Dear Prince of Peace Parishioners:
HAPPY THE FEAST OF HOLY FAMILY and
HAPPY NEW YEAR – 2021
- In the afterglow of Christmas, the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family. This weekend we are invited to reflect on the gift and mystery of life and the blessing of family life in particular.
The Gospel of Matthew 2:13-15,19-23, shows the family of Jesus to be clearly rooted in fidelity to God’s Word. Joseph accepts the command to leave Israel and then return again at a later date. Joseph places the accent on obligations first. Jesus must be the cohesive center of family life. The Holy Family is a wonderful example for us of the dignity and beauty of human and family life. It is here, in the house of Nazareth that Jesus learned how to reach out to the poor, lonely and defenseless. It was at Nazareth that something beautiful was transmitted from Mary and Joseph to their Son, Jesus.
“May the Lord Bless you and keep you!
May the Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you!
May the Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:22-26)
- First, I can only give “thanks” to God in gratitude for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon our parish community as I reflect on this past year 2020, a very unique and challenging year in history. May WE, as a community, respond to our gracious God in words and actions the Faith that we have received and with the full knowledge of the Mystery of the Incarnation “Emmanuel – God’s with us” in continue making known God’s presence and love through our lives and make a difference in our world.
Secondly, I’d like “to thank” each and every one of you, my parishioners, for your many contributions in helping building up our Faith Community here at Prince of Peace and also a witness to our larger community of Belfair and North Mason County. I’m proud to be a member of the parish and your pastor.
- Wishing you and all your families a very Blessed and Happy New Year 2021 – Full of Hope. May the Lord continue to bless you, your families and our world in this coming New Year.
January 1 was established as the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of the Lord, and it has also been designated as the World Day of Prayer for Peace.
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of the Lord
“Mary” comes from the Hebrew “Miriam” whose etymology is probably from the Egyptian word meaning “beloved”. She is the disciple par excellence who introduces us to the goodness and humanity of God. Mary received and welcomed God’s word in the fullest sense, not knowing how the story would finally end. She did not always understand that word throughout Jesus’ life but she trusted and constantly recaptured the initial response she had given the angel and literally “pondered it” in her heart (Lk 2:19). It was only on a Friday afternoon at Calvary, some 33 years later, that she would experience the full responsibility of her “yes”.
World Day of Prayer for Peace
The most recent “theme” attached to the Christian New Year has been the “World Day of Prayer for Peace”. Christians are invited to begin a New Year praying for peace. But this action is not limited only to those who celebrate New Year’s on January 1! The Jewish people, in particular, are deeply united with Christians in praying for peace and making peace. Our God is Peace.
A Time to Remember and Give Thanks
New Year’s is a time to reminisce about the past and to share hopes for the future. Authentic religion teaches us a reverence for life and gives us a sense of the holiness of God’s name. The God that Jews and Christians worship does not seek the death of sinners, but that they may return to God and live.
- On this joyous occasion, I’d to thank those who are ministering to both parishes St. Gabriel and Prince of Peace: Deacon John Ricciardi; Ronald Belisle; Ministry to the Hispanic community at Prince of Peace Parish in Belfair: Fr. Patrick McDermott; Deacon Romeo for their generosity of time, dedication and continuing ministry with our two parishes through this past year. May Christ Jesus gifts of joy and peace will be yours continuing throughout this Holy Season and every day of your life.
Finally, I’d like also to say a word of “Thank” to our parish Staff, members of the Councils, Commissions, Committees, Groups, all the Volunteers and all parishioners who have offered their Time, Talents and Treasures to help build up St. Gabriel Parish Community in this unique and challenging year as a visible sign of God’s presence and actions in our world today. “Emmanuel – God is with us” – is indeed here with us; may we fully recognize and receive Him into our lives.
- The Calendar Year is coming to the end soon. I’d like to take this opportunity “to thank” for your participation in many different ministries and volunteer opportunities in our parish community. Especially, I’d like to thank for your stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure in the year of 2020. Please be aware that “all tax-deductible contribution” to the parish has to be done in the last week of December up to December 31 to be included for 2020.
In the Peace of Christ,
Fr. Phuong Hoang