Dear Seton Parish Family and Friends:
The thrill of Christmas Day is still fresh and its memories will certainly be remembered as we continue to journey through this pandemic, but the joy and hope of the Mystery of Christmas are with us every day. As this year draws to a close and the New Year opens before us, I encourage you to welcome the presence of Christ into your life each day of this coming year. Christ was born to be with us. When we welcome and trust in his presence, he is God’s wisdom, mercy, love, compassion, patience, healing, strength, truth, and grace at the center of our lives. This is the Mystery of Christmas that brings joy and hope to the world every day. Be open and faithful to the transforming Presence of Christ at every moment of your life. Christ humbled himself to take on our humanity so that we could share in his divinity. This is the eternal gift and joy of the Mystery of Christmas.
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. The Holy Family serves as a model for all families. It did not have a perfect existence; it faced many struggles: a mysterious unplanned pregnancy, a birth away from the comfort of home, an emigration experience in Egypt, a missing child, a youth who did what he was called to do but was not always understood by his parents, the death of a parent, and eventually the death of an adult child. Through all of this, it did not crumble or collapse, it found the hope and strength to survive in the love of God at its center.
Like families in every generation of humanity, our families know joy and struggle too: some have been furloughed or lost a job or a business, experienced frustration with online education for our children while balancing working from home, welcomed a child, announced engagements or whose marriages were witnessed by a small group of family members, or said goodbye or grieved the loss a loved one in a healthcare facility through an iPad. The real joy of family life comes from knowing that God has given the members of each family to one another because he believes they are the best persons for each other; the struggle comes when we forget that or choose to not appreciate one another as God’s gifts. Families face other challenges: financial insecurity, addiction, and many struggles that weaken and strain familial relationships. Today’s remembrance of the Holy Family reminds us that no matter the challenge, if we welcome and trust in God’s presence at the center of our family, if we pray together as a family, and if we choose to love our family members as God loves them, we will always find the strength to overcome our challenges and rejoice in God’s gift of our family. The Holy Family was not perfect and neither are our families. The Holy Family is called holy because it trusted in the love of God. God calls all of our families to be holy and in Jesus, gives us the gift of his love to strengthen us in holiness every day.
When we appreciate and are thankful for our family members and the gift of our family, we find the strength to do what is necessary to keep our families vital and healthy. With this in mind, I thank the members of our parish family who prepared and decorated our church campus for our Christmas liturgies, our COVID-19 task force, who for many months, continue to make sure that they keep us safe and comfortable to worship with us in person, Mitzy Deras who shares her gifts and talents for live-streaming our Masses online, Msgr. Jeff Burrill, our deacons, our music ministry, our lectors, our Eucharistic ministers, our ushers, and our Mass coordinators. Everyone’s efforts provided a joyous and vital Christmas Celebration for us and our visitors. Together we live the Mystery of Christmas every day.
This Friday, Christmas Day, at 9:30am signups will open for The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God Masses on December 31st at 6pm and January 1st, 2021 at 11am. Please visit our Facebook page or our website to signup to attend. The December 31st 6pm service will be livestreamed.
Here is the worship aid for Christmas Eve/Day Masses
Here is this Sunday’s Worship Aid
I encourage you to sign up for weekend Masses through the parish website or FaceBook page. The link is available after the 9:30 Mass each Sunday UNTIL Wednesday evenings at 10:00pm. We are seeing an increase in walk-ins to Masses as of late. If you come to Mass without signing up, you will not be admitted. There is no walk-in seating through the end of January due to the intensity of the Covid-19.
Don’t forget to wear your mask, use hand sanitizers in the Narthex and keep your social distance as you approach the Main Entrance of the Church!
As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass (Mon—Thurs at 9:00am and Sunday at 9:30am) on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link), and our parish website, https://www.seaseton.org/Resources/Media. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.
Have a safe and blessed Christmas!