Sacred Heart Church

Second Sunday of Advent


December 8, 2019

LIVE THE LITURGY

First Sunday of Advent What does it mean to be worthy? There are a few different ways to approach this question. Today's Gospel highlights two: the way of the Pharisees and the way of John the Baptist. Our faith values good works and discipleship. Perhaps, then, we earn our worth by adhering to the right doctrines and following the right pious practice. The Pharisees thought they were worthy. Due to their religious pedigree and proper procedures, they were self-satisfied. John the Baptist's words to them are strong. "Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.'" Of course, Jesus and John don't omit the responsibility for moral behavior. John gives the Pharisees quite a strong warning in that regard. "Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance...every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

It's a question of attitude. Of disposition. It's a matter of the heart. If anyone would be worthy in this scenario, it's John the Baptist. Jesus himself will name him the greatest of prophets and a great man. John, however, recognizes his own lowly place in the grand scheme of things. "The one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals." The Pharisees take pride in being better than others. John embraces humility in Christ being better than him. We don't self-generate our own worthiness. We receive it as a gift from God. In a few short weeks, we'll celebrate the birth of Christ. Bishop Ven. Fulton Sheen wrote about the Nativity in his Life of Christ. Because Jesus was born in a cave, all who wish to see Him must stoop. To stoop is the mark of humility. The proud refuse to stoop and, therefore, they miss divinity." God invites us to prepare our hearts this advent. When you consider your own life, where are you looking for your worth? This Christmas, are you prepared to stoop?
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PRO-LIFE CORNER

"You are called to stand up for life! To respect and defend the mystery of life always and everywhere, including the lives of unborn babies, giving real help and encouragement to mothers in difficult situations"
- Saint Pope John Paul II

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Sacred Heart Religious Education. 9th Grade Baptism Retreat will be held on Saturday, December 7 from 3:30-7:00 p.m. Rite of Blessing will be celebrated within Mass (Candidate along with Sponsor or parents are required to attend this Mass as part of the retreat) This includes Bishop Guilfoyle students.

Saint Mary's Religious Education (CCD) will meet Sunday, December 8 at 9:00 a.m. for grades K-10 students.

Sacred Heart Family Christmas Tree

Beginning the weekend of December14/15 , we are inviting you to bring an ornament to place on the Sacred Heart Family Christmas Tree. The tree is located near the cantor stand and you will be responsible for placing the ornament on the tree and removing it after Christmas. As a family, create a home-made ornament, purchase one that has special meaning for you or as a memorial to your loved ones. The intent is to display an ornament that represents your family. Feel free to place your family name or family member’s names on the ornament. Start a tradition-share YOUR family with OUR Sacred Heart family!

CHRISTMAS EVE MASS

Sign up sheets for Christmas Eve Gospel Story will be in the church vestibule with information on practice dates and times.

SACRED HEART FOOD PANTRY

Sacred Heart Food Pantry will be closed December 25 and January 1.

The Sacred Heart Food Pantry sincerely thanks everyone for the generous donation of food items and the monetary donations for our needy parishioners. Your generosity puts into action our parish motto, "Let the Christ in me reach out to the Christ in others."

LITURGICAL MINISTERS

Schedules thru February 23 are now available in the back of the church. Please remember to check the weekly bulletin for the next week's assignments.

Sacred Heart Liturgical Ministers are needed for the Immaculate Conception and Christmas Masses. Sign-up sheets are in the back of the church.

BECOMING CATHOLIC

The RCIA Process and Your Journey of Faith. Are you curious about what the Catholic Church teaches? Or, perhaps you have already decided to become Catholic and need to know what is involved. Whichever your situation or circumstance may be, we welcome you and would like to journey with you! Where do I begin? Becoming Catholic is a joyous and communal experience. A person is brought into Full Communion with the Catholic Church through reception of the three sacraments of Christian Initiation-Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist but this process by which one becomes a Catholic can be different for each individual depending on your circumstances and where you are in your faith journey.

Before a person is ready to be received into the Church, whether by baptism or by profession of faith, preparation is necessary. The amount and type of preparation depends on the individual's circumstance. The preparation process is different between those who are unbaptized and those who have already become Christian through baptism in another church.

Those who have been baptized in a different Christian denomination become Catholics by taking instruction in the faith, making a profession of the Catholic faith, and being formally received into the Church. This is followed by Confirmation and the Eucharist. Ubaptized adults enter the Church by the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and receive the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil. If you are ready to start your journey, we would be happy to meet with you and answer any questions you may have. For more information, please contact Mike Kelleher at 934-4076 (Sacred Heart) or Jim Mock at 650-7250 (Saint Mary).

REGISTRATION OF PARISHIONERS

We are always happy to welcome new parishioners to Sacred Heart Parish and Saint Mary Parish. Please introduce yourself to a member of the parish staff and register at the rectory. Registration, the practice of stewardship, and regular participation in the Eucharist indicate that a person is an active member of the parish and is eligible to act as a godparent or sponsor. As a Church community seeking to be faith-filled disciples and good stewards, the sacrifice of our time, talent and treasure is essential for the common good.

Stewardship Reflections

May we recognize our dependence upon God and become as passionate about living our faith as John the Baptist in today’s Gospel. Through Baptism we entered a covenant with God to place "our resources, our very selves, at God’s service in and through the Church."

THANK YOU

Thank You to everyone who participated in the ARISE Mass of Thanksgiving, it was a beautiful, prayerful experience and thanks to all who provided refreshments for the gathering afterwards, everything was very nice. We look for-ward to the next ARISE Together In Christ season four and encourage anyone who is interested to join a small faith sharing group next spring. Thank you, Judy Wahl

In Your Prayers

Please remember the health intention of Allan Bauer, Mark Blackie, Rod Baronner, Jack Chilcote, Brandon Conaway, Shirley Conlon, Denise Conrad, James Conrad, Kathy Corl, Joan Donnelly, Matt Dorman, Amelia Doughurty, Lois Duncan, Sarah Gil, Mary Hartsock, Phyllis Hartman, Emily Hasan and unborn baby, Phyllis Hauser, Cindy Lytle, Charles McGrain, Maureen O’Rorke, Christopher Ruffing, Robert Ruffing, Susan Sakerak, Brian Sherbine, Peggy Stauffer, Kevin Zolna.

If you would like to add a sick or hospitalized person to our prayer list or re-add a person, please call the rectory office, at 943-8553. Parishioners of Saint Mary are encouraged and welcome to participate. Remember, you must have permission of the ill person/family to publish their name.

 

 


Sacred Heart Parish | 511 20th Street | Altoona, PA 16602 | (814) 943-8553
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