Advent Greetings,

Advent is a time of hopeful anticipation and expectation. But as I always say, that is best on the Lord's terms and not on our terms. In this light, I am happy to share with you this advent reflection by Paula Fiorino, our sacramental/liturgy coordinator at Holy Cross Parish. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Blessings for the week ahead!

Fr. David Mulholland
Love’s Labor’s Lost
An Advent Reflection

By Paula Peluso Fiorino

In 1992 I submerged myself into the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a nine-month-long retreat. During this time, we had two facilitators who gave lectures every month to about twenty of us and we also met our Spiritual Director every two weeks for the entire process.

Ironically and symbolically, at the same time, my husband Dan and I had also been waiting for several months for our adoptive child to be born. After years of unsuccessfully trying to conceive, this was the answer to our prayers. We were ecstatic with joy and the timing seemed Providential, as it was Advent.

At our December group gathering our retreat facilitators gave us some clay and invited us to mold and shape whatever was in our hearts at the time. My creation ended up reflecting a very serenely pregnant Madonna. Although I was not with child, I felt full of the life someone else was going to bear. I radiated an ineffable joy and peace that comes from expecting one of God’s most precious gifts.

My expectant Madonna stood in a prominent place in our home for all to see. Everyone, all our family and friends also shared in our anticipated joy waiting for our child to be born at the year’s end.

I thought about all the Advents of my youth and how I waited with child-like wonder and impatience for Jesus to be born. But this time the child I was waiting for would be our child... a child that would fulfill all our hopes and dreams.

When we finally received the news that a son, our son Joseph Michael was born, we were ecstatic with indescribable joy and so were our family and friends. The next day when we went to bring our little ‘messiah’ home, our dream became a nightmare and shattered us into a thousand pieces. Our already much loved and long waited for son was no longer our child. At the last minute, his birth mother changed her mind.

I do not remember now how long we felt lifeless and grief-stricken over Joseph, but it seemed like an eternity. Many Advents have now passed since we almost had him and it holds new meaning for me now. I realize that no one, no child, no person, no place, no thing or material goods, no job, no state of health or being can fulfill my hopes, my dreams, my laboring’s or my longings. The child I was waiting for and continue to wait for was already born, whose fulfillment has been made, whose promises of life-giving waters, resurrection, and eternal life have been given.

Jesus is the child, the man whose labors were not in vain and will never break our hearts. Advent invites us to examine our expectations and longings and recommit ourselves to the one whose labors are never lost, whose promise fulfills our hopes and dreams, who turns tears to laughter, despair to hope, desolation to consolation, hate to love, war to peace and suffering and death to new life. Only Jesus perfects the ultimate labor of love.

Paula and her husband Dan have two adopted children.
Due to the recent Washington State emergency order to stop the spread of COVID-19 our parish offices are closed. Staff are working remotely. Call or email us and we will get back to you promptly. Email can be sent to and voicemail can be left at 253-383-2783. Messages are checked regularly and will be routed to the appropriate staff person. If you need the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, call 253-383-2783, extension 4102.
Pierce Deanery Planning
Archbishop Etienne shares a pastoral video message about the strategic planning process in the Pierce deanery.
Learn More
Coming to Mass
  1. Reservations for weekend liturgies and holy days during the Advent and Christmas seasons are REQUIRED to ensure we don't exceed the maximum building occupancy set by the State of Washington.
  2. Click HERE to register and arrive at least 10 minutes before Mass begins.
  3. Reservations are not required for daily Mass.
  4. Stay home if you aren't feeling well.

Advent & Christmas Masses

Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 8
9 am* & 7 pm | St. Patrick Church
9 am | Holy Cross Church
*Mass will be livestreamed on our YouTube Channel

Simbang Gabi Celebration
December 20 | 11 am* | St. Patrick Church
*only the 11 am Mass will be livestreame on our YouTube Channel; not the 9 am Mass


St. Patrick Church
December 24 | 5 pm* & 9 pm
December 25 |Midnight & 10 am
*Mass will be livestreamed on our YouTube Channel
Holy Cross Church
December 24 | 5 pm
December 25 | 9 am
St. Rita of Cascia Church
December 24 | 7 pm 

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
January 1
9 am| St. Patrick Church* & Holy Cross Church
*Mass will be livestreamed on our YouTube Channel
The dispensation for Mass is still in effect.
2nd Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 6, 2020 | 9 am
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | 9 am
Mass via Livestream
Mass is livestreamed from St. Patrick Church on Sundays at 9 am, unless otherwise noted. Holy days, all-school Masses at 9 AM on a few Fridays each month and Mass on the first Friday of each month at 11 AM are also livestreamed.

