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Our Parish Feast Day – the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe – is coming up soon!  The Feast of Christ the King always marks the last Sunday of the liturgical year before the new year begins on the First Sunday of Advent, and this year the Feast of Christ the King falls on November 26th.  We’ve gotten in the habit of having a big parish event to celebrate our feast day, and this year will be no different.  Last year we welcomed Fr. Kevin Grove, who gave a marvelous talk about our stained glass windows.  This year we will celebrate the official dedication of our new organ with a concert at 3:00pm.  I hope you all can attend; it should be quite an afternoon!

Usually one of the ways we’ve celebrated our parish feast day is with a 40-Hour Devotion.  We’ve typically had continuous Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from Thursday evening to Saturday morning, and it’s been a great tradition.  This year, however, we won’t be able to do it because our feast day falls on Thanksgiving weekend.  The Pastoral Team really hates to cancel it, but we just didn’t think there was any way we could fill all of the Adoration slots with so many parishioners traveling (although there did seem to be something redemptive about having continuous Adoration while all of the Black Friday sales are going on!)

So instead of rescheduling the devotion to a different week, we decided instead to have a parish-wide novena as a way of preparing for our feast day.  (If you’ve never done a novena before, or if you’ve always wondered what a novena was, now is your chance!)  A novena is a nine-day prayer, usually for a specific intention.  (In addition to your own intentions, I’d ask you to offer this novena for our parish.)  The tradition of a nine-day prayer goes back to the Ascension.  Acts 1:14 tells us that after Jesus ascended to heaven, the Apostles gathered with Mary in the upper room and prayed together until the day of Pentecost – the first novena!

The great thing is that this is something you can do even if you’re traveling over the holiday.  Simply find some time to say these novena prayers each day, beginning on Saturday November 18th and finishing on Sunday November 26th.  You can say them alone or with family members or friends.  You can say them at a set time each day, or you can say them whenever you can find the time.  We’ll say the prayer as a community after our weekday Masses, as well as at our Organ Dedication.  The important thing is just to take a moment out of each day to give thanks for our parish and to ask God to bless us so that we might do His will.

I encourage you to prepare now to participate in this novena.  Cut out the prayers and put them on your refrigerator.  Talk to your families and decide when you’re going to pray together.  Create a text alert for yourself.  Whatever works best for you!  I am so grateful for everything that our parishioners do to make this such a special parish.  Please know I will be praying for you in a special way during this parish-wide novena.