Saints Peter & Paul Parish
Weekly Bulletin

December 23, 2007

Fourth Sunday of Advent


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Isaiah 7:10-14; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-24. Today we have heard the announcement that the Messiah is coming. The child is to be named Jesus. Naming a child was a pivotal event in the life of a newborn Jewish child. We know that this child is to have a unique role in salvation history. Most importantly, we know and celebrate this event not in isolation, but with the faith that Jesus continues to be with us always.

 


Domenico 4A di Avvento

 

Dicendo di sì a Dio c’è tutto da guadagnare. Isaia annuncia ad Acaz la prmessa del Signore” “la Virgine partorirà un figlio.” Rassicurata dall’angelo, Maria dice: “Si”; Giuseppe si inchina all’obbedienza della fede e si realizza l’event. Il Figlio di Dio vive per stare con noi.

 

 

 


From the Pastor's Desk

   

 

Are the Christmas stories fact or fable? Mark’s Gospel doesn’t even mention the birth of Jesus; John’s Gospel reads more like a theological essay on the Incarnation. Only the Gospels of Matthew and Luke have the Christmas stories and these two only agree on a few things: Jesus was born in Bethlehem late in the reign of Herod the Great, his mother was Mary and foster-father was Joseph, and they lived in Nazareth. That’s it.

Most Christians would believe that the Christmas stories are neither fact nor fable, but true and meaningful. Most moderns have a mind-set that equates fact with truth. They would say, “If something isn’t factual, it isn’t true.” Someone once called this mind-set “fact fundamentalism.” For example, moderns would say that the story of creation in Genesis isn’t historical fact, so it isn’t true; so the Bible isn’t true. Then there are those who believe in the “fact” of creation in Genesis and the “fact” of Matthew and Luke’s Christmas stories.

There is another way of answering both the moderns and Biblical fundamentalists. It is a way of interpreting the Christmas stories as parable. The same way you interpret the parables of Jesus, like the Good Samaritan or the Prodigal Son, is the way you interpret the Christmas stories. No one worries whether the Good Samaritan or the Prodigal Son are factual. Parables are about meaning and the truth that comes out of the parables.

So let’s talk about the meaning of the Christmas stories, first in general and then with a specific example. The Christmas stories of Matthew and Luke are seen as “overtures.” An overture in classical opera establishes the musical motifs and acts as a musical summary of the whole opera. So too do the Christmas stories that act as a preview of coming attractions of the words and deeds of Jesus, his passion, and his death.

The Gospel for the 4th Sunday of Advent is Matthew’s story of the birth of Jesus. The basic meaning that Matthew conveys in his Christmas story is that Jesus is the New Moses. Herod is the new Pharaoh who plots to kill newly born Jewish males to remove any threat to his reign. Jesus is the new Moses who will perfect the law of the Pentateuch (5 books). In the overture of Matthew, Joseph has five dreams (much like Joseph in the Old Testament) and five prophecies that prefigure his five long addresses in the main body of his Gospel. The Christmas stories become the Gospels in miniature.

Let me wish everyone a Merry Christmas with the words of Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan in their book, The First Christmas, the source from which all this material was stolen:

“Archbishop Oscar Romero, a twentieth-century Christian martyr killed by the powers that ruled El Salvador, once said that we are called to be Easter Christians in a Good Friday world, in a world still ruled by Herod and Caesar. So also we are called to be Christmas Christians in a world that still descends into darkness. But Good Friday and the descent of darkness do not have the final world—unless we let them.”

“Jesus is already the light in the darkness for those who follow him. Conceived by the Spirit and christened as Son of God by the community that grew up around, he is, for Christians, Emmanuel: ‘God with us.’”

Fr. John Itzaina, SDB


Particular Items

An Early Christmas Present from the Holy Father: Our dear Pope Benedict has just released "Spe Salvi" (On Christian Hope). It's up on the Vatican site, here.

Our Christmas Schedule, plus Christmas Traditions and Legends: Here.

