Are you wondering what Christianity is all about?
Are you curious about the Catholic Church?
Have you not received First Communion and/or Confirmation?
Are you engaged or married to a Catholic, and want to know why they believe “all that stuff”?
Are you returning to the Church after a long absence?
Or are you simply interested in learning more about the Faith you already profess and practice?
THE ALPHA COURSE begins on Tuesday, 1/17/14. Classes are held every Tuesday evening in Fr. D’Arco Hall, 6:00-9:00 p.m., and include dinner! There is no cost, and childcare is available for children two years of age and older.
The Pillars series, by Sean Innerst, is a four-part, in-depth study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). The first in the series, Pillar I: The Creed is a 12-part study that guides participants through the first of the 4 “pillars” of the CCC. It provides the foundation needed to continue the journey through the entire Pillars series. The Creed opens up the structure of the Catechism and shows how it is far more than a list of “faith facts,” but instead a sure map for their journey of faith.
The new Pillars/Creed study group will meet on Fridays, 7:00-9:00 p.m., in the staff meeting room of the parish office, beginning 1/10/14. Each participant will need his or her own copy of the CCC ($9-$35 at your local bookstore, depending on print format; electronic versions are available, too--check your e-reader's online store), as well as the Pillars I study kit, available at the first class attended for $19 each. (Married couples usually share one.) The facilitator is Jeannette Schlicher (
Have you been wondering when a new church may be built? Have questions about the new site plan? Do you know the status of the capital campaign? Check the weekly bulletin, click the latest news below, or check out the Capital Campaign Corner Blog!
FROM THE PASTOR ON NOVEMBER 6, 2013.
My dear parishioners, It is my great joy to share with you that as of yesterday, November 5th, our Build My Church Capital Campaign has reached $6,000,559 in pledges. We have reached our goal, thanks be to God! There were those who said that no parish could raise $6 million in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, but they didn't know the people of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. With all my heart, I know that I have the honor of being the pastor of a blessed parish!
My dear family,
Today (Sunday) is December 8th. Normally, this would be the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - the patronal feast of the United States and a Holy Day of Obligation. However, the 2nd Sunday of Advent “outranks” the Immaculate Conception, so our Lady’s feast day is transferred to tomorrow (Monday, December 9th). However, the obligation does not transfer with it. (Friends, I don’t make the rules, I just report them!) So -
-This year, the feast of the Immaculate Conception falls on Monday, December 9th.-This year, it is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation.-However, it is a very good and holy thing to attend Mass on this day anyway, the feast of the Patroness of our country.
We will have the normal Mass schedule on December 9th, but the 6 pm Mass will be a Solemn Mass in honor of the Immaculate Conception.
Thursday, December 12th, is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Queen of the Americas. We will have the Mananitas Mass in honor of our Lady at 6 am, followed by a free Mexican Breakfast to which all are invited. This is a very lovely Mass, and it’s a beautiful way to keep this feast of when our Lady first appeared in North America. The 9am and 6 pm Masses will also be celebrated as usual that day.
Friday, December 13th, the School Christmas pageant will be performed in the church at 7 pm. This is always a wonderful event: the kids are wonderful, it puts you into the Spirit of Christmas, and it shows how good it is to have a Catholic school, where the kids can celebrate what Christmas is really about! Attendance is free, and everyone is very welcome!
The Christmas Novena starts a week from tomorrow (Monday, December 16th). If you want the Novena Masses offered as a gift for someone, living or deceased, please get your request envelopes turned in before that date. The envelopes also have a very nice Christmas card that you can send, letting the person know that the Novena of Masses is being offered for them here at St. Thomas.
Also, remember that during the Novena, morning and night, all priests will be available to hear confessions,andthat in the evening, at least one visiting priest will be present. Plan ahead to make a good Christmas confession - our most important preparation for Christmas!
Our school, our religious education program, and our whole parish, owes so much to our dear Filippini Sisters. I know that many of you like to express your gratitude to them at Christmas, but getting a Christmas gift for our Sisters can be a challenge because, due to their vow of poverty, they live lives of great simplicity.
However, I have an idea. For several years now, the parish has sent the Sisters to Mexico – to a very nice and safe, quiet home on the beach - during Spring Break for a little rest and relaxation. This is the only vacation the Sisters get beyond their retreat and home visit every summer. The Parish pays for the house. What the Sisters would really like is if we could help with their plane tickets. So this is what I suggest:
If you would like to help buy the Sisters plane tickets as a Christmas gift, just send whatever amount you wish to the Parish. You can put it in the collection, or mail or hand deliver it to the Parish office. The important thing is that you put the word “Sisters” on the envelope. On Christmas Day I will give the Sisters a card with all the names of the donors (but NOT the amount given).
