December 6, 2022
Dear friend of Saint Andrew,
On the Third Sunday of Advent the prophet Isaiah describes the coming of the long-expected Messiah as the desert and parched lands that are transformed by the rain that finally comes after a long delay.
As a Midwesterner, I always had a hard time visualizing Isaiah’s vivid description until I served as a hospital chaplain in Tucson, Arizona as part of my seminary training. For the first time, I was truly able
to see the words of Isaiah came to life. The southwestern desert can be an unforgiving terrain, especially during an extended drought. At first glance, it may look as if there is very little life that can survive there. But, when the summer rains come, usually in a torrential downpour, that is when everything changes. The desert comes alive! The prophet Isaiah describes more than a meteorological event. He describes the transformation that would occur when the Messiah would finally come. They were words of hope meant to encourage believers to remain steadfast in their faith.
Now in our third year of the pandemic, we can wholeheartedly identify with the weary people Isaiah addresses. We too have grown tired of waiting for life to fully get back to normal. At the same time though, we have also witnessed a transformed world as restrictions have been lifted, and vaccines have allowed us to move about with less fear. Every activity or event that has been recovered after a two-year absence feels like a burden has been lifted. For many, Saint Andrew Parish is a place that offers hope whenever our mettle and our faith are tested. And as we continue to bring back ministries, programs, and parish events, our parish, like the desert that Isaiah describes, is being brought back to life. That has only been possible by the grace of God, the faithfulness of believers, and the support of parishioners like you. I thank you for your many contributions in this still evolving renewal of our parish.
As is customary during Advent, I ask you to prayerfully consider making a special gift to Saint Andrew Parish, so that the transformation taking place may continue and be brought to its completion. As you
know, with inflation, the price of everything has gone up. This is just as true for our parish as it is for your household, except on a much larger scale. That’s why your financial gift at Christmas this year is
more important than ever. Since the start of the pandemic, the parishioners of Saint Andrew have remained in my mind, my prayers, but most of all, in my heart. Please be assured of my continued prayers and affection for the people of Saint Andrew. I hope you can join me and other Saint Andrew parishioners in our liturgical celebrations and Advent programs this year. As the end of the reading from Isaiah describes, together, we “will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.”
May God bless you, and Merry Christmas!
Fr. Sergio Romo
Donations to the Christmas appeal can be made at – www.standrew.org/gift