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Merry Christmas 2012
Dec 25th, 2012 by Father Chris

Above, the Sanctuary of Saint Anthony’s is beautifully decorated for Christmas this year.

We wish all of our parishioners family members and friends a very Merry Christmas!  God bless you all at the grace-filled and joyful time of the year. 

A Poem in Memory of the Newtown Children and Teachers.
Dec 21st, 2012 by Father Chris

Perhaps some of you have already seen this beautiful poem.  It was forwarded to me in the last couple of days and I thought it would be appropriate to offer to all of our parishioners especially on this Official Day of Mourning for the tragedies of last Friday.  This morning at 9:30AM we rang our church bells as all other churches across the country did to remember all of those we lost last Friday at that hour.  We continue to keep all of the children and teachers in our thoughts and prayers as well as their family members and friends who continue to grieve their sudden and tragic passing.   May God bless you all.

twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled wit…h such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“come now my children, let me show you around.”
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

“The Christmas Guest”
Dec 21st, 2012 by Father Chris

Last Sunday at the 10:30 Family Mass I told a story which several people have asked me for a copy of.  I provide it for you below.  I think it is a beautiful Christmas (and Advent) story and I thought it fit in so well to the message of the Gospel and the readings that I would use it for our kids and parishioners.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it and I hope you will continue to enjoy it as you are able to read it and re-read it here. 

The Story of the Christmas Guest

It happened one day at December’s end, Some neighbors called on an old-time friend.  And, they found his shop so meager and mean, Made joyful with a thousands boughs of green.  And old Conrad was sitting with his face ashine.  When he suddenly stopped and he stitched the twine.  And he said “My friends at dawn today, When the cock was crowing the night away, The Lord appeared in a dream to me.  And He said, “I’m coming your guest to be.”  So I’ve been busy with feet astir, Strewing my shop with branches of fir.  The table is spread and the kettle is shined, And over the rafters the holly is twined.  And, now I’ll wait for my Lord to appear; and listen closely so I will hear, His steps as he nears my humble place.  And I’ll open the door and I’ll look on his face.”  Then his friends went home and left Conrad alone, For this was the happiest day he had known.  For long since his family had passed away.  And Conrad had spent many a sad Christmas Day.  But he knew with the Lord as his Christmas guest, this Christmas would be the dearest and best.  So he listened with only joy in his heart, and with every sound he would rise with a start, And looked for the Lord to be at his door.  Like the vision that he had had a few hours before.  So he ran to the window after hearing a sound, But all he could see on the snow covered ground Was a shabby beggar whose shoes were torn.  And all his clothes were ragged and worn.  But old Conrad was touched and he went to the door and he said, “Your feet must be cold and sore.  I have some shoes in my shop for you.  And I have a coat to keep you warmer, too.”  So with grateful heart the man went away.  But conrad noticed the time of day.  And he wondered what made the dear Lord so late, and how much longer he’d have to wait.  Then he heard another knock, and he ran to the door.  But it was only a stranger once more.  A bent old lady with a shawl of black, and a bundle of kindling piled on her back.  But she asked only for a place to rest, a place that was reserved for Conrad’s great guest.  But her voice seemed to plead, “Don’t send me away, let me rest for a while this Christmas Day.”  So Conrad brewed her a steaming cup and told her to sit at the table and sup.  After she had left he was filled with dismay for he saw that the hours were slipping away.  The Lord had not come as He said He would and Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood.  When out of the stillness he heard a cry.  “Please help me and tell me  – Where am I?”  So again he opened his friendly door.  And stood disappointed as twice before.  It was a child who had wandered away, and was lost from her family on Christmas Day.  Again Conrad’s heart was heavy and sad, but he knew he could make this little girl glad.  So he called her in and wiped her tears, and he quieted all her childish fears.  Then he led her back to her home once more.  Then as he entered his own darkened door, he knew that the Lord was not coming today, for the hours of Christmas, had all passed away.  So he went to his room, and he knelt down to pray.  He said, “Lord, why did you delay?  What kept you from coming to call on me?  I wanted so much so much Your face to see.”  Then softly, in the silence, a voice he heard.  Lift up your head – I have kept my word.  Three times my shadow crossed your floor. Three times I came to your lowly door.  I was the beggar with bruised cold feet; I was the woman you gave something to eat; I was the child on the homeless street.  Three times I knocked, three times I came in, And each time I found the warmth of a friend.  Of all the gifts, love is the best.  I was honored to  be your Christmas guest!

Above, I read “The Christmas Guest” to the youngsters at the Family Mass.

Above, I explain the meaning behind ”The Christmas Guest” at last Sunday’s Family Mass and how it applies to our lives today.

Funeral Arrangements for Benjamin Broderick
Dec 18th, 2012 by Father Chris

The entire parish family of Saint Anthony of Padua would like to extend our sincere condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Benjamin Broderick.  Mr. Broderick is the Uncle and Godfather of our Director of Music, Laurence Broderick.  Ben died suddenly on Sunday afternoon. 