THANK YOU for subscribing to our YouTube Channel and helping us reach our 1K goal. Subscribing to our YouTube Channel is not necessary to attend Mass virtually, however it allows you to set reminders to tune in. Check-in on Facebook and invite your friends and family to attend Mass on the livestream. Remember to make your weekly offertory gift via Online Giving.
Simbang Gabi
On each of the nine mornings leading up to Christmas, Catholics in the Philippines gather in the pre-dawn hours for Simbang Gabi, a novena of Masses that anticipates the celebration of Christmas. Experience the spirituality of the season, the anticipation and expectation of the birth of our Lord and the fellowship with Pierce Deanery faith community.

The annual Archdiocesan-Parish sponsored Novena of Advent Masses— Simbang Gabi, celebrated at nine participating parishes, begins with the Commissioning Mass at St. James Cathedral livestream on December 12 at 11 am.

St. Patrick Parish will celebrate the 8th day of the novena on December 20 at 11 am.

Check out the new Facebook page. Download the Mass schedule with livestream links for each of the 9 days. Learn more about Simbang Gabi and parols.
Contemplative Mass
Join us on Sunday evenings at St. Patrick Church for a contemplative chant Mass at 7 pm. The lights are low and the candles are lit for a reflective and prayerful celebration.

On the 4th Sunday of each month the 7 pm Mass is reserved for Youth Group and Confirmation Prep students and their families.
Appeal for the Poor
Hope and Light – how do we find Hope and Light during these dark days as the pandemic continues its merciless grip on society? We look for those who are doing the work – those who are answering the call of serving those in need – those who we know are Christians by their love. 

This weekend Catholic Community Services and Catholic Housing Services kick off the Appeal for the Poor Campaign. CCS/CHS are our local Catholic Charities at work serving over 105,000 Western Washingtonians across 170 programs in 2019. With over 3,700 staff and 8,500 volunteers, CCS/CHS continue to accompany and work alongside the men, women, and children who seek their essential services. Consummate professionals and tireless advocates, CCS/CHS continue to provide compassionate charity and advocate for justice throughout the rise and fall of COVID-19 cases. 

With the goal of keeping everyone safe, CCS/CHS has created a video to share their message of Hope and Light. We encourage you to watch the video and prayerfully consider how you might join the thousands of volunteers and staff this year. Is it through prayeradvocacyvolunteerism, or a generous donation

For those who have never given, an anonymous donor has given $10,000 to incentivize new parish donors. The first 100 new households who give at least $100 will have $100 of their gift matched – doubling your impact! 

This year, Hope and Light will look different for each of us. For those served by CCS – it may be newly found stable housing, a nutritious meal, or compassionate home care. You can be a part of someone’s journey to feeling Christian love. As Matthew reminds us in this week’s gospel, “without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Your gift, no matter the amount, will show love, kindness and care towards our Western Washington neighbors. You can support CCS/CHS at
St. Vincent de Paul Collection
Your gift to our St. Vincent de Paul Conference supports our brothers and sisters in Christ with food, gas and other basic needs. Thank you for your support of this ministry. Make your gift online or at mass this weekend.
Stewardship of Treasure Renewal
We are very grateful to the many parishioners who have returned a Treasure Commitment Card to our parishes. Your generosity supports our many ministries. We thank you for being good stewards of all that God has given you.

Fr. David signed and mailed over 1500 letters and asks everyone who has not yet made their 2021 commitment to prayerfully evaluate their giving to the parish and community. Need a little more inspiration? Listen or re-listen to Todd and Kim Ward's recent witness talk.

