Monday, January 5, 2009

The Holy Season of Christmas

Since we are still in the Christmas Season, I am still not too late to bring you up to date on the busy season we are bringing to a close with this coming Sunday's Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
I did get to New Brunswick to visit my family for a Christmas visit that was before Christmas this year. None the less I did get to help trim my mother's Christmas tree. The above ornament is not a spectacular one, but it was on my grandparent's christmas tree long before I was born, so it has a special place. Christmas seems to be a time to value mementos of people who have been a special part of our lives, like grandparents and parents.

So I was able to have a "pre-Christmas" Christmas celebration with my mother and my family. Which was very special to me.

Without any planning having been made, (which for our family seems to be the best way to arrange things) all my brothers and sisters arrived at my mother's home. She seemed pretty happy about that, and it was great for me to see all my siblings and spend some time with them.

In fact there was a goodly number of family members around that day, which was very nice indeed.

Of course the Feast of Christmas always involves some feasting around the dinner table. And this visit was no exception.

This included the special Christmas treat in our house: scotch cakes. These are made with the traditional recipie with no sugar in the cookie and sweetened with the icing on the top. This baking sheet has produced a very long line of mouth watering delights!

An important part of Christmas celebrations are children. Our family has started on the newest generation. This is my great-nephew.


Since coming to Regina, I have visited the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre to visit the residents there and celebrate the Eucharist with them on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Before Mass I get the opportunity to visit some of the people in their rooms and bring them Holy Communion if they are not able to attend Mass that day.

We celebrate the Eucharist in the chapel. I was assisted this year by Fr. Art Vandendriessche who has been giving sacramental care at the centre and who concelebrated the Mass with me.

After Mass I have the delightful pleasure of meeting these wonderful people who are facing such challenges with health and mobility.

Some of them have become "old friends" now.

And all of these people are wonderful witnesses of patient courage. I pray that God will bless them with renewed strength and the hope and promise that is so much a part of the meaning of God's coming to share our humanity. In the infant Jesus, God takes upon himself that humanity with all its frailties and weaknesses in order to transform it.

And of course we finished the morning with a delicious pot luck lunch with all the volunteers. A wonderful way to enter into the celebration of Christmas!


And one evening a group of carolers, spurred on by Deacon Joe Lang, (green tuque) arrived at my door on an extremely frosty night and cheered the whole street with several Christmas Carols. It warmed the night in more ways than one!

On the Sunday following Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Family, I celebrated the Eucharist with the community of Holy Family Parish in Regina.

And I met a number of families who, through the practice of their faith, seek to travel the path shown to us by the family of Mary, Joseph and Jesus.

And here is the Creche at Holy Family Church.