May the God of all Peace give you comfort at this difficult time.  Below we have listed the Obituary information and Funeral Arrangements for Mr. Broderick.  Parishioners are invited to be present at any of the services listed below or to express your condolences as you wish. 

Benjamin J. Broderick, Retired Lieutenant FDNY, of Bronxville, NY, died on December 16, 2012.  He is the beloved husband of Bridget, cherished father of John Broderick and William Broderick, adored grandfather of 9, brother of William, Timothy, Helena, Philomena and the late Bonnie, Nora, Patrick, Mary and Betty. 

The family will receive friends at the Fred H. McGrath & Son Funeral Home in Bronxville between the hours of 6pm and 9pm Tuesday evening and 2pm and 4pm and again from 7pm to 9pm Wednesday evening.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10am Thursday at Saint Joseph’s Church in Bronxville. 

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.  Amen.

Reconciliation Monday
Dec 16th, 2012 by Father Chris

Tomorrow, Monday December 17, 2012, all of the parishes of the Archdiocese of New York will offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation between the hours of 4:00 PM and 8:00PM.  A priest will be available in church here at Saint Anthony’s during those hours. 

I encourage all parishioners to take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this time.  I especially invite anyone who has been away from the Sacrament for a long time to return.  I promise you that you will experience a wonderful presence of God’s grace and love in your life.  Let the burden be lifted.

I cannot think of a better way to prepare for Christmas than by readying our hearts and souls for this coming Feast through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

“Catholicism” Episode 2
Dec 16th, 2012 by Father Chris

All parishioners are invited to join us for the second episode of our ten part series, “Catholicism – Journey of a Lifetime.”  The video will be shown in the Lower Church Hall on Monday evening December 17, 2012 from 7-8PM.  There will be a brief period of discussion immediately following the video and then refreshments will be served.

In Episode 2 we see how the  Church extends a stunning invitation to a unique way of life.  In the second chapter entitled “Happy Are We: The Teachings of Jesus,” Father Barron journeys from Galilee to Krakow, Warsaw, New York City, Kampala, and beyond and presents throughout what it means to be a disciple of Christ. 

Please plan to join us for this special presentation on Monday night. 

A Joyful Song
Dec 16th, 2012 by Father Chris

This evening we had planned to walk the streets of our neighborhood and visit parishioners homes to sing Christmas Carols.  However, the inclement weather forced us to change our plans.  Therefore, we decided we would gather in the Lower Church Hall and enjoy the hot cocoa, cookies and other refreshments which had been prepared and sing Christmas songs there.  It turned out to be a wonderful time for everyone. 

Thanks to Nicole Decker who played the guitar and led us in the Carols.  We had a lot of fun!

Parishioners gather this evening to sing Christmas Carols and enjoy refreshments.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Dec 16th, 2012 by Father Chris

This evening we celebrated our Advent Service.  This beautiful event offered our parishioners an opportunity, in the midst of the Advent Season, to have a time a prayer, reflection, sacred music and fellowship with other members of our congregation. 

Thanks to Laurence Broderick and our choir who provided beautiful music for our prayerful reflection.  May God continue to bless us as we prepare for the coming Feast of Christmas.

The Sanctuary of our church shortly before the Advent Service began.

Br. Richard Morgado reads the Psalm.

I offer the Closing Prayer of the Advent Service and give the blessing.

Members of our choir offer a spiritual song of reflection.

Parish Family Christmas Breakfast
Dec 16th, 2012 by Father Chris

This morning we held our Parish Family Christmas Breakfast in the school auditorium.  Hundreds of people came and enjoyed a delicious breakfast as well as arts and crafts, prizes, raffles and goodies of all kinds.  A great time was had by all who attended. 

A special word of thanks goes to those who worked so hard to make this event a success.  God bless you for all you have done!  You made this a special day for our parish.

People fill the auditorium this morning to enjoy the breakfast.

There was plenty of food for everyone!

People wait on line to pick up their breakfast.

There were some great raffle prizes.

The kids especially enjoyed the Christmas crafts.  Above, they are writing their names with glitter on a Christmas hat.

The Kirk family spent some time with Santa Claus.

Little Hannah Kirk is 6 months old so this is her very first Christmas!

I was having so much fun even I couldnt resist getting into the act!

Your seat awaits!
Dec 14th, 2012 by Father Chris

I just returned from helping to set  up the auditorium for our Christmas Breakfast on Sunday.  The auditorium is coming together and looks very festive.  Thank you to all who are working so hard doing all of the “behind the scenes” work to make this event successful.  Your hard work is very much appreciated!

  I include a few photos below which I took a short time ago to help wet your appetite for the breakfast, literally. 

I hope that many of our parishioners, especially our families and children will make every effort to attend the Christmas Breakfast.  I promise that you will not want to miss out on this great event.  There will be much to do and many memories made.  So, come enjoy – your seat awaits!

These are the tables where we will gather to eat breakfast.

There are some great items that are part of the raffle.  Be sure to stop by and check them all out.

This is one of the tables where there will be Christmas crafts for the kids – fun is guaranteed!

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