Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
For we need a little Christmas right this very moment… Actually as I write this it is the Feast Day of St. Nicholas who is the basis of our Santa Claus figure. St. Nick was known to be a charitable man who had great devotion to his people. But he was also a strong Bishop who defended the Christian faith especially the truth about the person of Jesus Christ. On both accounts he gives us an example to imitate. The most amazing thing of all is that a Catholic bishop who lived in 4th century Turkey still exercises such tremendous influence on our imagination and our culture. What his life teaches us is that there is no telling how powerful one’s individual actions can be to influence others or even the course of history for the good. St. Nicholas was by no means a man of means but he used what he had to improve the lot of others.
That is the precise example that we should imitate this time of year. So here are a few ways you can expand your influence and like jolly ole St. Nick bring light and happiness to others.
Unlike Santa, I don't make a list and check it twice to see who is naughty or nice. In other words I don't check how much you give individually as I don't ever want that to bias the way I treat any one. Still as your pastor I always want to encourage your stewardship so you too can bless others through your giving. And I haven’t forgotten how generous you have already been this year in so many ways but especially in the help you gave to get the Servants of the Plan of God to our Parish (and we still have one more Sister coming in January!) and that includes all your donations to cover the costs of their Immigration, the Convent, and their expenses. Don't forget that while we have a Convent what we actually purchased was a mortgage and donations to assist with payments are also tax deductible!
Sacrificial giving was at the heart of the ministry of St. Nicholas and thank God it was. What would Christmas be without the spirit of giving that is so exemplified by the happy jolly figure of Santa? Let’s face it St. Nick is one of the easier saints to imitate in his example of joyful, quiet, sacrificial giving. Why not follow his lead?
Fr. John B.