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1 ST. THOMAS AQUINAS Roman Catholic Church 8320 Old C.R. #54 New Port Richey, FL Phone Web Page: Pastor: Rev. Michael Lydon Associate Pastor: Rev. George P. Varkey Deacon: Rev. Mr. Melvin Dunphy STA Early Childhood Center: ; Bishop Larkin Catholic School (K-8): ; Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School: The Fourth Sunday of Advent - December 18, 2016 NEXT WEEK S GOSPEL LUKE 2:1-14 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. Learning, Living and Sharing the Good News

2 Mass and Devotions Schedule Saturday Vigil: 4:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. Sunday: 7:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. (Contemporary) and 5:00 p.m. (LifeTeen ) Daily Mass: 8:00 a.m. Monday-Friday Healing Mass: 7:00 p.m. Monday (September - June) Holy Rosary after 8:00 a.m. Mass, Mon-Fri, in Blessed Sacrament Chapel Marian Novena after 8:00 a.m. Mass on Tuesdays Benediction & Adoration: 1st Fridays 8:30 10:00 a.m. (September May) Reconciliation: Saturday 2:30-3:30 p.m. or by appt. Parish Information Office hours 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. Monday-Friday, Sunday mornings. Call for information. Phone: (727) Fax: (727) Website: Emergency Number for Anointing of the Sick: Nights & Weekends (727) Prayer Line Marilyn Clausen (727) Administration Business Office Fax: (727) Pastoral Ministries Coordinator: Mary Miller Ext 111 Parish Bookkeeper: Cherise Amundson Ext. 115 Bulletin Editor: Kate Ext. 113 Parish Ministry Faith Formation Team Leader Sue Sferra Ext. 132 Faith Formation Assistant Denise Santos Ext. 112 Middle School (Edge) Sue Sferra Ext. 132 High School (Life Teen) - Beth DeBella and Cliff Stodden Ext. 131 RCIA Sue Sferra Ext. 132 Music - Dan O Hara Ext. 128 Parish Nurse, Ministry to the Sick & Homebound Betty West Ext. 116 Sacristan - JoAnn McVeigh Ext. 129 Stewardship Mary Ellen Taylor Ext. 144 St. Vincent de Paul Society Ext. 142 STA Early Childhood Center Alicia Mumma, Director (727) Food Pantry: Monday & Thursday 9:30-11:00am & 1:30-3:30pm Gift Store: Open before/after weekend Masses Parish Library: Open during office hours and during Coffee & Donuts fellowship hours Sept. - May After 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Masses Readings for the Week of Dec. 18, 2016 Sunday: Is 7:10-14/Ps 24/Rom 1:1-7/Mt 1:18-24 Monday: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25a/Ps 71/Lk 1:5-25 Tuesday: Is 7:10-14/Ps 24/Lk 1:26-38 Wednesday: Song of Songs 2:8-14/Ps 33/Lk 1:39-45 Thursday: 1 Sm 1:24-28/1 Sm 2/Lk 1:46-56 Friday: Mal 3:1-4, 23-24/Ps Lk 21:28/Lk 1:57-66 Saturday: Morning: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Ps 89/ Lk 1:67-79 Christmas: Is 9:1-6/Ps 96/Titus 2:11-14/Lk 2:1-14 Weekend Readings are at (727) Mass Intentions Monday 8:00 a.m. Robert Napolitano & Michael Kerin Tuesday 8:00 a.m. Bernardette Plourde Wednesday 8:00 a.m. Vocations Thursday 8:00 a.m. Charles Irvine Friday 8:00 a.m. Alfred Bereche Saturday 4:00 p.m. Church: Herbert Herm & Family 4:00 p.m. Hall: William & Bertha Pitt 6:00 p.m. Church: Estelle Young 11:00 p.m. Church: Mary & Emory Salmay Sunday 7:00 a.m. The Knapik & Dubczak Families 8:30 a.m. Marge Monticello 10:30 a.m. Dianne Tosh CHRISTMAS FLOWERS If you wish to make a flower donation for Christmas in memory of a loved one, please put your donation in the collection basket during Mass in the envelope from your envelope packet or in an envelope marked Christmas Flowers. Thank you!

