Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
This Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord!
We continue to pray for our parishioners and an end to the COVID pandemic.
New Year: Go Forth With the Power of the Epiphany
“Let us imitate the Magi: looking upwards, setting out, and freely offering our gifts.”
– Pope Francis, Homily for the Solemnity of the Epiphany, 2018
Epiphany! The Magi left their bubble, their comfort zone, to follow a new star. They “went forth,” together, pursuing a beckoning light that promised a new reality, new priorities, a new relationship – one worthy of a challenging journey and the offering of their greatest treasures.
The New Year begins with the Christmas season and an incrementally increasing amount of daylight in both our hemisphere and our lives. We may stop during this season to consider the gift of God-With-Us, born into our comfortable but sometimes stagnant understanding of our place in the world, into our continuing search for meaning and relationship. Unwrapping this gift of Emmanuel is a risky, but rewarding, process.
What might be some of the beckoning lights promising new realities and relationships that can change the world–and our own lives? How can we seek more clearly the presence of God in those near and far? We start with those around us and go beyond to encounter the impatient people in line at the grocery store, the harried bus driver, the bewildered parent, the exhausted server at the restaurant, the person on the sidewalk hidden under a blanket, the commuter whose wheelchair is stuck on the curb, the family speaking in another language than ours.
Stars for such encounters may also be found in the January calendar.
The star that called the Magi to “Go Forth” was visible to all, but not all responded to the beacon in the gloom of night. May we be Magi, seeking and encountering our vulnerable brothers and sisters, experiencing a new reality and relationships through the gift God-With-Us. Every. Day.
- Check out Pope Francis’s message for the World Day of Peace on January 1: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/peace.index.html
- January 18 is the national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. How do we seek and encounter the lessons and sacrifices of the civil rights movement, and non-violent resistance, in the issues of racism and injustice that continue to fracture our one family under God?
- January 28-29 is the National Prayer Vigil for Life. How do we seek and encounter those who are most vulnerable from the beginning of life until its final stages? How do we understand each life as precious?
- January is Poverty Awareness Month (www.povertyusa.org). How do we seek and encounter people living in poverty, including the 2.8 million impoverished people who work full-time, year-round?
Susan Stevenot Sullivan is former director of education & outreach at the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development.
This article was originally published on USCCB’s To Go Forth Blog. Copyright © 2015, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.
Continue your journey with The Search on Formed.Org!
Watch the next episode beginning Sunday, January 10th!
Week of January 10: Episode -- Who Are You?
To find clues as to the meaning of life, we first look at ourselves. Who am I? Is there more to me than matter? Is there more to us than meets the eye? We talk with neuroscientists, psychologists, composers, and artists to examine the mystery of you. If you’re just a body, then satisfaction in life should come from tending to simple bodily needs. Fill your stomach, be comfortable. But there’s more to you then that. You are material and immaterial. And that unseen part of you craves for so much more. As C.S. Lewis once said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
Access Episode #1 at FORMED.org.
Not signed up on FORMED.org? Visit FORMED.org/signup
and search for our parish by name or Zip code.
FORMation Inspiration with FORMED.org
Each week we will spotlight programs, movies or devotions to help encourage your faith at home using our new FORMED.org subscription!
* Daily Inspiration
FORMED Now: Special Reflections
Finish the Christmas season with a few more episodes, professors from the Augustine Institute will lead us in reflections throughout the season from December 22nd through January 11th!
* Self-guided Bible Scripture Study
Take time to dive into the bible and revel in the perfect love story God has written to us.
Join scripture scholars Dr. Tim Gray and Dr. Michael Barber as they dive into the Gospel of Matthew. This Bible study is part of a weekly series hosted on FORMED Now! We hope you enjoy this lively and faith-filled study of the first Gospel.
* Celebrating the Sacraments
As we move back into Ordinary time and prepare for the start of Lent, let's take a deeper dive into the mystery of the Eucharist.
Although the Eucharist appears to be simple bread and wine, it is actually the "source and summit" of the Christian life. Presence: The Mystery of the Eucharist explores the truth and beauty of Christ's real presence in the Eucharist, from its origins in Sacred Scripture, to its profound role in the life of the Church and her members. It is the crescendo of the entire story of salvation.
NOTE -- This is a wonderful study for those who are wanting to connect with this Sacrament on a deeper lever and also for parents and children who are preparing for First Holy Communion.
* Sunday MOVIE Night
Faith begins at home and what a better way to celebrate the faith together than with a movie night! Each Sunday evening set aside time to gather the family, grab your favorite snacks and check out the faith-filled movie options below.
This week enjoy a feel-good movie: Coming Home
John is a hardworking man that has focused more on his career than his family. A devastating event leads him back to his hometown, he will come face to face with his choices and their impact on his family. This heartfelt story demonstrates the incredible power of prayer and how God’s love can overcome all.
