Father Fred Link, O.F.M.

     “O Come, O Come . . .” is our cry to the Lord during this Advent season which has just dawned for Christians all over the globe.  We prepare our hearts for Jesus to come and dwell within us personally, even today.  We prepare ourselves, our families, our communities to receive Him when He comes in special celebration in the liturgical observance of Christmas. And, by lives of peace and love, we do our part to help prepare our world for his coming in glory at the end of time. We wait with Mary our Mother, her spouse St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist (whom the Church holds up to us as an example of one who prepared for the coming of the Savior), and with all of our brother and sister Christians throughout the world.

     “O Come, O Come” is the title of a special event which will open our parish celebration of the Advent season. The event, our annual Advent Concert presented by our music minister, Marty Cunningham, and her awesome choir, takes place this weekend on Sunday evening, December 3, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in St. Clement Church. This is a prayerful celebration, including choral and instrumental music, solos, proclamation, communal prayer and some ritual.  It is not a long event, so it’s appropriate for all ages.  Won’t you come and invite your friends and neighbors to come also?  What a beautiful way to kick off this very holy season.

     Our Worship Commission has prepared special materials to help all of us, both young and old, celebrate the mysteries of Christ’s coming in age-appropriate ways, both individually and as families.  These materials will be on tables in the church commons. Included among the items are the beautiful book marks listing all of the different Advent and Christmas events, including our special Advent Penance Service the week before Christmas.

     Beginning this weekend, we will need the assistance of different individuals, couples or families to come forward at the beginning of each weekend Mass to light the candle or candles on our Advent Wreath. Hopefully, you will take the opportunity to do this as a memorial to a loved one who may not be able to be with you this Christmas, or to mark some other special observance.  You’ll have the opportunity to sign up in the commons.  Or, if no sign-ups, won’t you graciously say yes when invited by one of the priests or ministers?

     Just as I sat down to type this letter, after lunch this past Tuesday, I discovered a message on my office phone from parishioner Bob Meirose asking me to come to Good Samaritan Hospital to anoint his mother, Angela Meirose, who was on life-support following a fall at home.  By the time I got to the emergency room there was a large group of her family members present.  I had just missed mother’s and grandmother’s passing into eternal life.  Angela and the whole Meirose family have been dear friends for many years with Fr. Tom Snodgrass, who works in the archdiocesan Chancery Office; he was at the hospital with the family and was able to celebrate the Last Rites with Angela.  Angela has been such a faithful member of the 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon Mass community.  Her Mass of Christian Burial was on Saturday, December 2.

     I hope to see you at the Advent Concert this Sunday evening.  May your Advent observances and your preparation for Christmas be abundantly blessed.



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