When I got divorced and came back to Maine, I had 4 children ages 7 to 15.  I was never much for going to New Year’s Eve parties and leaving my children at home, so we decided to hold our own New Year’s Eve Party, usually it was just us 5 but sometime one of my children’s friend and mother came over, sometime other friends of theirs.

We put away dinner, cleaned up and made dip, chips, desert and whatever along with soda, which we very seldom bought. We played board games and fun and harmless party games.  We laughed a lot.

At one point, two of my children were altar boys, so they went to serve Mass and then came home and we continued or started the party then.

We did stay up until midnight. At midnight my crowd of youngsters took pans, horns, and whatever made noise and went out and up and down the street (we lived in the middle of town) making as much noise as possible and yelling HAPPY NEW YEAR. I watched the ball come down in Times Square, then we all went to bed.

Sounds like something very simple doesn’t it?  That’s what makes memories, simple things that families do together.  And this is one of my favorites.



The FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION celebrates the solemn belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is universally celebrated on December 8, nine months before the feast of the NATIVITY OF MARY which is celebrated on September 8. (Remember, the Catholic Church believes that life begins at Conception) It is one of the most important Marian feasts celebrated in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church celebrated worldwide.

( Immaculate Conception means that we believe that Mary was born without Original Sin, which we believe all humans are born with, thanks to Adam and Eve and their sin. We believe that God would never place His son in the womb of a woman that had sin on her soul, so Mary, the intended Mother of God, was born without sin,)

By Pontifical designation and decree, it is the patronal feast day of Argentina, Brazil, Korea, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Philippines, Spain, the Untied States and Uruguay. By royal decree, it is also designated as the Patroness of Portugal. It is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church as well as a few other closely related Christian churches.  On this day since 1953, the Pope as Bishop of Rome visits the Column of the Immaculate Conception in Piazza di Spagna to offer expiatory prayers commemorating the solemn event.

The feast was first solemnized as a Holy Day of Obligation on 6 December 1708 under the Papal Bull COMMISSI NOBIS DIVINITUS by Pope Clement XI and is often celebrated with Holy Mass, parades, fireworks, processions, ethnic foods, and cultural festivities in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is generally considered a Family day, especially in many Catholic countries.       from Wikipedia

(I would add that Dec. 8 is considered a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States, which means that we Catholics are expected to attend Mass on that day.  And I must report that our church was almost a full as it is on Sunday, which shows how important this Feast Day is to us.)


Celebrating Christ the King invites us to fix our gaze on Christ, the King of the Universe….

Jesus brought about his Kingdom…through his closeness and tenderness towards us.  He is the Shepherd..

The Father, little by little, subjects all to the Son and at the same time, the Son subjects all to the Father, including even himself in the end.  Jesus is not a King according to earthy ways: for him, to reign is not to command, but to obey the Father; to give himself over to the Father, so that his plan of love and salvation may be brought to fulfillment.  In this way there is full reciprocity between the Father and the Son.  The period of Christ’s reign is the long period of subjecting everything to the Son and consigning everything to the Father..

The Gospel teaches what Jesus’ Kingdom requires of us: it reminds us that closeness and tenderness are the rule of life for us also, and that on this basis we will be judged.  This is how we will be judged….

THE STARTING POINT OF SALVATION IS NOT THE CONFESSION OF THE SOVEREIGNTY OF CHRIST, BUT RATHER THE IMITATION OF JESUS’ WORKS OF MERCY THROUGH WHICH HE BROUGHT ABOUT HIS KINGDOM.  The one who accomplishes these works shows that he has welcomed Christ’s sovereignty, because he has opened his heart to God’s charity.  IN THE TWILIGHT OF LIFE WE WILL BE JUDGED ON OUR LOVE FOR , CLOSENESS TO AND TENDERNESS TOWARDS OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.  Upon this will depend our entry into, or exclusion from, the Kingdom of God: our belonging to the one side or the other. Through his victory, Jesus has opened to us His Kingdom.  But it is for us to enter into it, beginning with our life now–his Kingdom begins now–by being close in concrete ways to our brothers and sisters who ask for bread, clothing, acceptance, solidarity, catechesis.  If we truly love them, we will be willing to share with them what is most precious to us:  JESUS HIMSELF AND HIS GOSPEL.

by: Pope Francis, His Holiness Pope Francis was elected to the See of Saint Peter in 2013





Recently the Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of: THE SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE

“Jesus of Nazareth.. is so intrinsically king that the title ‘King’ has actually become his name.  By calling ourselves Christians, we label ourselves as followers of the king…  God did not intend Israel to have a kingdom.  The kingdom was a result of Israel’s rebellion against God…The law was to be Israel’s king, and, through the law, God himself.. God yielded to Israel’s obstinacy and so devised a new kind of kingship for them.  The King is Jesus; in him God entered humanity and espoused it to himself.  This is the usual form of the divine activity in relation to mankind, God does not have a fixed plan that he must carry out; on the contrary, he has many different ways of finding man and even of turning his wrong ways into right ways…The feast of Christ the King is therefore not a feast of those who are subjugated, but a feast of those who know that they are in the hands of the one who writes straight on crooked lines.”

by:  Pope Benedict XVI


Lord Jesus Christ, you reign for ever. Rule over all the world in peace, and fill our hearts and households with the power of your love, who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen (Magnificat)

More tomorrow night……………………..