations. SSVP has now purchased all required food from our wholesaler and if you have not yet contributed but would like to support this outreach, we would welcome your support for this in the form of monetary donations. Donations to SSVP may be dropped in the collection basket, placed in a green SSVP donation envelope and dropped off at the church in the SSVP locked box located in our collection bin, or made online: Donate Now – St. Michael Catholic Community (canadahelps.org) – Please select Society of St. Vincent de Paul (including Christmas Hampers) in the “Funds” drop-down menu. Tax receipts will be issued in January 2022 for any monetary donations received prior to December 31.
Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to assist with assembly and delivery this upcoming week. If you cannot make your assigned time, please email email@example.com.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Special thanks to all St. Michael parishioners for supporting the Society of St. Vincent de Paul! During the month of November we helped 18 families (25 adults and 9 children). We continue preparing for this year’s Christmas Hamper distribution.
We are looking for new members. If you are interested, contact us at SSVP@saintmichael.ca or 403-249-0423 ext 122.
Donations of non-perishable food items can be dropped off in the SSVP food chest in the gathering area. Currently we are looking for: cereal, pasta sauce, canned vegetables and canned fish/meat.
Monetary donations can be deposited in the drop-box in the food chest or by online donations through the St. Michaels Parish website https://saintmichael.ca/giving/. Please indicate funds are for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the drop-down menu.
If you or anyone you know needs assistance, please contact us at SSVP@saintmichael.ca or 403-249-0423 ext 122.
2022 Contribution Envelopes
Next year’s 2022 contribution envelopes are now available for pickup in the Gathering Area. Please look for your name alphabetically-organized, and note that your number may have changed from last year. If you have any questions, call the parish office at 403-249-0423.
Lectio Divina Books
Lectio Divina Books for Year C (2021-2022) are now available at the stand next to the gift shop or at the parish office. Free will offering.
Indoor Social Gatherings
Due to provincial temporary measures, indoor social gathering after Mass or in the parish halls is not permitted. Please refrain from socializing in the Church after Mass.
Mass Schedule for this Weekend
Saturday, December 11, 5:00 PM – Fr. Edmund Vargas
Sunday, December 12, 9:00 AM – Fr. Edmund Vargas
Sunday, December 12, 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM – Fr. Raul Hernandez