Family Matters. Welcome to our Parish! HOLY FAMILY PARISH 777 Valetta St., London, ON N6H 2Y9. December WEBSITE:

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1 Family Matters December 2017 Welcome to our Parish! WEBSITE: PH. # (519) FAX # (519) HOLY FAMILY PARISH 777 Valetta St., London, ON N6H 2Y9 OFFICE HOURS Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 12 :00 noon and 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. SUNDAY MASS Saturday 5 pm Sunday 8:30 am 10:30 am 6:30 pm WEEKDAY MASS Tuesday 6:30 pm Wednesday to Friday 10:00am

2 Christmas Eve 4:30 PM. - Children s & Family Choir 6:30 PM - Contemporary Choir 8:30 PM - Praise & Worship 11:00 PM - Traditional Choir Christmas Day 8:30 AM - Family Mass Singers 10:30 AM - Praise & Worship 5:00 PM 8:30 AM 10:30 AM 5:00 PM 10:00 AM Note one Mass on January 1 st Saturday, Dec. 2 nd, 9 th, 16 th & 23 rd from 11:00 AM 12:00 PM Tuesday, Dec. 19 th from 7:00 8:30 PM after the 6:30 PM Mass Wednesday, Dec. 20 th from 10:30AM 12:30 PM after the 10:00 AM Mass and from 3:00 PM 4:30 PM Advent Confessions at St. Peter s Cathedral Basilica, 196 Dufferin Ave., London, ON Tuesday, Dec. 12 th with Mass at 7:30 AM followed by Confessions from 8:00 AM. - 7:00 PM Priests from across the city will be available to celebrate the sacrament.

3 CONTENTS December 2017 Family Matters is published on a monthly basis. Feel free to contact us with a story or witness talk, along with pictures by sending it to us at CHRISTMAS LITURGY SCHEDULE 2017 A WORD FROM FR. BOB Christmas Message 2017 ALPHA A Reflection by Rosina Hooper PARISH MISSION SENIORS CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON SACRAMENTS First Reconciliation and First Communion by Pete Doiron The Sacrament of Marriage by the Marriage Preparation Team A WORD FROM OUR BUSINESS MANAGER Hockey Lottery 2018 Income Tax Receipts for 2017 SENIOR S CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON 2017 FAMILY MATTERS DECEMBER

4 A WORD FROM FR.BOB Joy to the world! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing. Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ, Based on Psalm 98, the verses of this popular hymn were written by Isaac Watts, and the music was arranged by George F. Handel, in the early 18 th century. We have been enjoying this beautiful Christmas hymn for well over 200 years. Some might say, indeed an old song but look at those wondrous words. They speak perfectly of the truth of what we celebrate this Christmas and every Christmas. The invisible God of the universe has chosen to become one of us, not because he needed us, but rather because we needed him. So, how is your need for God, your need for Jesus, going these days? Do you feel the need for his coming into your life? What can t you do on your own that needs outside help? Are you humble enough to ask him for what you need? And if he responds to your request, will you make room for him? How can you grow in trust and in faith in him? Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero was the shepherd herd of the people of San Salvador in the mid 1970 s. His country was enveloped in civil war. The military dictatorship was crushing their own people who had no work, no money, no rights, no freedom of speech. And Christians were particularly persecuted.. They and any group or person who would attempt to defend the rights of the poor were and,, are always a target of dictators. Tens of thousands were murdered in the process. How can you murder your own?! Archbishop Oscar Romero, himself, was martyred on o March 24, Isn t this a familiar scenario even today around the world? In I one of his homilies, he wrote, cont d... FAMILY MATTERS DECEMBER

5 ... No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being truly poor The self-sufficient, sufficient, the proud, those who because they have everything, look down on others, those who have no need even of God --for them there will be no Christmas Only the poor, the hungry, those who need someone to come on their behalf, only they t will have that someone That someone is God. Emmanuel. God-with with-us Without poverty of spirit, there can be no abundance of God In the 5 th Chapter of Matthew s gospel, the sermon on the mount, Jesus instructs the crowds about the eternal truths of the kingdom of God. The first of the Beatitudes that he shared was, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.. Those who honestly admit their true need, their poverty, and who come to God with a hungering, humble heart, will be blessed by God more than they could ask or imagine. Hundreds here in the parish who have experienced the grace of the Holy Spirit through Alpha this t year have made this discovery, perhaps, re-discovery! Our Lord has come into the world. He continues to wait for you and for me, to come to him with our needs, in our own poverty. Jesus desires to come to us more than you will ever know. Will you make room for him in your heart, and in your family, and in your life s decisions? May the blessing of your poverty and the joy of his abundance, be yours this Christmas and always. Fr. Bob FAMILY MATTERS DECEMBER

