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San Francisco, CA 94115
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December 22, 2019: The Fourth Sunday of Advent - Pastor’s Corner

Fiat Lux. Let there be light.

For the first time in the history of St. Dominic’s, the front exterior of our picturesque Church is now illumined at night.  Thanks to the generosity of the parish, we were able to complete the first stage of professional lighting to coincide with Advent & Christmas. In the midst of winter darkness, such luminosity serves not only the safety needs for those coming and going, but also provides the warmth of welcome. Since our vibrant parish is open daily from 6am to past 9pm, these lights attract with the invitation of the beauty which lies inside.  Last week, as I was outside admiring the newly lit façade, I noticed a group of folks walking past the Church in the middle of animated discussion.  Though they did not see me, they did notice these new lights. They stopped. Their conversation was arrested. After a brief pause, a few words were exchanged which ended with: “the lights are on, let’s go see.” They proceeded to enter the Church and, I was delighted that they took a good amount of time to explore her treasures thoroughly.  As a pastor, it was a moment of great rejoicing. Even in its first stages, our new lights are a manifestation of our Parish’s vision “To Radiate the Joy of the Gospel in the Heart of the City.”

As we approach Christmas, I am once again reminded of that the birth of Christ is the celebration of light. The stories of Jesus’ birth two thousand year ago highlight this theme.  For example, angels appear to the shepherds in a blaze of glory.  The famous star of Bethlehem guides the Magi’s quest to discover Jesus.  Everyone who encounters mother and child in the first few days of Christ’s birth goes forth in radiant joy. This is the season of light.   

 The light of Christ’s birth continues to shine.  In fact, Christmas is not simply a remembrance of the past, Jesus wants to enlighten us with the power of his presence now.  Let’s face it, there are areas of our lives which are shrouded in darkness. Like the unlit parts of a Church, this darkness can be a hazard to our spiritual security and also keep others at a distance.  This Christmas, Christ wants to shine in our lives in a new way.  Practically, this can happen in two ways. 

First, we open ourselves to Christ when we connect with His community.  So we’ve included a detailed calendar of our Christmas & New Year’s liturgies and celebrations in this bulletin. Come and join the light of our community at worship.  Further, we all know well that the impressive crowds that pack our Christmas Masses dwindle in the coming Sundays.   If you’re among that Christmas crowd, that’s ok.  But know that you are welcome every Sunday. In fact, I promise that if this New Year’s resolution includes coming to Mass on a regular basis, you’ll begin to experience life in more vibrant and spiritual way. Just ask any of those who are involved personally in our robust RCIA program.  

Second, at Christmastime, it is customary for St Dominic’s to make a financial appeal for the needs of the parish.  And although we are very grateful to receive such financial support, this year, you might also consider how you might radiate Christ’s light.  If you’ve never been involved with any of the various ministries of the parish, there’s over 50 different organized ways to make a difference and bring the new life of Christ alive.  Pick up a ministry booklet after Mass at the rectory and discover where you can get more involved.  The life of St Dominic’s Church flows not just from the energies of the priests and staff, but from you, the parishioners.  You are St Dominic’s. This Christmas, let Christ shine in you so that you might radiate the joy of the Gospel in the Heart of the City!

~ Fr. Michael

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