Pastor’s Message January 6, 2019

It’s a New Year &
I know most of you have already done it or are about to this weekend because of societal pressures, but you don’t have to. You don’t have to act like President Reagan riding the coattails of Pope John Paul II’s conquering of Communism by demanding “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that Christmas tree” (uhm, I mean “tear down that wall”—-ok, so I made that political comment in memory of my father, so any debates talk to him). It is a New Year and it is STILL Christmas. Today, as we celebrate the Epiphany, have an epiphany of your own. Make the choice to live out this year with one focus in faith...every decision and every point, make it because of who you are as a Catholic Christian. Our world needs what Jesus Christ has offered us.
How do we live out the message of Christmas in the New Year, rather than pack it away with the ornaments? Since this is a time for making New Year’s resolutions, let me suggest a few that would make St. Francis de Sales Parish more attractive. How about a resolution to:
• Hold doors for other people, say hello, maybe even introduce yourself to someone you see all the time but whose name you don’t know...welcome them home and help give them a reason to return.
• Encourage and pray for volunteer/liturgical ministers and be grateful for their giving, rather than commenting on what doesn’t meet a personal preference.
• Keep the place God has given us looking good by picking up around yourself in your pew/as you leave.
• Dress the best you can when coming to Mass, to show it’s important in your life to praise God.
• Be careful to not feel “entitled” over others – so park only where it’s allowed, rather than presuming it’s ok to park wherever you want. And don’t scowl at people if they can’t help coming late or have to leave early.
• Join in the singing and responding at Mass.
• Show the sacredness of the Church interior spaces by talking quietly, bowing or genuflecting when you pass the Tabernacle, and in general remembering you’re in the amazing presence of God.
• Slide in to the center of the pew if someone else wants to sit, rather than making the person climb over you
• Move reverently and carefully as you approach Holy Communion, with a focus only on Him.
• Be really still – completely quiet – when the time comes for that five minutes before the start of Mass.
• Be on the lookout for all the grace happening here, and spread the Good News of Emmanuel with family and friends. Participate in an extra Mass during the week or stop in for a little dedicated time for Adoration.
Pray how you might be able to embrace just one of these things as a New Year’s resolution. They’re simple things to lead to joy.
Peace and Merry Christmas, Fr. Bline
(N.B. My friend, St. Bernadette’s birthday is the 7th)

4019 Manchester Road
Akron, OH 44319
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