From the Pastor's Desk

A parishioner just told me: "time seems to go by so fast in November ... because of the many things taking place!" Indeed, we barely finished Halloween and yet, Thanksgiving already is around the corner. Television also begins to post so many "Christmas commercials" already!

Spiritually, we are not "as busy" as the earthly world out there. There are quite a few things that have been and are taking place at St. Matthew, our parish.

Biblio-drama Retreat — November 4 Recently, on November 4, we had a "Biblio-drama" retreat for the ministers of our parish. The retreat was led by Fr. Jon Kirby, SVD, with the Biblical theme of the Nativity. Everyone seemed to enjoy the "new format" of the retreat and how it helped everyone to re-live what happended 2000 years ago.

Amazing Encounter Retreat — November 17-19 This weekend, November 17-19, we will have another Amazing Encounter retreat for our youth. This retreat always creates such wonderful spiritual environment for our Youth to discover and deepen their faith through the real journey of their lives. There are always tears and laughter, joy and comfort, yearning and hope. They come as strangers and always leave as brothers and sisters.

Advent Recollection Night — December 7 We will have an Advent Recollection Night for the whole parish on December 7, at 7:00pm. This Advent Recollection Night is organized by the Liturgy Committee and will be led by Ken Hensley. Mr. Hensley, a former Baptist minister, has been converted to Catholicism and has been a very active defender and promoter of the Catholic faith, teachings and traditions. Ken has appeared in various TV programs, sharing his journey of conversion and how he has found a home in the Catholic Church. Ken has accepted our invitation and is eager to journey with us as we are preparing for Christmas during Advent.

Reconcilliation Services — December 13: 7:00-9:00pm & December 16: 9:00-11:00am We will have two Reconcilliation Services for our parish this Advent. For those who are working during the day, you can come to the service on December 13, starting at 7:00pm. Those who prefer to come during the day time, please come to the service on December 16, starting at 9:00am.

Advent Retreat for Women — December 2, 8:30am-12:30pm This retreat is sponsored by the Women's Club, Morning and Evening Wings & St Matt's Moms, the retreat theme is "Finding Joy in Saying yes to God." Together we will discuss how to emulate the Blessed Virgin Mary's Fiat and prayerfully give God our best "yes," which leads us to live as generous spirits in the world around us. We will focus on generosity in our faith life, our relationships, our work, during times of challenge and how sometimes a prayerful "no" can be our best "yes" to God and our loved ones.

Thanksgiving Mass — November 23, 10:00am And once again, please come to worship and give thanks to our loving God on Thanksgiving day at 10:00am. Please bring bread and wine to be offered at the Altar and blessed before you bring them home for your family's Thanksgiving dinner. This Thanksgiving Mass has been a great occaision for our community-parish to come together to share our stories of gratitude during the past year. There have always been many tears of joy and gladness, thanking God for the many wonderful blessings and miracles. Let us come together once again to give praise and thanks to our God and also to pray for more blessings, joys and love for our families and community.

Fr. Hieu Nguyen, SVD