I met this past Tuesday with a very faith-filled family who were grieving the death of 49-year-old Melissa Montgomery, whose Mass of Christian Burial is this Friday morning.  “Missy,” as she was called, died suddenly, leaving behind her mother and father, a fiancé (she was recently engaged), two sisters and others who will miss her terribly. Missy was a social worker at Children’s Hospital.  I was edified by the good spirit the family showed while we were preparing the Liturgy and by the care they took in choosing the Scriptures that would be proclaimed.  May Missy rest in peace and her family and loved ones experience her presence still with them.

            Our music minister Stephen Sullivan has prepared the choir for a special “Franciscan Advent Celebration” this Sunday evening, December 8th, at 7:00 p.m. in church. The adult choir has worked very hard preparing “seasonal choral classics,” as the program says, for our inspiration, along with reflective readings. This is Stephen’s first concert at St. Clement; I’m sure he’s anxious that it all work out perfectly. Let’s fill the church in support of him and our choir.

            Monday, December 9th, is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.  Since it has been transferred from Sunday to Monday, it is not a holy day of obligation.  However, it is good to gather to celebrate our mother Mary on this day; for, under this title, she is the patron of the United States of America.  Mass will be in the friars chapel at 7:00 a.m.

            Since this Monday is the second Monday of the month, we will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament beginning at 12 noon in the friars chapel.  At 7:00 p.m. we will pray the rosary and have the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary followed by Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament, praying especially for respect for life and protection of the unborn.  Monday night begins the National Night of Prayer for Life.  St. Ignatius Church is holding     special prayer opportunities from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. to which all are invited.

            And this Thursday, December 12th, is the solemn feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  We will have our first Mass in Spanish early on the 12th. The church doors will open at 4:00 a.m. so that folks can gather for festive singing and preparation for Mass which will begin at 5:00 a.m. A number of the individuals and families who have been celebrating at San Carlos, which has been closed, are registering at St. Clement parish—many of these folks are within our parish boundaries; others have come to feel at home at St. Clement. There will be a weekly Mass in Spanish for those who wish to celebrate. Presently it is scheduled for Sundays at 12:30 p.m.  God is blessing St. Clement for sure.

            Finally, at all Masses on the weekend of December 14th, you will have the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, a chance for all of us who are in need of healing to celebrate the awesome power of our loving God.  You can read more about this elsewhere in the bulletin.  God’s mercies are unbounded!  Happy Advent, everyone!