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  • Writer's pictureFr. Daniel Gifford


Dear St. Louis Parishioners,

At last, we come to the conclusion of our “Victory Tour” of Saints featured throughout

our grounds. We do have a few more saints represented in our Church and elsewhere, which will come up at other times, but as we come to this grand finale celebration of the Church Year, we conclude this little proverbial walk through the “Hall of Holiness” with a saint who points us boldly toward the focus of this weekend’s celebration: Christ the King. During the conflict between the oppressive Mexican government and the Cristeros, who refused to renounce their faith amidst the strong and violent anti-Catholic persecution as recently as the 1920’s, Saint Jose Sanchez del Rio (front cover) was one among a number of martyrs who died with the familiar cry on his lips, “Viva Christo Rey (Long live Christ the King)!” While many of the martyrs of the Cristero conflict were priests, such as Bl. Miguel Pro and St. Cristobal Magallanes Jara, or at least other adults, young “Joselito,” as he was known, was only fourteen years old, when he was brutally tortured and killed. This puts him very close to the age of our Confirmation Prep students, which is why he was chosen as the patron for their classroom. While there is certainly additional sadness at the martyrdom of someone so young, there is also a great deal of inspiration in his great commitment to his faith. May we all have faith to courageously proclaim with our lives: Love Live Christ the King!

Remember, be a saint today! Saint Jose Sanchez del Rio, pray for us!

ADVENT CONFESSIONS: With the conclusion of the Church Year, that means Advent begins next Sunday. Since this season of prayerful preparation is a time when we prepare our hearts, which includes being cleansed by the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I am going to again employ the approach of attempting to offer as many opportunities as possible for people to celebrate the Sacrament. I have heard the comparison that Reconciliation is like brushing your teeth. When we were children, most of us waited for our parents to tell us when it was time to do it, but part of mature adulthood is knowing when it needs to be done and going by our own initiative. This is why we offer the sacrament three times each week all year round. During the preparatory seasons of Advent and Lent, we increase the number of opportunities in the following four ways:

Available six days each week. Monday, Thursday: 4:30-5 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:45-8:15 AM; Saturday: 3-3:45 PM

Holy Hour with Confessions: Thursday, December 13th, 7 PM

Available after each Mass, Saturday, December 15th - Sunday, December 16th.

Regional Penance Service, hosted in Peru. Details T.B.A.

CHAPEL ODDS AND ENDS: I also am hoping to do a little housecleaning in the chapel during the holidays. You may notice some updating of the contents of the bookshelf in coming weeks. If you have questions, feel free to let me know. Here’s a few notes to keep in mind, for those who make more frequent use of the chapel: In order to reduce clutter, we are going to remove all outdated daily devotionals. They will be in a basket on the shelf by the entrance until December 14th. If there are any that you particularly like, please take it with you before December 14th. Toward the same end, we are going to stop keeping additional reading material in the kneelers in front of the tabernacle. These should be neat, uncluttered and should provide anyone who comes in to use them easy access to the Scriptures, a Rosary (and perhaps a pamphlet to guide them through it), a Missalette, and a Hymnal. Some combination of those items may be kept in the kneelers. Other materials should be stored on the bookshelf. Lastly, if you move a chair or kneeler, such as turning it toward the tabernacle for your personal time of prayer, please move it back when you are finished. Thanks for remembering that helping keep our chapel neat, orderly and uncluttered is one of the little things we can do to create a more hospitable environment.

In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Gifford

St. Louis, pray for us!

Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!

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