News

Holy Season of Lent

Happy President’s Day weekend!

We have begun the holy season of Lent. It’s time to slow down and take these 40 days to pray, fast and give. Some suggestions to practice a holy Lent may include, setting aside 10 minutes a day for silent prayer or meditation. It will revitalize your body and your spirit! Try to be extra kind to others. Clean out the cupboards, or have your children shop for can goods to bring to the local food bank, which by the way, the Lincoln Food Bank is in desperate need for items to restock shelves! Pray together as a family or find a friend to join you in prayer. Have the kids light a candle in church for people throughout the world who are sick or hungry. Let each family member mention one person or problem that they would like to pray for in a special way at dinnertime. I’m sure there are countless ideas and opportunities you can come up with to help you experience a holy Lent.

Pope Francis has accepted our Auxiliary Bishop’s retirement papers. At age 75, all Bishops must submit retirement forms to the Vatican. Well, our Auxiliary Bishop, Frank Christian, is officially retired. He will however, remain as Pastor of The Resurrection Parish in Nashua, as well as, assist our Ordinary Bishop, Peter Libasci with Confirmation liturgies throughout the Diocese (entire state of NH). You may notice I will not mention “Bishop Frank’s” name during the Mass at the time when we pray for the Pope and the Bishop(s).

Please buy your tickets after Mass for the annual Parish St. Patrick’s Dinner celebration. Limited number of seats, so please don’t wait to purchase your tickets. We may not sell tickets at the door either. The food is so good, that the event’s reputation usually sells out completely. The food will be served buffet style. The menu will feature: Irish soda bread, Corned Beef Cabbage dinner, Shepherd’s Pie, Mac’n Cheese, dessert, and coffee. $12 Adult, $5 kids. Music, fun and entertainment included.

If you have your Capital Campaign pledge card, please fill them out and deposit them in any collection basket during Mass or drop them off at the office. Thank you. If you have any concerns/questions please feel free to see me!

May God continue to bless our Parish here in the White Mountains!

Fr.Kneeland

Sacramental Program Changes

Greetings:

Please help us take down the Christmas decorations in the church after the 10:00 am Mass this Sunday. Any help will be much appreciated. Thankfully our parish Knights of Columbus Council will supply coffee and doughnuts for us in the church hall after Mass.

In the following, I will borrow, with permission, Fr. Mark Dollard’s letter he wrote in the bulletin to his parishioners at St. Rose in Littleton, concerning the new Diocesan plan to move Confirmation to the 3rd Grade. “Bishop Peter Libasci has announced that he has made the decision to restore the original order of receiving the Sacraments of Initiation. This is a courageous decision that only a few bishops in the United States have chosen to do. I applaud him for his decision! This decision will allow religious education to be a life-long experience.

Currently, our celebration of Confirmation has turned into a “graduation” and that is simply not how it is to be understood. Confirmation is to be seen as a “Gift”, a gift to be used.

So, what does this mean? It means that the Sacraments of Initiation will be received in the following order: first Baptism, then Confirmation, then First Communion. Beginning in the Fall of 2018, First Reconciliation will be received at the end of the 2nd Grade of Rel. Ed. Confirmation and First Communion will be received on the same day at the end of the 3rd Grade of Rel. Ed. Yes, First Communion is being moved from the 2nd to the 3rd Grade.

It will take approximately three years to fully implement this change. In the Spring of 2019, our 3rd, 7th, 8th, and 10th grade students will be confirmed. In the Spring of 2020, all students in grades 3 and above who have not yet been confirmed by that time, will be confirmed.

These changes will allow us to create a high school youth ministry without having the obligation of Confirmation connected to it. I’m aware that we may lose a few people once a child is confirmed, however, our neighboring Diocese of Portland, Maine has been celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation at the end of the 2nd grade for over a decade now, and the results have been favorable for life-long involvement.”

As stated earlier, this will take about three years to fully implement. I will keep you informed and work with Ms. Paula King, our Coordinator of Religious Education here in the parish, as more information becomes available.

For more information on the Restored Order of the Sacraments of Initiation, you can visit the RESTORE, RENEW, PROCLAIM page on the Diocesan website at www.catholicnh.org/lifelong.

May God continue to bless our little parish community here in the mountains of NH!

Fr. Kneeland

The Litrurgical Christmas Season

Happy New Year!

