Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.

Pray, Serve, Give, Connect during COVID Time

11-29-2020Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Here we are at Advent during COVID time. Like Lent and Easter 2020 this year’s Advent will be a little different but maybe even more infused with the spirit of anticipation than usual. Advent and Christmas won’t look like they normally do but maybe that’s not a bad thing. Having less distractions, being less hectic may actually help us to focus more on the spiritual dimensions of the season.

So, what will our Pray, Serve, Give and Connect look like? Hopefully you have downloaded our new Parish App so you can access our Live Stream content. This year we are delighted to have a virtual Advent Mission with Tom Booth! There will be one each of the Sunday’s during Advent but you can listen in at any time. Make sure you do so in a prayerful way. Remove the usual distractions and watch the Mission in a quiet place when you can focus and PRAY. The Advent Mission is designed to help prepare you for Christmas and to prepare you to receive whatever graces you need at this season of life. Also don't forget to check out on our Parish App our FORMED feature for new content each week, faith-based films and more ways to form your faith during Advent and Christmas.

Many of you have already served by delivering Thanksgiving Food boxes and turkeys to area families. Thank you! As we approach Christmas, I invite you to continue to SERVE by participating in our Adopt-a-Family Program. This year we have more families than ever requesting some help this Christmas. To make it safe and easy we have created a digital Christmas Tree and Digital Pantry where you can go and select the gifts for your Adopted Family. No need to do in person shopping. The gifts will be sent to us and members of our St. Vincent de Paul Conference will deliver them to the Adopted Family. It’s a simple and safe way to serve the neediest of our community and bring them Christmas hope.

And to multiply your gift please use gift cards from our Food for Thought Program. You can purchase them on line via our website and pick them up during the week or when you come to Sunday Mass and they will be on sale after the 9am and 11am Masses on Nov. 29, Dec 6, 13 and 20. We have gift cards for just about every vendor you can think of including Amazon and VISA gift cards.

Don’t forget to make a gift to your Parish at Christmas! On-line electronic Giving is simple. Just click on the GIVE Button in our Parish App or on our website or if you are in the Church use our Electronic Giving Kiosk to make your gift! This year because of the CARES ACT you can deduct 100% of your charitable giving from your Adjusted Gross Income (last year it was only 60% deduction). Which means you can zero out your federal taxes this year. Congress passed the law to help Churches and non-profits during the Pandemic.

Finally continue to CONNECT with us. We continue to have In-Person Masses each Sunday as well as Live Streaming the 5pm Saturday Vigil Mass (with Communion afterwards in the Parking Lot for those who participated in the Live Stream) as well as Live Stream 9am and 11am Masses. On Dec. 8 which is the Holy Day of the Immaculate Conception we will have In-Person Mass at 6:30am 8:30am and 7pm. The 7pm Mass will also be Live Streamed. Just a reminder, for those who are most at risk the Live Stream is the safest option! Next weekend we will be announcing our Masses for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and how to sign up to attend in person if you choose.

So still plenty of ways to PRAY, SERVE, GIVE AND CONNECT at Mt. Carmel! This Advent and Christmas Season please make it a point to give away HOPE. The Pandemic is wearing heavily on many people and the hope you offer can make all the difference!


Fr. John B.