3 Mon.12/19 Tues. 12/20 Wed. 12/21 Thurs. 12/22 Fri. 12/23 Sat. 12/24 Sun. 12/25 Parish Calendar 7PM Cub Scouts; 7PM Venture Crew 9AM Ladies Guild Rosary Makers; 10AM Bereavement Grp; 6:30PM Life Teen Core Team; 7PM Cont. Choir 9AM Legion of Mary; 10AM SVDP Mtg; 10AM ECC Prayer Service; 7PM Choir Parish Office is Closed; 8PM AA-Al-Anon Christmas Eve! MERRY CHRISTMAS! Advent Communal Penance Services Celebrate the gift of God s forgiving love as we prepare our hearts for Christmas. Please see the schedule below for our surrounding parishes: St. Michael the Archangel Monday, Dec. 19th at 7:00 pm St. Vincent DePaul Thursday, Dec. 22nd at 4pm St. Thomas Aquinas Christmas Mass Schedule Christmas Eve: 4:00 pm in Church and Parish Center 6:00 pm in Church 11:00 pm in Church Christmas Day: 7:00, 8:30 and 10:30 am all in the Church There is no 5:00 pm Mass on Christmas Day My Dear Parishioners, Todays readings call us to have an openness of mind and spirit a willingness to see all the wonderful possibilities God has available to us if we just listen to him. Our faith can and should be a source of great hope, joy and peace. It s up to us to embrace, nurture and truly live it each and every day. Please note that our Christmas Mass Schedule is a bit different this year: Christmas Eve at 4:00pm in the parish center and church, all remaining masses in the church at 6:00pm, 11:00pm (Christmas Carols at 10:30). Christmas Day at 7:00am, 8:30am and 10:30am. We moved Midnight Mass to ll:00pm to accommodate more of your requests for an earlier service. As we prepare to welcome all of our Christmas visitors, please hold close to our tradition of being a welcoming parish. So many people are looking for a faith home, and the number one priority of seekers as determined by a very comprehensive, nationwide poll was feeling welcomed. Smile, move over in the pew, be tolerant of little ones knowing we are all members of the Body of Christ. God bless you, Father Mike Pastor s Letter

4 GOOD NEWS STORY November 18, 2016 Reverend Michael Lydon St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church 8320 Old C.R. 54 New Port Richey FL Dear Reverend Lydon: Greetings and prayers from the Pastoral Center. On World Mission Sunday, your parish community joined with Catholics throughout the world to celebrate the hope that saves - the hope that is our Lord Himself. And they fulfilled, in prayer and sacrifice, the Lord s command to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. This is a vital step in making the ongoing connections among the faithful regarding the Pope s missionary works. Thank you for the World Mission Sunday contribution of $1, from the generous parish family of St Thomas Aquinas, New Port Richey. I am most grateful to you for encouraging the missionary spirit of prayer and sacrifice among your parish family. Know that you and they remain in my prayers and in the prayers of the people of the Missions. As we carry on the missio Ad Gentes of the Church, may God bless you and all those in your care. With kind regards and best wishes, I am Fraternally and gratefully in Christ, Fr. Paul Kochu FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION CONCERT AND RAFFLE We are preparing for our third annual Free Wheelchair Mission concert and are working hard to make it the best ever. WE NEED YOUR HELP. If you own a business or know someone who does, we need Ads for our concert program. These range in price from $60 to $750. We are also developing a brand new RAFFLE BLOWOUT. Our plan is to offer huge prizes made up of merchant product donations, gift certificates and discounts. We already have a $ Amazon Gift certificate and are looking to have lots more! Please contact: MARIE AND BOB GEORGE at for more information. All of our concert proceeds go to Free Wheelchair Mission because we believe that no one should have to crawl.

5 OPLATKY The traditional Polish wafer used on Christmas Eve is now available in the Parish Office and our Gift Shop. The price is $2.00 per envelope. THE FAITH FORMATION MINISTRY NEEDS YOU!!! God does not call the qualified He qualifies the called!!! Catechists / Volunteers WE STILL NEED WILLING HEARTS TO SERVE IN THIS IMPORTANT MINISTRY!!! Contact the Faith Formation Office for more info! Life in the Spirit Seminar Presented at St Thomas Aquinas Parish By the Prayer Group January 9 th thru February 13 th Monday Evenings at 7:00 PM The Life in the Spirit Seminar is a chance to EXPERIENCE God and the Holy Spirit in our lives. Each of us has a relationship with God. We all know who He is and what great things He can do but have you actually felt Him in your life? We were all given gifts by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and Conformation, but how many of us use these gifts to improve our lives and the lives of our family, church and community? The life in the Spirit Seminar is designed to help us yield to the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This is all in the hope of establishing, reestablishing, or deepening a personal relationship with Jesus. So if you are looking for an exciting experience, then look forward to a six-week journey with the Holy Spirit. The Life in the Spirit Seminar will help to deepen your personal relationship with God and awaken the Holy Spirit within. More Info to Come Soon.