Second Collection: This week’s second collection will be for our Parish School.


La Processione: Our parish St. Vincent de Paul will sponsor what has become another SS. Peter and Paul tradition, “La Processione,” the procession commemorating the search of Joseph and Mary for a place to lay their heads. La Processione will begin at Saints Peter and Paul at 6:00 PM, on Sunday, December 23, and will finish at St. Francis of Assisi. This is a great event, especially for children, with animals, candles, costumes, prayer, and music. Join us!


Eucharistic Adoration/Holy Hour: Every Wednesday, we have Holy Hour from 7:00-8:00 PM. The parking lot will be open.

Bible Study: And, following Adoration each Wednesday, there will be Bible Study, at 8:00 PM, in the Rectory. The parking lot will still be open!

Help the Poor! Blanket Drive: It’s getting cold. Please check your closets for any old blankets/sleeping bags that the homeless can use, & bring them by the rectory office. And blankets can also be purchased for under $10 at our local large drugstores.


Walk for Life 2008

Choose Life!: The Walk for Life West Coast will take place on Saturday, January 19, beginning at 12:00, at Justin Herman Plaza. Last year 20,000 peaceful marchers gave loving witness to the Culture of Life. This year seven Catholic Bishops, led by our own Archbishop George Niederauer, will head the march! Our good Pastor Fr. John Itzaina will lead the SSPP contingent. Come join us! As usual, SS. Peter and Paul will have all-night Eucharistic Adoration the night before the Walk. Call Gibbons at 421-0809 for more information.

Click on the icons at left to learn more about the walk.


More Choose Life: “Considering life as a gift. Often life is considered a product of man’s own abilities and power rather than as a gift of God. This mentality limited to productivity easily leads to a specious discrimination against those lives which are not planned, are inconvenient, or ‘unproductive’: unborn babies, old people, the physically or mentally handicapped, defective lives. Considering life as a gift leads to living it with an attitude of gratitude, of praise and of profound joy, and to committing oneself to taking care of it and loving it, trying to develop all its positive potential. Congratulations to ‘Walk for Life West Coast.’ You are doing a lot to build up a culture of life! May God, the giver and lover of Life, bless you. –Fr Pascual Chávez V. Rector Major, Salesians of Don Bosco


Lunar Festival: save the Date! Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 5:30 PM. The school’s Spring Fundraiser will be a Chinese Banquet, with entertainment, a silent auction, and more at the Far East Cafe, at 631 Grant Ave, in San Francisco. Family Packages are $ 150 (two adults and a child); additional tickets are $60 for adults, $30 for children. For more info, call 415-730-2842.


C
olumbus Day Bazaar Photos! We have some photos of the 2007 Bazaar posted here. Feel free to send in any pictures you want to share.

Don Bosco DVD! We have copies of the “Saint John Bosco: Mission to Love” DVD on sale in the bookstore now. Other great new DVDs are in as well!

“Bella” the Movie: In October, our Archbishop George Niederauer booked an entire theater for a prescreening of the movie “Bella” which has been getting rave reviews in Catholic (and not only Catholic) circles. The development office of the Archdiocese sent out a fax this week encouraging parishioners to support this wonderful & serious movie.

“We are not called to be successful - we are called to be faithful. We are called to be saints.” –Eduardo Verastegui, lead actor, “Bella.”

Speaking of Movies: Any filmmakers out there? The Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Oakland and Ignatius Press, is inaugurating it’s First Annual "Cinema Vita Film Festival." The first Cinema Vita Festival will take place March 7, 2008. Submissions are currently being sought. For submission guidelines and other information about the festival, go to www.cinemavita.org

RCIA: Religious Education for adults. Are you or someone you know interested in learning more about the Catholic faith? The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) begins Tuesday, September 4, 2007. Meetings are on held Tuesdays, from 7:00 - 8:00 PM, in the parish center. This process is for those adults who are unbaptized, baptized in another Christian faith, baptized in the Catholic faith but have not received First Eucharist or Confirmation, Catholics who are seeking Confirmation, or Catholics who just want to update their faith. Please contact Janet Ross at 415-771-9130 or 415.955.3263 or janet.ross@gatx.com for more information.

