A Word from Father John

These few weeks before Christmas are a special time for believers to reflect quietly and prepare prayerfully for the coming of Christ. In reality, it is more likely that we feel frantic and pressured during these final “shopping days” before the holiday season. It doesn’t have to be this way!

May God give us the grace this Advent to “walk amid passing things” and “hold fast to what endures” rather than be consumed by the frenzy and commotion of the world around us.

                   Father John Stokely

Advent Giving Tree

The Advent Giving Tree is up! Please take a tag or two from the tree and buy a gift for the many agencies we support. A complete list of agencies is by the Giving Tree. Gifts should be returned on or before the weekend of December 16-17.   Please read the tag to see whether the gift should be wrapped or remain unwrapped and be sure to attach the tag to the gift. Last year we provided over 2,000 gifts for these agencies. The needs remain the same! Thank you once again for your generosity!

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary will be celebrated this Friday, December 8. This feast is a holy day of obligation for all Catholic believers. Here at Saint Elizabeth, we will have a Mass for the holy day at 7:30 AM, at 12 Noon and at 7:00 PM.

Catholics Coming Home

A special six-week program, No Greater Love Catholics Coming Home, begins on Monday, January 8, at 7:00PM at the church. Next week special referral cards will be available in the pews for church-goers to fill out with the names and contact information of a family member, friend or neighbor who might be interested in this program. We will then send them a personal invitation to Catholics Coming Home. Cards may be placed in the collection basket or returned to the parish office by Monday, December 18. It just might be the best Christmas gift you have ever given!

Mass Intentions for the Week

December 2-3: First Sunday of Advent

   Saturday, 5:30 PM- Carolanne Morgenthaler

   Sunday, 8:00 AM- Peter Pienciak (15th Ann)

   Sunday, 9:30 AM- People of Saint Elizabeth   Sunday, 11:30 AM- Eric Thornton

Monday, 7:30 AM- John Deane

Tuesday, 7:30 AM- Susan Jiannino

Wednesday, 7:30 AM- Helena Tomera Thursday, 7:30 AM- Mathilda Bohr

Friday- Holy Day of the Immaculate Conception

   7:30 AM- Joseph Ringhoffer (1st Ann)

   12:00 Noon- Thomas Froio

   7:00 PM- People of Saint Elizabeth

Saturday, 8:30 AM- Christine O’Malley

December 9-10: Second Sunday of Advent

   Saturday, 5:30 PM- William Maloney

   Sunday, 8:00 AM- People of Saint Elizabeth

   Sunday, 9:30 AM- Paul Zadroga

   Sunday, 11:30 AM- John Cossa (1st Ann)

Readings: Isaiah 40/1-5, 9-11; Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3/8-14; Mark 1/1-8

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: All are welcome to Exposition in the daily Mass chapel on Mondays between 8:00 AM and 8:30 PM.

Prayer Corner

Please pray for all those who are ill, including Marie Altieri; Rita Chambers; Doris Cullen; John De Vito; Trevor Ferraro; Sheila Flynn; James Ford; Stephen Guminski; Steven Kacenjar; Ginny Klimek; Marie Laboranti; Marinell Lamkin; Suzanne Lezoche; Gloria Makoid; Edward Musuras; Larry Shontz; Nazzie Sookiasian; Jared Steczak; LoRita Soprano and Tammy Swan.

We also remember those who have died, including parishioner Stephen Volpe, husband of Roberta Volpe; parishioner Celia Preston, wife of David Preston; Arthur Leigh, father of Mary Ellen Laws; Shannon Lafferty, sister of Colleen Urbine; and John Cusack Murphy, father of Brian Murphy. May all our departed loved ones rest in peace!

RCIA Rites

At the 9:30 AM Mass this Sunday, we are celebrating the Rite of Entrance into the Catechumenate for several non-baptized individuals who are beginning their formal preparation for the Rites of Christian Initiation at the Easter Vigil, together with a Rite of Welcoming for six adults already baptized in another Christian community and now preparing for reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church and Confirmation in the Easter Season.

Please remember in your prayers new catechumens Jennifer Citrullo, Roxanne Barrett, David Gober and Isaiah Moore, as well as candidates Theresa Auda,

Robin Chronowski, Krista Ciarrocchi, James Colandene, Kathryn Ferro and Mia Shannon.   May God continue to guide them on their spiritual journey to full Christian Initiation!

RCIA Inquiry

Do you know someone who is searching for life's meaning, for community? Or someone who has asked about the Catholic faith? Please invite them to connect with fellow seekers through the RCIA. Contact DRE Beth Riordan at briordan@stelizabethparish.org or 610-646-6545.

Liturgical Music Ministry

The Parish Music Ministry needs YOU! No Music experience required. Minimal/convenient rehearsal times for most parish music groups. Please contact Louise Shanley (lshanley@stelizabethparish.org) to learn about the different groups and their schedules.

Parish School News

Christmas Concert: Please join us for our Christmas Band and Harmonium concert on Wednesday,

December 13, at 7:00 PM in the gym.

Financial Aid: Financial aid applications are currently available through FACTS Grant & Aid and due by December 31, 2017. This year your 2017 tax return is the only documentation that all applicants are required to submit by March 31, 2018 or earlier – as soon as your tax return is complete. The link is on our website, on the

Archdiocesan          BLOCS          website        and    also    at https://online.factsmgt.com/aid.

Advent/Christmas Prayer Service: All are welcome to join our students and faculty in prayer on Thursday, December 21, at 2:00 PM in church.

