Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This weekend we begin a new liturgical year as we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. In the gospel, Jesus uses the word “perplexed” in relationship to what the people may see or experience. The standard definition of this word is: completely baffled or puzzled. We are in a time of many family, social, and Church traditions. There are many signs and experiences that we anticipate with great excitement. Will we allow ourselves to be perplexed by them so as to grow, learn, and appreciate them with a renewed excitement?

The Advent season presents an opportunity to prepare our hearts for the Truth of Christmas. Allowing ourselves to be spiritually perplexed is an openness to hear the Truth, share the Truth, and embrace the Truth. Pondering the beauty of our traditions can enhance those traditions. Each Advent season they become new, and we learn a new appreciation for the people and mysteries they represent.

Many gatherings will take place over these next few weeks. The local Knights of Columbus is offering a pancake breakfast in the St. Clement Hall on the morning of Sunday, December 5th between 10 am and12:30 pm. The freewill offering collected at this event will support the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s outreach to those who need support. Through events like this, I am amazed by the generosity that so many parishioners offer to those in need that they do not know.

Music carols are a common tradition during these Advent days. Carols tell us many stories about our human experience. From cartoon figures to the incarnation of Christ, they can be a source of “spiritual puzzling” of the Truth of this time of the year. On Friday, December 10th at 6 pm, join us for “Caroling by Candlelight” on the front steps of St. James Church. The group will walk around the neighborhood singing many traditional Christmas carols, then gather for cookies and cocoa in the courtyard.

This year both parishes will have a “Giving Tree,” reminding us of the needs of our brothers and sisters. Your generous support of these programs provides encouragement to our neighbors that many times are perplexed and struggling to make ends meet. Thank you in advance for both your prayers and financial support of the parish and our outreach programs.

I pray that you find an opportunity this Advent season to be spiritually perplexed so as to grow closer to the incarnation of love.

Advent Joy!
Fr. Workman