This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. It is the official close of the Christmas season, so now you can take down the decorations and put them away for the next eleven months. People may miss the joy and festive nature of the Christmas season, but it can live in our hearts for a long time to come, if we allow it to do so. The true and lasting spirit of Christmas is not something to be cast aside like old Christmas decorations and fir trees immediately after Christmas Day. The joy of this season manifests itself in the hearts of many Christians as they try to live in the knowledge that Jesus has come to renew in us the grace of our own baptism. Though many may drift from the practice of living out the True Faith every day of their life, those who truly believe in the message, “Peace on earth to those of good will,” can, by good example, carry forth that message to those who still live in darkness. It takes effort to renew our faith each day, but God gives us all the grace that we need: “My grace is sufficient for you” (2Cor 12:9).

On Wednesday, January 22nd, the United States will observe the 47th anniversary of the very infamous and dreaded Roe v. Wade decision of the United States Supreme Court. On that day, our government gave the ‘green light’ to the killing of unborn children in the womb. Many women suffer mental anguish later on because they have been duped by the mistaken notion that they are easing a burden on themselves, on society or on the family budget. The insidious actions of the Planned Parenthood conglomerate and other so-called “Pro-Choice” groups have taken away the possibility of bringing forth children from God who should be the future of our nation. In observance of this sad occurrence, Bishop Barbarito invites you to join him in an hour of prayer and atonement on that Wednesday across Olive Street from the County Court House in West Palm Beach, beginning at 11:00 am. The Knights of Columbus and I will be there to join you in prayer and song.

For nearly 20 years, I have joined a group of concerned Catholics that travel to Tallahassee each winter to lobby our legislators for laws that are favorable to our Catholic concerns. These may be a wide variety of issues, such as seeking school tuition help, legislation affecting capital punishment or abortion, health and safety items, protection for our senior citizens and a myriad of other topics. It’s called Catholic Days at the Capitol, and is a 3-day trip (January 28 – 30) that is highlighted by a concelebrated Mass with all of the bishops of Florida in the co-cathedral of St. Thomas More. As part of the costs, our diocese provides a bus that stops here at St. Vincent’s. For more information/registration, turn to page 8 of this week’s bulletin.

Calling All Men of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish! The annual Men’s Retreat for men of all ages from our parish will be held at Our Lady of Florida Retreat Center on the weekend of January 31st thru February 2nd. There’s more information on page 7 of this week’s parish bulletin.

The Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus has made some welcome changes in their Order over the past few years. All persons (men, women and children) are cordially invited to our church on Saturday, January 25th, to witness the new and dignified Knights of Columbus Degree Ceremony at 12 Noon. Following the ceremony, refreshments will be served.

Thank you to all those who made the baby-bottle drive for support of the Respect Life program of the Diocese of Palm Beach a grand success. Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the drive is one way to show that we do respect all human life, from the womb to the tomb. You are true life-savers!