When I was an associate pastor at Our Lady of Victory, Fr. Ernie Porcari was the pastor. Fr. Ernie had a nativity set placed in the living room for Christmas. Actually, Fr. Ernie had the nativity set out, not just for Christmas, but all year long. At first, I thought that he had forgotten about taking the nativity set down. But I discovered that Fr. Ernie had a great love for meditating on the nativity set all year round. Sure enough, there were times that I would walk into the living room and I would see Fr. Ernie standing in front of the nativity set, looking at the figures and contemplating its meaning.
I have taken up Fr. Ernie’s devotion to meditating on the nativity throughout the year. Because of Fr. Ernie, I have a nativity set out in my living room all year long. I think most of us have always thought about putting the nativity set away after Christmas, but maybe it would benefit us all to contemplate the wonderful love of God shown by allowing His Son to be united with our humanity. The nativity is a great reminder of God’s love! He sent His Son into the world to die for our sins, that we may be forgiven and because God desires that we would spend all of eternity with Him in heaven. The nativity is a reminder of God’s gift to us…Jesus! That is a gift that should be remembered all year long!
Speaking of nativity sets, our parish has received a very generous anonymous bequest to purchase a new nativity set for the gathering space. Please be sure to take time to visit this nativity, especially bring the children.
Many months have gone into the preparing for the celebration of Christmas at St. Anastasia. I want to take this moment to thank all who have helped in its preparation and celebration. Thanks to all of the choirs and musicians, to those who helped decorate our church for Advent and for Christmas, for all of liturgical ministers (ushers, greeters, EMs, altar servers, sacristans, etc.) and all those who have been generous in helping to make this a joyous Christmas for those who are in need by your participation of the Giving Tree, Adopt-a-Family and other various projects! You have all helped to make this a special Christmas!
I am very feel blessed to be here at St. Anastasia as your new pastor since July 1st and excited to share this Christmas with all of you!
I pray that your Christmas is blessed, special and joyous for you and your family!