Looking ahead in the Liturgical calendar year, you will notice that Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day, and Easter is on April Fool’s Day. It’s as though Jesus will be saying, “ha, you thought I was dead, april fool’s; I Am alive!”

During this time of the year, many ask, “when does the Christmas Season end?” Well, i found this interesting article. Here it is:

Its almost universal knowledge that Christmas is officially celebrated on December 25th, the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. While some may be thankful that the hustle and bustle of planning family dinners and purchasing thoughtful gifts are over, the Christmas season is only just beginning on the 25th. While the most popular carol of all suggests just twelve days, its a topic of hot debate among Catholics. When does Christmas actually end? It turns out that the answer to when Christmas officially ends is not so simple because there are technically three separate Christmas “seasons”: the Christmas octave, the liturgical Christmas season, and the traditional Christmastide season that concludes with Candlemas.

The Christmas Octave

An octave is an eight-day period within the Church in which Easter or Christmas is celebrated that includes the actual feast day. The eighth day is considered the “octave day,” and days in between are “within” the octave. Each day of the octave is considered to be an actual day of the feast and is celebrated as such. Therefore, the Octave of Christmas begins Christmas Day on December 25th and extends until the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the January 1st.

The Liturgical Christmas Season

The liturgical Christmas season is situated after the Advent season and before the beginning of Ordinary time. It begins with the Christmas Eve vigil Masses and concludes with Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 8th.The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also has a handy calendar available on their website, with descriptions of each feast day of the liturgical Christmas season.

Christmastide

In the older tradition kept in the liturgical year of Extraordinary Form of Mass, the whole “Christmastide” season lasts for forty days (corresponding to the forty days of lent) that concludes with Candlemas on February 2nd, also known as the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of the Lord. When someone asks you when Christmas ends, ask them: Do you mean the Christmas octave, the liturgical Christmas season, or Christmastide?

Many had asked if we could leave the trees in the sanctuary up longer than usual.  Well, not to disappoint, and with this article in mind, we will keep the trees and greens up in the church until February 2nd, the Feast of our Lady and the Presentation of the Lord. We will need to remove the Nativity both inside and outside, the Advent wreath, etc…this Sunday after the 10:00 am Mass. Please help!

Thank you to everyone who helped with this year’s Rotary Giving Tree program. You made so many struggling families happy this Christmas by providing them with necessary items, toys, presents and joy.Thank you!

May God continue to bless our little parish family here in the White Mountains!

Fr. Kneeland

Happy New Year

Greetings;
The Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God this First of January is not a holy day of obligation, because it falls on a Monday this year. However, it is always beautiful to begin the New Year with the Lord in Honor of Our Lady at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Join us on January 1st at 10:00 am.

Hope you had a blessed Christmas! I have been sick lately, as you know. “Thank you” to all those who stepped up and offered a communion service here on Guadete Sunday weekend. The Bishop gave permission for Communion Service in place of the Mass because there were no priests available to come. Please pray for vocations! That Sunday, I ended up going to the emergency room at Speare Hospital in Plymouth. The medical staff there took good care of me. They changed my antibiotics for my chest infection and confirmed that I didn’t have pneumonia, which is good! Thank you for all your prayers and support. I really appreciate it!

We are still in the Christmas Season for another week, ending on Sunday January 7th on the Epiphany. Please enjoy this joyous season.

If you can, on Sunday the 7th, after the 10:00 am Mass, please lend a hand taking down the Christmas decorations here in the Church. It’s usually quicker and easier to de-decorate, so please help. I’m sure the Knights will supply coffee and doughnuts afterwards too!

I found this nice anonymous poem/prayer to share with you, called:

To Start A New Year……
    “A new year is unfolding – like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within.
 Lord, let this year be filled with the things that are truly good—with the comfort of warmth in our relationships,
with the strength to help those who need our help and the humility and openness to accept help from others.
   As we make our resolutions for the year ahead, let us go forward with great hope that all things can be possible—with Your help and guidance.” Amen.

Have a blessed New Year and May God continue to bless our little community here in the White Mountains!
Fr. Kneeland

Merry Christmas

Greetings;

Happy 4th Sunday of Advent and Merry Christmas!

