Advent/Christmas Schedule

Communal Anointing of the Sick
Monday, December 4 at 7 PM

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

(Holy Day of Obligation)
Thursday, December 7 at 7 PM
Friday, December 8 at 9 AM

Taize Prayer Service
Tuesday, December 12 at 7:30 PM (Chapel)

Advent Penance Service
With Private Confession
Tuesday,  December 19 at 7 PM

Private Reconciliation
Monday, December 18 at 7:45 PM
Thursday, December 21 at 9:45 AM
Saturdays at 3 PM

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Saturday, December 23 at 4 PM
Sunday, December 24 at 10 AM

Christmas Mass Schedule
Sunday, December 24
4 PM (Church)
4:15 PM (Gym)
6 PM (Church)  Children’s Pageant
10 PM (Church)

Monday, December 25
10 AM (Church)

New Year’s Day
Monday,  January 1
10 AM (Church)

Christmas Schedule 2017

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Saturday, December 23 at 4 PM
Sunday, December 24 at 10 AM (please note the Mass change for this day)

Christmas Mass Schedule
Sunday, December 24
4 PM (Church)
4:15 PM (Gym)
6 PM (Church)  Children’s Pageant
10 PM (Church)

Monday, December 25
10 AM (Church)

New Year’s Day
Monday,  January 1
10 AM (Church)

Bible Studies for 2018

Our Wednesday 1:30-3:00 group will begin “Sarah and Hagar” on January 3rd.

Starting on January 10, 2018, our Wednesday 10-11:30 study will begin “First Corinthians: The Church and the Christian Community,” with Dr. Tim Grey. This study is from Ascension Press, so it provides video access from home!  This 11 week study will wrap up, on or around, March 21st.

Our Monday night study meets from 7-8:30 PM.  On January 22nd, we’ll start a short study on the topic of “Trust” in the bible. This topic will be the first in a series of topics offered at this time-slot, followed by “Mercy” and “Mary.” The study we’ll be using is from the folks at Little Rock, and it is great for taking the words of scripture and applying them to your life. Each topic is only about three sessions long, so you can join any time by calling Peggy Casing to get  your materials to prepare for the next session.

Finally, if you’d like to learn more about what the Church teaches on a wide variety of topics, join us on Sundays from 12:15-1:30, for a DVD viewing and discussion. “Symbolon: Knowing the Faith,” features “experts” presenting a new topic each week.  You can come to one session, or the whole series. Drop into the St. Joseph Room and join us!

For information on any of these studies or to order materials, please email Peggy Casing or (248) 243-0251.

Expect the Unexpected

Advent Message Series

Week 1: (12/3) Expect Good
This first week of Advent we’re challenged to expect good in our lives and especially to discover and recognize it in others.
I’m humbled by the charity and sacrifices that I see you making on behalf of children, the sick and lonely, the homeless and especially the poor. Let us use our talents beyond gifts to provide sustainable conditions of dignity and life for the needy.

Challenge: Watch for good in someone else and acknowledge it in some way.

Week 2: (12/10) Expect Unlikely People
This second Sunday of Advent we’re encouraged here at St. Mary’s to “expect the unexpected” and to “expect unlikely people” to bring us the good news of Jesus in our midst.
While last week our challenge was to look for the good in someone and acknowledge it some way, this week we’re challenged to reach out to someone who wouldn’t expect to hear from us. Like John the Baptist in the Gospel reading today, would family and friends consider us to be unlikely heralds of Jesus’ presence in their lives? And yet our baptism has set us precisely on such a mission. We may know that we are unfit to take off Jesus’ shoes, but we are also filled with His Spirit and having been ourselves forgiven can prepare a straight path. We are sent to make this proclamation by feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, and visiting the sick and imprisoned.  Through us others will experience God’s care for his flock and His kingdom on earth will come.

Challenge: Reach out to someone this week that wouldn’t expect to hear from you.

Week 3: (12/17) Expect Challenges
Obviously the voice of John the Baptist in today’s Gospel reading is being tested by the officials from Jerusalem who ask “Who are you?” They are actually asking John the Baptist “Who do you think you are?” riling people up with talk about the Messiah and repentance. John humbly replies that he is a voice in the desert calling people to prepare the way of the Lord.

Just as John was challenged for his work and message, we too find ourselves questioned and challenged when we put our faith into action. Following Jesus isn’t always the most popular thing to do, especially when it involves shaking up the status quo or exploring new ways to serve the lost and forgotten. For example, the Church’s message about respect for life and the dignity of every person often creates heated debates when it comes to issues like nuclear war, medical care, serving the poor, immigration, and the death penalty. Is there a spiritual GPS that gets us to the right answer and action?

Challenge: What do you think will be the most challenging question for you about Christmas?

Ask this question to someone else, and share your response with them.

Week 4: (12/24) Expect Surprises

Challenge: Share what surprised you this Christmas season with your family.