Directed by: Layne McDonald
Studio: United For Life Foundation
See below for a child friendly option!
For a more Kid-friendly option, consider watching Born into the Kingdom: The Miracle of Baptism with your kiddos!
In this happy presentation, Brother Francis invites us to share in the realities of the Sacrament of Baptism and the union it provides us with God's big family! Filled with instruction and inspiration, "Born into the Kingdom" is a great reminder of God's wonderful grace!
---> Not yet on FORMED?
- Visit http://signup.formed.org/.
- Enter our parish’s zip code or name.
- Enter your name and email.
Religious Education & Sacramental Prep Updates
We have resumed our virtual classes as of Jan. 6th, 2021. Contact Cassie at email@example.com if you have any questions.
First Eucharist Preparation
We are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, Jan. 27th at 6:30pm in the Holy Ghost church basement. Depending on the COVID-19 situation, we may move this meeting to Zoom. Be watching your email for final details. If you have any questions please contact Cassie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our next class will be Sunday, February 14th at 10:30am. Contact Cassie at email@example.com with any questions or for more information.
A Note from Patrick, Director of Worship
I hope you and your families continue to be in good health! What a blessing to be able to come together to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s 2021!
All the Christmas and New Year’s Masses were truly beautiful, thank you for all who participated and served in making the season bright! Since many ministers are staying home for various legitimate health and safety reasons this means many of you are serving each week to help; please know how grateful I am for all of you who are serving every week! We are all in this together and will take it week by week. Holy Ghost environment people thank you to all who helped the church look so beautiful for Christmas (and HT and SH)! The 11/29/2020-1/31/2020 (Advent/ Christmas) schedule is now live. Please let me know if you need to update your preferences or schedule, I will update the schedules and share them via our weekly email blasts and the Parish website under the Ministers, Minister Scheduler Pro tab.
We are staying the course with the same amount of ministers through January. Lectors will continue to read through the first reading, psalm, and second reading. All volunteers, Especially Ushers/greeters, please wear your mask fully over your nose. It is of the utmost importance to set a good example of the safety protocols to ensure everyone’s health and well-being. While we are coming to the end of the Christmas season this Sunday, Baptism of the Lord, it is time to think of the next schedule for Lent 2021!
(February 6th - March 28th); I have sent the request for updates by email this week, please let me know if you need to update your preferences or schedule, I will update the schedules. If you are unable to make your Mass time, please click on sub request and/or let me know at least 2 days in advance. For all ministers across the board please be at least 20-30 minutes early to Mass. Especially in these trying times, thank you for all your continued service to Holy Spirit Parish. As Father Steve and I do all that we can to maintain the guidelines set forth by the Archdiocese and Archbishop Michael, we thank you for your patience and understanding! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Notes on MSP emails and App: I know there are issues with the new MSP emails; please double check all inboxes as these emails sometimes go to other inboxes. If an email is delivered to the Promotions tab, you can click and drag it to the primary inbox. Once you move one message, the others will no longer be marked as promotions so they will go to the primary inbox! The phone app has been updated! To access the updated app, volunteers should click Update for the MSP app in the App Store or Google Play and then click Open. Doing so will allow you to regain access to your account. If for any reason they do not get access, please simply close and reopen the app, or click the “reload” link if they experience an error code.
Many prayers and blessings to you and your families,
Sunday Reflection from Father Steve Garner
Reflection | The Baptism of the Lord | January 10, 2021
With this weekend’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we bring the Christmas Season to conclusion. In one of the earliest written records (around 100 AD) of the Christian Church called the Didache, we find instructions about baptism. “Baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have not living water, baptize in other water. If you cannot baptize in cold, then in warm…pour water three times on the head.” For nearly 2000 years we have baptizing in exactly this manner.
Water is used to express cleansing from sin and a new birth to innocence and the Holy Spirit. In baptism we are joined to Christ and to the Church. A feast recalling the baptism of Jesus, invites us to consider once again the grace and blessing of our own baptism. Baptism marks a passage from death to life. The same water used to baptize is used to sprinkle on our caskets with the words: “In baptism we were joined to Christ, now may we come to share his Resurrection.”
In our gospel passage this weekend, you will notice that there is a dove seen in the sky. To some that dove is representative of the dove that signaled the end to the great flood and a new beginning for Noah and his family. This event represents a new moment for the people of Israel. Jesus also speaks about another baptism into which he must be baptized and how great is his anguish until it is accomplished. Jesus will allow himself to be immersed in the baptism of suffering and death. Through these saving actions all who believe and are baptized in him enter fully into his life and his death, and go with him through the passage of death to life everlasting.
