WE HAVE EYES, BUT DO WE SEE? Our first regional Penance Service was celebrated the Monday before last at Saint Florian Church in United. As I began hearing confessions I noticed a young man on crutches, patiently waiting for his turn to confess. I couldn't help but wonder why the people ahead of him didn't invite him to the front of the line. After all wouldn't that have been the Christian thing to do? And shouldn't people waiting to con-fess their sins want to do the CHRISTIAN thing?

A moment of reflection, however, turned my eye from the behaviour of "them" to MY own behaviour. How many times have I - due to impatience, carelessness, self-absorption, or any other of a myriad of excuses - failed to SEE the needs of those around me? On this Fourth Sunday of Advent, with the Birthday of Love-made-flesh but days away, let us all pray that our eyes might be ever more open to the opportunities to concretely SHARE His love with others. MY eyes certainly need to be more open ...

A THANK YOU: As you may recall a donation was made to the Landman family, who lost their home in a fire this past summer, from the proceeds of the Saint John-Immaculate Conception Festival. Recently (well, not that recently ... as always I am woefully behind) I received this note from them: I just wanted to thank you, Mary, the staff, and parishioners for the overwhelming donation that was given to us. The entire community has been so loving and generous to our family. It certainly gives me faith in humanity to know how wonderful people really are in this world. We will certainly be paying it forward!

"Paying it forward" is a wonderful practice for ALL of us to adopt. And there's no better time of year to start than the Season of gift-giving and gift-getting into which we are about to enter.

CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS! On behalf of Fr. Dan, Fr. Julius, and the staffs at DeVivo Centre and Brady Centre I wish each and every one of you, and all whom you hold in your hearts, Merry Christmas! Nollaig Shona dhuit! Frohe Wei-hnachten! Buon Natale! Veselé Vi-anoce! Buon Natale! Boldog karác-sonyt! Wesołych Świąt! Sretan Božić! ¡Feliz Navidad! Joyeux No-ël! Maligayang Pasko! счастливого Рождества! ! عيد ميلاد مجيد God Jul! Vesel Božič! Giáng sinh vui vẻ! Selamat Hari Natal! щасливого Різдва! il-Milied it-tajjeb! めりーくりすます! Linksmų Kalėdų! Καλά Χριστούγεννα! Zalig Kerst-feest! Craciun Fericit! Feliz Natal! Kristos Razhdayetsya!

If I forgot your particular ethnic Christmas greeting, please - in a spirit of Holiday cheer! - forgive me.

I tried to recall EVERY SINGLE ethnic group I knew to be represented in Our Lady, Queen of the Yough Catholic Community, but undoubtedly I forgot some!


On Saturday 1 December I had the joy of attending the 10th annual "Magic and Mistletoe" celebration at the Fayette County Court-house (Nick Bell's Geibel Show-stoppers were performing). It was my first time in attendance and I was truly impressed. Each courtroom was decorated and there was a door-decorating contest. My favourite was President Judge Wagner's door (shown below; his late wife was a life-long Saint Rita parishioner) but this scene I snapped outside the Sheriff's office was PERFECT for this week's cover. (To be honest, I was ASTONISHED to see such overtly religious displays in our county's main public building. Al-though I imagine that it was all gone by Monday morning so as not "to offend.")


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