Dear Friends –
Christmas in July! Our parish has been selected by CBS for a national broadcast of a celebration of Christmas on Christmas Eve, December 24th from 11:35pm – 12:35am, known as the Letterman Hour. The invitation was a result of collaborative work by Paulist Press, Paulist Productions, and Busted Halo.
The program will be pre-recorded on Friday, December 6th in the Church. We will be designing a “Lesson and Carols” type program with the assistance of Paulist Productions and Scott Mirkin Productions. Also, we will need to decorate the Church for Christmas beforehand, so we’ll need help right after Thanksgiving to transform the Church – Advent will be muted this year, at least, in décor.
So, please mark your calendars and reserve that Friday evening to be present in the congregation. I am very excited about presenting our amazing and beautiful Church to a national television audience and sharing our faith in Christ, who came to us as a babe in a manger.
There has been a lot of activity in the wider Church. Pope Francis has signed the decrees proclaiming his predecessors, John XXIII (1958-1963) and John Paul II (1978-2005) as new Saints. The canonization has not yet been scheduled, but will likely take place before this current Year of Faith, which concludes on the Feast of Christ the King on November 24th.
The Pope also issued his first encyclical letter, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith) on July 5th. The letter was actually begun by Benedict XVI and Pope Francis completed this reflection on faith for the Year of Faith. Watch for it in the Welcome Center Bookstore.
Pope Francis also made his first apostolic journey of his papacy. During his half-day stay on the Island of Lampedusa, the Pope laid a wreath in the sea to remember the tens of thousands of migrants who have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean, Lampedusa, in Sicily, is at the southernmost tip of Italy, closer to Tunisia. Since the early 2000s, the island has become a primary European entry point for migrants, mainly from Africa. He wanted to draw attention to plight of so many who suffer. He delivered a powerful homily on the “globalization of indifference”. Go to: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/07/08/pope_on_lampedusa:_%E2%80%9Cthe_globalization_of_indifference%E2%80%9D/en1-708541 for the full text of the homily.