6 by Rosina Hooper Alpha! Our curiosity getting the better of us, Edgar and I signed up for the morning sessions of the Alpha program. We were quite sure it was not really for us but for people who are seeking answers to their questions about how God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit fit in their lives. Well, I know the answer to that for me but I cannot answer for Edgar, he can do that for himself at the appropriate time. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit walk with me in my life and have done so for a very long time. So here I am in Alpha and what do I expect? Well, for the first two weeks it was so-so. I knew most of the people at my table and that made me comfortable with those I did not know and I did enjoy the great lunch that was served. It was so good I didn't have to cook supper that night, so that was a positive. The videos were excellent but they were not meant for me, right? By the third week I began to realize that something could be gained for me spending my time at Alpha. I was able to experience Community and witness the faith of the women who were sharing with me. And the food was good, did I mention that? I also realized that the message of the video always held a nugget that I could take away with me to pray on and adopt into my everyday life. Then came time for the Retreat, well, I was quite sure I did not want to spend my whole Saturday talking to these lovely ladies, watching videos talking about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, whom I know very well and having lunch, as good as it was going to be! After some gentle persuasion from a good friend, Edgar and I decided we would go. Again, I will not talk for him, but as soon as we entered the hall the atmosphere was electric. Both the morning and evening groups were together and we were encouraged to join other participants for our table sessions, so I choose a table with men and a young couple. It was a very good choice as there were different perspectives being offered in discussion and from younger mindsets. After lunch we went upstairs to the church and watched two powerful videos. I felt an even stronger presence of the Holy Spirit and in such an environment it is easy to pray. When it came time to offer those present an opportunity to be prayed with, it was with trepidation I joined Fr. Bob, along with a young man in a praying team. It was a moving experience calling on the Holy Spirit to be present and enter into the hearts of those who came forward to ask us to pray with them. We were deep in prayer and it is not an emotional time of invocation but a spiritual state. In the past I have been leery of people praying with someone, as I was concerned that those praying were just getting carried away in the moment, but I can assure you I was praying and I was praying hard for those standing with us. Come Holy Spirit! At the next session of Alpha, it felt like we were with old friends again and I am sure we will be friends going forward. I had come a long way from feeling just so-so! There is something in the Alpha for everyone, whether it be answers to your questions or that innate feeling of seeking something in your heart. For those of us who know and love Jesus, it rejuvenates us and we come to realize how blessed we are to have our faith and the Holy Spirit to carry us through life in good or bad times. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit love us unconditionally, is the message given in Alpha, so think about experiencing that love. FAMILY MATTERS DECEMBER

7 FAMILY MATTERS DECEMBER

8 The Sacrament of reconciliation by Pete Doiron,, Pastoral Worker Here at Holy Family Parish our young parishioners in grade two have been diligently preparing for their First Reconciliation. They have heard Jesus message of forgiveness that is offered to all those who repent. They have learned through the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son, that if we do lose our way or make the wrong choices we simply have to come to our Lord and savior seeking forgiveness and it will be granted. Father Seejo and I have visited with all the children and seen first-hand in the classrooms of our schools how excited and enthusiastic the children are about receiving this very special Sacrament. Teachers and especially parents have been instrumental in the children s faith journey and preparation for Reconciliation. Over the Remembrance Day weekend we had a wonderful turnout in our Parish Hall for our First Reconciliation Learning Centres where the children and parents continued to learn in a fun and relaxed atmosphere about the Ten Commandments, Examination of Conscience, prayer, the Holy Spirit, forgiveness and penance. Please remember our young parishioners in your prayers as they make their First Reconciliation from Nov. 25 through Dec 17 th th. The Sacrament of Confirmation by Pete Doiron,, Pastoral Worker Holy Family Parish is also excited to acknowledge the preparation of our young adult parishioners in grade eight for the very special Sacrament of Confirmation. Hoping to experience a newly inspired special connection to the Holy Spirit much like the disciples experienced on the day of Pentecost, our grade eights are looking forward to this amazing Sacrament. Before his Ascension into heaven, Jesus had promised his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit to give them strength and wisdom to spread the gospel throughout the world. Candidates have learned about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and how to put these gifts into practice in their daily lives exemplifying the special graces Confirmation provides. Through classrooms visits the candidates have continued to exhibit a new awareness and understanding of Confirmation. Both Candidates and their teachers also experienced an amazing faith filled retreat day back on October 23 rd with N.E.T. Canada Ministries. By the finish of the retreat it was evident that the Holy Spirit was present throughout all activities, songs and prayers. Please keep all our young adult Confirmation Candidates in your prayers as they continue their journey toward the Sacrament of Confirmation that will take place on January 27 th and 28th FAMILY MATTERS DECEMBER