After discernment, click on your parish link below and make your pledge. How will you know whether you have pledged the right amount? You will feel comfortable and at peace with your gift.
Registered Households: 898
2021 Pledges: 269
Total Pledged: $629,111
Registered Households: 295
2021 Pledges: 109
Total Pledged: $220,789

Registered Households: 142
2021 Pledges: 35
Total Pledged: $79,926
Weekly Offertory
An offertory collection basket is located at the back of the sanctuary during Mass for contactless giving. If you are unable to attend Mass in person, please mail in your gift or give online with Online Giving, — Fr. David gives this way! It is safe and easy. If you are already an Online Giving subscriber, please remember to update your giving profile if you have taken a step up for your 2021 Stewardship of Treasure pledge.
Corporate Matching Gifts
Want to double your gift for the Annual Catholic Appeal? Corporate matching gifts are a type of philanthropy in which companies financially match donations that their employees make to nonprofit organizations. When an employee makes a donation, they'll request the matching gift from their employer, who then makes their own donation. It is as easy as filling out a form. Talk to the benefits coordinator at work to learn how to participate. Learn more
Year-End Giving
As we come to the end of the year, we want to thank you for your generous gifts throughout the year! Every year people ask how they can help as the year comes to a close.

Ways to make a year-end gift which doesn't involve money:
  1. Write a review. Wherever you’ve encountered our content—, Google— write a review! Your positive reviews help make our school and parishes more visible to others.
  2. Follow, Like, Subscribe to us on social media— Facebook – St. PatrickFacebook – St. Rita of CasciaFacebook – Holy CrossInstagramYouTube Channel.
  3. On social media like our posts, leave comments and share our stories! These actions increase our reach and engagement.
  4. Share your testimony. Strengthened your faith because of ALPHA? Converted through RCIA? Came back to the Church? Let us know!

Have you considered making a donation by year-end for tax purposes? Stewardship pledge payments or new gifts need to be received or postmarked by December 31 to be credited to the 2020 calendar year for tax purposes. Choose to make your extra year end gift using Online Giving. Scroll up to find your parish link.

Other ways to make a monetary year-end gift:
  1. Stock— donating stock to a non-profit can save you from paying capital gains tax on the appreciated value if you’ve held the stock for at least a year.
  2. IRA If you are 70½ or older, there are potential tax benefits when you transfer funds from your IRA. Contact your IRA plan administrator.
  3. Scrip Purchase Scrip gift cards or give them as the gift that always fits.
  4. AmazonSmile Another way to shop and give is to enable AmazonSmile. When you designate St. Patrick School as your beneficiary, Amazon donates a percentage of your purchase to Saint Patrick Catholic School— our largest ministry.
mass intentions
December 8 | 9 am
Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 9 | 9 am
for the repose of the soul of
John Armour, Jr.

December 10| 9 am
for the intentions of
Jane Robonson

December 11 | 9 am
for the repose of the souls of George and Margarite Wolter

December 12 | 5 pm
December 13 | 9 am, 11 am, 7 pm
for the people of the parish
December 7 | 9 am
for the intentions of
Julie Chambers

December 8 | 9 am
for the people of the parish

December 9 | 5 pm
for the intentions of
Billy Sarno & Abby Meline

December 10 | 9 am
for the intentions of
Deanna Timmerman

December 11 | 9 am
for the repose of the soul of
Mary McInerney

December 12 | 5 pm
December 13 | 10 am
for the people of the parish
Finding our Way to the Center:
An Advent Evening of Prayer
December 9, 2020
7:00-8:15 pm

Join us for a virtual labyrinth “walk” in this contemplative ecumenical Advent evening of prayer, music, art, dance, silence, imagination and reflection.  Presenters Fr. Jerry Graham, S.J. and Rev. Carolyn Shimabukuro will guide us on a journey with Mary and others to find our way to the Center and to hopefully return transformed. After this long weary year with the pandemic, election and growing darkness of Winter, may we pause together to find our center again in God!  

Cost is on a sliding-scale, donation-based program. Suggested donation is $10.

