Dear OSJ Family,

I take this opportunity, after what has been a great celebration of the Christmas Season at OSJ, to express our thanks and appreciation to so many who generously and lovingly served together at our parish.

Our celebration of Christmas this past year was remarkable. We had so many visitors who told me that they purposely sought out our parish for Mass as they have heard great things about the worship and prayer at our beautiful little church in the alley!

Indeed, each Sunday (and for daily Mass), we come together to worship and praise God and to remember God’s love, God’s quite assurance of our salvation and peace in Jesus Christ. A beautiful celebration of the Eucharist has the power to move us at the very depths of our souls. At the same time, a beautiful liturgy does not just happen on its own, and we all know that we are very blessed with beautiful and reverent liturgies at OSJ!  This is due, in part, to the talent and generosity of so many people who give of themselves so that we can worship here with joy and fervor and thereby grow in deeper faith, hope, and love.

With this in mind, I am blessed to offer, on behalf of the entire OSJ community, our heartfelt thanks to all who helped to make our Christmas and holy day celebrations so special and so incredibly beautiful. We are grateful to our Priests, our guest Deacon, our Liturgy Coordinator, our Altar Servers, Sacristans, Lectors, Ushers, Eucharistic Ministers, and all who helped us to pray so well and with such dignity.

On the musical front we are indebted to our music director Pasquale Montenegro, who with his cantors, choirs, and musicians, provided stirring sacred music. Special thanks to Dr. Madeline Becker, Christine Szczepanowski and Collen Evans for forming the children’s choir who moved us all so deeply at the children’s liturgy on Christmas Eve. They were terrific!

Thanks to Joe Casey and to his crew of dedicated volunteers who transformed our already beautiful sanctuary into a true place of splendor and awe, and provided such welcoming hospitality in the courtyard. We are also in debt to all who donated to the Christmas flower and music fund. We cannot thank you enough for your kindness!

Thanks also go to Peggy and Mike Connolly for donating the candy canes that were enjoyed by our children at the 4:00 PM Mass. The kids loved them!

Finally, a special word of thanks to our Funeral Director and fellow parishioner, Ron Rex Piselli, who for so many years now has gifted us with the “Gesu Bambino” (Holy Child) statue that graces our sanctuary for the Christmas feasts. The “Bambino,” a true Italian work of art, is a beloved fixture at OSJ and moves many to prayer. Thanks to Mr. Piselli, as well, for the use of his beautiful antique chalices which lend such beauty and dignity to our altar.

And finally thank you to each of you for helping to make our worship and praise of God at OSJ so meaningful! A parish is only as good as its members—and OSJ is very good! Thank you and God bless!

Fr Phil Florio, SJ