9 Matrimony is a sacrament and as such it is a sign to the world of the invisible God living in our midst - the living God who bears fruit in the lives of two people. They are a continual sign of His power in the world. There is special grace and power within every couple God has joined together. Mother Angelica Here at Holy Family, we have recently made changes to our marriage preparation program, placing more emphasis on helping newly engaged couples not only plan for their wedding day, but more importantly, fostering a supportive environment as they continue to live out the Sacrament of Marriage. Our marriage preparation program is broken down into two key parts: The first part includes five Alpha sessions designed to introduce the basics of the Christian faith through a series of talks and discussions aimed at exploring the meaning of life. This will then be followed by five additional sessions, similar in style to Alpha, but focusing solely on the engagement of two unique and amazing persons planning for marriage. In particular, the discussions cover various topics including communication, commitment, conflict resolution, keeping love alive and shared goals and values. Each week, the session will begin with a meal and will be led by a group of married couples from Holy Family who have volunteered to journey with the newly engaged couples throughout this process. In marriage, we have a calling to share our gifts not only with our spouse, but with the world around us. At Holy Family, we have begun a process of discovery getting to know ourselves and those sitting next to us in the pews. We do hope that the new format of marriage preparation will provide an excellent opportunity for newly engaged couples to make long-lasting connections with other couples and parishioners at our Holy Family community. The Marriage Preparation Team Parish Priests: Fr. Bob Remark & Fr. Seejo John Married Couples: Cesar & Amy Abeid; Raphael & Christina Bahati; Jim & Janet Duketow; and Andrew & Erin Jardine FAMILY MATTERS DECEMBER

10 Hockey Lottery Ticket Draw Jozef Maka We wanted to let you know that tickets will be sold for the draw early in the New Year for a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens! The game is to take place on March 17, 2018 at 7:00PM. As in previous years, this will be an all-inclusive package including hotel stay, transportation and food. Please look for more details on the draw during January 2018! I want to summarize some year end details that parishioners should be mindful of: 1. Envelopes are available for pick-up and can be found in the All Saints Hall. Please contact the staff if you have any issues. 2. Please make sure to issue your final donations before year end. This will ensure that your tax receipt will be up to date. On behalf of the staff, I want to thank everyone that supported the parish in 2017 with their donations. The only reason we are able to serve you is because of your generosity. We pray that 2018 will be even more generous and we trust that the Lord will provide us everything that what we need. God bless you and your family this Christmas Season! FAMILY MATTERS DECEMBER

11 PARISH STAFF (OFFICE ; FR. BOB REMARK (ext n #228) JOZEF MAKA (ext n # 224) Pastor Business Manager FR. SEEJO JOHN (ext n #226) Parochial Vicar DEACON TOM MACLEOD (ext n #264) DEACON HENRY KLING DEACON GEORGE SEBOK HEATHER CUSHING (ext n #260) Pastoral Minister PETE DOIRON (ext n #258) Pastoral Worker /Sacramental Preparation of Children SHEILA O BRIEN (ext n # 222) KELLY WILSON (ext n # 201) Secretaries ANNE SANDERSON (ext n # 229) Bookkeeper STEVE BALDINELLI (ext n # 261) Building & Property Coordinator FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE SEVEN MONTHS ENDED OCTOBER 30, 2017 october Actual Budget Prior Year Revenue Offertory including Easter $ 682,392 $ 683,450 $ 683,277 Ministry Programs and Other $ 78,658 $ 82,180 $ 75,780 Sub-Total $ 761,050 $ 765,630 $ 759,057 Special Collections Revenue $ 79,408 $ 93,800 $ 109,450 Special Collections Expense $ (79,408) $ (93,800) $(109,450) Total Operating Revenue $ 761,050 $ 765,630 $ 759,057 Expenses Compensation $ 439,362 $ 445,255 $ 440,758 Facilities, Ministry, Liturgy $ 241,524 $ 233,580 $ 231,598 Diocesan Assessment $ 94,982 $ 94,950 $ 95,618 Total Operating Expenses $ 786,422 $ 784,355 $ 778,597 Operating Surplus (Deficit) $ (25,372) $ (18,725) $ (19,540) Thank you to all our generous parishioners for your ongoing support! IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE SACRAMENTS OF BAPTISM OR MATRIMONY AT HOLY FAMILY PARISH, PLEASE NOTE THAT IN ADDITION TO PREPARATION, WE REQUIRE THAT YOU GET IN TOUCH WITH US A MINIMUM OF 3 MONTHS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR HOPED-FOR DATE FOR BAPTISM AND ONE YEAR PRIOR TO YOUR DESIRED WEDDING DATE. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BAPTISM, contact Sheila: or ext n # 222. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MARRIAGE, contact Kelly: or ext n # 201. FOR FUNERALS OR FUNERAL PRE-PLANNING, contact Heather: or ext n # 260 Or Kelly: or ext n # 201. DO YOU NEED A PASTORAL REFERENCE LETTER? WE NEED TO KNOW YOU CONTINOUSLY FOR ONE YEAR BEFORE PROVIDING ONE. If you are new to the parish, please introduce yourself to one of our parish staff. If you would like to register, go to FAMILY MATTERS AUGUST 2017 www. holyfamilylondon.ca 7 FAMILY MATTERS NOVEMBER

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