Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of our Lord, and the 12th Day of Christmas! Today’s feast is filled with ironies for us. It celebrates those from afar who early acknowledged the Christ child and reminds us of those nearby who were threatened by him. Living in a current political climate that debunks globalism and challenges the meaning of Christianity, we must ask: “How do we make Christ’s presence known?” Who do we accept into our communities and our lives regardless of their origins? Christ’s coming has always turned things upside down.

Next week, when we close this year’s Christmas Season, we will celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Christmas season ends with a beginning — we celebrate Jesus’ baptism and initiation into his ministry. The ancient promise of justice to Israel is fulfilled in him whose mission, empowered by the Spirit, will focus on peace and justice. Our baptism mirrors his as the beginning of what we are called to be and do. We are all empowered to be instruments of peace and justice and to invite others to join us.

THANK YOU to all who worked so hard for this wonderful Christmas Season. Thanks to the choirs, the decorators, the altar society, the Lectors, the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, the Ushers, and, most importantly, the assembly … you the people of this parish, along with relatives and friends, who made this Christmas season of 2018-2019 so memorable.  Thanks, too, to ALL who sent cards and “goodies” to the Rectory for Fr Mike, the staff, and me to get fat! We received a lot of fruit, for which we are thankful. PLUS most of that won’t add inches to our waistlines!

Events coming up:

Next Sunday, January 13: Our parish will host the “official” Archdiocesan observance of the Prayer for Christian Unity. Because of the Martin Luther King celebration the following weekend, during the actual Week of Prayer, we were asked to host this a week prior. (There will be other observances throughout the Archdiocese.) At 7:00 P.M. various Christian Religious Leaders and Choirs, including our own choir, will be here for a special prayer service, with Bishop Mark Rivituso, our Auxiliary Bishop, presiding. Bishop Robert Farr, of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church, will be the preacher. There will be a reception following in the Msgr. Schneider Hall. Please consider attending this historic event. This year’s theme is: “Justice, Only Justice You Shall Pursue,” taken from the Book of Deuteronomy. I really hope that you would attend.

Saturday, February 2: The Annual Catholic Men for Christ Conference will be held at UMSL’s Touhill Performing Arts Center. It is ALWAYS a tremendous opportunity to hear dynamic speakers, celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and participate in a very moving, Spirit Filled Mass. All men, high school on up, are cordially invited. Guided by the Four Pillars — Conversion, Reconciliation, Discipleship, and Evangelization — the Catholic Men for Christ Conference is dedicated to building the Kingdom of God in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and beyond by engaging, educating, and encouraging Catholic men to live their faith and to lead their families in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Catholic Men for Christ are men of faith, men of action, catalysts for good and warriors against evil.

The goals of the conference are straight-forward:• The attendees will be more open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their life; • The conference introduces, educates, emboldens and refocuses the attendees on their roles as the spiritual leader of their homes and communities; • Attendees, once energized, will help to build the Kingdom of God through a renewed personal faith and vocation to their families; The attendees will be empowered as the faith leader of their families; The attendees will be encouraged to participate in acts of charity and service in their parishes, communities, and diocese. The doors open at 8:00 A.M. It concludes with Mass at 4:00 P.M.  Prices:  $45.00, January 1 – February 1; $50.00, at the Door/Day-Of; $15.00 Student NEW THIS YEAR! Deacon price is $10.00. Deacons must call the Box Office to purchase ticket at 314.516.4949 or purchase their ticket at the Box Office. Priests and Seminarians can register for free. Please call the Office of Marriage and Family Life at 314.792.7185 To register, visit www.catholicmenforchrist.org or call the Touhill box office at 314.516.4949. For information, call 314.792.7183.

Following that on March 9 will be this year’s Catholic Women for Christ.  This conference will have the same basic format as the Catholic Men for Christ Conference. It, too, will be at the Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL. The doors open at 8:30 A.M. and the conference will conclude with Mass for the First Sunday of Lent at 4:00 P.M. Prices: $40.00 October 16 – January 31; $45.00 February 1 – March 8; $50.00 at the Door/Day-Of; $15.00 Student. To register, visit www.catholicwomenforchrist.org or call the Touhill box office at 314.516.4949. For information, call 314.792.7183.

Following those two conferences will be two ACTS retreats, one for men and the other for women. Please mark your calendars NOW for these two very important spirit-filled events. The Men’s ACTS retreat will be Thursday night to Sunday, early afternoon, April 11-14, 2019. The Women’s ACTS retreat will be Thursday night to Sunday, early afternoon, September 5 – 8, 2019. Both of these retreats will be at the Pallottine Renewal Center in Florissant. It’s a beautiful setting and a very spiritual time can be had by all! There will be a LOT more information forthcoming.  BUT this way you have the dates. If you haven’t been on an ACTS retreat, please consider it now for this coming year!

End of Year statements: With the new tax law it seems that there will be less itemized deductions for Calendar Year 2018. If you still need an “end of year” statement we will be happy to provide one for you. Please call or write Patty Greaves, 314.434.4211, ext 330, or [email protected], and we will get one out to you. Thank you ALL for your generous donations to our parish.

Again, please have a great last week of the Christmas Season and a very holy and blessed 2019.

Faithfully yours,

Fr. Joe Weber