First of all, I want to THANK all those who planned, participated in, and patronized the Holiday Fair here last weekend. There were many attractive items for sale, great food and treats, entertainment and a very good spirit. With the rain and drizzle we had, being inside at the Holiday Fair was the perfect option. A special St. Austin Thank You goes to the Knights of Columbus who again did such a great job of providing culinary delights and lots of help. Thanks to you all!
Now looking forward, it is not too early to start planning your Mass attendance for Christmas. It will be a little different this year because Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday and Christmas Day on a Sunday, so you need to pay attention to the schedule. It is DIFFERENT THAN LAST YEAR.
On Sat., Dec. 24, there will be TWO MASSES SIMULTANEOUSLY at 5 p.m. One of these Masses will be in the church, as usual. The other Mass will be in the GYM. That’s right, TWO Masses at the same time in different locations.
The Dec. 24, 5 p.m. Mass in the gym will be directed especially to small children. It will be more in the round, less structured by pews, and with music, preaching, etc. suitable for children. Once either of these 5 p.m. Masses is full, we will direct people to the other 5 p.m. Mass. In the unlikely event that BOTH fill up we will begin directing people to the 6 p.m. Mass at the University Catholic Center a block and a half away.
If you are wondering why we have such a strange schedule, then you were not here at the 5 p.m. Mass last Christmas Eve. It was not just full, it was not just crowded, it was downright DANGEROUS. We will not have that again this year.
So we are trying to accommodate the large number of people who want to go to Mass on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m. by offering two simultaneous Masses. We can hold a lot of people in the gym. It will be a little different, and it will be fun! What a great problem to have, that so many people want to go to church. So many churches are mostly empty. Would that we had this problem every week!
PLEASE NOTE there will be NO 7:30 p.m. Mass on Christmas Eve this year. There will be the 10 p.m. Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve in the church as usual.
On Christmas Day (Sunday) the ONLY Masses will be at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. There will NOT be the usual Sunday 7:30 a.m. Mass NOR the Sunday 5:30 p.m. Mass.
So you see this will require some planning on the part of your family, as the schedule is different than last year and different from a normal Sunday.