Turkey Day is over, now on to Christmas. This seems to be a theme that many us get caught up in. Many years ago while a seminarian at Saint John’s Seminary, I had a part time job at Jordan Marsh Basement store in down town Boston along with about seven other seminarians. We were basically laborers doing anything that needed to get done from unloading trailer trucks, taking inventory during January and restocking sales positions with gifts boxes and shopping bags. We also contributed to the commercialization of Christmas by decorating the Basement Store a week before Thanksgiving, a disconcerting activity at the time. Today it seems as if the push is on for Christmas shopping 12 months of the year. The coming Advent Season may be just what we all need to pause, reflect and remember the Solemnity of the Incarnation on December 25.
This weekend throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, the second collection is dedicated for the retirement needs of the Religious Sisters and Brothers who have served the Church generously through the years. For many years Saint Mary Parishioners received the benefit of the Sisters of Saint Joseph staffing our parish school and educating our children. The parochial school system and Catholic colleges greatly aided the financial success of Catholics in our country over the years. These dedicated religious women and men received no salary and only a very small modest monthly stipend from parishes. Religious communities assumed all the responsibility for the education, health care and living expenses of their members. Often the sisters then and now continued to serve the Church and parishioners long after the normal retirement age in our society. Many are now retired and living within their communities and need the assistance of this second collection to help with their needs. Many of us can remember a Religious Sister or Brother being a significant influence in our lives or the life of another family member. Your generous assistance in this collection is appreciated and needed. If you have already contributed, thank you. Please mark the memo area of your check “Retired Religious”, and if you would like to increase your past donation, this would be greatly appreciated.
Looking ahead we will be having a Parish Penance Service for Advent on Tuesday, December 12, at 7 p.m. This will be a time for prayer, reflection and an opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) with visiting priests. May the coming Advent Season be a blessing for all parishioners.