This bulletin is serving both, the 4th Sunday of Advent, which is also, Christmas Eve this year.
Christmas is loaded with expectations, isn’t it? We shop, decorate, entertain, cook and wrap gifts trying to make this Christmas the most perfect. Yet, each year, we may find that, Christmas wasn’t as fulfilling as we hoped, we may have the same empty feeling. We can put so many unnecessary expectations on the Holidays, that when one falls short, we become unglued.

We imagine our loving family seated around the table, having a good time, snow gently falling outside, a roaring fire in the fireplace keeping us warm. But, the reality is, it might not snow this Christmas, our family may argue politics and religion, and the wood in the fireplace may be green and not ‘catching’ fire. Then we may feel “Bah-hum-bug!” Somehow we think, the perfect Christmas is happening in someone else’s house, not our own.

My point is, sometimes we try so hard to make something go flawlessly, instead of doing our best to prepare and then, put it in God’s Hand and let it happen. Christmas is packed with expectations. Life isn’t perfect and our expectations can do us in.

The best approach to Christmas and the Holidays, is to keep Jesus as our focus and center of our lives. In other words, remind yourself why we shop, wrap, give gifts, gather around the table, etc. We do it, because we love Jesus and we want to share His love.

Then, even the Christmas carols will suddenly take on more meaning…”Joy to the World, the Lord has Come.”
Jesus came to earth so that we “…may have life, and have it more abundantly.” So as we go through all the motions, life can still lack depth. But, Jesus wants to give us a more meaningful, abundant life.
So to have a merry little Christmas this year, center everything in Christ Jesus. It’s then, that we will have the true meaning of Christmas and our hearts will be filled with inner peace and joy.
I find the line from Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God” gets me through the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season, any false expectations and any turmoil I may encounter. Surrendering my life to His Will, brings me quiet stillness. You can have that too.
May you have a blessed Christmas Season!

Fr. Kneeland

Faith Formation

Faith Formation News
Paula King

Excitement is building as the birth of Our Lord gets closer, and we’ve been very busy! We had a wonderful time at the Holtzmans’ making advent wreaths for our families and sprays to hang on the fence at Lincoln Green.  Our bake sale hosted by Evan Bujeaud and his family, raised over $140.    The money will go to the Parish and will be used to enhance our Faith Formation program.   We won’t be getting together again until after the holidays, so we wish everyone a very blessed and happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Season of Hope

Greetings;

A big thank you to all those who helped make the Parish  Christmas Fair a success. A good time was had by all. Even Santa seemed to enjoy his time with us. Thank you especially to the Parish Christmas Fair committee who put it all together under the leadership of Ms. Paula King. Thank you, all who donated items and baked goods. And thank you to those who attended, it’s nice when we can all be together.   It was certainly a packed hall!The big cash Raffle drawing was won by a visiting parishioner from Massachusetts. Congratulations to him! 

The ham dinner was delicious!Thank you to all those who helped prepare, cook, serve, and clean up afterwards. The food was delicious and plenty left over too. You made it all a wonderful event, thank you.

Thank you, to a parishioner who donated an A.E.D. (defibrillator) to the parish. It is  located on the wall in the cry room area of the church.  We are now in compliance with the rest of the town as being part of a heart healthy support town.

I hope you are taking advantage of this Advent season in the church. It is a good time to focus on spiritual growth and spiritual preparedness in expectation of the Lord’s coming. It is a season of Hope. We place our hope in the Lord who is our shield and our strength. When we place our life into His Loving Hands, our future is bright.

May the Lord continue to bless our little Parish Community here in the White Mountains. 

God bless you, 
Father Kneeland

Advent

Greetings:

Advent is upon us! It’s a great time to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus into our hearts at Christmas and His Second Coming. In preparation, it’s good to visit the Confessional for the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this Season. The parish will have a Penance Service in the upcoming weeks before Christmas.

The parish will keep our Bishop’s tradition, to have one traditional Christmas hymn sung at Mass during the Advent Season. The thought behind this is for us, to focus better, on the true meaning of what it is we are looking forward to celebrating, precisely: Christmas, Christ’s birth. It’s been three years already when we began doing this.

Last Thursday evening, Bishop Libasci installed Fr. Mark Dollard as the Dean of the Mountain Deanery of the Diocese. In addition to Fr. Dollard’s role as Pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Littleton, NH, he will also fulfill the duty as Dean of all the parishes here in the north country of the Diocese. Congratulations Fr. Dollard!

