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December 15 Consecration of Our Church

O God, the heavens announce your might and the ages sing your glory. In your mercy, consecrate and renew this church and her altar, named after Saint Ignatius of Antioch in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, the beginning.

        This week we are celebrating something many though impossible one year ago. What you have done in just a few months has been incredible. What we have done was in many ways impossible. However, with the help of God, who provided a property, parishioners to discover it, and resources to procure it the impossible was made possible. (See Matthew 19:26) Likewise, we have stood on the shoulders of those who came before us. The visionaries, the administrators, the consultors, the pastors, the leaders, the organizers, the volunteers, and those who have prayed. People have contributed in many ways, donating, wrapping, frying, serving, baking, praying, playing, mailing, emailing, inviting, and thanking our church from nothing. (See 1 Corinthians 12) We have had two church facilities where we prayed, played, succeeded, and struggled together. Before then we prayed with much joy in borrowed churches.          Yet, as we know the church is more than a building. (See Matthew 18:20) A family or assembly worships in a building or temple. I hope we have built a familly. I hope we see Sundays and liturgies and activities as time to be surrounded by people we love who love us. I hope we strengthen each other as "iron sharpens iron." (Proverbs 27:17) I hope we make each other better and share with each other the transforming love of Jesus Christ.          When I was young, I found church services to be boring. It was a struggle for me to sit and to pray. I didn't know why I was there. However, at various times and in various ways God revealed Himself to me. Even as a child God drew me to Himself. God's revelation is like the discovery of fire. With the discovery of fire, primitive man would have light in the darkness, food that gives life without fear of sickness, warmth in the cold, and a means of communication. The discovery of fire, which was not an invention, but something that would happen from lightening- seemingly divine, changed every aspect of human life. The difference between attending church knowing God or not knowing God is equally dramatic. If we do not know God, it is as if we are in darkness when in the church. When we know God, we can see. When we meet God, we want to be with Him always. When we realize He is present in the Eucharist, the scriptures, in prayer, and in our church family we cannot keep ourselves from going to Him. God changes our lives profoundly, all at once. God changes our lives steadily day by day.             St. Theresa of Calcutta wrote to her sisters, "Jesus wants me to tell you again how much love He has for each one of you beyond all you can imagine. I worry some of you still have not really met Jesus—one to one—you and Jesus alone. We may spend time in chapel—but have you seen with the eyes of your soul how He looks at you with love? Do you really know the living Jesus—not from books but from being with Him in your heart? Have you heard the loving words He speaks to you? Ask for the grace; He is longing to give it."            We may spend time in our beautiful Church, which we consecrate this Sunday, but have you seen with the eyes of your soul how He looks at you with love. Have you consecrated yourself and your family to this love? Are we the church?

-Our prayers are with Mireille Salem and family. Claude Abi Saber, mother of Mireille Salem, passed away in Lebanon last week. May she rest in peaceA 40 day liturgy will be offered for Claude Abi Saber on December 22nd at 11 am.

- Christmas liturgies

                        Midnight  (11:59 pm December 24th / 12:01 am December 25th)                              11am          December 25th

- Feast of the Circumcision

                              7pm      Wednesday, January 1.

- Sunday liturgies

                              9am and 11 am December 22                               9am and 11 am December 29

-Photo directory- during the banquet and before and after the dedication December 14th and 15th, we will have the opportunity to take free family photos, you will receive a free directory. We want every family to take photos.

-Consecration and dedication: Bishop Elias will consecrate and dedicate our new home on December 15th at 11.  

- Christmas Novena December 16th - December 24th. We will pray it together Tuesday-Friday Dec 17-20 at 7pm and December 22,24,25 before all liturgies.

- Initiatives- To what is God calling you? What are your hopes, dreams, and ideas for our parish? What do you want to do? Mission, charity, prayers, work, fundraisers, or maintenance? How can we support you?

-Family Dedication, renewal, and consecration- November 3 and November 10 we celebrate the Consecration of the Church and the Renewal of the Church, on December 15th Bishop Elias will be dedicating and consecrating our new home, and during Christmas we see Jesus entering the Holy Family. During this period, we should take time to renew, dedicate, and consecrate our families.

-Home Bible Q & A! Do you have questions about faith or the Bible? Host a Home Bible Q & A. 1) Schedule a date and location with Fr. Alex. 2) Invite your friends. 3) Prepare your questions. Note: this is not a Bible study or Bible meditation, which anyone can initiate

-Religious education most Sundays noon-1.

-We regularly need volunteers to read during the liturgy and to bring the gifts. If you would like to do so, please see George Najem for 11 am liturgy or Jim Zaidan for the 9 am Liturgy.

- Bible Study every Sunday at 10 am.

- Sunday liturgies 9 am and 11 am

- Confessions immediately before and after liturgies or by appointment. 

New parish improvement needs

Tree Trimming Playground cleaning             Framing for two large icons

Asphalt crack repair- should be done before the weather gets cold            

- Update on $300,000 no interest loan. We have to pay back $200,000 of our $300,000 loan by the end of December. We have applied for a loan from the Knights of Columbus, but are looking for a donation of $50,000 to bring the loan down to a serviceable amount so that we would only have less monthly payments. Alternatively we would be interested in someone who would be interested in paying all or part of the bill month to month.

-Update on 5915 N Springboro Pike: As you know we have 5.21 acres of property for sale on a major road. Currently there is a 122,000 sq ft Kroger Marketplace being built .5 miles down the road. This implies a high growth potential for the area. Recently we have settled the price of our property from $989,000 to $899,000 a price recommended by the stewardship council and the real estate agency Mark Fornes Realty. Our property could sell as a church, as commercial, as residential, or as a mix. According to the real estate agency the sale of the property could take an additional year as the average listing length is 18 months for commercial property. Every month we hold the property will cost us a few thousand dollars. However, we can calculate that it is worth waiting for the right buyer. (We can calculate using a present value calculation and calculating for risk.)

Eparchy Capital Campaign

I am also attaching the text and video link for you to share with your parishioners:

Jesus came and said, “I have not come to be served, but to serve.” The Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles is blessed to have such dedicated and loving priests. As leaders of our faith family, these men have kept our Eparchy vibrant and spiritual throughout their years of committed service. Because they have answered a call to serve us it leaves us with a clear moral obligation. We must ensure the most basic needs of our past, present and future priests are met. Watch our campaign video and learn more about how the Vision for the Future – Mission for Today Capital Campaign will benefit our retired priests who have so faithfully served our Maronite faith communities

Consecration of St. Ignatius of Antioch Church                                 December 15, 2019

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