Father Carey’s Pastor’s Corner

(Week of 12/03/2023)

My Dear Friends,

This weekend, we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. We begin another new liturgical year and, as the Church reminds us, another Year of Grace. Throughout this holy season, we will reflect upon Our Lords’ coming at the end of time, His coming at Christmas & hopefully, His coming truly into our hearts. To help you enter this season more fruitfully, we are once again providing Advent meditation books at the doors of the church. We invite you to take one home so that you might reflect each day on the meaning of this season.

The timeless message of Advent is an invitation and it also a challenge to us. We are called to be looking forward, to be ready, to be prepared and we are asked to “watch and wait” in joyful hope. Waiting is not something that we are usually good at in our modern times. The world tells us to move faster in so many ways. We have smart phones, emails and microwave ovens that all “help” us to get through our busy days. However, Advent asks each of us to do the very opposite. During these sacred days of preparation, we are being asked to take some time to be still and silent as we prepare ourselves deeply for Christ’s coming at Christmas. While we can’t simply ignore the shops, the media and the advertisements over the next few weeks, neither can we ignore the words and message of Jesus in today’s Gospel; “Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come… what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!”

If we get too caught up in the shopping and spending, there is the danger that we will miss what Advent is really about. This is what the call to “stay awake” means. We are asked not to miss the next four weeks of Advent. We are asked to prepare and get ready spiritually in our hearts as best we can as followers of Jesus. It would be so sad, that if after the shopping and all the other preparations we missed out on the gift of the Advent season and its joyful and hopeful message. As the Church celebrates another “Year of Grace”, may we enter into Advent (this new year of grace) wisely and thus be prepared for Christ at all times. My prayer is that you and your families will have a spiritually fruitful & blessed Advent.

Just as a reminder, throughout the season of Advent, confessions will be heard every Tuesday evening from 7 PM – 8 PM. Likewise, confessions will be available at the usual time each Saturday after-noon from 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM. In addition, on Tuesday, December 12th OLA will host its annual Joint Advent Penance Service at 7:00 PM. Each year we join together with St. Katherine of Siena Parish to celebrate this great Sacrament of mercy. We invite you and your families to participate especially as we prepare our hearts for His coming at Christmas.

We encourage you to take tags home from our Giving Trees to remember the poor and needy at this special time of year. As we do every year, we are once again collecting for the PREP families in need at St. Patrick’s Parish in Norristown, PA. Gifts tags on the trees include opportunities to donate gift cards as well as various types of warm clothing for winter, etc. You may return the gift (unwrapped and with the tag attached) to the church vestibule or in the Giving Room. Please return all gifts by Sunday, December 10th as they will be delivered to St. Patrick’s on the following Monday. We thank you for your generosity to the poor and needy especially at this time of year.

This coming Monday, December 4th the priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will gather together with Archbishop Perez for our Annual Day of Sanctification for Priests. The day will consist of adoration, time for confession and several spiritual talks. I would ask you to please keep all of our priests in your thoughts and prayers that day so that our time spent together will help us to grow deeper in holiness, renewing in our hearts the gift and mystery of the holy Priesthood.

All are invited to our Walking with Purpose Advent Evening of Reflection,Jesus Be Born In Me” on Wednesday, December 6th at 6:30 p.m. in Assumption Hall. For more information and to register, please check the homepage of the OLA website.

I thank all of those who have already responded so generously to this year’s Annual Appeal. As of this writing we have reached $57,555. If you have not returned your contribution as of yet, I kindly invite you to do so. Once again, I offer heart-felt thanks to all of you for doing whatever you can, within your means, to support OLA. Be assured of my continued prayers for you and your families as we enter this most holy season of Advent. Have a great week!

Love and Prayers,
Father Carey