Elementary Faith Formation

2017-2018 Theme: Our theme for this year is Family Prayer. Each month families will pray and go deeper into the meaning of a Catholic prayer. In December, we are praying our Advent Prayer:

Heavenly Father, your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us, a great sign of your love. Help us to live in that love together as a family this Advent.   Prepare our hearts for Christmas. Bring us closer to each other and to your son. Give us the grace and strength we need every day. Help us to always trust in you. Come, Lord Jesus, lead all people closer to you. Come and dispel the darkness of our world with the light of your love. Amen.

Check the parish website and Facebook page for weekly posts on this prayer.

Advent Family Prayer Service: EFF students and their families will gather for an Advent Prayer Service at 6:30 PM this Tuesday, December 5; at 5:00 PM this Wednesday, December 6, and also at 5:00 PM next Monday, December 11. Please note: There will be no 4:45 PM EFF classes on Tuesday (12/5) nor 6:30 PM classes on Monday (12/11).

All parishioners are welcome to join the choir. Let us help you get into the spirit of the season! To participate, contact Beth Riordan at religioused@ stelizabethparish.org or 610-646-6545.

Reminder - Parents of children preparing to receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and/or First Holy Communion this spring are reminded to turn in the required registration form, photo banner permission and sponsor form no later than Friday, January 5, 2018.

Baptism News

Saint Elizabeth parish warmly welcomes into the Body of Christ the following children baptized in November: Lillian Anne Firn; Gianna Maria Grater; Welles Alan Wolensky; Ruby Raines Kaschak; Elizabeth Alison Madden and Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin. Congratulations to their parents and godparents!

The next session of Pre-Jordan II: A Call to Christian Parenting, will be held this Saturday, December 9, and the next session of Pre-Jordan I: Preparing for Your Child’s Baptism will be held on Saturday, January 13. Both programs begin at 10:30 AM in the ministry center. To register for a Pre-Jordan Program and/or to arrange for a baptism, call 610-321-1200.

Safe Environment Program

The Protecting God's Children training class will be offered this Thursday, December 7, at 7:00 PM in the ministry center. To register, go online now to register at www.virtusonline.org or call 610-646-6550.

Adult Faith Formation

Advent Resources: A variety of free resources are available on a first come first served basis at an information table in the narthex this weekend. Please help yourself!

Women’s Advent by Candlelight: Thanks to the generosity of our hostesses and the good spirit of our parish, we have filled the social hall for this Wednesday’s evening of reflection at 7:00 PM. Guests are asked to enter through the side door entrance of the education center (next to the CLC), rather than the main doors of the social hall. Thank You!

Pastoral Outreach News

Casserole Program: Don’t forget next weekend’s casserole collection for the clients of St. John’s Hospice. Thanks to those who prepared 121 casseroles in November! Your generosity helps to provide a hot meal for many homeless people all year long. If you (and your family) would like to help collect casseroles before weekend Masses or if you have any questions about the program, please contact Jen Bauhaus (jbretz2001@yahoo.com) or Angie Fiore (angiefiore @verizon.net).

Sharing Our Bounty: There was a happier Thanksgiving for many needy families again this year. Together the Knights of Columbus Council #13141, our parishioners and the people of SS. Philip and James Church provided 381 turkeys and all the fixings for thanksgiving dinner to families in West Chester and Philadelphia. Thank you to the Sharing Our Bounty Committee who withstood the wind to collect and deliver the dinners.

Burkina Faso Food Packaging: Thanks also to the parishioners of all ages who came out on Saturday morning to unload the truck and package the meals headed to Burkina Faso. We packaged about 14,000 meals provided by the generosity of parishioners.

Senior Adult Ministry: Pot Luck Lunch

Are you coming to the noon holy day Mass on Friday, December 8? Are you old enough to be called a senior? - That’s 60+ years old! SAM invites all seniors to join us for lunch and fellowship after the noon Mass. All it takes is your favorite side dish, salad or dessert and a phone call. Register by contacting Gen Miceli (gmiceli@stelizabethparish.org or 610-646-6550).

Game Day: There is no Game Day in December, so plan now to join us on Thursday, January 25.

Lunch and Learn: Join us on Thursday, January 11, at 10:30 AM for a presentation by Bruce Mowday, a local author who will speak about the Johnston Brothers, the gang who stole millions of dollars and eventually murdered four teenagers and how the gang was brought to justice!

Youth Ministry News

Register now for Saint Elizabeth Youth Ministry! Go to the front page of the parish website www.stelizabeth parish.org or email Ryan Schwalm at rschwalm @stelizabethparish.org to get involved!

High School Youth Group (Grades 9-12): Meets weekly on Tuesday nights in the CLC, 7:00-8:30 PM.

Eighth Grade Youth Group + Middle School Youth Group (Grades 6-7): Next meetings this Wednesday, December 6, 5:30-7:00 PM in St. John the Baptist.

Elementary Youth Group (Grades K-5): Our next Free Play Night will be on Saturday, December 16, 6:30-8:30 PM in the gym.

Financial Corner

Thank you for your consistent financial support of our parish community throughout the year.

Regular Collection for Sunday, November 19, 2017

   Weekend Contributions:          $21,071.79

[Amount of Loose Cash: $993.05]

Midweek & Auto-Giving: $ 6,993.50 Total Regular Collection: $28,065.29

Number of adult envelope contributions: 587

Religious Retirement Collection: Thank you for your support of this weekend’s annual collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious Priests, Sisters & Brothers. Additional contributions may be sent directly to the parish ministry center during the week.

2016-2017 Parish Financial Report: The financial report for fiscal 2016-2017 was mailed this past week. Questions about the financial report should be directed to Fr. Mullin or Sam Venuti at 610-321-1200. Thank you for your commitment to a generous stewardship of treasure all year long!