We extend a warm welcome to family members and friends who are visiting from out-of-town for the holidays, and college students who have returned home to rest after a busy semester. On this Christmas weekend, we recall that the holidays are different for those whose loved ones are seriously ill or who have died during 2021, and we keep these families in our prayers in a special way during this time of year.
Over the years I have been impressed time and again at the way our parish responds to needs outside our community. Over the past month our parishioners donated over $33,000 through our Christmas Basket program to make Christmas brighter for 150 families in inner city Baltimore. Imagine that—150 families! These families received gift cards for the purchase of Christmas dinner and gifts for their children. Many thanks to the family of Peg O’Hara who lovingly continues to coordinate this project in her memory.
Deacon Rob Snyder and his wife Karen moved to our area from Pennsylvania in recent years, and after applying through the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Rob was assigned to our parish for ministry as a deacon just last June. Unfortunately, both Rob and Karen have been facing some challenging health issues, and I ask you to keep them in your prayers. Because of this, Rob has been granted retirement status by the deacon personnel board—but he and Karen will continue their involvement as parishioners as much as possible.
Across the country, mental health has been challenged by the pandemic and social divisiveness over the past two years. The Archdiocese of Baltimore has started a workgroup to develop helpful resources for those suffering in this way. Please see the “Mental Health Crisis Management” insert in the bulletin for contact information, and suggestions for dealing with troubled individuals, especially those who may find the holidays to be a more difficult and challenging time.
Still…we sing Alleluia! Merry Christmas!