6 Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (adapted for youth) DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE who may be hearing the whisper of God s call to Catholicism? The RCIA is a beautiful process and a journey worth taking! Don t get caught up in the terminology, but share this explanation of the process with anyone who may be interested have them reach out to us with the Holy Spirit s guidance, we will do the rest! RCI(A) and adapted for Youth: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is for unbaptized adults, adults baptized another Christian faith (or those baptized Catholic, with no subsequent catechesis or sacraments) - AND adapted for youth older than 7 who are not baptized and/or older Catholic children who are baptized, but have not been catechized (instructed) or received First Eucharist. Catechumens (those not yet baptized) are sent forth from the Mass following Gospel / Homily for a celebration of weekend readings, breaking open the Word of God. Sponsors / Parents / Spouses remain in full Mass participation. Separate weekly catechetical (instructional) sessions are offered (age appropriate classroom break outs). Sponsor / Parent / Family participation is vital to this process - and will be highly encouraged (along with family mentors from within the parish community). Contact the parish office for more information. FREE INCOME TAX PREPARATION United Way, the IRS and AARP sponsor free income tax preparation for elderly, low and moderate-income taxpayers from the end of January through April 17 th. Volunteers who are comfortable using a computer are needed to help prepare simple returns. Training provided. For more info or to volunteer, call or send an to For an appointment to have your taxes prepared, please call after Jan. 17 th. From our Diocesan Office Thank you for the kindness and generosity you have shown to your Parish and Diocese during the 2016 calendar year. The Pastoral Center will be closed from noon Dec. 23, 2016 and will reopen at 8:30 am on Jan. 3, All mail received in the Pastoral Center on or before Dec. 30, 2016 will be processed and credited to your 2016 calendar year donation. If you would like donations to be credited to 2016, they must be received in the Pastoral Center prior to Dec. 30, All mail received in our office after Dec. 30 th will be credited to the 2017 tax year regardless of the postmarked date. We recommend you contact your tax advisor if you have any questions regarding charitable contributions. We wish you all a very blessed Thanksgiving & Christmas Season!

7 Faith Formation For All! The Formation Staff of St. Thomas Aquinas is privileged to serve with and for you The Fourth Sunday of Advent Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory. From Psalm 24 Family Connection One of the challenges of faith is to recognize God's plan for us and to be open to God's will for us. Filled with God's grace, Joseph & Mary model for us the kind of faith that is needed to really live out God's plan. Like them, we are given a great opportunity to partner with God in His plan! On this final Sunday of Advent, our Gospel invites us to think about if and how our preparations for Christmas have made us more aware of God's grace working in our lives - and just how much we are willing to place our trust in Him. Read Matthew 1: together as a family. This Gospel tells the story of Jesus birth from Joseph s perspective. Imagine the amount of trust Joseph needed in that moment, and in the moments to follow! Grace is probably best understood in terms of a relationship. We can t really measure a relationship (or at least we shouldn t, right?). We can (and should) see our relationships as gifts that support us, stand for us, even nourish us. Grace is a gift of God, given to us free of charge - we can t earn it, we don t deserve it but it s ours! We receive it in a special way through the sacraments. And we are in a constant state of grace when we are in a healthy relationship with God being open to His will and trusting Him! What have you been doing during Advent to become more aware of God s grace? How has this helped you better prepare for Christmas? Remember the three-fold way to prepare To celebrate the birth of Jesus over 2000 years ago - To welcome Jesus when He comes again - To welcome Jesus into our hearts each and every day. Pray as a family that God's grace will allow you to be more open and willing to trust in His plan and be prepared well! SUNDAY MORNING & WEDNESDAY EVENING FORMATION SESSIONS will be on Christmas Break now until week of 1/08 K-5 No Weekly Formation Sessions on campus until the New Year refer to your family calendars for specific schedules. Life Teen Christmas Party TONIGHT 12/18!!! We call the great mystery of Christmas Day (December 25th) the Incarnation (the word means to take on flesh ) and that mystery changes everything! On Christmas morning, in between the gift giving take a good look at your Nativity Scene. Through the birth of that tiny baby in the manger, the gift we receive is the face of God! We need to share THAT gift with others. How? By showing the loving, forgiving, encouraging face of God to everyone we meet., through our own words & actions. Merry Christmas!!!

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