QUESTIONS? |206-329-4824

Archbishop Etienne began Year of the Eucharist on the Feast of Corpus Christi for the Archdiocese of Seattle and asked us to spend this time pondering the true presence of Jesus's Sacred Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Read his pastoral letter, "The Work of Redemption." Join us for Adoration. Click the parish links below to view adoration schedule and sign up to keep watch for an hour.

Youth Group and Confirmation Prep students are invited to register for a special night of Adoration on December 17 at 7 pm.
faith formation
First Reconciliation
Congratulations to the children who have recently received the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. The children have been preparing since late August 2020 and completed the sacrament in November. They worked diligently at home, with their parents. Their faithfulness is commendable. Keep the children and their families in your prayers as they continue their sacramental preparation for the First Holy Communion.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” ~Matthew 6:14
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Ellia F. 
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Domenic H. 
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Available on your phone, tablet, laptop or TV for FREE as our gift!
To sign up:
  1. Click HERE to get started, then...
  2. Enter zip code 98403 or parish St. Patrick [regardless of your parish affliation]
  3. Enter your email and your in!
Youth Group #253

Due to Covid-19 precautions, all meetings for middle & high schoolers are online except for the in-person, celebration of Mass on the 4th Sunday of the month & Eucharistic Adoration on the 3rd Thursday. Join us!

Read more
The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree is back, but a little different— like all things these days. Instead of wrapped gifts, Catholic Community Services is asking for gift cards, with a suggested minimum of $25. Gifts tags with names of Pierce County children are on the Giving Tree in the Gathering Space at Saint Patrick Church. Pick up a gift tag before or after Mass this week.

After you have selected the perfect gift card for the child, place the gift tag from the tree and the gift card inside a signed Christmas cards and write the child’s name on the envelope and seal it. Sealed envelopes can be given to an usher or mass coordinator at any Mass, now through December 13.

Greeting cards containing the gift tag and gift card can also be mailed by Monday, December 15 to:
c/o Child’s Name & Fred Morley
Gethsemane Catholic Cemetery
37600 Pacific Hwy S
Federal Way WA 98003
St. Frances Sodality poinsettia sales benefits the charitable works of the ministry. Order one for your home and for friends and family, especially the homebound. Poinsettias can also be gifted to the parishes of St. Rita of Cascia and Holy Cross in memory of a loved one.

Several sizes and colors are available. Orders are due on December 13 and can be picked up December 19 - 20.
Catholic Advocacy News
The Washington State Legislature will convene January 11, 2021, and the legislative session will run for 105 days through April. Be sure to check the Washington State Legislature website and the WSCC website for policy updates throughout the session. During the legislative session the Catholic Advocacy Bulletin will be published weekly. If you do not receive this bulletin directly, subscribe now to stay informed.
st. patrick school
REACH Auction

Reserve your tickets today. They make great stocking stuffers for family. Everyone is welcome. Need not be a school family. Join us virtually for an incredible program celebrating Catholic Education.

For three consecutive nights superheroes around the area and from across the universe will unite to form a forcefield for Catholic Education. Your support is essential to the success of St. Patrick Catholic School and our students.

Our procurement needs are greater than ever. Browse our Amazon Wish List and download the procurement form.

Corporate sponsorship opportunties are now open! Limited availabilty, select yours today.
Miracle on G Street: A Festival of Lights
Come get into the Christmas Spirit and drive through our winter wonderland. Drop off donations to St. Leo Food Connection, mail a letter to Santa, and perhaps even get a glimpse of him and his helpers at our drive-through event.

DECEMBER 11, 2020
5:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Mail Box for Santa Letters
Assuming you’ve been good this year, bring your letters for Santa to drop into our North Pole Express Mailbox.

Food Drive for St. Leo Food Connection
Bring your food donations for St. Leo Food Connection too. Especially needed are canned meals such as stew, hearty soups and SpaghettiOs.

For traffic flow and as a courtesy to our neighbors,enter 12th Street via I Street, and head toward the water to enter the school parking/play area from the 12th Street entrance. Exit to the left onto 11th Street to Tacoma Avenue.

Be social, while physically distancing!
Get connected. Stay connected.