Contemporary Choir: The Sunday 5:00 PM mass will feature contemporary music led by our Contemporary Choir and instrumentalists. We need more voices! If you enjoy singing contemporary music come join us. Call Charles at 415-421-0809. We rehearse before the 5:00 PM mass.


World Youth Day 2008! It's coming up! The next WYD will be in Sidney, Australia, From July 15-20, 2008.

For more information, click on the logo at left.


Fr. Malloy: He will still be preaching online. He has a new blogspot "A Shepherd's Voice..." at http://www.johnmalloysdb.blogspot.com/

Revitalize your Marriage! The next Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend will be April 18-20. For more information call Paul or Yvonne at 650-366-7093 or go to www.sf.lovemoredeeply.org. “I place much of my hope for the future in Marriage Encounter.” –Pope John Paul II.


More Choose Life: Adult Stem-Cell update: When California taxpayers were suckered into shelling out $3billion+ for Proposition 71, they were told it would place the state at the forefront of the "Stem-Cell Revolution." Well, apparently not.

This week Professor Ian Wilmut, who created Dolly the cloned sheep, shocked the scientific world by his decision to abandon cloning, and instead concentrate on new techniques where stem-cells are created from human skin cells. It should be noted that Professor Wilmot has no ethical objection to using embryonic stem-cells--he just thinks there are better ways to reach the goal.

The Guardian reports: "The news will come as a blow to scientists who believe that the use of embryos to create stem cells is the best way to develop treatments for serious medical conditions such as stroke, heart disease and Parkinson's disease.Unlike current stem cell research, the new method does not require the use of human embryos, which has caused controversy in the past decade. Full details of the new technique have not yet been unveiled but Wilmut described it as "extremely exciting and astonishing."

This is a big story, and has also been covered by the Telegraph, The Associated Press, and the BBC.

Attn Moms: Bank your umbilical cord blood in case of future need! Umbilical cord-blood is one of the greatest sources for morally acceptable stem-cells, and has been used successfully already. 'I banked my baby’s cord blood because I couldn't let the opportunity pass,’ explained Megan Burrell Jensen of Duarte in a Cord Blood Registry newsletter. ‘I work for a cancer center where cord blood transplants save lives. It really is a miracle.’” -California Catholic Daily (5/29/2007) It’s not really a miracle—it’s just good science! You can reach the Cord Blood Registry at 888-932-6568, or by going to http://www.cordblood.com/


Attn: Salesian Graduates! We are looking for past pupils from Salesian Schools in the hope that we can expand our database. If you graduated from Saints Peter and Paul School, Corpus Christi School or Corralitos School, please e-mail your name, address, and telephone number to fmasuopr@aol.com. Look at the website and catch up with the Salesian Sisters. (www.salesiansisterswest.org). You are also welcome to contact us by telephone at (210) 431-4999.

Our Chinese Mass: As we all know, our Chinese Apostolate has a special Mass every Sunday at 10:15 AM. What everybody does not know is that the Mass is bilingual! Some of the readings are in English, as is the whole Eucharistic prayer. The homily is in both English and Chinese. It is a very beautiful Mass, with wonderful music, and non-Chinese speakers are welcome and invited!

Latin Mass: On every first Sunday of the month at 11:45 the Mass will be celebrated in Latin, with Gregorian Chant. For an English/Latin Mass guide, click here. Tell your friends!


Neat Links:

The Holy Father (and his staff) have been busy lately:

For the Letter: "Responses To Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctine on the Church" click here.

For the: "Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI To The Bishops On The Occasion Of The Publication Of The Apostolic Letter MOTU PROPRIO DATA Summum Pontificum On The Use of The Roman Liturgy Prior To The Reform Of 1970" click here.

