Christmas 2017- “A Savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.”
Since the 13th century AD, the Christmas crèche has played a prominent role in educating Catholic Christians about the story of Christmas. In 1223, when the printing press had yet to be invented and the people of God were overwhelmingly illiterate, St. Francis of Assisi, inspired by the spirit of creativity, produced the first Christmas pageant with actors playing the parts of the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, Angels and Magi. The impact of the Christmas crèche and its powerful illustration of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ, has influenced the Catholic imagination for centuries.
The crèche scene is present in almost every Catholic home in late Advent and throughout the Christmas season. It is a marvelous teaching tool that has deeply affected our contemplation on the mystery of God become human. What Catholic child has not been told about the baby Jesus in the crib and his mother Mary?
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Like the Angels who worshiped at the first crèche, Christmas carols lift our hearts and minds in adoration and praise, of the God whose love impels him to become weak on our behalf; as fragile as a little child.
I am deeply grateful for the many ways in which you make Christ present in our parish community. Because of your faith in God who is with us, our liturgies are uplifting, our outreach to the poor is outstanding, and our effort to teach the good news to our children and adults is transformative.
During the past two years, the St. Kilian Steering Committee developed our parish Vision and Mission statement, published regularly in our bulletin and on our website. We have been facing the challenge of parish buildings that are in great need of repair, and only $650,000 in reserves. I started a collaborative process to address these concerns. I have held three meetings with parish leadership: 50 people from our Finance Committee, Pastoral Council, Stewardship Committee, CYO, Family Life Committee, Liturgy Committee and Building and Grounds Committee. Together we brainstormed on the pros and cons of various options to address limited reserves, and parish buildings needing repair. We heard from an architect-engineering firm on possible options. A 12 member subcommittee was formed and has met a number of times. They will invite you to an Open Meeting early in the New Year on a
date to be determined, for Q and A. Keep praying to the Holy Spirit for guidance as we grapple with important issues to help us consolidate our parish resources for strong and vibrant future. Your constructive input is welcomed.
May you discover the love of Christ once again in our Christmas masses and in your family gatherings for these holy days of the Christmas Season through the Baptism of the Lord on January 8, 2018.
Merry Christmas to all! And prayers for a happy, healthy New Year 2018!
Father Bruce Powers and the Parish Staff