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Fr. Jeff's Monthly Stewardship Newsletter

December 1, 2016


When I was little, we would put up our Christmas decorations around the third week of December. Back then we would have a real tree. My dad would haul the Kirby in the basement along with the tree and somehow, as if by magic (and with a special attachment) he would flock the tree white. My older siblings remember this as always being the case, as they grew up the decade before me. The best part was when we would try to get the tree back up to the sunporch and half the flocking would be on the steps and in a trail left behind from the journey. My Mom always had something to say at this point, which often continued until the decorating was complete. The era of flocked trees ended with the new carpeting we got when my sisters were married in 1965.

As we unpacked the big lawnmower box full of treasures from the attic, I remember two rather unfortunate looking little blue and white “caves” I suppose you could call them. They were barely able to hold the baby Jesus that each was designed to house. My big sisters made them sometime in the late 40’s or early 50’s, one by each as they are also twins. So, under our tree there was always more Jesus than we needed - at least three if you count the old chalk-ware nativity Jesus with the other two. To me it seemed normal, the more baby Jesus the better, one for Ma, one for Pa and the nativity set to inspire the six of us kids.

On the secular side of things, we also had a red velvet Santa and a reindeer that came from the S&H Green Stamp store when my brother and I were only a year old or so. Every year, as we “set-up” Christmas, it was a simple, sheer joy. There is a part of me, and my lifelong fascination with all things Christmas, that wants to repeat that simple joy every year. I am sure that each of us has a set of memories that we hold on to from a holiday or a special time in our lives. I am always saddened by those who do not have some happy memories to share. Sadder still are those who, because of their circumstances, have a hard time finding real joy at all

“God so loved the world” as the often-repeated phrase goes from John 3:16. We know that, at least intellectually. Perhaps a goal for us all as we celebrate Advent and Christmas this year is to make it more personal and then feeling that joy, try to pass it on just a little. Every effort to share the love of God and the joy of His Nativity is time always well spent. Share the joy, Share Jesus. If our joy seems elusive because of the way our lives are going, perhaps that’s God’s way of telling us that He is willing to help us find our strength and then the joy will follow.

May your Advent and Christmas be blessed. May you feel a closer connection to Jesus - after all, there is more than enough of him to go around. Remembering the birth of the baby in a stable, may we see just how much God loves us and just how much love there is to share. Thank you for your sharing with the parishes of our cluster. With this mailing you will also find envelopes for Christmas Memorials, please return them by Dec. 18. Merry Christmas to you and all you hold dear. May we all have the privilege of sharing His Heavenly Peace, now and for many years to come!

Fr. Jeff, Fr. Thomas and your Tri-Parish Staff



Since we are now serving three parishes, the easiest way to reach us is after mass, by phone or email.

E-mail Fr. Jeff  <frjeff@ihmwestallis.com> or tel. (262) 424-3341
E-mail Fr. Tom <frtom@ihmwestallis.com> or tel. (262) 945-8071

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 Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
 1212 S. 117th St.
 West Allis, WI 53214

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1121 S. 116th St.  West Allis, WI 53214
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