For an unofficial translation of the MOTU PROPIO, from the USCCB, click here.

Don Bosco DVD! We have copies of the “Saint John Bosco: Mission to Love” DVD on sale in the bookstore now. Other great new DVDs are in as well!

Archived Bulletins: For past bulletins, click here.

Travelling? Find a Mass anywhere in the world. Visit Masstimes.

Magnificent Photos of Saints Peter and Paul: Gerald, over at “The Cafeteria is Closed” website, has posted a magnificent photo essay of our church. He shows the church in ways even the oldest parishioner will not have seen. Click here to check them out.

Saint of the Day: Whose Feastday is it today? To find out, click here.

Compendium of the Catchism: The Vatican has a great new online resource. It is the "Compendium of the Catchism of the Catholic Church." You can check it out here.


 

Struggling with Same-Sex Attraction? You are NOT alone and the Church has not abandoned you! Visit the COURAGE website. "COURAGE" is an apostolate of the Church that ministers to those struggling against this particular temptation. They have been endorsed by the Pontifical Council for the Family and our beloved John Paul II said of this ministry, "COURAGE is doing the work of God!"

In the Bay Area, call:

Fr. Emmerich Vogt (510) 596-1800,
Fr. Angel Jose de Heredia (650) 871-8944,
Fr. Mark Taheny (650) 588-1455

Struggling with Pornography Addiction? You also are not alone! Pornographic websites are by far the largest segment of the web.

A new Catholic apostolate, the Serenellians (www.pornnomore.com), is trying to help those caught in the grips of pornography addiction. The Serenellians get their name from Alessandro Serenelli, who killed St. Maria Goretti in a fit of lust and later repented.

“If a man so seemingly wicked, decadent and corrupt as Alessandro Serenelli can receive the fullness of conversion and salvation from Almighty God, then so can each and every like soul caught up in the snares of this insidious evil.”

You can visit their website by clicking on the logo to the left, and there is a good story about them on California Catholic Daily.


Catholic Search Engine: There is a nice new Catholic search engine out there in cyberspace. It is www.mycatholic.com. It has a built in Google search engine, links to top news stories, links to Catholic news agencies, plus lots of liturgical info updated daily. Check it out!


 

Catholics for the Common Good:

One of our most effective pro-life & social justice groups is Catholics for the Common Good. To learn more, click on the logo at right.

Volunteers Needed! Despite remarkable progress in the fight against cancer, many patient’s greatest challenge is a lack of transportation. The American Cancer Society is seeking volunteer drivers to take patients to and from their cancer treatments. Please call and help save a life: 1-800-227-2345.

 

Saints Peter and Paul School Scholarship Fund: Many of you will remember the time when there were many religious vocations and a Catholic education was extraordinarily inexpensive. But all that has changed. Our school charges a tuition of $5,400—less than our neighboring Catholic Schools, and half of what a public school spends to educate a child. With San Francisco’s cost of living, lack of funds may prevent children from receiving a Catholic Education. The Salesians began by educating the children of the poor, and we are not about to exclude those who cannot make the total fee. But, like Don Bosco before us, we need help. Are there parishioners and/or friends who might consider contributing to the sponsorship of a student who might be otherwise forced to leave? All recipient family qualifications will be verified by Saints Peter and Paul School. For more information,you can download a flyer here, or feel free to call Fr. Itzaina at 421-0809.

Help the Elderly! Some of our wonderful older parishioners are now in convalescent hospitals. They would love to have visitors! If you would like to be a part of this important and rewarding ministry, or if you know of a person who might like a visit, please call Gibbons at 421-0809, or email to
gibbons@stspeterpaul.san-francisco.ca.us

Weekly Donation Envelopes: If you’d like a set of weekly donation envelopes, either come by the parish office or call 415-421-0809, and ask to speak to the secretary, and we will send them to you.

