Dear Friends of St. Jude,
The Advent and Christmas liturgical cycles have always been my favorite of the ecclesiastical year. Like a great painting the seasons provide background colors highlighting the figures we celebrate during the feast days of these weeks. The Mother of God is celebrated under some of her greatest titles and the feasts of martyr, confessor, and virgin saints witness to a life lived according to the teachings of Christ born for us. Among those we think of are men and women who took to heart the song of the angels in the shepherds’ fields: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
All people are invited to place their hopes for protection in this life and for guidance toward the life to come in Jesus our newborn savior. In these times, each passing year seems more tumultuous than the last. Yet, as faithful Catholics, we know that it has been and will continue to be our work to hope in God alone. In the Letter of Jude we read: “Beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit!” Hope is a gift infused in our souls with the Holy Spirit at Holy Baptism, but to grow in hope requires our constant trust in Jesus and the intercession of the saints. May you ever grow in such hope!
During this season of grace, the Dominican Friars entrust each of you and your loved ones to the care of the Infant Christ who promises that, “The more you honor me, the more I will bless you.” We would ask that you in turn entrust us and our brothers in formation for ordination to the priesthood in prayer to the Christ Child as well. Your prayers and generosity are so necessary in helping us continue our priestly work in the Western United States and at St. Dominic’s Church, home of the Shrine of St. Jude. Mutual prayer is one way that we show forth the Body of Christ, the Church. We priests rely on you for our “bread and wine” as you in turn rely on us to change them into the Body and Blood of Christ.
Christ continues to make himself present among us, truly present among us, in the Eucharist and the Mass. As is our custom, we will celebrate a novena of Masses for our friends and benefactors. If you wish to send your petitions, please mail them to us on the enclosed slip, or enter them online, and we will place them upon the altar of St. Jude for you and remember them this Christmas. Thank you. The Friars and Shrine staff join me in wishing you a very Merry Christmas and abundant blessings in the New Year.
Blessings in Christ our Lord,
Very Rev. Vincent M. Kelber, O.P., Director
Novena Petition Request Forms: ChristmasLetterSlip2019Eng