In his first year as pastor at St. Mary’s in Longview, Fr. Mark Kusmirek has focused on a traditional Catholic Christmas custom that he credits with first exposing him to the priesthood.

As of this Wednesday, the priests and deacons at St. Mary’s have visited the homes of almost 90 parish families for the traditional Epiphany blessing of homes. The custom recalls the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child.

Fullness of Truth Conference Returns
The Diocese of Tyler is pleased to announce that the Fullness of Truth Conference is returning to Tyler on Feb. 20-21. These conferences are among the best in the nation and we are extremely blessed to have one right here in Tyler! The topic for this year’s conference is “Why the Cross: Suffering and Salvation in Scripture.” Speakers include Fr. Leo Patalinghug (from the TV show ‘Grace Before Meals’), Dr. John Bergsma (professor of Theology and Sacred Scripture at Franciscan University) and Bishop Joseph Strickland. Tickets are on sale now at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/why-the-cross-suffering-and-salvation-in-scripture-tyler-tx-tickets-14923986044

Week of Prayer for Those Affected by Abuse
As part of the Diocese of Tyler’s Safe Environment Program, Bishop Strickland has decreed that all parishes are to offer prayers for those affected by abuse during the week of Jan. 10-16, 2015.  The prayers can be found on our Safe Environment Program web site.  For questions or more information, contact Fr. Gavin Vaverek.

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
The Universal Church celebrates Our Lady under her title of Mother of God on Jan. 1. This is a holy day of obligation for the faithful. Additionally, two opportunities for plenary indulgences are provided to the faithful and pastors may choose to recite these prayers publicly following Holy Mass on the days indicated:

Te Deum. PLENARY INDULGENCE when recited publicly on the last day of the year (Dec. 31). Otherwise a partial indulgence is granted to those who recite theTe Deum in thanksgiving.

Veni, Creator Spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit, Creator Blest). PLENARY INDULGENCE if recited on the first of January (Jan. 1)  or on the feast of the Pentecost. Otherwise, a partial indulgence is granted to those who recite it.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Photo Album
Please email us your parish’s photos of church and statue decorations, processions and special events from your celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe so that we can create a special online photo album to honor Our Lady.  Send your photos toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Year of Consecrated Life Web Site
The Diocese has created a special page for Consecrated Life as part of the world-wide celebration of religious this year.  The page will be continually updated with resources for parishes to use.  Please visit http://dioceseoftyler.org/pages.php?id=177.

‘Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Rm 13:11).

For us Catholics, the new Liturgical Year commences with the first Sunday of Advent. In this new liturgical year, the Church not only wishes to indicate the beginning of a period, but the beginning of a renewed commitment to the faith by all those who follow Christ, the Lord. This time of prayer and path of penance that is so powerful, rich and intense, endeavors to give us a renewed impetus to truly welcome the message of the One who was incarnated for us. In fact, the entire Liturgy of the Advent Season, will spur us to an awakening in our Christian life and will put us in a ‘vigilant’ disposition, to wait for Our Lord Jesus who is coming.