AS CHRISTMAS 2018 COMES TO AN END...I want to take the opportunity to offer my sincere THANKS to all those who worked so hard to make our Christmas celebrations at Our Lady, Queen of the Yough's parishes so GLORIOUS! First, to the individuals who laboured to make the worship space in each church appropriately festive for this most holy season. Second, to all our liturgical ministers (altar servers, lectors, ushers, MCs) without whom proper celebration of the Sacred Ministries would be impossible. I especially thank those who went above and beyond by either serving at more than one Mass, or serving at a Mass that was NOT their first choice. Third, to Cindy Hanses who graciously agreed to sign the 4:30 Saint Aloysius Mass for the hearing impaired.
Finally, I MUST express my heartfelt gratitude to the many individuals involved in our music ministry. As always, our choirs - both adult and children's - did a SPLENDIFEROUS job; I am eternally grateful for the long hours of practice they endure so as to be THE BEST THEY CAN BE. We are blessed with three FINE music directors: Bob Broderick, Chris Mickey, and Nick Bell (who has MOST graciously stepped into the void created by his wife's retirement due to medical issues ... please keep Kelly in your prayers). I want to particularly recognise and thank the extra musicians who added to the joyous solemnity of our Christmas Masses. Alyssa Hensel (in her first public performance on piano!) accompanied the FayWest Brass. The Saint Rita Choir was likewise accompanied by FayWest Brass at Midnight Mass. And the 4:30 Mass Christmas Eve at Saint Aloysius was "kickedup a notch" by the participation of some of Nick Bell's former bandmates from The Brass Knuckles.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!
MASS ATTENDANCE: I was extremely pleased and in a few cases SURPRISED by the attendance at the
various Masses. 4:30 at Immaculate Conception was, as usual, SRO, although the concurrent Mass in Dunbar and the 5pm at Saint John cut down the numbers A BIT. Truth be told I am ENERGISED by a church packed to the gills so for me the more the merrier! 4:30 at Saint Aloysius was likewise PACKED, the largest crowd in years I have been told. Midnight Mass, which has fallen in popularity practically everywhere in the recent past (to the point that more and more parishes are completely abandoning this beautiful tradition), saw Saint Rita Church FULL, which warmed the cockles of MANY hearts! For me the biggest surprise of all was the attendance at 9:30 Mass in Dunbar. I had steeled myself for a TOTALLY DEPRESSING "celebration" in a nearly empty church. But - PRAISE BE BABY JESUS! - I was proven 100% WRONG as we had a very nice crowd gathered to celebrate Our Lord's Nativity.
GIFTS: As I repeat each year, I am positively OBSESSIVE about writing proper "Thank You" notes My momma taught me right! Inevitably, however, some gifts fall through the cracks; either a name is not attached or the card gets separated from the gift or the post office LOSES the note or I accidentally put the wrong address (a friend who works in the post office intercepted a note I inadvertently addressed to Vanderbilt when it should have been West Leisenring. If you do NOT receive a Thank You from me (the last of the notes went in the post this week, so some may have not yet been delivered) PLEASE know that it was NOT a deliberate snub and that I TRULY appreciate your thoughtfulness.
GOOD NEWS! Susan Dunkard, Saint Aloysius' Business Manager, and I received this WONDERFUL note
from the Diocesan CFO: Happy New Year! I just wanted to recognize your effort of paying down on the balance in arrears of St. Aloysius, Dunbar as of December 31st! The parish has decreased their total amount in arrears by about $3,000 since September 30th, so I certainly appreciate your leadership and financial guidance in the parish. I wish you, Sue and all the parishioners a healthy and prosperous 2019!
I am SO PROUD of the parishioners of Saint Aloysius who are ACTIVELY striving to eliminate their debt and ensure a BRIGHT future! God bless you!
COVER PHOTO: An Epiphany close-up of the new Nativity at Immaculate Conception, donated anonymously by generous parishioners. One more THANK YOU!
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