Holy Name Society: The Holy Name Society is a worldwide organization of Catholic men that was founded more than 700 years ago. Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, a monthly Society Mass and various good works are the HNS mission. For more information about the HNS, please email to stppholyname@sbcglobal.net

   Prayer for our Men and Women In Military Service

O Prince of Peace, we humbly ask Your protection for all our men and women in military service. Give them unflinching courage to defend with honor, dignity and devotion the rights of all who are imperiled by injustice and evil. Guard our churches, our homes, our schools, our hospitals, our factories, our buildings and all those within from harm and peril. Protect our land and its peoples from enemies within and without. Grant an early peace with victory founded upon justice. Instill in the hearts and minds of men and women everywhere a firm purpose to live forever in peace and good will toward all. Amen.

Please pray for:

Jean Berres, Sr. Paula Wong, Suzanne, Aibee Mae Cua, Lawrence Render, Elicia Alla Scully, Domenico Federico, Agnes, W. Woo, Don Baylor, Henrietta Heir, Linda Dow, Kathy, Ron Tamm, Cindy Ford, Rodney Corsiglia, Phyllis Libatique, Dan, Diana Pacini, Yvonne, Jason Pimental, Eva Pepin, Annette Ward, Catherine De Luca, Gene, Pina, Ali Mae, Bill Henderson, Brigid Reginato, Mark Carico, Tina, Diane, Jean A. Massey, Peter P. English, Robert Elliot, George Wassmer, Totoy Aquino, Emily Lee, Carlos Galarrita, Jo Fernan, Al Moresi, Bun Lee, Eleanor Dito, Lacey Sikora, Gina Crotti, Enrico, Betsy Goodwill, Kay Gibleski, Archie Lotto & Mina Elie, Rena Carniglia, Frances Marie Padilla, Kay, Alice Devine, Ray & Tina Bianchini, Victor Lampe, Pat Luddington, Virginia Dunwell, Jean Patanè, Renato Groppi, Dee Massa, Chris Denny, Jerry Bini, Jr., Francis Mahoney, Esther Castagnola, Valeria Brown, Beverly Kies, Robert & Judy Seefeldt, Martin Lamkin, Aloma Dawson, Richard Jew, Special Intention, For our people in the Armed Forces, Irene Enriquez, Teresita Uy, Marilyn Marano, Frances Peters, Nancy Baccei, Anne & Walter, Ron & Jeanie, Michael Lydon, Necy Ago, Dr. Lorraine Sibley, Keiran Murphy, Scott Bartlett, Gerrie Davis, Janet Johnston, Jason Holmes, Bill Sckzraybalo, Pastor Phil Busbee & Family, Fred Hankinson, Jim Hutelmyer, Peter, Connie Heinze, Christopher Snook, Mike Sosa, Pam Benitez, Loretta Tribulato, Rolando Rodriguez, Jiovanni, Edna Tavares, Pat May, Jesse Martinez, Susanna, Rachel, Bob, Monchie Mariano, Rose Cresci, Nick Nessix, Gilberto Potoy, Mrs. Blanco, Rachel Pozivenec, Andrew Schott, All the homeless & mentally ill of the neighborhood, & all parishioners in hospitals & nursing homes.

To have an intention included, please call 421-0809.

 

Liturgical Calendar

Sunday

23

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Monday

24

Christmas Eve

Tuesday

25

Christmas Day

Wednesday

26

Stephen; The First Christian Martyr

Thursday

27

John; Apostle, Evangelist

Friday

28

Holy Innocents

Saturday

29

Thomas a Becket; Bishop, Martyr

Sunday

30

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Retreat Offerings

Jesuit Retreat House—Los Altos
http://www.elretiro.org/

Vallombrosa Center—Menlo Park
http://www.vallombrosa.org/

Your sacrificial offerings of last week:

SSPP Collection:

$2,971.

Second Collection (AAA):

$735.

Thank You! Your parish needs and appreciates your continued support!

 

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