Fr. Samuel's e-Epistle - 1st of 2018!
It has been a while….
since I have sent out an e-epistle. With that I have some catching up to do….
First of all, many thanks to so many
The Christmas liturgies were wonderful this year. My thanks to staff and volunteers who worked hard to make it all happen. The children in the presentation of the Christmas story prior to the 4:00 PM Christmas Eve Mass were wonderful. I have never seen so many angels! I am grateful to the catechists and helpers who made that happen. I am grateful to the many volunteers who regularly clean and also those that prepared the church for Christmas. It was beautiful. Also thanks go the many who shared their musical skills. The music at all of the Masses was wonderful and moving. Of course Midnight Mass was sublime. I think that it was one of the most beautiful liturgies that I have experienced in my 11 years at Emmaus. And thanks, as well, to all who came to our Christmas Masses and events. There were a lot of you and that was most gratifying.
Table Hosts needed for Welcoming Sunday
Welcoming Sundays: this is such an important ministry for our growing community. We need to graciously welcome our new parishioners, not just with paperwork and forms to fill-out, but with a greeting of smiles, introduction and a connection. We are seeking more Table Hosts to help at these Welcome & Registration Events. It takes about an hour on a Sunday morning about every two months. The Table Hosts greet new parishioners and go through the welcome packet with them. Then the table hosts calls them about a week later to follow-up, so that the new parishioners have all the information they need to become active at Emmaus. If you think you can handle this, I invite you to send an email to email@example.com.
NEW Sound System Ministry
I really want our sound system to be improved so I am adding here the request that had been in the bulletins prior to Christmas. There is room for us to improve in this area and this will greatly benefit our entire parish, so please accept my request to help in this way:
Emmaus is now seeking volunteers (adults and high school students) to oversee the church’s sound system during weekend Masses. Ideal sound operators will have generally good hearing, comfort with technology, and an ear for music. Training will be provided, please contact Christine Guarino (765-623-5922, or firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested. High school students are particularly encouraged to consider this ministry!
The Flu Season
Now that we are in the flu season I ask that everyone be aware of the following guidelines.
If you have flu symptoms please stay home. You do not have to go to confession if you miss Mass because you are sick.
If you need to miss Mass in order to take care of sick children that is okay as well.
If you are well enough to come to Mass but still have even minor symptoms please refrain from receiving from the cup. One receives the fullness of the sacrament of the Eucharist in either the bread or the wine.
If you are uncomfortable with shaking hands during the flu season it is okay to substitute a warm smile when you say “peace be with you.” Do make it a really friendly smile.
Christ Renews His Parish has been replaced
Hundreds of members of our parish have experienced Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) weekends over the course of the past 15 years. It has had tremendous impact on the lives of many of you and on the parish as a whole. Recently Dynamic Catholic acquired the rights to CRHP and they have revised it into a new retreat and formation format. To reflect that, the name has also been changed to “Welcome.”
We have two Welcome Renew Weekends coming up. The first will be for men on March 3 and 4. The second will be for women on April 28 and 29. The retreat does carry on a number of the very good things that were part of CRHP. However there are significant differences which, I believe, will make the new retreat and formation process significantly better. That is so true that I suggest to those who have experienced a CRHP weekend in the past consideration of participation in a Welcome Renewal Weekend. Each weekend will be limited to 24 participants. The weekends will be offered regularly so if you cannot participate in the upcoming weekends you will have opportunities in the future.
More information and registration are on our parish website:
Check out the lintel on the front doors of the Church
On Wednesday following the Mass we had another Family & Faith Night. We do those once a month. They begin with the 5:30 Mass, then our Faith Formation department has a brief learning program for the whole family following the Mass. Everyone in the parish is invited to participate. This month we introduced a centuries old central European custom for Epiphany. In the context of a short prayer service I blessed chalk. Then there was a ceremonial chalking of the front doors of the church. When you come this weekend you will see the following on the lintel of those doors.
In accordance with the custom this inscription done with blessed chalk is a form of blessing on people’s homes. For details on what it means look for copies of the Epiphany home blessing in the Narthex along with blessed chalk that you can take home. And the next Family & Faith Night is February 21. With Mass (5:30 PM) the whole thing is an hour, so I highly encourage all to attend, not just those with children, but everyone.
This is a dramatization of the beginning of the Church. The first episode, of course, covers the passion, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Then it goes on with the beginning of the spreading of the gospel by the apostles. It is really quite well done.
Since it has been a while since I have done an e-epistle I have a number of recommendations of novels by two authors.
The Garden of Martyrs
by Michael C. White
White writes excellent historical fiction. It is well researched so it gives accurate portrayals of the times in which his stories are set. As a former history student I am especially impressed with his accuracy in his portrayal of the forces at play in American society in the past. I read
first. It is set in the 1850s and the Civil War period. It centers on a man who makes his living by capturing runaway slaves. White did an excellent job of creating an excellent story with compelling characters and capturing the social, emotional, religious, racial and political forces of those times. Reading this book will help you to understand those forces better and it may even evoke questions about how some of those forces still are at play in American culture.
The Garden of Martyrs,
is set in Boston in the first decades of the 1800’s. The focus in this book is the Irish Catholic immigration to New England at that time and the reaction to that immigration. It was a reaction that was faced by virtually all immigrant groups throughout American history. White’s portrayal of that in this novel is accurate and it should be disturbing given what we are seeing in our own times. This is a wonderful book. Again White creates compelling characters and he writes a great story.
Brotherhood of the Rose
The Fraternity of the Stone
The League of Night and Fog
by David Morrell,
These three books are a trilogy so start with
Brotherhood of the Rose.
Sometimes I like to read a really good thriller and these three novels fit that bill. Actually I read,
The Fraternity of the Stone
first and then
Brotherhood of the Rose
which is the first of the trilogy, but that really did not matter. As a matter of fact I read all three of these books in quick succession. As I described them to the person who introduced this author to me, these are perfect airplane books. They are so engrossing that one might not even notice when the plane lands. Unlike White’s books these do not make one think about serious matters in society and culture. They are just very entertaining books.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Samuel Hose
Sent by Beverly Aviles on Friday, January 12 at 2:34PM