St. Paul Church

485 Alling Street

Kensington CT 06037


The Epistle Online:  November 23, 2016

In This Issue
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Wishing You Many Blessings
as Our Nation Gives Thanks to God
Rejoice Always, Pray Without Ceasing and
In Everything Give Thanks
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

T he word Eucharist means 'thanksgiving'. 
Please j oin us for the Liturgy of the Eucharist this week.  
Mass Times
Thursday, November 24:   9:00am
( No 7am or 5pm Mass)
Friday, November 25:   7:00am
( No  5pm Mass)
Giving Thanks
In Prayer
We begin this issue with a Thanksgiving Prayer:

Saying Grace by Norman Rockwell

Today we give thanks for our many blessings
as we pray for those in need. 
We give thanks for our  family and friends
as we pray for those who are lonely.
We give thanks for our freedoms
as we pray for those who are oppressed. 
We give thanks for our  good health
as we pray for those who are ill. 
We give thanks for our comfort and prosperity
as we share our blessings with others.

"A day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God."  

Quick fact:  
George Washington called for a public day of prayer and thanksgiving in his  Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789 , but  it wasn't until 1863 du ring the Civil War, that  Abraham Lincoln declared an official holiday for 'thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God ' to be celebrated in November.  To learn more, check out:  Abraham Lincoln and the Mother of Thanksgiving 
Don't rush it
The season of  ADVENT  begins on Sunday, November 27th!

If you're NOT quite ready for the season to start, take a minute to listen to this amusing song, 'The Day After Thanksgiving'...

Preparation and True Christmas Spirit 

This video, 'Waiting - A Reflection', might help you get the Advent season off to a good start...

Whether you're ready or not, the busy season is about to begin.  If you'd like to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, try these  4 simple ways to get in the true holiday spirit:   

#1 -  Enjoy the Sights and Sounds
There's nothing like beautiful music to get you in the Christmas spirit. Join us for our parish  Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 4th beginning at 5:00pm .   We are blessed to have wonderfully talented musicians and singers here at St. Paul Church! 
This year, the concert will be followed by a special  live outdoor nativity scene and refreshments. 
The live nativity is referred to as a Greccio in reference to the town of Greccio, Italy where Saint Francis created the first nativity scene.  This link tells the story:  
Story of Saint Francis of Assisi and the First Nativity Scene

There are many other concerts and live performances in the area. Enjoy a night out and support your local churches and musical groups!  See the bulletins and papers for info.

#2 - Inbox Inspiration
A free email program  called  Best Advent Ever   from Dynamic Catholic  will help you prepare for Christmas in a different way this year. 
Beginning on Nov. 27 and continuing every day until Dec. 26, you'll receive short inspirational videos, practical tips, or free Christmas music that will help you slow down and focus on what's really important.  Click on the image to find out more.

#3 -  Keep Christ in Christmas
As you begin to shop for the special people in your life, consider gifts that are in keeping with the true meaning of Christmas, gifts that may draw your loved ones closer to Christ. Here are just a few suggestions and resources:
Hope Peace Joy

The Catholic Company  offers a wide variety of home goods, jewelry, artwork, gifts for kids and adults, and more. 

Pope Awesome

EWTN Religious Catalogue  provides books, artwork, rosaries and more to 'strengthen the faith and the family'. 

Feeding Your Family's Soul 

Paraclete Press also  publishes music, books and videos which remind us, " Never lose hope in the mercy of God.

#4 - Give and Live in the Moment!

Living in the moment and giving of yourself, whether in time, talent or treasure, may be the most meaningful gifts of all. 
Our Youth
Update on the kids...
Y outh Ministry for  Middle School students is up and running! 

The EDGE program kicked off with 'Colors Wars' in October, followed by 'InstaHunt' in November. Both events were very well attended, and the kids are already asking about what's next!

Click on the photos below to view the album from each event. Thanks to all who attended and all who volunteered to help out!

