Our Advent journey has come to an end with this 4th Sunday of Advent. Monday will be Christmas eve. On behalf of the Friars and staff here at Immaculate Conception, let me wish each of you a very Blessed and Happy Christmas. May the newborn Jesus find a welcome home in your heart and your homes. Be assured of our prayers for all of you during this holy season of Christmas.
Bounty of Bethlehem will be held Christmas day in our school gym. If you will be alone for Christmas or just want to celebrate with others, please join us for dinner. We would love to have you. On this 4th Sunday of Advent, Mary is a model and symbol of the Church. May we be like Mary, open and cooperative in God's plan for salvation as we welcome Jesus Christ.
Our Advent Penance Service will be Monday, December 17th at 7:00pm. We will as usual have several priests joining us to celebrate with you the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Penance.
A big thank you to all involved in putting together our parish pictorial directory. If you had your picture taken and have not picked up your directory, please do so at the parish office. For those interested, we do have some extra ones that can be purchased for $10. These too are at the office.
The third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word that means “rejoice.” It is a reminder that the Advent season is a season of joy because our salvation is already at hand.
The Advent season is a good time for us to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Here at Immaculate we will have our Advent Penance Service on Monday, December 17th at 7:00. Other penance services in the vicariate can be found elsewhere in the bulletin.
Thank you to all who purchased gifts and brought them to church last weekend. What a beautiful sight to see the wrapped gifts surrounding the sanctuary. Each of them a gift of love for those less fortunate. John's preaching of the coming of the Lord is a key theme of the Advent season. As John's message prepared the way for Jesus, we too are called to prepare ourselves for Jesus' coming. We respond to John's message by repentance and reform of our lives. Again, Monday, December 17th for our Penance Service.
Next Saturday we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. It is in the United States a Holy Day of Obligation. Because it falls on a Saturday, we are only able to have one Mass at 9:00 in the morning but two vigil Masses on Friday. The Saturday evening Mass at 5:00 does not count for the Holy Day. It will be the Mass for the second Sunday of Advent.
Next weekend we will also be celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Mass at 1:30 in Spanish will be preceded by a procession with the statue of Our Lady beginning at Martin Luther King Park on Grove Street. If you cannot make the Mass, please try to stand along the procession route as Our Lady works Her way to church. All are invited to the Agricultural Center across from the Asheville Airport for a reception after the Mass. Great food and entertainment. On this first Sunday of Advent, we begin a new liturgical year. In our Gospel, Jesus teaches his disciples to be vigilant so that they will be ready when the Son of Man comes in glory.
Thank you for your continued support of our Capital Campaign. We are grateful for the many who stepped forward on Pledge Sunday. Remember, even giving up a cup of coffee a week and sharing that money with our campaign will help. This is preparing for your future.
Last Sunday at the 9:00 Mass we were pleased to welcome 4 new members into the Catholic Church. This weekend we will welcome 7 at the 1:30 Mass. Congratulations to: Ian Bell, Lindsey Bell, Sarah Bell, and Jill Raab at 9:00 Mass. And to Clarita A. Cortez Chávez, Gerardo Rodríguez Ibarra, Víctor Manuel Méndez Castañeda, Víctoria Espinoza Nieto, Sergio Espinoza, Vanessa González, and Adriana Álvarez at the 1:30 Mass.
The feast of Jesus Christ the Universal King was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and is observed on the last Sunday of the Roman Catholic Liturgical Year. It causes us to ponder what sort of authority, kingdom and dominion are truly lasting, and what judgment will be truly final.