Do you enjoy gifts? Most people do. This is one reason why Christmas is so popular. Our Advent Season of waiting and watching gives way to the joy and holiness of Christmas Day and all it brings: the tearing of wrapping paper, the precious time with friends and family, Christmas Mass, and an extra good meal!
Reflecting upon this past year, we have received many blessings as a parish: a renewed church sanctuary, a new pre-school playground, plenty of much-needed repairs and improvements in our school building, and new friendships and relationships across the parish. Our Parish Transformation process has given birth to spiritual growth opportunities. We can look forward to this continuing in 2017 with more events and resources, including a special parish retreat which will be offered next Lent and more formally detailed in early 2017. The positive movement of the Spirit in our parish will continue to encourage the best from each of us as we increase our awareness of and responsibility to share the mission of Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord provides through the dedication, prayers, and generosity of our parishioners. That positive Spirit is so often manifested in the many parishioners who volunteer their time, talent and treasures in parish and school functions and we are all so very grateful for the life-giving presence they offer to our parish and school community.
The heart of Christmas is the gift of Jesus Christ who saves us. He is the gift who overwhelms us with his love and peace, and guides our hearts. May I ask that you prayerfully consider your Christmas gift to St. Joan of Arc this year? With our school enrollment declining, our budget is particularly tight and our obligations will reduce our available savings. I am very grateful for your assistance in support of our parish and school.
This Christmas, may we be overwhelmed again by the sheer enormity of God’s gifts to us. May your heart be full of praise and gratitude and may 2017 be full of the Lord’s graces and blessings upon you and your family.