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Prayer for the New Year

I am not an enthusiast of new year’s resolutions. Perhaps it comes from seeing too many advertisements for gym equipment, dating sites, or weight loss programs during the last week of December, knowing most resolutions fade just a few weeks later. While the desire for self-improvement is admirable, some resolutions feel half-hearted or even self-loathing.

But 2020 has been a year like no other and, as it comes to a close, I have been thinking more about new year’s resolutions. As we near the Epiphany of the Lord, I am considering new year’s resolutions with a new perspective. Epiphany means manifestation, and the Epiphany of the Lord is Jesus’ manifestation to the three Magi and to the whole world.

In 2020, the whole world has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. So much of what we’re accustomed to -- our routines, habits, and activities -- came to a screeching halt. That lockdown continues in many ways as we begin 2021. 

I have come to see a small silver lining in the lockdown. With most commitments on hiatus, if and when things “open up” and we can start activities again, I hope to carefully evaluate what I choose to bring back. The difficulties of 2020 may bring an epiphany of sorts in 2021, with the invitation to prayerfully and deliberately evaluate what I do -- and, more importantly, what I don’t do. Every activity, every commitment, every social or volunteer opportunity, is an invitation for me to prayerfully ask, “Why should I do this? Does this help someone? Does this bring me joy? Does this bring me closer to God? Or should I not bring this back?”

While I, like you, anxiously await for the pandemic to ebb (hopefully soon!) and for life to return back to “normal,” I pray for an epiphany in this new year. As we wade into 2021, may we look for the star that God is using to call us. May our new normal be focused on God and how God is speaking to us, now more than ever.

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A short video with Principal Benito Matias and Lara, an 8th grade student.

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Basilica Community, 

I hope you and your family had a blessed Christmas and that this New Year is off to a good start, and that it will be filled with God’s abundant blessings.

Today, I have three things I would like to mention. First, I want to thank everyone for their financial support of our parish during the past months and particularly at Christmas. Your ongoing financial support enables us to continue to offer the many programs, ministries and services that are at the heart of our Basilica community. It has been a blessing for our parish. As your pastor, please know of my great gratitude for your ongoing financial support.

The second thing I want to mention is that now that our livestreaming cameras have been permanently installed, we are able to open our 9:30am Mass for people to attend. As with the 11:30am and 4:30pm Masses, we do ask people to register to attend the 9:30am Mass, in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing.

I also want to remind people that the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days continues to be suspended. Given this, if due to age, health issues, or other concerns, please know that you don’t have to attend Mass, and that we encourage you to join us for one of livestreamed Masses.

The third thing I want to mention is that we have begun looking ahead to our liturgical celebrations during Lent and Easter. Before we begin planning these celebrations, however, we would like the chance to de-brief people in regard to our liturgical celebrations during Advent and Christmas.

Given this, I would like to invite you to join me for coffee and conversation next Wednesday at 9:00am via Zoom. I’d like to hear from you about what worked well these past few months, and particularly at Christmas, as well as ideas and suggestions you might have for what we can do differently or better. The link to the Coffee and Conversation next Wednesday can be found on our parish website.

Finally, as always, if you have questions or concerns about anything that is happening at the Basilica, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

 

 

Ever-loving God,
font of harmony and source of unity,
we ask for the grace to face the sin of division in our society;

we beg for mercy and forgiveness for the harm we have done,

we implore that you open our hearts and minds to ways that will bring about      justice, equality, healing, harmony and peace,

and we pray for the conversion of heart of all those who perpetuate fear, promote supremacy and cultivate hatred.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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Our Prayer Today

Ever-loving God,
fount of harmony and source of unity,
      we ask for the grace to face the sin of division in our society;
      we beg for mercy and forgiveness for the harm we have done,
we implore that you open our hearts and minds to ways that will bring about justice, equality, healing, harmony and peace,
and we pray for the conversion of heart of all those who perpetuate fear, promote supremacy and cultivate hatred.  
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. This week, Johan discusses our late 15th Century painting Adoration of the Magi, which was donated to The Basilica by the Lahiff family in the 1970s from the art collection of their family member Elizabeth Quinlan, founder of the Young-Quinlan companies.

 

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