Dear Beloved Parish Family,
As we joyfully approach the holy season of Christmas, we would like to share some important updates and reminders:
🎄 Christmas Mass Schedule and Holy Days of Obligation in Canada🌟 : Please take special note of our schedule for the 4th Sunday of Advent, Christmas, and New Year's Day (The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God) Mass times. Confessions will be available 30 minutes before each Mass. There is no better way to prepare for Christmas than through the grace of a good confession. Attending Sunday Mass does not replace attending Christmas Mass. Please be aware that Christmas and New Year's Day are Holy Days of Obligation. Let's embrace this sacred time by coming together in worship.
📚 Changes to Missalette Distribution: In our efforts to be responsible stewards of our resources, we will discontinue our large monthly order of daily missalettes. The annual cost for them is $984.23. The good news is that you can easily subscribe to these resources individually at www.novalis.com. We encourage you to explore the missalettes from "Living with Christ," a valuable and accessible tool for personal use. Of course, we will certainly continue to provide our Sunday missals. If you have any questions at all, please always feel welcome to contact the parish office.
🎓 Welcome Seminarian Giuseppe Njualem: Over the holidays we have been invited by Bishop Lobsinger to host seminarian Giuseppe Njualem, who studies at St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ontario. While he is not a seminarian for our own diocese, we warmly welcome him and will make him feel at home during his Christmas break. He will likely arrive shortly before Christmas and return for studies when they begin in the new year.
🕊️ Auxiliary Bishop Lobsinger’s Visit: We are truly blessed to have Bishop Lobsinger, our auxiliary bishop, preside at our 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass. His presence will undoubtedly add to the beauty of our Christmas celebrations. A warm welcome awaits him!
Let us continue to prepare our hearts to welcome the Christ Child with love and joy.
Preparation. We begin this blessed liturgical season of Advent, we journey through a grace-filled time of the year as we prepare our hearts for the joy of Christmas, and the liturgical season of Christmas time - which lasts until the Saturday after the Epiphany. We are invited during Advent to consider some practical ways to prepare our hearts for the Lord’s birth. www.Formed.org has many great resources for you to use to help you enter this liturgical season!
Collection location. I have been asked to note that for those who may not be aware, our Sunday collection basket is currently in the center of the gathering space, where you are welcome to make your offerings before and after Mass. We are so grateful for your generosity that allows us to continue to do so many incredible things here at our parish!
Our RCIA candidates this weekend take a step closer towards becoming Catholic. We pray especially for them this weekend as they become Catechumens. Their rite of acceptance into the order of Catechumens formally welcomes them into a special relationship with the Church as they prepare to become fully initiated members of it. May the Lord continue to pour His blessings upon them!
Liturgical updates from our Diocese. To support a more full, active, and conscious participation in the sacred liturgy (which Vatican II spoke of), and to more fully align with the liturgical norms of the universal Church and of the Diocese of Hamilton, some small changes to our Sunday worship have taken place beginning this Advent. The changes are the result of direction from the Hamilton Diocese’s liturgy office, and they have been evaluated and discussed amongst our own parish’s liturgy committee. May the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary always guide how we worship our good and loving God.
Formed.org is a great website. I’d be so happy and I strongly encourage each person to explore www.formed.org, a fantastic resource for deepening your faith. Consider watching The Search (Season 1), Symbolon, and The Chosen.
I want to give you an update something that comes from our Diocesan chancery office. All parishes in the Diocese of Hamilton are asked to have only two multiple intention Masses each week. The Diocesan norms permit these Masses to be on any day other than Sundays. As a result, and myself having personally touched base with the chancery about this matter, our parish will offer multiple intention Masses on Tuesday night (7 PM) and Saturday night (5 PM) on a weekly basis. I think it is very important that as a parish we act in harmony with the mind of our diocesan bishop and with the rest of our Diocese, to create a family atmosphere of unity and love. Every Sunday we are also required to offer one Mass for the people of the parish (technically called a pro populo Mass, Latin for ‘for the people’). This means we offer Mass each Sunday for all of you, our parishioners! You are being prayed for both in that Mass, and in my personal prayers. Other Masses throughout the week will only be able to have one Mass intention as per our diocesan norms. Please be aware that, as at any Catholic parish, Mass intention dates and times are available on a first come, first served basis. I am thankful for your kind understanding in this regard. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the parish office. We are always very happy to do all we can to accommodate you in this or anything else we can do to serve you! Thank you for your continued support, and may God’s blessings be upon you all.
May God bless you!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
Fr. Greg Merkley
Thank you to everyone who participated in our One Heart One Soul Campaign, Pilot Wave, we have come to an end of our wave. If you haven't decided, there's still time. You may log on to https://www.oneheartonesoul.ca/give .
(Parish: Immaculate Heart of Mary)
We thank you for your support and prayers.
God Bless you
CHRISTMAS MASS & CONFESSION TIMES:
CONFESSIONS beginning half hour before each Mass
CHRISTMAS EVE: 4p.m; 8p.m; 12Midnight;
CHRISTMAS DAY: 9a.m & 11a.m.
NEW YEAR’S EVE: 9a.m; 11a.m; 4p.m
NEW YEAR’S DAY: 9a.m.
PLEASE NOTE: EUCHARISTIC ADORATION CHAPEL
will be closed starting, Saturday, December 23 and will re-open on Monday, January 8 at 10a.m.
You are welcome to stop by and pray in the church
during the weeks the Chapel is closed.