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Rev. André-Joseph's blog

From the Pastor 12/10/17

Immaculate Conception Continues

The link between the privilege of Divine Maternity and Mary’s Immaculate Conception results also in her superiority with respect to us. She is a perfect image of the Church in heaven, the new triumphant Jerusalem, that won’t have any marks nor will there be pain and death. As the liturgy prays, “She was to be a worthy mother of your Son, your sign of favor to the church at its beginning, and the promise of its perfection as the bride of Christ, radiant in beauty.” Also in heaven Mary is not and will never be only a disciple, but her Son’s most exalted. She is and will always be the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, the Queen of the Angels and Saints.

Mary was Immaculate because she had to be the Mother of God. She, herself has received the original grace of purity and the final state of the blessed life that we also, by collaborating with Divine Grace, hope one day to receive.

From the Pastor 12/03/17

First Sunday of Advent

I wish all of you a blessed beginning of the Season of Advent. We have begun a new liturgical year. It is with prayer and hope that God will continue to bless our parish as we embark on another year with Jesus Christ.

I am not here this weekend. I am in Maine checking on my parents and will return on Dec. 9th. This is my last trip to Maine before winter sets in. I do not plan on going to Maine during the winter unless I have to go up for an emergency or if my parents pass away. So many of you continue to pray and ask about my parents. Thank you. I am amazed at their resilience, especially my mom with her advanced Alzheimer disease. I will again pick up my dad and we will spend time at our family camp in Poland, ME. Lots of leaves to pick up, wood to stack and keep the camp warm, and hopefully a late Thanksgiving meal with the family.

The word Advent is from the Latin adventus for "coming" and is associated with the four weeks of preparations for Christmas. Advent always contains four Sundays, beginning on the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, (November 30) and continuing until December 24. It blends together a penitential spirit, very similar to Lent, a liturgical theme of preparation for the Second and Final Coming of the Lord, called the Parousia, and a joyful theme of getting ready for the Bethlehem event. Since the 900s Advent has been considered the beginning of the Church year. This does not mean that Advent is the most important time of the year. Easter has always had this honor. The traditional color of Advent is purple or violet which symbolizes the penitential spirit. Religious traditions associated with Advent express all these themes.

From the Pastor 11/26/17

Dear Parishioners,

A blessed Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. With this celebration comes the end of the liturgical year. Next week we begin a new year with the First Sunday of Advent.

It seems appropriate as we end this liturgical year to enclose in the bulletin the 2016-17 Annual Financial Report. This report covers our income and expenses from July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. I am presently in the Silent Phase of meeting with families concerning the Archdiocesan Capital Campaign which will be coming to the parish in March 2018. I decided it is not necessary for me to come and talk about money from the pulpit since we will have enough of that coming in March. So please allow this Pastor’s Column to address the Annual Financial Report.

I again give great thanks to our Finance Council, the Business Office, and The Stewardship and Development Committees for their hard work, guidance and fiscal responsibility. As these groups can attest, this has been an exciting and very productive year. As you all are very well aware, we have successfully paid off the debt that funded the building of our new school, renovations of the church and parking lot, and purchase of the convent. On February 1, we paid $3.2M towards the debt with the final payment of this debt made in September 2017. The parish is finally debt free! Praise God! The paying off of our debt is an amazing accomplishment as it shows the love and dedication our parishioners have for St. Gertrude Church and School.

From the Pastor 11/19/17

New landscaping around the Parish Center

Lots of parishioners have been asking about the new landscaping that is being constructed around the Parish Center. I have mentioned this before in my past Pastor’s columns, but once again to let everyone know what is going on, and a little more information.

First of all I want our parishioners to know that the expense for these projects has been donated to the parish by generous benefactors.

The first project was the landscaping around the gym entrance. We installed a new retaining wall, seating, and a walkway. This was needed for added safety for our kids coming and going from gym class.

The second landscaping project is a seat retaining wall where the Children’s Garden used to be. This ‘serpentine” seat wall will be accompanied by a Jubilee Memorial marking the pastors from St. Gertrude’s who have celebrated their 25 and 50 Jubilees of Ordination.

The third landscaping project will be a new Pro-Life Knights of Columbus Plaza Entrance. The Knights of Columbus are known for their great work for the sanctity of life. This plaza will have a Pro-Life Monument reminding us to keep praying and working for the sacredness of life, new seating areas, and a new entrance for the Knights of Columbus.

I am grateful for the generosity of the Knights of Columbus and two other families who have generously given for all these projects. It should be very nice by the time it is finished. In the spring of 2018 the trees, shrubs, and plantings will be done in all three areas. There will be opportunities for you to donate in memoriam at that time.

From the Pastor 11/12/17

Archdiocesan Capital Campaign: One Faith, One Hope, One Love. As I write this Pastor’s column I am now engaged in the Silent Phase of this campaign. I beg your prayers as I meet with our generous donators in the next few weeks. Starting in January of 2018, I will be working with chairpersons of this campaign to recruit generous workers for the campaign. And finally pray that when we begin the public phase of this campaign in March of 2018, all will be generous as we ask you to prayerfully consider a five-year commitment to raise $2.6M for this campaign. More information will be coming about all the good that is being done throughout the archdiocese through this campaign.

Mass Offerings: Part I

What it means to have a Mass “offered” for someone.

An individual may ask a priest to offer a Mass for a particular intention for several reasons: in thanksgiving, for the intentions of another person (such as an anniversary), or for the repose of the soul of someone who has died. This is the particular intention the priest brings to the Mass, but he brings other intentions as well, including those of everyone in attendance.

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