This way we can all help to get the Sisters something they really can use and enjoy for Christmas. Thank you for your thoughtfulness towards our Sisters.
A blessed Advent week!
Msgr. Doug Raun
The First Sunday of Advent, the Year of Grace 2014. Twenty-four days to prepare ourselves for our blessed Savior’s Birth!
On Monday, December 2, at 6 pm, we will have a special Mass of Thanksgiving for having reached our $6 million goal for the Build My Church Campaign. All of the volunteers of the campaign will be present, and of course all are welcome to join us in thanking our Lord in reaching this important goal in the life of our parish.
We start hearing the confessions of the catechism children this week to prepare them for Christmas. But of course it’s not just children who need to go to Confession. To make a good Advent confession is our most important preparation for our Savior’s Birthday. During the novena we will have all the priests of the parish hearing confessions day and night, but we can always beat the crowd and get in sooner to prepare our soul for our Savior’s Birth!
Of course I believe in Santa Claus - if by Santa Claus you mean the holy Bishop of Myra, St. Nicholas, whose feast-day is this Friday (December 6). St. Nicholas was known for his love of children, and so became their patron saint. I really suggest that our Catholic parents share with their children the lovely stories about St. Nicholas, and help them to understand that Santa Claus is just another name for their blessed patron. It puts the whole “Santa thing” into a right and beautiful Catholic understanding.
A few more witticisms from Steven Wright:
* Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
* What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
* Why do psychics have to ask your name?
Msgr. Doug Raun
The big event this week is the Solemn High Mass of THANKSGIVING DAY - Thursday, Nov. 28, at 9 am.
Of course, it is not a Holy Day of Obligation, but a day of special prayer. My friends, it is such a beautiful thing to go to Mass on Thanksgiving Day. So many people have forgotten the meaning of this feast - a day to GIVE THANKS to GOD. When we start the day with Mass, all of our feasting and celebrations seem so much more fitting and joyful. And - it is one of the most lovely and stirring Masses of the year, with both our Liturgical and Children’s choirs taking part.
I do hope that, if at all possible, you can attend Mass that day. On Thanksgiving Day, there will be only the one Mass at 9 am. The office will be closed on Thursday and Friday.
Many thanks to all of you who so generously donated food to the St. Vincent de Paul Thanksgiving food basket distribution. Many families will have a happy Thanksgiving Dinner thanks to you. God bless you.
I hope you all enjoyed Deacon Larry sharing with us about stewardship last Sunday. This week you should have received your Intention Cards for 2014 in the mail. Please pray and think about you commitment for next year, and return the card to the office by December 15.
If I don’t hear from you by then, I will have to send you a reminder!
Today we celebrate the glorious feast of Christ the King - the feast when we rejoice in the universal Lordship of our Savior and look forward to the manifestation of that Kingdom on the Last Day. It is also the end of the Year of Faith, and our series of sermons on the Creed. I hope that our year-long meditation on the truths of the Faith has deepened our knowledge and love of God.
Next Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent - the start of the Year of Grace 2014.
Our parish has long had the tradition of celebrating a Novena in preparation for the feast of Christmas, consisting of nine days of special Masses, prayers, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Many people like to have this Novena offered as a Christmas gift for their loved ones, living or deceased. If you would like to do so, there are Novena request envelopes at the doors of the Church. With them are beautiful Christmas Cards, that you can send, telling them that the Novena is being offered for their intentions.
A blessed week! Safety to all who travel!
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9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. Closed on Holidays and Holy Days of Obligation.
Saturday: 5:00pm, Sunday: 7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, & 6:00pm.
9:00am & 6:00pm.
Weekdays: 8:30am & 5:30pm. Saturday: 8:30am, 3:00pm - 4:30pm, & 6:00pm - 7:00pm.
12.11.2013 5:30 pm - 5:55 pmConfessions
12.11.2013 6:00 pm - 6:30 pmMass
12.12.2013 6:00 am - 7:00 amMananitas Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe
12.12.2013 8:30 am - 8:55 amConfessions
12.12.2013 9:00 am - 9:30 amMass
12.12.2013 5:30 pm - 5:55 pmConfessions
12.12.2013 6:00 pm - 6:30 pmMass
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish 1502 Sara Rd. NE Rio Rancho, NM 87124 Tel: (505) 892-1511