The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

Merry Christmas everyone:

the last two weeks announcements were made at the end of Masses informing the parishoners that the activities of Christmas eve would begin with hymn practice at 11 pm, followed by a drama of the birth of Christ by the youth group, and then the first ever (at least according to local testimony) midnight Mass. when i arrived at about 10:50 pm, i found a full church. jammed. packed. sro. so we began and sang, the youth group did an exceptional job, and we actually started midnight Mass at 11:45. after Mass, as promised, we all shared hot chocolate that had been cooking over a wood fire outside of church. when the festivities ended about 1:30 or so, i flopped into bed, ready to sleep in and enjoy a calm, peaceful, quiet, Christmas day. when i woke up, people were here for work and the normal thursday market was in full swing. i sent them all home, telling them to take the day's a shot of the altar:


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