InstaHunt was a scavenger hunt held all over the parish campus on Sunday, Nov. 20th, a cold and windy afternoon!

Color Wars!

Color Wars was kick-off event held in the school gym on Sunday, Oct. 16th.  

The Hi gh School students in our Confirmation Program have been very busy throughout the fall, volunteering at various parish and community events. The students are a big help, and many of these events could not happen without them! Keep up the good work kids! Click on each pic to view the album...

Parish Picnic

Students helped set up, serve dinner and treats, paint faces, and more at the Parish Picnic in September.

Trunk O' Treat

The students were a huge help at Trunk O' Treat! Setting up the inflatables, directing cars, handing out candy, boxing up and transporting all of the donated canned goods.

Italian Night

These waiters and waitresses made Italian Night extra special. They did a great job serving at this sold out event!

If your Confirmation Student is looking for a Service Opportunity, click here to view upcoming events!
Mercy Mondays
Last one next week

The Year of Mercy officially came to a close on November 20, 2016.

St. Paul Church will host one more Mercy Monday on November 28th from 7-8pm.

Come spend time in prayer, confession, or quiet reflection.
For Your Marriage
I once gave my husband the silent treatment for an entire week,
at the end of which he declared, "Hey, we're getting along pretty great lately!"

Marriage isn't easy. In fact, t he United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has a special initiative devoted entirely to supporting this Sacrament.
The initiative called For Your Marriage has a website filled with a great deal of practical information, helpful tips, and interesting articles to help married couples find their way.

As an example, consider this article,  The Courage to be Married.  

There are countless other resources for married couples who may be in need of a little guidance, and of course, the friars at Saint Paul Church are here for you as well.

Six Tips for a Healthy Marriage  -Catholic News Agency

More Like John Wayne    -Catholic News Agency

Keep It Together  -
Our Church Community
Get to Know the Staff
This section of the newsletter aims to help you put names with faces and allow everyone in our parish family get to know each other better.
Welcome Margaret! 
Margaret Sznaj joined the St. Paul Church Parish Staff in September as an Administrative Assistant in the Religious Education department.   As a long-time parishioner, dedicated catechist and an alumna of Saint Paul School, Margaret was already very familiar with the Religious Ed program when she came on board. She has joined the staff seamlessly and is a great addition to the Religious Ed team!

Margaret and her husband Greg live in Berlin with their three children.
November/December 2016 Calendar
Nov. 23 Parish Office closed, no 5 pm Mass
Nov 24 Mass at 9 am    Happy Thanksgiving
Nov 25 7 am Mass, no 5 pm Mass Parish Office closed
Nov 27 The First Sunday in Advent
Nov 28 Mercy Monday, 7-8pm (Last One!)
Nov 30 Adult Faith Formation session, 7:00-8:30pm in the Church Hall
Dec 4 Annual Christmas Concert, 5 pm in Church followed by Live Nativity
Dec 7 5 pm Vigil Mass for  Holy Day, Immaculate Conception
Dec 8 Holy Day Masses: 7am, 9am (St Paul School, All are welcome!), 5pm
Dec 11 Breakfast with Santa!  8 am - Noon, Knights of Columbus
Dec 12 Registration evening for new parishioners 7pm
Dec 13 13th of the Month Rosary - 12pm in the Church

Check our web calendar for details on all our events!
The Epistle
We hope this newsletter will be a helpful resource for you, providing information about what's  going on in our parish and sharing content on both spiritual and practical matters related to our Catholic faith.  The Epistle  is so named as a tribute to our patron, Saint Paul, whose letters to the earliest Christians still guide and inform us today.
As always, w e value you and your opinions. Feel free to share your thoughts with us.

Please forward this Newsletter to a family member or friend so they too will have an opportunity to learn something new and to see all the great things that are happening at 
Saint Paul Church.
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"For it is in giving that we receive."
-Saint Francis of Assisi

A Ministry of the Conventual Franciscan Friars,  Our Lady of the Angels Province