WEATHER RELATED CLOSURES: I am writing this immediately following the well done Queens School Christmas Program. Good job kids! Right now, it is just raining. We can’t know exactly when the temps will drop and the snow will start or how much there will be. As a precautionary measure, the Divine Mercy Adoration Chapel will close at Midnight tonight and remain closed until 9:00pm tomorrow evening Friday December 23rd. There will be NO Open Doors Disciples Ministry on Friday.
Mass at 9am on Friday will still go on. Please be safe for those who choose to venture out.
COMMUNITY WIDE CHRISTMAS DINNER: We still need many more people to volunteer to help with the Queens Community Wide Christmas Dinner. If there’s any chance you can help with set up, serving or clean up, please call 517.414.4438 or better yet, use the Sign Up Genius Link:
We especially need help with greeters for the meal itself. We only have two so far. Be a friendly face to welcome our honored guests to Queens. Look for ‘GREETERS’ on the Sign Up Genius.
CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN: Make Your plan now for getting to Christmas Mass at Queens this weekend. The Boy Scouts will be directing parking in the lot on Saturday Christmas Eve beginning at 2:00pm. That is when the church will be unlocked. There is no saving of seats with coats, purses and scarves. Ushers will be asked to remove such items to free up seating in Church. If your family wants seats, they need to come and claim them. There is overflow seating in Vincentian Hall for the 4pm Mass. We still have the second Christmas Eve Mass at 4:15pm in the Queens School Gym. At 11:30pm Christmas Eve, the Choir will begin caroling as a prelude to the Midnight Mass. Livestreams will be turned on for the 4pm, Midnight and 11am Masses.
WELCOME HOME: The Queens Staff and parish family offer a warm welcome and Merry Christmas to all those who have come home to Jackson and to Queens to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Many people move away as needs dictate, but Queens will always be home. For those who are visiting, we hope you feel the warmth and love of our parish and that you will join us as often as you can.
UNTO US IS BORN A SAVIOR WHO IS CHRIST THE LORD: At a time in history when so many people have turned away from God and His Church and there is so much strife, unrest and uncertainty in our country and the world, Christmas is a time for calm and heavenly peace. Christmas reminds us of when we were young, of better days past and future, and this gives us the ability in the present to carry on. As Christians, we are called upon to keep the spirit of Christmas and the joy of our savior’s birth everyday throughout the year.
The Angelus Prayer, a one thousand year-old devotion that is recited each day at noon and 6:00pm, encouraging people to recall twice each day the miracles surrounding the Incarnation and the Birth of Jesus. That is why the ringing of Church bells at these hours is of such historical significance. Farmers and factory workers could hear these bells and they knew it was time to stop and pray, and it was always about Jesus becoming one of us.
THE ANGELUS PRAYER
℣. The Angel of the LORD declared unto Mary,
℟. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary . . .
℣. Behold the handmaid of the LORD.
℟. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary . . .
℣. And the Word was made flesh.
℟. And dwelt among us. (Bowing slightly.)
Hail Mary . . .
℣. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
℟. That we might be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that, we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. ℟. Amen.
Perhaps you and your family can make this prayer part of your daily devotions as a means of keeping the spirit of Christ and his birthday with us everyday all throughout the year.The mysteries of our faith are all carefully woven together to. Mary is conceived without sin so she can become the sinless Mother of God. Because she was sinless she did not die and therefore was assumed body and soul into heaven. Jesus was born of Mary so that he might die for us. He died that he might rise from the dead and share that gift with all who believe.
At Creation, God made us to be like Him. At Christmas, God chose to become one like us so we could be restored to the image and likeness of God. It’s Jesus’ birthday but we are the ones receiving the gifts. Jesus is the greatest gift of Christmas. In a world and a society so increasingly against the Bible, the Church and the values we profess, we must never lose sight of the great love God has shown us and the faith that keeps us close to Him. Please fight the urge to pack everything away and erase any sign of Christmas before the season officially ends on Monday January 9th with the Baptism of the Lord.
HAPPY NEW YEAR: Mary, the Mother of God is celebrated each year on January 1st to start the New Year. In 2023, January 1st falls on Sunday so we will observe Our Lady’s feast day at the Sunday Masses which will be celebrated at their regularly scheduled times. January 1st is also The World Day of Prayer for Peace. We will ask Our Lady’s intercession to end the wars of this world and the hatred that creates them.
JACKSON CATHOLIC SCHOOLS 50/50 RAFFLE: The raffle tickets are finally here. They will be on sale until mid-January. A $100 ticket enrolls you in 11 monthly drawings. Two winners will be picked each month. The prize is usually somewhere around $2,000-$2,500 per winner but that is solely dependent on how many tickets are sold. Cash, check, credit and debit cards are accepted and tickets can be purchased at any Jackson parish or Catholic school office. Give someone some luck to kick off the New Year, all while supporting keeping Catholic education in Jackson accessible, affordable and exceptional.
Queens Parish Office now has holiday office closures. The parish office will be closed tomorrow 12/23 and 12/26, 12/30, 1/2. Please come see us from 8-4:30pm on 12/27 – 29. For pastoral emergencies, call 517.783.2740.
May you and your family have a very blessed and Merry CHRISTmas!
Fr. Tim MacDonald