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from Fr. Will Schmid on December 8, 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In today's Gospel (Matthew 3:1-12), John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus by reminding the Jewish people of the importance of conversion. For many, John's message is challenging. Not everyone is excited about conversion. There were many people who thought that conversion was unnecessary. They thought that since they were of Jewish ethnic descent that the message of repentance was not for them. John warns the Pharisees and Sadducees of this mistake: "Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones." John's message to the Jewish people is that their physical descent from Abraham is not what will save them. Rather, the conversion of their lives will be the act that brings them to salvation. The true sons and daughters of Abraham are those who hear the word of God and respond to it with conversion of mind and heart.
In today's world, we see a similar version of the problem that John the Baptist encountered in the Gospel. There is a kind of "cultural Catholicism" that exists in the world today that feels very similar to the Pharisees and Sadducees. There are many Catholics in the world today who want to be known and identified as Catholics, but who do not seek conversion or repentance of their sins. They are culturally Catholic, but not spiritually Catholic. They have received their Sacraments and some form of Catholic upbringing, but have not allowed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to sink into their hearts and transform their lives. They are content with their sins, even though they know that both Jesus Christ and His Church are constantly inviting them to change their ways. They live life on their own terms rather than on God's terms.
The message of John the Baptist is a powerful one. It is one that should cause all of us to ponder some serious questions. Have I allowed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to change my life? Do I put my relationship with God above other things? Am I sorry for my sins and want to change my sinful behaviors? Do I trust God's plan more than my own? In pondering these questions, all of us should begin to see the need for repentance in our lives. In a way, all of us are guilty of being cultural Catholics and are in need conversion. May the grace of Jesus Christ destroy the false security of our cultural Catholicism and help us to be true descendants of Abraham and authentic disciples of Christ. May Christ continue to draw us into deeper conversion and give us repentant hearts.
Peace in Christ,
Weekly Respect Life Ministry Holy Hour and Rosary Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm
** NOTE: NO Respect Life Holy Hour and Rosary on Thu, Dec 12
[ Respect Life ]
2014 Sunday Missals for Sale
Just $5. Available for purchase in the Parish Office after the morning Mass times.
[ For Sale ]
Adopt a Family for Christmas
The holiday season often intensifies the financial strains of a struggling family. Adopt-a-Family helps provide a cheerful Christmas regardless of a family's financial circumstances.
The donated presents provide relief to parents as well as joy and holiday spirit to the entire family. Your love helps provide a time of peace and hope at Christmas!
Each year, our St. Vincent de Paul conference chooses local families in need of sponsors from their community. Families selected are those in need, often times already receiving other forms of assistance from St. Vincent de Paul. All recipients have been screened to ensure that they are not receiving assistance from another charity or organization.
A typical participating family is often un/underemployed, recently divorced due to serious domestic abuse, have experienced severe medical traumas, or have experienced other situations attributing to their financial hardships, but are striving to improve the overall quality of their lives and the and the lives of their family members.
Our help to these children and their families can only remind us of the true meaning of the Christmas spirit.
Please call 480-209-9483 if you can be a sponsor.
[ Advent/Christmas ]
Help Wanted: Liturgical Volunteers
Do you feel the call to be of service to our Lord and all His faithful? There are plenty of opportunities to be of service to Him within the Mass.
Please consider the following opportunities:
We are in special need of Extraordinary Ministers (EMs) of holy communion, Ushers and Greeters at all masses!
We are also welcoming new an Altar Servers, Masters of Ceremony and Lectors.
Please contact Aaron Accurso in the parish office; 480-279-6737 if you are interested in helping with liturgy needs.
[ Help Wanted ]
Eucharistic Adoration during Advent
Monday - Friday 8:30–9:30am
[ Advent/Christmas ]
Adult Confirmation Registration
Many Catholics don't realize that you cannot sponsor someone for Confirmation or be a Godparent for Baptism unless they themselves have been confirmed.
From Thu, Feb 20 until Thu, Apr 10, St. Mary Magdalene will offer an 8 week session from 6:30-8:30pm. Attendance is required at all eight (8) classes - no exceptions.
All Confirmation preparation is open to anyone who is 18 years old, out of high school and is already Baptized Catholic.
Please call Tom Perna at 480-279-6737 or email email@example.com to make an appointment to register for classes.
