News and Events

Bulletin December 4, 2016

Altar Candles: The altar candles are burning during the month of December for Julianna and Michael Dolgosh.

Let Us Remember in Prayer those who are ill or convalescing. May our Lord Jesus Christ, the Physician and Healer of souls and bodies, grant them peace and good health for many blessed years.
Please let Fr. Lewis know if anyone should be added or taken away from this prayer list.

Visit Requests: Since I am still new here and still getting to know the congregation, please let me know either in person, email, or over the phone if anyone in our parish is sick in the hospital or is homebound so that I can visit. Or if you yourself are not feeling well and would like either a Sacramental Visit or just a friendly visit from Fr. Lewis. No matter how things may appear, I am not too busy. Also, if anyone is in need of the Sacrament of Holy Anointing, please let me know. Thank you.

Fr. Conan and Our Liturgical Schedule: Because of Fr. Conans injuries and recovery, we will be following a temporary Sunday schedule of services. There will be a substitute for the Arbutus parish for the weekend of Dec. 4th, and for Saint Nicholas day. However, Fr. Lewis will still need to substitute in Arbutus on Dec. 11th. There is a retired bi-ritual priest who is coming from North-East Pennsylvania to cover in Arbutus during the Christmas season until after Theophany. At this time—hopefully Dec. 18th—we can return to our normal weekend schedule for services.

The Phillip’s Fast: The Phillip’s Fast is our period of preparation to receive the new born Baby Jesus into the world and into our hearts. As with any major feast, in order to properly celebrate the feast, we must fast before hand, preparing ourselves with abstinence from certain foods as well as freely and joyfully giving to charitable foundations or the poor. In our Metropolia, there is no additional fasting required, except for the normal abstinence from meat on Fridays that we adhere to all year long. But the faithful are encouraged to add additional penances or fasting because we can always do more. The traditional fast is from all meat and dairy products on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and simple abstinence from meat on Tuesday and Thursday. However, everyone can make their own small tradition. But if we all fast as a congregation for our own spiritual benefit and for the glory of God, then we will be blessed as a parish.

Men’s Retreat in Arbutus: Fr. Lewis was asked by Fr. Conan to give a retreat to the Men’s Group in Arbutus back when he first arrived in the area. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the date had to be pushed until December. The theme for the retreat will be: Action and Devotion: How our actions are symbols of our devotion. This event is sponsored by the Arbutus parish, but is open to all members of the surrounding parishes and missions. In order to thrive as a parish, not simply survive, we will be stronger by our coming together. I highly encourage all men to consider attending this event if your schedules allow.

The Holy Mystery of Repentance: It is paramount for the Christian life to participate in the Mystery (Sacrament) of Repentance (Confession). Catholics are required to confess at least once a year, but are encouraged to confess once a month even if no mortal sins have been committed. We have been cleansed in our Baptism, but we are still human and still fall into sin, this is why each confession is a new baptism, and a new opportunity for us to be cleansed of our sins and to be holy before God. Often in the Gospels, Jesus first forgave people their sins, then He healed them, spiritual healing comes before physical healing. However, it is common for Catholics to withhold this rejuvenation from themselves by not completely confessing their sins. During fasting seasons, it is recommended to avail ourselves of this cleansing and healing that Christ offers us through the Mystery of Repentance. Also, it is recommended to confess to the same person, so that the confessor can help the confessee with their habitual sins.
I have found in my ministry, that it is also important for the parish priest to hear the confessions of his parishioners, so that he knows best what the people are struggling with, and how they specifically need to be shown the love of Christ. This is why I think parishioners should confess to their parish priest specifically, because this is the Christian community they belong to and their local Body of Christ. However, I also remember when I was young, and I was afraid to confess to my parish priest for fear of him knowing my sins. But I encourage all to give away these fears, to let the chains of sin be freed from their souls, and to submit themselves to Christ through their specific parish. This is the faith that we believe and profess, and this is what will keep us strong as a parish family. Christ said, “without me you can do nothing,” indeed, without Christ we cannot engage in the spiritual battle we are faced with in the world.
In addition to the offered times, confession may be scheduled at any time by calling the parish office or Fr. Lewis’ cell phone.

Christmas Food Basket: The Womens Club of Beltsville asked if we could donate hams instead of turkeys for our Christmas Food Basket donations. Aldi’s is having a great sale on hams until Tuesday, Dec. 6th. If you wish to donate please bring your hams to church by Dec. 18th. Since we missed giving turkeys for Thanksgiving, this year let’s make it a great Christmas for the needy

Upcoming Events
Sun. Dec. 4 Our Annual Saint Nicholas Day Celebration
Tues. Dec. 6 Solemn Feast of Saint Nicholas
Thurs. Dec. 8 Solemn Feast of the Maternity of the Holy Anna
Sat. Dec. 17 Men’s Retreat in Arbutus conducted by Fr. Lewis
Sun. Dec. 25 The Nativity of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ
Mon. Dec. 26 Synaxis of the Theotokos