Saturday - 4:00 pm
Sunday - 8:00, 11:00 am & 6:00 pm
Morning Mass (Tues - Fri) 8:15 am
Dear Parishioners of St. Gabriel,
Beginning December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis has declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy for the entire universal Church. What does this mean? During the upcoming year there will be many opportunities for each Catholic to experience, celebrate and recommit themselves to God's mercy, both received and given.
The Holy Father calls on those who are able to visit those churchs and basilicas associated with Mercy. They include the Roman Basilica's and a little closer to home--our own Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, The Shrine of Divine Mercy (at Our Lady of Good Counsel), The Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, The Basilica at Conception Abbey, Holy Rosary Parish in Clinton. Make a visit; celebrate reconciliation, attend Mass, pray before the Blessed Sacrament. These can be wonderful practices for your entire family during this Year of Mercy.
Locally, here at St. Gabriel, I would like to begin a practice during Advent and will extend it if it is popular, of Mercy Thursdays. On Thursdays during Advent (with the exception of Christmas eve) the church will be open for private prayer and Confessions will be heard from 6:30pm till 8:00pm. These times will take the place of our normal Communal Reconciliation Service. I hope you take advantage of this great opportunity to celebrate God's mercy.
Additionally, I would like to ask that as you receive mercy, you also pass it on. Pray for a merciful heart in your own lives. So much occurs daily that shatters our sense of peace and serenity. So many experiences cause us to be unforgiving and hardens us to the plight of the poor. Consider asking that you be as merciful to others as has been shown to you. A good prayer when times get difficult to find mercy is the Prayer of Abandonment by Charles de Foucauld:
Son of the Living God
Have mercy on me
A blessed Advent to you all.
Fr. Joseph Sharbel, Pastor