[ Family Formation ]
Adopt A Seminarian Program
Nov 1, 2013
Please consider supporting our Seminarians through prayer, gift or occasional news from home. It is a truly rewarding experience as you journey with these men while they discern their Vocation.
We have six new seminarians this year!
Contact Carmen Antram at 480-279-6737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[ Vocations ]
First Friday Adoration
Dec 6, 2013 to Dec 7, 2013
Fri, Dec 6 6:00pm through Sat, Dec 7 7:00am
Please sign up in the Narthex for an hour or just a few minutes to spend time with our Lord.
Sign Up Genius Link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4AAAAB2AA57-stmary2
[ First Friday ]
Youth - Element
Dec 8, 2013
High School Youth Group
Sundays, 5:45-7:00pm in the Parish Hall
Sun, Dec 8 - The Feast: The Book of Revelation
Sun, Dec 15 - Time to be Bold: The Birth of the Church
[ Youth Ministry ]
Covenant of Love Date Night
Dec 13, 2013 (6:30p - 8:30p)
All married and engaged couples are invited to an evening of marriage enrichment Fri, Dec 13 from 6:30-8:30pm. December's Date Night Guest Speaker, Fr. Matthew Jacob, will speak on Advent: Preparing the Way. Followed by a Potluck Dinner and Caroling.
These evenings are free, tell your married or engaged friends about these wonderful opportunities to grow in appreciation of our spouses and the covenant of our marriages. Limited childcare available for children over a year old, up to 10 years old. (Free will offering).
Please RSVP by Fri, Dec 6 via email: Themarsees@gmail.com to reserve space for you and your child/children.
"DATE NIGHTS" are monthly gathering opportunities for married and engaged couples. Meet other couples of the parish, learn more about God's plan for marriage and spend quality time with the one you love. Each month is a different topic, so join us when you can and choose to do something to make your marriage even better today!
[ Marriage Enrichment Advent/Christmas ]
New Building Presentation
Dec 13, 2013
Please join Fr. Will to hear about the next phase of St. Mary Magdalene’s growth.
Date & Times: (need not attend all)
Fri, Dec 13, 9:45am – Chapel Sat, Dec 14, 3:00pm – Back Hall Sun, Dec 15, 2:00pm OR 5:45pm – Back Hall
Healing Mass for Survivors of Abuse & their Families
Dec 14, 2013 (10:00a)
Bishop Thomas Olmsted and The Office of Child & Youth Protection cordially invites you to gather for a Mass of healing and reconciliation for survivors of abuse and their families on Sat, Dec 14 at 10:00am at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 5045 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix AZ 85018.
[ Around the Diocese ]
Dec 14, 2013 (6:45am - 7:55am)
Will be meeting the 2nd and 4th Saturday mornings each month prior to the Saturday morning Mass in Classroom C, from 6:45-7:55am. We will be discussing the Sunday Gospel. This is open to all men of the parish. Please plan on joining us and bring a friend.
Sat, Dec 14
Sat, Dec 28
For any questions, please contact Dave Daniels at 480-279-6737.
[ Men's Fellowship ]
Parish Formal Christmas Party
Dec 21, 2013 (6:30p - 10:00p)
at Trilogy Ballroom, 4369 E. Village Parkway, Gilbert 85297.
Open to all parishioners. Tickets on sale after Masses Nov 30 - Dec 15.
[ Advent/Christmas ]
Dec 24, 2013
Tue, Dec 24 Christmas Eve
4:00pm with the Children's Choir, 4:15pm, 6:30pm, 9:00pm, Midnight Mass
Wed, Dec 25 Christmas Day
[ Advent/Christmas ]
Next KofC Council Meeting is Mon, Jan 6 at 7:00p in classroom B.
Jan 6, 2014 (7:00p)
[ Knights of Columbus ]
Women's Christian Fellowship (WCF-AZ) Luncheon
Mar 1, 2014 (11:00a - 2:00p)
Wondering what to get that special lady in your life for Christmas? Consider a ticket to the ladies luncheon! She will love an afternoon with good fellowship, good food & prizes!
Sat, Mar 1 11:00am-2:00pm at the Arizona Golf Resort.
Angie Lake, founder of Women’s Catholic/Christian Fellowship will be our featured speaker.
Our theme is “Crowned with Glory”. Hats are encouraged and there will be prizes! We will even creatively package your gift.
Call Kay to place your order 480-279-6737.
[ Women's Christian Fellowship ]