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With the octave of Christmas still carrying on, the universal Church throughout the world is still in mega-celebration mode.  The festivity should remain abundant, even though the secular culture has already packed up the Christmas spirit until next year.  Let us not forget the "twelve days of Christmas" that lead to the great feast of Epiphany. And then, we still have another week of Christmas that leads to the Baptism of the Lord.  For next Sunday, as we remember the wise men's gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, we as a parish family will take the time to join together and celebrate the great Christmas season with a Christmas/Epiphany potluck luncheon.  Starting immediately after the 11:30am Mass (so around 12:30pm), we will bless our food and share each other's company. After celebration of Christmas with our families, this is our chance to do the same with our parish family. We hope to have you there!

As we embark on the New Year, we also continue our tradition of choosing some heavenly brothers and sisters to watch over us for the year.  Every year on January 1st, in the convents of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, a drawing like this takes place. This tradition was very important for St. Faustina. Her desire was to be accompanied and supported by Someone from Heaven on all her days of the new year.

In the morning during meditation, she wrote (in her Diary), there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past. But, hiding this desire from my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that. When we came to refectory for breakfast, we blessed ourselves and began drawing our patrons. When I approached the holy cards on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation I took one, but I didn’t read the name immediately as I wanted to mortify myself for a few minutes. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my soul: I am your patron. Read. I looked at once at the inscription and read, “Patron for the Year 1935-the Most Blessed Eucharist.” My heart leapt with joy (Diary, 360).

When you draw your saint, put the slip of paper somewhere you can see it year-round: on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, your bedroom dresser, or your steering wheel.  Allow these saints to guide you through 2019 and get to know their stories: how they met Christ, loved Him, and dedicated their lives to Him in their special ways. Certainly God has given this saint to you for this upcoming year for a reason - the adventure will be discovering what that reason is! With a patron Saint, we’ll all receive a prayerful intention and a message. Those who are far away can also visit the website www.faustyna.pl to enter a drawing themselves!

May the Patron Saints aid us, may they help us more and more fully participate in the life and mission of Jesus: revealing the merciful love of God to the world!

Saint Thérèse, the little flower, teach us to learn from our family of saints in heaven!