St. Bridget’s Parish Location: St. Francis, SD Sunday Mass: 9:00 AM Pastor: Fr. John Hatcher, S.J. St. Francis Mission Phone: 605.747.2361 Parish Administrator: Mr. Tony Lusvardi, S.J. Assistant Pastor: Fr. Jim Michalski, S.J. Saint Charles Mass Sunday: 11:30AM Saint Thomas the Apostle Masses Sunday: 9:00AM
Reconciliation: Sundays, 20 min prior to Mass Daily Mass This Week Tuesday: See back page Wednesday: 12:00 PM, St. Charles Thursday: 12:00 PM, St. Bridget
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><December 23rd, 2012<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Welcome to the celebration of The Fourth Sunday of Advent!
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Engaging the Word
We are only two days away from the arrival of our Lord and Savior. As we reach the end of this Advent season, take some time to think about the spiritual growth that has occurred in a few short weeks.
1st Reading: Micah 5:1-4a~ 2nd Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10~ Gospel: Luke 1:39-45
Today is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. The countdown to Christmas is nearly over. The Gos- We must remember that Advent is not the only time we should be pel today tells the story of the Visitation of the preparing our hearts and souls for God. Virgin Mary to her cousin, Elizabeth, which is the Our work does not end here, and neither does Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. After the our joy. Christ wants us always to be ready for angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce that Him to knock at the door of our hearts. Will we she would give birth to Jesus, Mary set out to visit answer this call? her cousin Elizabeth, who was about six months pregnant with John the Baptist. God chose Let us pray that we discover a new joy and Mary—young, uneducated, and not yet married— hope this Christmas season that will stay with as the woman to bear His son. Mary was not famous and lived in a poor, tiny village. Yet her hu- us not only for the next few days or weeks, but also for the remainder of our lives. mility, purity of heart, and simple, trusting faith allowed Jesus to enter her life—and the world. Elizabeth recognized the blessing that was coming to her and her house through Mary. Through Mary, Jesus also comes to us to set us free from the prison of sin. We share Elizabeth’s joy every time we say the “Hail Mary” and repeat her words, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” Mary is both virgin and mother, both a humble peasant and the Queen of heaven. Any time we pray the rosary, we see Jesus through her humble, faithful eyes. Any time we say YES to God, we follow in her footsteps and allow Jesus to enter the world.
Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist John was one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. He had a very close and unique relationship with Jesus; he was one the three apostles to witness Jesus’ transfiguration and agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and he sat next to Jesus at the Last Supper. Five books in the New Testament are associated with St. John—the Gospel of John, three letters, and the Book of Revelation. We can’t be sure, however, whether he wrote all of these himself or whether they were written by his followers. The Gospel of John contains such memorable episodes as the wedding at Cana and the raising of Lazarus. Because of his soaring theology, the eagle is the symbol attached to Gospel of John. At times, the Gospels show John’s flaws; he and his brother, James, are scolded by Jesus when they ask Jesus to punish inhospitable Samaritans with raining fire. Despite his flaws, John was able to build a special relationship with Christ, one that allowed him to capture Christ’s glory more than any other Gospel writer. We celebrate his feast day on December 27.
Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. The Concluding Rites In this final part of the Mass, we stand and mirror the beginning of the Mass by making the Sign of the Cross as the Priest blesses us in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It was custom in ancient days to formally close an assembly, and, thus, early Christians felt the need to do the same. The Priest then dismisses us, saying “Go forth, the Mass is ended.” The word “Mass” comes from the word Missa, meaning “sending” or “dismissal.” Like Jesus, who was sent to offer his life as a sacrifice for our sins, we are sent forth to spread the mysteries of Christ in the world.
Announcements Christmas Eve Mass Schedule St. Agnes Church (Parmelee) Monday, December 24 4:00PM Christmas Mass Schedule St. Charles-Midnight Mass St. Bridget’s-11:00AM Christmas Morning with Bishop Robert Gruss
Marriage Matters Workshop A workshop on developing communication skills for a strong and loving Christian marriage will be held on January 12, 2013 at St. John the Baptist Church in Custer from 9AM-3:30PM. Cost is $50 per couple and pre registration is required. Call Catholic Social Services at 605-348-6086 or toll free at 1-800-727-2401, or email email@example.com.
Prize Bingo Saturday, January 5 St. Bridget’s Parish (Rosebud) 4-7PM Saturday, January 12 St. Charles Parish (St. Francis) 4-7PM *Prize Donations Needed!*
Next Sunday’s Readings 1st Reading: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14 2nd Reading: Colossians 3:12-21 Gospel: Luke 2:41-52