This Sunday evening, November 18, at 7:00 p.m. St. Clement Parish will host this year’s Annual Thanksgiving Ecumenical Prayer Service with Pastor Dan and our brothers and sisters from Immanuel United Church of Christ.  This is always a simple but powerful prayer service with Scripture, music and prayer.  Pastor Dan will preach the sermon!  Members of Immanuel’s choir will join our St. Clement Choir to lead the music.  The relatively short service will be followed by refreshments in the commons. What a beautiful way to begin your Thanksgiving week activities. You will have the opportunity to contribute to our Food Pantry as part of the service.  I hope you can come and bring the whole family.


           This Thursday, November. 22nd, is Thanksgiving Day!  I believe it’s a week earlier this year—at least it feels earlier!  We will have a community Mass in church at 9:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Thanksgiving is one holiday directed     primarily to the Lord; it’s about “giving thanks.”  Although we have celebrated this holiday in the United States since the late 1700’s, President Abraham Lincoln declared it a Federal Holiday in 1863, declaring that it was for "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”  For us Catholic Christians, the highest form of praise and thanksgiving is the Mass, the Eucharist. The word “Eucharist” is from the Greek word for “thanksgiving.”  Won’t you consider beginning your Thanksgiving Day by coming to Mass?  Bring the whole family. The rest of your family celebrations can flow from there.


           Next weekend, the last weekend of the liturgical Church Year, the Church celebrates the glorious Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King.  And then we quietly enter into the season of Advent.  At each of the Masses next weekend, this special Sunday, we will offer those who wish the celebration of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.   This will happen after a short homily and all persons who are experiencing challenges with health in spirit or body, are welcome to come forward in the procession to be anointed by one of the priests assisting. This is always a beautiful testimony of our parish’s faith in the healing power of Jesus Christ.  What a glorious way to bring our liturgical year to a close.  Christ our King manifests his power in so many awesome ways, doesn’t he.


           We have sad news to report. Bro. Vince has received a different assignment and will be leaving St. Clement at the beginning of December, to go to St. Anthony Friary on Colerain Avenue, the National Shrine of St. Anthony, to serve as Minister or Guardian of the friar    community there and director of the Shrine and most certainly continue his consummate sacristan and church decorating skills there.  He will also continue serving the Province in numerous capacities, most especially as a member of our Provincial Council.  The     Worship Committee has met with him to make certain that we don’t drop any of the balls that he balanced as our parish sacristan and church environment coordinator.  Praise the Lord, Brother Vince agreed to prepare our gorgeous Advent Wreath and order    candles, poinsettia’s, etc. to carry us into the month of December.  Thanksgiving Week is the perfect time to say to Bro. Vince, on behalf of all of St. Clement Parish, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and abundant blessings in your new life and ministry.     


           HAPPY THANKSGIVING, one and all!