FROM THE PASTOR'S DESK
This weekend is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. It marks the end of the liturgical year and means that Advent begins next weekend! For most of us, this next month is a particularly busy one. We might give some thought as to how we can find some moments for peace and quiet and prayer.
During this week of our National Day of Thanksgiving, let me offer my sincere thanks to each of you for your kindness and support. It is a joy for Fr. Kevin and me to serve with you at St. Alphonsus. This holiday week, please take note of the special schedule. Mass for Thanksgiving will be on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. This is one of my favorite Masses of the year. If you haven’t done so in the past, consider taking a break from your holiday preparations and join us as we give thanks to God. The parish offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, and there will be no morning Mass on those days.
You may recall that Pope Francis has called for an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy to begin on December 8, 2015, when the Holy Father opens the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica, and conclude on November 20, 2016. The Year of Mercy is an invitation for all of us to repent and return to the Lord. We will hopefully experience anew the great love and mercy that the Lord has for us. We are also invited to return to the Sacrament of Penance. Our parish is blessed to have been designated by Archbishop Listecki to have a holy door, as well. You’ll see the Holy Door begin to take shape at the end of the Gathering Space, near the chapel. Look for more information in the weeks to come.
Finally, I want to share a bit of personal news with you. Archbishop Listecki has asked me to pursue a degree in Canon Law. I will do this through a summer school program at The Catholic University of America, while remaining pastor here at St. Alphonsus. The program consists of five summers in Washington, D.C. (June-July), as well as on-line classes throughout the rest of the years while I am back here full-time. This will result in a lot of extra work for me but also some minor adjustments for the parish. I’m confident that working together with Fr. Kevin, our deacons and staff, we can successfully balance the demands of school and parish work. Pray for me!
~Fr. Aaron Esch