HAPPY NEW YEAR – 2023
---First, I give “thanks” to God in gratitude for the many blessings that God have
bestowed upon our parish community as I reflect on this past year 2022, a very unique
and challenging year. 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 the 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 2023 – Full
of Hope. May the Lord continue to bless you, your families and our world in this coming
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: -Ministry to both parishes St. Gabriel and
Prince of Peace: Deacon John Ricciardi and Fr. Ronald Belisle.
-Ministry to the Hispanic community at Prince of Peace Parish in Belfair: Fr. Ron
Belisle, Fr. Patrick McDermott and 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 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 2022. 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 2022.
Fr. Phuong Hoang