Advent/Christmas Season Schedule 2019

Thursday, November 28: Thanksgiving Day
Mass at 9 AM – no midday Mass

Sunday, December 1: 1st Sunday of Advent
Mass at 9 AM, 11:15 AM, 7 PM
Advent Faith Sharing Program Begins

Sunday, December 8: 2nd Sunday of Advent
Mass at 9 AM, 11:15 AM, 7 PM
Advent Wreath Sale after all Masses

Monday, December 9: Immaculate Conception
Mass at 12:10 PM

Sunday, December 15: 3rd Sunday of Advent
Morning Mass at 9 AM
Mass with Nativity Pageant 11:15 AM followed by Meet & Greet Reception
Evening Mass at 7 PM followed by Meet & Greet Reception

Sunday, December 22: 4th Sunday of Advent
Mass at 9 AM, 11:15 AM, 7 PM

Tuesday, December 24: Christmas Eve
Children’s Mass with Nativity Pageant at 5 PM
Christmas Mass During the Night (Midnight Mass) at 8 PM

Wednesday, December 25: Christmas Day
Mass at 9 AM and 11:15 AM (No 7 PM Mass)

Christmas Gift Appeal – Gift Cards for St. Vincent Scholars

This Christmas once again, our parish is partnering with HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services College Program to provide gift cards for 75 to 100 young people who are cycling out of foster care and will very likely not receive any gifts for Christmas this year.

We will be hosting a group of the young folks from St. Vincent’s at the Nativity Pageant Mass this Sunday when we will present them with gift cards for the group.

You can donate to this very worthy parish effort and help to bring Christmas joy to our young friends online at https://stcharlesbklyn.weshareonline.org/FamilyFaithFormationGiftCards. Please note that we only have a few days left to collect for the cards, so if you would like to contribute, don’t delay! We would be very grateful for contributions of any amount.

Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.

2nd Sunday of Advent – Fr. Smith homily

This week we will take up the collection for the retired religious who served in our diocese. It is one of the many second collections mandated during the year. As some people have noted, it is one of very few that we advertise extensively and, along with the collection for the Holy Land on Good Friday, the only one for which I write a letter to the parish requesting generosity. There is, not unsurprisingly, a story here.

Like all the collections it is for a good cause. The proceeds support the orders of sisters, brothers and priests who are not part of a diocese. It is a national collection taken in every diocese for the entire country. We must remember that these people took a vow of poverty but with the assumption that their basic needs would be taken care of by the Catholic community. If there was any retirement plan, it would have been that the orders would keep growing: creating a built-in support system. This did not occur and they need our help.

I have a more personal reason and one that illuminates today’s reading indeed the very presence and purpose of St. John the Baptist.

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2nd Sunday of Advent – Awaiting Re-Creation and God’s Harmony

John the Baptist, Alexandre Cabanel, 1849, Musée Fabre (France – Montpellier)
(click for more information about this painting)

FIRST READING
Isaiah 11:1–10
December 8, 2019

Last week, we examined how (First) Isaiah understood the call of the Jews. He prophesied that they would be the means by which all nations were to know and worship the LORD. Speaking of the Temple on Mt. Zion, he wrote:

All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’S mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may instruct us in his ways.”

(Is. 2:23)

He also had a glimpse of what the effect of the universal worship of the LORD would mean:

They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.

(Is. 2:4)

This is the text of the Isaiah Wall in front of the United Nations. It is a beautiful statement of a desire for peace and harmony, but forgets that it comes from a specific time and place and must be read accordingly. Today then, we will look at what Isaiah meant by peace and how we can expect it to arrive.

Isaiah reflects the political and social reality of his time: from to c. 740 BC to 700 BC in Jerusalem. The rise of the Assyrian empire was the major political reality of his day and is the key to understanding both the national and international situation. Judah and Israel were in the middle between Assyria to the north and Egypt to the south. The leaders of both sought to play one empire against the other. Eventually though Judah (Jerusalem) became a vassal, client state, of Assyria. This means that a tremendous tribute was levied on the people. As is so often the case, the rich were able to pass these taxes on to the poor. When reading last week’s and this week’s passages, both the international and national causes and effects of injustice need to be remembered.

This is one of those cases when some of the most magnificent poetry and profound theology in the Bible arises from sorted and difficult circumstances. Here, we are basically given a meditation on the meaning of creation and re-creation.

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1st Sunday of Advent – Fr. Gribowich homily

Transcript:
Good morning everyone, and happy New Year!

Today’s the first Sunday of Advent and we begin a new Liturgical cycle, and the course of the liturgical cycle is also very much connected to the natural cycle of what we experienced in the seasons. As we all know, our days are much shorter now, right? At times, it can be kind of depressing – it’s like 4 o’clock and it looks like 10, right? But we know that the liturgical season kind of reflects our awakening to the light of the world – coming into Christmas, our days are the shortest and our days are the longest as we continue through this liturgical season, right through Pentecost, where the fullness of who God is is revealed to us.

So today at this first Sunday of Advent, we sit in darkness, if you will, but with this great sense of anticipation knowing that as we look upon around us in our world, and how the light will continually get stronger and brighter and longer, so too our journey with the Lord becomes stronger and brighter and more enlightening.
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