Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Christmas is very near. This weekend we hear about Mary going into the hill country to greet Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist, the Visitation. These two short days before Christmas remind us of God’s powerful promises on the brink of fulfillment. We are not the only ones waiting and wondering what is yet to come, especially in these uneasy times. We have the perspective of history on how earlier promises bore fruit, as well as our own yearnings. Do we believe that there are promises still to be fulfilled, and if so, how do we demonstrate that?

Christmas: December 24-25: On this special day we join Christians throughout the world who are celebrating the birth of the Savior: Communities large and small gather in cathedrals and chapels, in home and convents, and, in some cases, on the battlefield — all gather to give thanks for Jesus, our Emmanuel, who promises to be with us always. We add our praise to this great multitude. Let us pray that Emmanuel, our Prince of Peace, will join us this day!

Next weekend we will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph: Next weekend’s readings will speak to us about living as a family and a community. They confirm that both require work, generosity, patience and openness to the unexpected. We look to the Holy Family as a model for ourselves, and we learn — with some relief — that Jesus’ parents were as challenged and confounded as we often are. We can be like them because they were like us in so many ways.

On behalf of Father Mike Donald, Deacon Jim Martin, Deacon Carl Sommer, and all the parish Staff, I would like to wish you and yours a very happy, holy, blessed, and Merry Christmas. May this celebration of the birth of Our Lord continue to assist us in our journey to Him as we seek His guidance in our lives, with all the plusses and minuses with which we are faced.

Archbishop Robert Carlson also sends his greetings with this Christmas Letter:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Rejoice! The weeks of Advent waiting are over, and Christ is born!

We rejoice in our Savior’s birth—remembering the great gift of faith He has given us through the mystery of His incarnation and the saving power of His death and resurrection.

Each year, the people of our archdiocese have been asked to make a special gift on Christmas Day to support our seminarians at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. The men of our seminary, who have responded to Christ’s call to follow Him, are truly a gift to the Church and to the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It is these men who will bring the faith given to us by Christ 2000 years ago to future generations here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

I ask you, once again, to pray for vocations and for all our priests and seminarians. I also ask you to be generous in your donation to the Christmas Day collection, which helps pay the day-to-day expenses and maintenance of our seminary.

Please be assured of my prayers for you during the season of Christmas. May the Lord of life come into your hearts and homes in a special way during this holy time of year.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson Archbishop of St. Louis

Christmas Masses: The Masses for Christmas here at Saint Monica will be at 5:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M. on Monday, December 24, and 7:30 A.M., 9:30 A.M., and 11:30 A.M. on Tuesday, December 25. There will NOT be an evening Mass on Christmas Day.

The Feast of the Holy Family, Saturday-Sunday, December 29 and 30, 2018, we will have our “normal” Mass schedule, including the 5:00 P.M. Mass on Sunday evening. There will be a special blessing for FAMILIES on Holy Family. We hope you come as a family that weekend.

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, New Year’s Day, IS a Holyday of Obligation this year. We will have a 5:00 P.M. Mass on Monday, December 31, 2018, and Masses at 9:30 A.M. and 11:30 A.M. on Tuesday, January 1, 2019. There will NOT be a 7:30 A.M. Mass nor will there be a 5:00 P.M. Mass on New Year’s Day.

(I put this in last week, but I think it bears repeating): Rite of Naming and Commendation:

While we think about the “newborn King of the Jews” during this special time of the year I am very mindful of some broken hearts of parents who lost a child before birth. We have been informed that Christ Prince of Peace Parish, on Weidman Road, near Queeny Park, will be holding a Naming and Commendation Rite on Saturday, January 5.

The rite will be held at 8:30 A.M. Christ, Prince of Peace Church immediately following the parish’s Saturday Morning Mass. It is offered to any parent, family, or individual who has lost a child before birth due to miscarriage, stillbirth, accident, or abortion.

All are welcome. Christ Prince of Peace’s Respect Life Committee kindly requests an RSVP to Val at 314.402.3534 or Susan at 636.253.6308. We have had that ceremony here before and I’ve also offered it to families who have lost a child prior to birth. I would encourage you to prayerfully consider attending this very brief, but oh so moving, ceremony.

The Lord is coming soon. Let us welcome Him with joy. Faithfully yours. COME, LORD JESUS!

Fr Joe Weber