A blessed Advent to all! It’s a short Advent, so get ready and make it count. It’s a beautiful time to prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas and at the end of time. In this newsletter, we highlight three ministries that help us praise God and build His kingdom right here in Payne County.
The ACTS Retreat is a new ministry in the parish. Benefitting from the stewardship of the Church of Saint Mary in Tulsa, ACTS began last month with our first women’s retreat. It was awesome. For the women who chose to go, they experienced a beautiful community of faith and were able to both learn about their faith and experience God’s love through the Holy Mass and Confession. The first men’s ACTS Retreat will be Jan. 11-14.
Advent and Christmas bring some of the best music in our tradition. Led by Matt Cabeen, Kevin Larios, and Marilyn Middlebrook, our music ministries in English and Spanish really help us pray. We’re trying, as best we can, to sing the Mass and this leads to a more reverent Sunday experience for all who come. As we approach Christmas, pray for our Music Ministry and their beautiful voices. I am deeply grateful for this ministry!
Finally, I want to highlight the Pastors of Payne podcast. Over the last five-plus years, Fr. Kerry Wakulich and I (with a lot of help) have produced a 30-minute podcast and radio show. It covers a variety of topics important to our parish and to the students and alumni of St. John Catholic Student Center. When we set out to do a show, we wanted to be able to speak to our parishioners between Sundays. With 290 episodes and over 205,000 downloads, we hope you’re listening and that you pass it on to others.
Let’s have a great Advent, Payne County! Christ and His love are with us!
Very Rev. Brian O’Brien
Pastor, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church