THANK YOU to all the Community Christmas Dinner 2022 volunteers: cooks, assembly, runners, drivers, etc.....great teamwork and wonderful Christmas spirit! There were a total of 925 Christmas dinners shared with Olean, Allegany, Portville, Hinsdale and Knapp Creek as well as two new locations: Franklinville and Limestone! Volunteers stepped up as we created a new double assembly line to produce dinners for the 30+ drivers waiting to deliver Christmas joy to our Greater Olean Community. Christmas blessings to our volunteers and the recipients of the Christmas dinners. A Special Thank You to those that supported this event financially. Your generosity is needed and very appreciated. Special Thank You to Swatt Bakery, Ried’s Food Barn and McCarthy’s Emporium. Merry Christmas, Mary Cygan & Buz Wenke Co-coordinators Fr. John Adams Pastor
Bishop Michael W. Fisher, Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, will celebrate a special Mass for the Repose of the Soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 4, at St. Joseph Cathedral. The public is graciously invited to attend the Mass which also will be livestreamed via the Cathedral’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/SaintJosephCathedral
The Empty Crib in Bethlehem – The Heavenly Mystery becomes humanity’s reality . . . Nativity scenes are a popular Advent and Christmas decoration that adorn our homes, our churches and many public squares. And the placing of the Child Jesus in an empty crib becomes a tradition that many anticipate throughout the world. The nativity scene, like the one in silhouette above and on our parish’s ornament gifts for this year, originated with a catholic saint, St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis had a special devotion to the Child Jesus. In about the year 1223, St. Francis was believed to have made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to visit the stable in Bethlehem. It is likely that this event deepened his devotion to the Child Jesus, who was born into the world in such poverty, humility, and simplicity. In fact, St. Francis founded his new religious order to imitate these very virtues (Filz, 2016). St. Francis wanted to bring what he experienced in Israel into every home. And many households which put out the nativity scene, leave the crib empty until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. "Crib" translates the Hebrew word [~'ebhuc] exactly, as it denotes "a barred receptacle for fodder,” food for God’s creatures. The Hebrew word is from a word meaning to feed ('abhac). www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/crib/ But why does our Lord fill the empty crib by seeking shelter in this vessel, in this cave, in this stable, at Bethlehem? Why is the Divine Infant often seen sleeping and at rest in this hay-filled home? Why is the Little One seen with arms open wide, welcoming the whole world? God’s plan for His Son is to have Him fill up any emptiness in the world, any area where we need renewal and growth with His love and life – to nourish His creation. Bethlehem meaning House of Bread, is the first home for Our Savior, Who feeds us as He is the Heavenly Response to all our needs. Another saint, Gregory Nyssa (335 to 395), wrote that the Lord rests in a manger, placed in an empty crib because He is the One who makes the grass grow for the cattle; He is the same One who is the Bread Life Who feeds us Spiritual food so we too might live. St. Gregory proclaims -- What more joyful feast is there than that of today? Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!
Alex Violette, a resident of NYC and music director at St. Finbar Catholic Church in Brooklyn, will be offering a celebration of the Christmas Season featuring our organs and some of his favorite music at the Basilica, St. John’s and at our Oratory of the Sacred Heart in between the Holidays. Join us and listen to the Joyful Song Unto the Lord as we celebrate God’s coming to earth and some light refreshments on the following dates: Tues., Dec. 27--4:00-5:00 pm--Sacred Heart Oratory, Portville; Wed., Dec. 28--5:00-6:00 pm--St. John’s, Olean; Thurs., Dec. 29--6:00-7:00 pm--Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels
For immediate help with grief support, contact your local clergy for pastoral support and/or local organizations such as: + Life Transition Center, Inc. — 716-836-6460 + Dial 211 and ask for grief and coping resources + Catholic Charities—716-856-4494 www.ccwny.org + Crisis Services—24 hour hotline: 716-834-3131 Click on orange title above for the complete article.
This Advent Season, may we be empty vessels like the empty crib and receive our Lord with minds, bodies and souls, wide open ….. This Advent Season let [the Lord] enter your life. Welcome Him as a friend, with trust; He is life! Let His birth bring you rebirth! If up until now, you have kept Him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. . . . If following Him seems difficult, don't be afraid, trust Him, be confident that He is close to you, He is with you and He will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as He would have you do. Pope Francis
Come one, come all to sing carols on Christmas Eve at 9:30 p.m. (followed by Mass at 10:00 p.m.)! Have a heart for singing carols? Come for a short rehearsal this Sunday, December 4th at noon! Our music director, Dawn Both, is eager for you to join in and help everyone sing!
Jesus’ own words call us even more urgently than Paul’s exhortation. Jesus warns us not to be complacent and self-satisfied, as our individual deaths and the final judgment might be coming much sooner than we could ever imagine. Know that each day, for some individuals, the date for meeting Jesus, as Savior and judge, will be today! Click on orange title for complete reflection.
As Catholics and within our Christian Faith Traditions, Advent is a time and a journey of renewal and hope. Those of us who are dealing with loss of loved ones during this time of the year, we begin our process of coping with prayer as we turn to the embrace of Our God -- we turn to the Lord in Prayer. Click on orange title for complete article.
Kubler-Ross describes grief as a pattern of adjustment to loss. It includes a period of time where a person learns to cope and adjust to the change that has impacted his/her life. The grief comes from the reality of the change that has occurred or is impending. This model has been widely used by those also suffering from the grief of a death of a loved one, such as a spouse, sibling, child, or friend. For complete article, click on the orange title above.
If you can help with some of the following supplies, please drop off at the Parish Office before Thanksgiving: 1) Bag of White Feathers/(Angels Wings) 2) Miniature Bells/(Announce the Angels) 3) Brown & White Pipe Cleaners- (Shepherd's Staff) 4) Small, Miniature Gift Boxes- (Gently used is totally ok!) 5) Roll of Ribbon 6) Large, Gallon, Zipper seal plastic bags 7) Purple Cardstock- (3-4 sheets)- (Advent Manger) 8) Brown Construction Paper- (8 sheets-we'll halve)-(Family Tree) 9) White or Yellow Cardstock- (3-4 sheets)- (Crowns) 10) 2 sheets of Red Foam- (Hearts) 11) Blue Yarn or Cord 12) Bag of (100) Popsicle Sticks- (Cradle for Baby Jesus) 13) Miniature Gold Stars- (Pointing the Way to Jesus) 14) Glue Guns- (I have some older ones I hope still work, but this is the only time I get crafty!) :) Thank you, Naomi Butler