December 15, 2013 A View from the Rectory Window

In my View, I often reference ‘our parish family’. During this season from Thanksgiving through Christmas I am reminded of some of our ‘family’ traditions.

At Thanksgiving, our Saint Casimir Thrift Shop provided 197 families (563 adults and 175 children) with meals and the Church of the Resurrection Food Pantry provided 71 families (160 adults and 81 children) with meals.

In the back of Saint Casimir Church and the parish office, you will find Oplatki Christmas Wafers. This wafer is a Central European Christian Christmas Tradition celebrated in Polish families during Christmas Eve. Just before the Christmas Eve meal the entire family gathers around the table with the Christmas Wafer. Generally the eldest member of the family, usually the father or mother, will begin the ritual by breaking off a piece of the wafer and passing it to another family member while giving a blessing. This blessing can simply consist of what you desire for your loved one in the upcoming year. It can also be a request for forgiveness or reconciliation. The wafer is passed from person to person until all have been given blessings.

The Knights of Columbus at Resurrection Church (9113) will continue a project that began in 1986, and has continued every year since, to assist families in need at Christmas. Over 200 families are included in the special deliveries each year, the Saturday before Christmas. This family number encompasses between 400 and 500 children. Included in this special delivery is a Christmas morning breakfast and a full dinner. It is our parishioners who volunteer to make deliveries to each home. Additionally, the Knights have coordinated with the Cape May County Toys for Tots and the Knights of Columbus Women’s Auxiliary to provide gifts for all the children.

The parishioners of Saint Casimir Church coordinate with Holy Family Parish, Sewell, to provide two Giving Trees that provide Christmas gifts for children in our Woodbine community, along with a Christmas meal for the whole family.

As I was entering the Parkway at exit 25, I saw members of the Resurrection Knights of Columbus, affixing the ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ billboard.

Truly, the above traditions, and so many more, reflect how we, Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish community, are keeping Christ in Christmas.

Father Pete