Praying and Giving Together this Christmas
We find ourselves journeying through a most uncommon Advent season. Despite the unique challenges presented by our current circumstances, our gaze remains fixed upon Christ.
These weeks leading to Christmas are a special time in which we prepare for our King, Jesus Christ, to be born anew in our hearts. This year, we are invited in a very special way to imitate the humility and trust of our Blessed Mother. In St. Luke’s narrative of the Annunciation, Mary responds to the angel Gabriel with the words, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38).” We pray that, like Mary, we may be filled with courage to say yes even though we do not fully understand what will unfold before us.
Over the past couple of months, our parish has been living in confusing and challenging times. Like Mary, we have found our strength by embracing the Lord to carry on. And with the Holy Spirit guiding us, our Our Lady of the Wayside family continues to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ for one another and our surrounding community.
Our parish has adapted new ways to serve our community during these trying times by livestreaming masses and sacraments; facilitating virtual and live (with proper social distancing) meetings for our ministries and councils; expanding digital and social communications to keep our parishioners connected; providing wellness checks of our most vulnerable parishioners, and more. And we joyfully – and safely – celebrate Mass and the sacraments in our church thanks to the time and effort of so many staff and volunteers. To those of you who give so much of yourselves, thank you. You make it possible to worship together and serve together.
At the same time, with limitations on Mass attendance, our collections continue to suffer on a weekly basis. We have experienced a 20% drop in weekly collections, compared to this time last year. The contributions of parishioners at Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses constitute a sizable portion of our annual budget to fund vital ministries and areas of operation for our parish.
Therefore, I humbly ask you to prayerfully consider making a one-time Christmas gift to ensure that our parish ministries and operations can continue into the new year. You can send your gift to our parish office, or by simply clicking HERE to give electronically. If you are unable to make a financial gift, I ask that you continue to pray for our OLW family.
I also invite you to give of your time to the extent you are able. We need additional volunteers to assist with Masses given the necessity to register, usher and clean the building, thus ensuring everyone’s safety. To volunteer, please click HERE.
Please know that you are a gift to our OLW family. Your presence, whether in spirit or in person, mean more to our local Church than you can imagine.
May the Lord be with each one of you during the Advent and Christmas seasons. I continue to pray for you and ask that you continue to pray for me.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!