Advent Schedule

Advent Penance Service
With Private Confession
Tuesday,  December 19 at 7 PM

Private Reconciliation
Monday, December 18 at 7:45 PM
Thursday, December 21 at 9:45 AM
Saturdays at 3 PM

Tell Congress to Make Necessary Moral Changes to the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”

The House and the Senate have now passed versions of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” and they are beginning to resolve the differences between the two bills in the conference process.  According to Congress’ own nonpartisan analysis, the bills raise taxes on the poor and cut taxes on the rich, violating basic principles of justice.  In addition, Congress has proposed a web of wide-ranging and complex changes to the tax code, yet is approaching the process at a pace that makes it difficult even for experts in the impacted areas to analyze effects.  Several key changes must be made because the bills in their current form are morally unacceptable, including:

  • The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation indicates that both the Senate and House bill will eventually raise taxes on the poor while simultaneously cutting taxes for the wealthy.  The final proposal must be amended to avoid this outcome.
  • The repeal of the personal exemption will cause larger families with more than three children to be financially worse off.  The exemption should be restored, or the final bill should be amended to address this problem.
  • The child tax credit’s refundability portion is either not increased (House) or very modestly increased (Senate), and should be expanded.  The final bill should also strip out changes that will harm immigrant taxpayers.
  • The deduction for medical expenses should be retained and expanded.  It is eliminated in House, but retained and modestly expanded in the Senate.
  • The exclusion for employer adoption assistance should be retained.
  • The final bill should include and expand on the Senate’s paid family leave and medical leave incentives, but without a sunset.
  • The final bill should incorporate the positive expansion of the deduction for educator expenses; as wells as the change to 529 plans to allows them to be applied to K-12 education, recognizes the child in utero, and allows an additional $10,000 to be set aside for school expenses.  The final bill should not eliminate the Section 127 exclusion for education assistance or the Section 117 qualified tuition reduction.
  • The Senate language eliminating the ACA Individual Insurance Mandate should not be adopted.
  • Congress should adopt an “above-the-line” charitable deduction that would incentivize and assist charitable giving at all income levels, and increase amounts people can give.
  • The House repeal of mortgage credit certificates should not be adopted.

The final bill should not eliminate deductions that help struggling families, such as

  • the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the credit for those who retire on disability, deductions for tuition and student loans, state and local income tax, union dues and expenses, clothing and uniforms, and worker-related education.
  • The final bill should retain the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds that go towards the development of low-income housing, and build in additional measures so that the credits are not devalued by the lower corporate tax rate.  Further, the creation of “Opportunity Zones” for community development should be included and expanded.
  • The final bill should leave in place the current Alternative Minimum Tax and estate tax in order to ensure that the risks taken in tax reform fall on those who stand to benefit most, rather than on those who struggle on the margins of society.

For a link to Bishop Frank J. Dewane’s December 6, 2017, letter analyzing both the Senate and House bills, click  Letter

 

Christian Classics Book Club

The focus of CCBC is to read books that would be found in a “classics” section of a bookstore, or more contemporary literature that is written to convey the complexities of spirituality, morality, or other aspects of living. Our next book is, Far from the East End: The Moving Story of an Evacuee’s Survival and Search for Home, by Iris Jones Simantel. Join us on January 8th, at 7:45 PM, for a discussion with a great group of readers! For more information contact Peggy Casing or (248) 243-0251

Children’s Music Ministries

Do you want your children involved in music at church?  We have many options!

Jesus Jam (grades 6-9) Sing, or play an instrument with other students your age, preparing music to play for Mass on an occasional basis.  Taught by Holy Family music teacher, John Garland, this group meets each Monday from 4 PM until 4:45 PM and welcomes any students in 6th grade or older who play an instrument or sing.

Handbells (Grades 7-up) Ring hand bells and challenge your musical skills with other students your age, and adults who like to ring.  Directed by Mr. Bob Sheldrick, who has over 20 years of experience teaching youth handbells, this group rehearses each Tuesday from 7 PM – 8 PM.

Praise Kids (Grades K-2) and Children’s Choir (Grades 3-6) Praise, Sing, explore, and learn about music with certified music teachers, Mrs. Rosanne Thomas, and Mrs. Barb Sheldrick.  Rehearsals are held each Monday from 5:30 PM – 6:20 PM and the students sing for Mass approximately once per month.

More Info

Our Gift to You

A pre-paid one-year subscription to access Catholic DVD’s, books, audio, printable resources, and more. Like Netflix for Catholics, but more! It’s EASY and FREE for you to register! Visit FORMED.ORG with a web browser
Click on Register (lower right of page)
Enter Parish Access Code:  W7KRFC
Enter your email and create a password (you need this to login later)
Enjoy and share with others in our local community!

Surviving Divorce – Journey of Hope

St. Mary of the Hills and Ascension Press present…
Surviving Divorce
For Men and Women Seeking Hope and Healing
Karen Evangelista and Terri Hemphill, Facilitators
Thursday Evenings 7:00 to 8:30 PM
in the St. Andrew Classroom

Begins Thursday, September 14

St. Mary of the Hills Catholic Church is pleased to announce that we are offering this highly-effective program that will bring hope and healing to those who have experienced the pain and loneliness of a broken marriage. Surviving Divorce features fourteen video presentations that cover topics such as shock and grief, anger and forgiveness, money issues, dealing with children and a former spouse, and annulment and remarriage.

This program is for the newly separated and divorced and those still struggling with issues many years later. It will help them find answers to their questions, restore their hope, and begin authentic healing. Is a friend or anyone in your family divorced? Please send them a copy of this email or invite them to the fourteen-week Surviving Divorce program.

Begins Thursday, September 14

Please complete this Registration Form if interested in attending.

Name:
Address:
Best phone number to be reached at:
-
E-mail:
Parish (if coming from another parish):
Separated or Divorced?
How long?
Number of Years Married:
Number of children and their ages:
Word Verification:

Help Wanted

The SMYG (St. Mary’s Youth Group) adult team is looking for additional help.  We have a great team that works hard to support the needs of our youth, but we are in need of additional support.  If you can occasionally make SMYG meetings, would be willing to chaperone on retreats and/or Rainbow, able to oversee a  regular youth Mass offering, etc. please let me know.  In order for SMYG to grow, we need more hands in leadership.  We ask that all SMYG adults are trained in Protecting God’s Children and have an updated Criminal Background Check on file.
Contact Chris Kozlowski for more information.