Saturday, December 8, 2018

PASTOR'S CORNER

Dear Parishioners,

Advent comes from the Latin word “advenire”…meaning “to come to”. We certainly celebrate that Jesus comes to us in the manger, and indeed in many other ways. But we can’t forget that we have to come to Jesus also! I think we had a wonderful first week of Advent doing just that.

Last weekend I encouraged everyone at Mass to embrace an Advent opportunity. There were some new people at Vespers on Monday evening. It sounded great! And don’t forget, there will be confessions every Monday evening at 5:30PM throughout Advent. Please make a good confession before Christmas. There was one family who lit the wreath at the 9:30AM Mass. Is this something you would want to do with us?

One last Advent opportunity greatly helps the school; The Mingle and Jingle. The first thing we want is YOU! Email emonahan@saintpaulcranston.org or call the school at 941-2030 to reserve a spot. We are also in need of wine bottles and gift certificates to be donated.  There has been a great response so far. I’m looking forward to trying out this new venue at the Imperial Room in Pawtuxet Village. The school is very close to my heart so your participation would mean a lot to me. 
 
 Finally I want to thank you for participating more in the Mass. Peter’s reflection last week and this week encourages us not to passively “watch” Mass happen, but add our own voices. Join me in picking up the missalette and reading the Mass readings, singing the hymns, reciting the Creed, etc. Now that we are moving deeper into this holy season, the opportunities abound. Let’s not miss them!

A blessed Advent,
Fr. Young

Faith Formation News


December Faith Formation Schedule
Classes for grades 1-5 and Confirmation Prep meet on Sunday, December 9th & 16th after the 9:30AM Mass.

Middle School Faith Formation will meet on Monday, December 10th & 17th at 6:45PM in the school auditorium.

Confirmation reminders:
· Our retreat at the Rejoice in Hope Youth Center is NEXT Saturday, December 16th from 10AM to 3:00PM, and we DO meet for class on Sunday the 17th.

-We have been notified by the Office of the Bishop of the date for the Sacrament of Confirmation! Our 10 candidates will be confirmed by Bishop Evans on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 3:00PM at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter & Paul in Providence. A brief rehearsal for candidates and sponsors will take place right here in our own church on Saturday, May 4th at noon.

There are no Faith Formation classes over Christmas and New Year’s weekends. Grades 1-5 and Confirmation Prep classes resume on Sunday, January 6th and Middle School resumes on Monday, January 7th. Merry Christmas to all of our catechists and students!

Advent Opportunities


Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament – Every Monday, the Jesus in the Eucharist is exposed on the altar all day until 6:30PM. Come spend some quiet time with the Lord or just pop in to say hello!

Vespers – Also known as “Evening Prayer”, we pray this together ever Monday evening at 6:15PM. This is the pray-er of the church which means nuns, priests, bishops, missionaries, other parishes, (and even Pope Francis) are all praying the same words!


Advent Confessions – In addition to the usual Saturday confession time of 3:45PM, there will be a priest hearing confession each Monday night during Advent from 5:30PM to 6:15PM. Don’t miss this opportunity to prepare for Christ-mas!


Light the Advent Wreath – Offer yourself and your family to light the Advent Wreath before Mass. See Fr. Young or call the Faith Formation Office. It’s a great way to engage our young parishioners.



Mingle and Jingle



Once again St. Paul School was given New England Patriot Tickets to a game on Sunday, December 30th at 1:00PM vs. the New York Jets donated by Phillips Plumbing & Mechanical (John and Linda Phillips). These raffle tickets are available to be purchased either at the school office or at the Jingle and Mingle night on Friday, December 14th. They are $5 each and include 2 game tickets along with $40 for parking and a gift certificate to the Olive Garden by the Stadium worth $50!
There are only a limited amount of tickets so the odds are good! The drawing will be on Monday, December 17th.
We are also looking for donations of wine bottles for the wine grab! Bottles can be brought to the rectory. Tickets for the Mingle and Jingle can be reserved by emailing Erica Monahan at emonahan@saintpaulcranston.org, or at the rectory or school office.

December Youth Group



It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the Youth Group will gather for an evening of holiday cheer NEXT Sunday, December 16th from 6-8PM in Msgr. Canning Hall. We will decorate gingerbread houses and have a Yankee gift swap! To participate in the swap simply bring a wrapped gift valued at $10 or less. Some favorite gifts from last year were emoji pillows, cozy socks and slippers, candy, and gift cards. Never been to Youth Group before? That’s OK! Invite a friend and come join the fun. The more, the merrier!
 

In Need of a Car



Our seminarian, Peter, is in need of a vehicle during his time here at St. Paul’s. Often, he has to drive to his seminary in Boston for meetings and it has become a financial burden to continue repairing his current car on a seminarian's stipend. (not to mention dangerous!). If you or anyone you know has a reliable car that he could borrow or purchase for a reasonable price, please contact Father Young at the rectory (461-5734). Thank you!

Peter's Ponderings..."I believe in one God..."

So starts the Creed, our profession of faith. Creeds have been around in various forms since the time of the apostles, the most well-known being the Apostles Creed. They serve as a quick summary of faith, a way to easily respond when someone asks what we believe as Christians. Thus, it contains the most essential and important aspects of our faith.

Most creeds are centered around the Trinitarian formula, that is, the belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one God. They include the basics of our salvation, namely the Incarnation of the second person of the Trinity (the Son), who took on our humanity and died for our sins. They also touch on salvation's goal, the gift of eternal life & the resurrection of the dead. These fundamental and core beliefs distinguish Christians from other faiths. Muslims do not believe in the Trinity. Jews do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Hindus do not accept only one God. So, in a way our profession of faith is an affirmation of our identity as a follower of Christ. We boldly proclaim our belief against the promise of Jesus that "whoever denies me before men I also will deny before my Father in Heaven".


Not all peoples have the freedom to profess their faith. There are countries in the world where such a public proclamation could result in severe consequences. And not all Christians have had the legal freedom, both now and throughout history, to express their belief in Jesus Christ and in the Gospel that He taught. We have that opportunity every Sunday. We do not have to be afraid of being found out. We don’t need to worry about punishment, martyrdom, or coercion to reject our faith.


At every single Mass we have the opportunity to profess our faith. Oftentimes, however, we pray it in a bored or disinterested way, or not at all. We have the opportunity to profess our faith, so why not do so?


The word “creed” comes from the Latin word “credo”, or “I believe”. Surrounded by our sisters and brothers, we can boldly and publicly proclaim our belief in Christ. I will be doing so this coming Sunday. I hope I will hear you join me as well!