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Dear Friends in Christ:

 

Happy Epiphany!

 

Epiphany Blessing of the Family Home 

 

On Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of Epiphany.  The Church commemorates Our Lord’s “revelation “or “manifestation” to all the Gentiles with the arrival the Magi in Bethlehem. It is one of those feasts that certainly captures our imagination and there are many traditional Catholic customs associated with the arrival of the Wise Men in Bethlehem to adore the Christ Child.

 

One of the most important is the annual blessing of the family home and the “chalking” of the door. I will be blessing chalk at our three Sunday Masses and distributing the prayers so that you will be able to bless your home this Sunday. After gathering at the front door and asking for God’s blessing on your home & then sprinkling all the rooms with Holy Water (some families also incense each room), there is “chalking” over the front door with the inscription:

 

                                    20+C+M+B+24

 

The number 20 being the millennium and century, the initials of the Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar and 24 standing for the decade and year. It is also popularly believed that the Kings’ initials stand for “Christus mansionem Benedict” (“Christ bless this house). The annual Epiphany Blessing of the family home is another beautiful Catholic custom to celebrate in the “domestic church” of your family home.

 

Supporting Christians in Bethlehem

 

As you know, there was a parish pilgrimage scheduled for March to the Holy Land. A significant part for the pilgrimage, cancelled due to the war, was three nights in Bethlehem and praying at the site where Our Lord Jesus Christ was born. A picture of the silver 14-pointed star marking the actual location where Christ was born is below. I have been in touch with some of the people I met while on sabbatical last Spring in the Holy Land and things are very dire for Christians living in Bethlehem. It has always been a struggle for Christian families in Bethlehem but due to the war and pilgrims not being able to travel to the Holy Land the situation is very bleak. 

 

Th parish will be making a contribution to help Christians in Bethlehem. It will be sent to the local Franciscan pastor of the Catholic Church in Bethlehem, Fr. Rami Asakrieh, to help the families of the parish who are most in need. If you like to add to this contribution, please drop it the collection basket at Sunday Mass either this week 6/7 January or for next week, 13/14 January. More information about the parish may be found here: bethlehem.parish.org  Thank you for your generosity!

Christmas Thank You!

 

As the Christmas Season comes to a close, I want to thank all those who contributed to make our Christmas Masses so beautiful and inspiring. Much work goes on behind the scenes in preparation for Christmas. I know you join me in thanking our parish choir, altar servers and liturgical minister and church decorators and parish staff. The Masses were truly beautiful!

 

Priest Convocation and daily Mass schedule 15-19 January 

 

Bishop Fabre and the priests of the Diocese will be attending the Priests Convocation the week of January 15th. Therefore, there will be no daily Masses or Confessions next week. Adoration will take place Wednesday 17 January from 9am and until 7pm with Benediction.

May you and your families know the peace and joy of the Christ Child throughout the New Year!

 

Msgr. Steven Brovey

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SEAS new Bible Study for all Parishioners 

begins Monday, January 8th

 in the Social Hall at 10:15 AM. 

For more information, please contact MaryBeth Culross at 864-354-1815.

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