Have you heard the hype about Wal-Mart and Target and other retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day to get a jump on Black Friday?
Now, I am all for doing what we need to do for the sake of the economy. And I think I can safely say that I have no desire to mimic Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch who stole Christmas. I do think, however, that we need to keep things in perspective. If the shopping frenzy must begin before the end of Thanksgiving Day, so be it. However, before accumulating more material goods it is important to take time to give thanks to God for the countless spiritual and material blessings we have already received. Before we run out to buy gifts for those we care about, the Thanksgiving holiday is a good time to share with them the gift of our presence and our love.
In two weeks we will begin the season of Advent. The count will begin as to how many shopping days are left before Christmas. Contrary to what some would have us think, that isn’t really the purpose of Advent. As a matter of fact, Advent has a much deeper meaning than just preparing to celebrate Christmas.
During the season of Advent the readings at mass recall the promise of the coming of the Messiah. At the same time, they remind us that Jesus will come again. Advent is a time to renew our faith in the reality that Jesus is indeed the one who was promised to bring forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal salvation. Advent reminds us that he did say that at the end of time he will return to bring those who have been faithful to him into the place he has prepared. Advent is a time of expectation. What we expect is not simply material goods, but the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus’ return in glory.
This Advent, please take time to reflect on what we celebrate. Keep it in mind as you shop. Keep it in mind as you decorate. Keep it in mind as you prepare menus. Keep it in mind every day. This saying may be a bit overused, but it is true that for both Advent and Christmas “Jesus is the reason for the season.” In the retail world this season starts on Thanksgiving. Perhaps our reflections on the meaning of Advent and Christmas should start there too.
Posted onNovember 24, 2012byadmin|Comments Off on Inviting All Children to Participate in the Christmas Pageant
This year we would like to invite all the children in the parish to be a part of our Christmas Pageant. We need children of all ages to help us tell the story of Christmas at the 4 PM Mass on Christmas Eve. Our first rehearsal will be on Saturday, December 8th at 1:30. If you would like to be a part of the pageant but cannot make that rehearsal, please call Carol at 508-234-5340.
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Next Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent and our Giving Tree Program
will begin. Please take a tag from the trees and purchase the requested item to
help make a child’s Christmas wish come true. If you take a white angel tag
or a pink star, please do not wrap your gift. All other gifts should be wrapped. All gifts must be returned no later than Dec. 15 & 16.
On December 8 & 9 please bring an unbreakable ornament from your house to place on the trees in the church. These ornaments will be part of the church
decorations this year, and then will be distributed to our community’s homebound parishioners next year.
On December 15 & 16 please bring your gifts and place them under the trees. Please remember to securely tie packages together if there is more than one item for your tag; also be sure that the tag is well-attached to the gift. On December 22 & 23 you will receive a special gift from God’s house to yours.
Please Remember Our Seminarians
On the Giving Trees there will also be tags for the seminarians in our diocese. If you take one of these tags, please purchase a gift card in any amount for Staples, CVS, Wal-Mart, or Best Buy. Then please mail the gift card in the attached envelope directly to the Office for Vocations. The gift cards will be presented to them on Christmas Eve.
Next weekend is our New Day Outreach Weekend. Monies received in the Good Shepherd Church replica on the last weekend of each month are used to help individuals and families from our parish, and also to support various community causes. Your generosity each month enables us to continue to help those in need.
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Posted onNovember 12, 2012byadmin|Comments Off on Good Shepherd Proudly Presents the Music of Ryan Tremblay on 11/24
On Saturday, November 24th Good Shepherd is pleased to present “My Life with You,” a performance by Catholic Recording Artist Ryan Tremblay. The performance, held at 7:00pm inside the church, is a parish fundraiser. There is no cost; however, a free will offering will be accepted.
Many of you may recognize Ryan as the drummer during our Parish Center dedication Mass. When Ryan starts singing, or picks up a guitar, or gets anywhere near a set of drums, people stop and listen. It’s been that way since he was a little boy, and now the 24-year old Sts. John and Paul parishioner has tied his gifts to a powerful purpose: to share his love for the Catholic Church, for Jesus Christ, and for the beauty of creation.
His first CD, “My Life with You,” is an inspirational musical collection written in collaboration with Grammy™-nominated producer Todd Urbonas. Their songs focus on Ryan’s journey back to his faith after an extended absence. Throughout the show Ryan shares his personal Catholic turnaround with powerful drumming, heart-felt song, and a true and sometimes hilarious story. The show is about his love of the people and sacraments of the Catholic Church and his newly-discovered appreciation of the power of both in his life.
Ryan’s producer reminds us to tell you that the show will be in stereo for those sitting close and in the middle.
A few clips of Ryan’s music can be found below. You can find Ryan’s music on iTunes or by visiting www.RyanTremblayMusic.com.
Excerpts from a wonderful article written by Brian J. Lowney for The Rhode Island Catholic, originally published on December 2nd, 2010.
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Signup sheets for the December 1 Ham & Bean Supper will be available after all Masses this weekend and next. The cost is $8 per person and $20 per family. Please indicate if you are able to bake a dessert for the supper. The dinner will be from 5:30 to 8 PM, with the meal being served until 7 PM.
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