Thank you to the Holtzman’s for hosting all of us at their festive barn, making wreaths, swags and decorations for Lincoln Green Senior Living residence. Everyone had fun! Also a big Thank you to Annie (Holtzman) Anderson for decorating our new Advent Wreath in the Church. So nice, and nice of you!

Please encourage your youngster to join the children choir practice this Monday at 4:00 pm led by Cantor Claire McIver and pianist, Colin McIver. The kids will sing at this year’s 4:00 pm Mass on Christmas Eve.

Adults,if you would like to join the adult choir, or commit to just sing during the Christmas season, please see Margaret after Mass.

The Immaculate Conception Feast Day is this Friday. This is a Holy Day of Obligation. We will have a Vigil Mass on Thursday at 6:00 pm and a morning Mass on Friday at 8:30 am. However, if you are planning on coming with us on the “moose tour” bus to the Shrine in Enfield, NH for the viewing of the Christmas lights, there is a Mass at the Shrine at 6:30 pm in the chapel to which you would have time to attend.

God Bless you,
Fr Kneeland

Parish Christmas Fair

Greetings:

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Join us this Thursday evening at the Holtzman’s Barn at 5 pm to try our hand at making decorative wreaths and sprays for the Lincoln Greene Senior Living Center to look festive this Christmas season. Even if you’re not crafty, the Anderson family is always willing to give direction and make corrections to any masterpiece! It’s a fun time, with snacks, music, heat from a wood stove and laughs.

Our parish Christmas Fair is next Saturday! Come for some fun, games, baked goodies, delicious ham dinner with all the fixin’s, Santa, music and chances at raffle drawings. Last year, we pre-sold dinner tickets a month in advance, and only sold 35 dinner tickets, and over 70 tickets at the door. This year, we will sell dinner tickets before the 4:30 pm Mass in addition to after Mass. This way, if you’d like, you may purchase your dinner ticket before Mass next Saturday to avoid waiting in line. Again, as I said in a previous bulletin column, the food is so good, that, word of mouth advertising is all that’s needed. Don’t miss out! If you, your family, or someone you know, would like to have dinner but cannot afford ticket(s)…please see me!

Be sure to also take a chance in the parish’s Big Christmas Raffle. Tickets are a ten dollar donation or three tickets for 25. Three winners will be drawn at the night of the Christmas Fair by Santa. 1st place wins $500, 2nd Place wins $250 and 3rd place wins $100. You do not need to be present to win.

Always remember to pray for the safety of all the members of the Armed Forces, those troops in harm’s way, and especially for parishioners who are currently serving in the Armed Forces. (I currently have 4 of them on my prayer list).

May God continue to bless our little parish family here in the White Mountains!

Fr. Kneeland

Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings;

It’s great to be back! I thank Fr. Damian for covering Masses here last weekend. I heard he thought the 7:30 am Mass was at 8:00 am, and consequently was 20 minutes late for Mass. I also thank Fr. Damian for making my being late for the 7:30 am Mass pale in comparison to his tardiness! Lol

This Tuesday the Church celebrates the Feast of The Presentation of Mary in the Temple. The feast is associated with an event recounted not in the New Testament, but in the apocryphal “Infancy Narrative of James.” In it, Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne (who were barren) received a heavenly message saying that they would have a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, they brought Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. Other texts dating back to the early Church, state that Mary was three years old at the time.
The feast originated as a result of the dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary built in 543AD by the Byzantines under Emperor Justinian near the site of the ruined Temple in Jerusalem. Today, the church is known as The Church of Saint Anne built in 1131AD. I visited this church in my travels through the Holy Land 11 years ago.
In the Orthodox Church tradition, all women with the name Mary (Maria in Greek) celebrate their Name Day this day, perhaps with birthday party hats, balloons and kazoos; okay, maybe not!

This week we also celebrate Thanksgiving. A day set aside to give God thanks and praise for all the blessings in our life. The best way to give God thanks is to attend Mass. I understand that it is difficult for many of you to attend Mass on Thanksgiving Day because of traveling, cooking, and preparing for the family gathering. So this year, we will gather for the Vigil Mass the evening before Thanksgiving Day, on Wednesday at 6:00 pm. A free-will offering basket will be provided in front of the Altar to help our local food pantry.

Have safe travels and a blessed Thanksgiving!
Fr. Kneeland