The Sister Parish committees at Saint Patrick Catholic Church and Saint Wenceslaus are preparing for Christmas together. Father Libardo Valencia Hincapie, Pastor of Saint Wenceslaus in Bogota, Colombia—Saint Patrick Catholic Church’s Sister Parish, shared updates on parish life in his community with the Sister Parish Committee in Tacoma in early December 2015.
Father Libardo noted that it is a very special pleasure to count on the love, the appreciation and the mutual sharing of our spiritual parish activities.
Lifting each other up in prayer
He and the parishioners of Saint Wenceslaus always have St. Patrick in their prayers, especially during Holy Mass. They pray for all of the intentions and needs of the families of the Sister Parish committee, for Father Seamus, the three Jesuit priests and for the members of the Sister Parish and the St. Patrick community.
Mission trips are a blessing
The trip made by four St. Patrick parishioners to Bogota in January 2015 was very emotional and significant for the Saint Wenceslaus community. Father Libardo sees the visit to Bogota and his trip to Tacoma in years previous as a blessing from God for our sister parish connection. They were unforgettable experiences for those intimately involved and for parish communities too.
Welcoming new Sister Parish Committee members
Six new members will join the Saint Wenceslaus Sister Parish Committee in 2016. The two parishioners who accompanied Father Libardo to Tacoma will continue to serve on the committee. Details on the new members will follow in the next update from Father Libardo.
The Holy Spirit at work
Father Libardo noted three significant happenings in 2015 that occurred in conjunction with the Feast of Saint Wenceslaus, which is celebrated on September 28.
- Saint Wenceslaus parish was selected out of 54 parishes to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has called for. December 13, 2016 the Episcopal Vicar (Bishop) will solemnly open the door of the parish with a celebration of a special rite so parishioners from parishes in the Archdiocese can pilgrimage to Saint Wenceslaus to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy and gain a plenary indulgence during until November 2016.
- The Archdiocese in Bogota celebrated true moments of grace with the consecration of 100 Eucharistic ministers, 38 of who were from Saint Wenceslaus parish, the sacrament of Confirmation of 78 young people and first Communion of 50 children.
- One hundred fifty three young children were consecrated as child missionaries to their families, their peers, their schoolmates and their communities on October 18, 2015. In the last five years Saint Wenceslaus trained 400 youngsters in this remarkable ministry called “Infancia Misionera”, the pride of Saint Wenceslaus Parish. More details to follow in the next update from the sister parish.
A prayer community
Father Libardo appreciates the invitation to visit the St. Patrick community again and he is looking into the possibility. Until then the Saint Wenceslaus community celebrated Mass with St. Patrick in spirit during the morning Mass on Thanksgiving and the Sister Parish committees of both parishes will be celebrating a Christmas novena via Skype on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 6:30 P.M. at the home of Tacoma committee members Harold and Florence Bucholz.
Let’s pray together
Join the members of the Sister Parish in prayer. Join together in spirit and pray a Christmas novena. A Christmas novena is usually prayed, starting nine days before Christmas. A novena (from Latin: Novem, meaning Nine) is an act of religious pious devotion originating in ancient Christianity, often consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days in belief of obtaining special intercessory graces.
Consider praying this Christmas Novena starting December 16.
after the wonders of Your birth in Bethlehem,
You wished to extend Your infinite mercy to the whole world
by calling the Wise Men by heavenly inspiration to Your crib,
which was in this way changed into a royal throne.
You graciously received those holy men
who were obedient to the divine call
and hastened to Your feet.
They recognized and worshipped You as Prince of Peace,
the Redeemer of mankind,
and the very Son of God.
Show us also Your goodness and almighty power.
Enlighten our minds,
strengthen our wills,
and inflame our hearts to know You,
to serve You, and to love You in this life,
that we may merit to find our joy in You
eternally in the life to come.
Jesus, most powerful Child,
I implore You again to help me:
(State your intention here…)
great omnipotent God,
I implore through Your most Holy Mother’s most powerful intercession,
and through the boundless
mercy of Your omnipotence as God,
for a favorable answer to my prayer during this Novena.
Grant me the grace of possessing You eternally
with Mary and Joseph
and of adoring You with Your holy angels and saints.
Are you interested in learning more about the work and accomplishments of the Sister Parish committee? Considering sharing your talent to serve the outreach efforts of Sister Parish? Visit the Sister Parish page to learn more about this special minisitry serving others outside of our parish boundaries— just as Christ taught us!