A New Year Message

  I wish you all a happy new year. I hope and pray that this year will be filled with God's blessings in each and every one of us. I would like to thank all of those who gave Christmas cards. Your donations have been forwarded to a college student in India whom I am helping for his school fees. Thank you for being a part of it.

  At this juncture, I would like to share a short note written by one of our parishioners in his Christmas card: "Father, going to church at St. Bernadette and listening to you has been life changing for me. I am truly grateful to be able to be a lector and be a part of something so special." Actually this card brought a lot of smiles to my face. Hope you can understand why it's so!

  I thought of sharing two answers with you in this bulletin which I used to give to two questions that were asked by some priests and laity these days:

  1. "Did you have a good Christmas and New Year?" My response was the same thing to all. "I am a pastor of a parish; it is good for me if the church is crowded with people at least on these occasions. Christmas eve Mass at 4pm the mass attendance was very good; 8pm and 9am were not that encouraging (disappointed me); new year Masses were like weekend Masses."

  2. "Father, other than Mass times, we see you in the church praying, what do you pray for?" I usually tell them: "When I am in the church for my personal prayer, first, I pray for my family and diocese in India; second, I pray for our parishioners especially those who are in the pews regularly and those who are involved in the church activities and some names also quickly flashes my mind because of their dedicated services to the church. I pray rosary for all and pray my morning and evening prayers for everyone. Third, I pray also for those who are away from the church and God.

  Church communities are living organs. They get bigger and they get smaller all the time. There are churches in seasons of growth because they're in growing communities. It's just a thought, please think about it.

In the Service of the Lord,
  Fr Thainese Alphonse


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St. Bernadette Catholic Church