January 7, 2024

Dear Parish Family,

Happy Epiphany! Today we celebrate the manifestation of the Baby Jesus to the world by the star and the three kings who searched for and found him. Traditionally, the Epiphany is on January 6, the 12th Day of Christmas. But in many parts of the world it is moved to the first Sunday after January 1. 

While Christmas Day always occurs on December 25, the date of Easter changes each year. After much debate, the Church decided that Easter would be the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox (an association with Jewish Passover), which means Easter can fall on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25. From that date, many important feasts of the Church year are then scheduled for the year. 

Before yearly calendars were printed—and way before Google and Outlook calendars— there needed to be a way to let people know when these “movable” feasts would be. So on the Epiphany, the important dates for that year were “proclaimed” at Mass with a formal announcement. In that tradition, here are the movable feasts for 2024:

February 14: Ash Wednesday
March 31: Easter Sunday
May 9: Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ
May 19: Pentecost Sunday
December 1: First Sunday of Advent

Think about what the important dates of your life will be this year. What are the birthdays, anniversaries, memorials, etc. that you will celebrate? Allow God to be part of them. May this year be a good one for all of us.

Thank you for your prayers and concern when I was ill last week. I truly appreciate your goodness. I am feeling much better. As I announced on New Year’s Day, I have a medical procedure this Wednesday, January 10 that was scheduled in mid-December. It is outpatient surgery but doctor’s orders require five days of recuperation in the rectory. I am very grateful to Bishop Gainer who will be covering the Mass Schedule next weekend as I heal. Please pray for me and know that I will be praying for you.

Grace and peace,

Father Neil Sullivan