Message from Msgr. Schwanger


My Dear Family of Our Lady of Lourdes,

As we light the rose candle of our Advent Wreaths we are reminded that Christmas is almost here and called to rejoice – it’s Gaudete Sunday! I hope everyone is either ready for Christmas or else prepared to “go with the flow” and not let last minute preparations destroy the joy and beauty of these days. Remember: “Jesus is the reason for the season” and we, fellow human beings, are the reason Jesus came. If we haven’t already, we might take advantage of this week to invite someone new to join us at Mass this Christmas.

Speaking of Mass, next week’s schedule can get a little confusing, so I’ll try to explain. We will be attending two different Masses only a day apart. Sunday the 24th is the Fourth Sunday of Advent and, of course, a Holy Day of Obligation. The Vigil Masses on the evening of the 23rd and the morning Masses of the 24th through the 1:30 pm Spanish Mass will be the Mass of the Fourth Sunday of Advent. We will bless the Baby Jesus from our home creches at these Masses.

Christmas is always on the 25th and is also a Holy Day of Obligation. The Vigil Masses for Christmas begin with the 4:00 pm Christmas Family Mass on the 24th, include the 6:30 pm Spanish Mass and Midnight Mass. On Christmas Day we begin Masses with the 8:30 am Spanish Mass and otherwise follow the Sunday schedule.

Remember that at the 4:00 pm Vigil Mass for Christmas our Children’s Choir sings, we bless the parish Crèche and we light the parish Christmas tree as it is the first Mass of Christmas in the parish. And as always, I would like to highlight Midnight Mass - it is beautiful. The combined choirs of the parish will sing for this Mass, beginning with a prelude at 11:30 pm. Midnight Mass is the Christmas Mass that draws the whole parish community together. It is a multilingual Mass with an intimacy and power that is all its own. Please join us and bring your family and friends, especially the children.

If you are traveling to be with family and friends for Christmas, may God go with you and bring you safely home to us. For all, may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be yours this Christmas and always.

Msgr. Schwanger