Category Archives: News

Christmas 2015 Midnight Mass Homily

A Charlie Brown Christmas?

Fifty years ago, a little boy named Charlie Brown asked, “What is the true meaning of Christmas?”  In December of 1965, The United States was embroiled in a war that she couldn’t win; a new pope had recently challenged the status quo for the Catholic Church, bringing freshness and hope; and the latest toy crazes were more important than the other people in the stores.  Doesn’t sound too different from today, does it?

The fact is, life doesn’t change that much.  We are still complaining about the government, our paychecks, and, if you’re older “the state of the world today” or, if you’re younger, “my parents don’t understand me.”  We are still asking, like Charlie Brown, “What is the true meaning of Christmas?”  Is racking up debt for gifts, enduring endless hours of cooking for 15 minutes of eating, and embarrassing ourselves because of too much eggnog all there is?  Or is there something more?

Where do we get an answer?  From Lucy and her nickel’s worth of psychiatric advice?  Therapy is a good tool, but it doesn’t have all the answers and it certainly can’t solve our problem in 2 minutes of platitudes.  Does the answer come in the form of innovative and increasingly bizarre ways to interpret tradition, so that “naturally curly hair” can take over the spotlight, or each player on the stage is dancing to his own drumbeat, with no coordination or theme?  No!

The answer, not surprisingly, comes from Charlie’s best friend, Linus Van Pelt.  A personal friend is more effective than any screaming on the internet, or even a homily at Midnight Mass.  Linus reminds Charlie, and each of us, that the true meaning of Christmas is “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, good will toward men,” quoting the same Gospel passage we read tonight.

As a matter of fact, Christmas is all about friendship, and about relationships.  Scientists and theologians are always asking the question, “What if?”  Several theologians throughout history have asked, “What if Adam and Eve had never sinned?  Would the Eternal Son of God have taken on our humanity?”  Their conclusion, surprisingly, is “yes.”  The Son of God was not content to help us from heaven; he wants to experience what we experience.  He took on our human nature so that he could understand us better and so he could live like we do, sharing our joys and sorrows, our strength and weakness.  In short, he wants to be our friend.

Jesus Christ took on everything it means to be a human person, except sin.  He is a divine being, with both a divine and human nature.  He shared our joys and our sorrows, our triumphs and our defeats.  Although Linus says, “Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you are the Charlie Browniest,” we could say, “Of all the humans in the world, Jesus Christ is the human-est.”

South Carolina Flooding Assistance

Parts of South Carolina, including Charleston and Columbia, continue to recover from historic flooding. As the flood waters recede, the scope of the devastation can only now be assessed.  Please consider donating to assist those in need of our help:

Online:    charitiessc.org/donate-now
Mail:
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charleston
1427 Pickens Street
Columbia, SC 29201
(Please mark your check: “October 2015 Storm”)
Phone: 855.377.1357

Please join people of faith everywhere in praying for all those affected by this disaster.

 

Preschool Opening August 19!

SMM_Preschool_Logo_FullColorSt. Mary Magdalene Preschool Classes begin AUGUST 19

Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Preschool is excited to announce our beginning date will be Wednesday August 19!  Registration has begun.  Please contact the director if interested Please see our preschool page for more information about the program or contact Gina DeGennaro at gdegennaro@smmcatholic.org or 678.854.9990.  We are looking forward to serving you and becoming one family.

We are looking for donations of Catholic Statues and religious items for our preschool, please contact Gina if you have some you are willing to spare.  Also, our preschool is looking to add a volunteer that is computer savvy.  If you have time to assist and are creative on the computer, please contact Gina.

Eagle Scout Project In Progress

The beginnings of “operation playground” is currently underway for our preschool!  We are blessed that Colin Clayton has chosen to make the perimeter of the playground his Eagle Scout project along with the rubber mulch.  We are so excited!

P.S. Check out our new Facebook page at :

https://www.facebook.com/StMaryMagdaleneCatholicPreschool

 

Nepal earthquake relief

On April 25, a devastating magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Nepal near Kathmandu, also affecting nearby parts of India. Avalanches were reported in the Himalayas, including on Mount Everest.

A CRS team is on the ground in Kathmandu, the capital city and one of the most affected areas, and our local partner Caritas Nepal has started distributing food and shelter. The initial targets of CRS aid will be the thousands in need of shelter. Many buildings were destroyed or damaged in the 7.8 magnitude quake, and continuing aftershocks are causing widespread fear of sleeping inside of even intact buildings. Working with Caritas Nepal, CRS’ initial goal is to help 10,000 families with emergency shelter, blankets, water treatment kits, and hygiene kits. Given the scale of the disaster, the number receiving help is expected to rise as our staff and partners are able to better assess the situation, coordinate our response with other agencies and procure additional supplies.

As this region, including northern India, is known for earthquakes, CRS had prepositioned stocks of emergency aid in nearby Bihar, India. These supplies — temporary shelter kits (tarpaulins, mats, rope), water purification kits and hygiene kits for 2,000 families – are being transported to Nepal for immediate distribution. Teams are also purchasing and transporting other critical relief items from India to transport into Nepal since most markets in Kathmandu remain closed. An additional 3,000 tarpaulins will be flown from a hub in Dubai for distribution within the next couple days. More emergency personnel are on the way. Catholic Relief Services has made an initial commitment of $825,000 to relief efforts in Nepal, a figure that is expected to rise as the needs become clearer. The official death toll is approaching 4,000 – with thousands more injured — but few outlying villages have been reached and widespread destruction, especially in hillside settlements, is feared.

You can donate to this effort in three ways:

Online:     donate.crs.org/Nepal

Mail:          Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21297-0303 (Please write “Nepal Earthquake” on the memo line)

Phone:     Call 877-HelpCRS (877-435-7277) to make a credit card donation to CRS over the phone.

Blessed is Marriage

“Blessed Is Marriage” analyzes the meaning of the Beatitudes and their implications for marriage. “Poverty in spirit, mourning, meekness, mercifulness, purity in heart, peacefulness and righteousness are the loving attitudes that open our heart to God and to one another.”

Program sessions will take place on Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8:00 in the rectory basement February 25, March 4, March 11, March 18, March 25, and April 15
* Childcare will be available upon request.
Class facilitated by Ken & Lisa Kula.
Cost: $11.00 to cover the cost of the book.
Please register by February 22.
You can register by email or phone/text to – kenlis@comcast.net or 770-317-0759