I wish everyone a blessed week!
|Join the Virtual Archdiocesan Women’s Conference, Beauty in Christ: ON FIRE WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT! Saturday, January 30th, 2021, 9:00 am to 1:00 p.m. for a fabulous day designed to ignite you with the power of the Holy Spirit!!! You’ll experience dynamic speakers, Maria Vadia and Caroline Gambale-Dirkes, plus prayer, music, vendors, plus your friends of faith! Don't miss this incredible conference!
If you are interested in attending, contact Nicole via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the parish office to be included in a parish group rate!
More details at https://www.archwomensconference.org/.
ONLINE MASS (Pre-recorded)
Opportunities for online Mass with the Archbishop will continue to be available. Click the button below for the broadcast schedule.
DAILY PRAYER RESOURCES
Please visit these websites for resources for your daily prayer life or other prayer opportunities:
TELEVISED MASS TIMES
Click HERE and enter your zip code to view where you can find televised Mass times and channels.
Please refer to the Archdiocesan webpage for family resources during COVID-19.
Prayer and Intention for the Week
Please pray with intention for the state of our country ...
EMERGENCY NOVENA FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
Recite the Memorare 9 times in petition, and then once more in thanksgiving.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thine intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To thee do I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.
Recent Updates & Reminders
REQUIRED for attending Mass at Holy Spirit
Masks are REQUIRED to attend Mass at Holy Spirit Parish. If you do not have a mask, there are some available at the church entrances. Also, as the number of Mass attendees increases there is a chance we may need to turn people away so as to maintain recommended social distancing guidelines.
Parish Office Closure
Due to COVID-19, the Parish Office will remain closed to walk-ins for your health and the health of our staff. We will still keep reduced office hours (8am-noon, Monday-Friday) for the time being, so if you need to speak with someone, please call 563-583-1709 and we will be happy to help! If you have something to turn in to the office, please place it inside the front storm door at the parish office in the locked depository box on the left under the shelf. We will retrieve items during business hours.
Guidelines for Attending Mass at Holy Spirit Parish
Please review the following guidelines implemented for the celebration of public Mass until further notice.
Please keep in mind these other important points when considering attending Mass:
- All (including children) must wear masks before, during, and following Mass (while in church/parking lot areas). The CDC recommends children under the age of two do not wear a mask; please refrain from bringing children under the age of two to Mass until restrictions have been lifted.
- Seating will be limited; please sit only in open (untaped/unroped) pews minding social distancing guidelines; please do not disturb, change placement of or remove blue tape or rope on pews
- Once pews are filled we will be at capacity and admittance will cease, pews may not be held or saved for others
- Families or those living in the same household may sit together in a pew; if room permits, others may enter the same pew IF proper distance is available. Families living in different households must maintain proper social distancing guidelines.
- Church pews, handrails, kneelers, door handles, high use areas, etc. will be sanitized after each Mass
- Holy Water fonts and cisterns will be remain empty
- Sanitizer will be available at all church entrances
- Rest rooms (in churches) will be available and sanitized following Mass
- Church halls (Kriebs, Terence, and Paraclete) will be CLOSED during Mass, including the rest rooms located in those halls
- All printed materials (including the bulletins) will be removed from churches, please refer to the parish website to view the weekly bulletin
- There will be no missalettes or music issues available for use in pews
- Social distancing must be observed (at least six feet apart) in church and parking lot areas
- Please refrain from singing during Mass
- There will be no (or very limited) liturgical ministers
- Please refrain from greeting or gathering before and/or after Mass in church and/or parking lot areas
- There will be no collection during Mass, collection boxes will be placed at church entrances
- There will be no offertory/gift procession
- Please avoid physical contact during the Our Father and Sign of Peace
- Only the Precious Body will be offered at Communion and placed only in the hand (not on the tongue)
- There will be no distribution of the Precious Blood
- Logistics are still being considered for each location concerning the distribution of Holy Communion. NOTE: Priests will begin by bringing Communion to the people in the pews and adjust if need be as we proceed.
- The coronavirus is still with us. Following social distancing guidelines in regard to gathering for a liturgy or a devotional in church will result in less space, reducing greatly the number of people who can attend.
- Dispensation from the obligation to participate in Sunday Mass and holy days will remain in effect until further notice, most likely until a vaccine is available.
- Please refrain from attending if you are sick, were recently sick (in the past 14 days), or have an underlying medical condition; or, if you are concerned about contracting COVID-19 or live with or care for someone who is at higher risk due to underlying medical conditions or advanced age, or is sick. Additionally, those who are frail due to advanced age, are under the age of two, and those who work in a high risk profession should abstain from attending Mass.
- Daily Mass will be offered each day (regular schedule) with the same restrictions.