January 2015 - Our Lady, Queen of the Universe

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January 2015 - Our Lady, Queen of the Universe
’s Messenger
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2421 Shady Lane Drive, Huntsville, Alabama,
Phone: 852-0788 - Fax: 852-0199
Website: www.olqu.org
We’d like to take this opportunity to remind ministry heads and event sponsors that we want to run stories
and photos of your events—that’s mostly what we do in the Messenger. Our issues come out on the second
weekend of November, January, March, June, and September, so we need your content by the end of the
month before.
The Communications Ministry does a lot more than publish The Queen’s Messenger. You can see in
our Mission Statement that we can help with many forms of communication. Some of the many items we have
produced include banners for the Sanctuary, concert programs, worship aids, event tickets, award certificates,
Christmas cards, event posters and flyers, the design for the Bulletin…you get the idea. Just let us know how
we can help!
WHAT'S COMING
JANUARY
30 – Pastoral Council Welcome Dinner, 6 PM
31– Building & Maintenance, 8 AM
Communications Ministry Mission Statement
14 – Valentine/Mardi Gras Party, 6:15 PM
18– Ash Wednesday Mass, 12 PM & 7 PM
31– Building & Maintenance, 8 AM
Our mission is to promote and foster the building of community
within the parish family through the application of advice, experience,
and media production skills to both internal and external communications
for Our Lady, Queen of the Universe Parish. Our goal is to increase the
visibility of the parish, and thereby promote an increase in attendance and
participation in the day-to-day life of our parish family.
We will achieve our mission through our activities and products,
which include:
● The Queen’s Messenger parish newsletter,
13 – Men’s Club Fish Fry, 4:30 PM
15– Lenten Reflection-In Remembrace of Me, 6:30 PM
28– Building & Maintenance, 8 AM
29– Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord/Procession, 9 AM
31– Chrism Mass in Birmingham
Holy Hour, 6 PM
Stations of the Cross, 7 PM
Lenten Soup Supper, 6:30 PM
February 23, 24, 25, 6:30 -8:30 PM
● the www.olqu.org parish website,
● coordination and preparation of articles on parish events and
activities for the One Voice diocesan newspaper and the
Huntsville Times newspaper,
● identification and coordination relating to media coverage of
special events that would be of interest to the North Alabama
community,
● providing expertise and resources for preparation of other
Parish communications as required by the Pastor, Pastoral Council,
and Ministries.
The Queen’s Messenger is published for parish members and friends
by the Communications Ministry of Our Lady, Queen of the Universe
Parish, Huntsville, AL
Publisher………….Reverend Joy Chalissery
Editor……………..Damian Hochmuth
Layout/Graphics…Judi Tulacro
Communications Misistry Members
Barbara Cassani and Damian Hochmuth, Ministry Co-Heads
Judi Tulacro, James Chaloupka, Martha Marsh, Lyle & Rosemary Torongeau
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Volume 12-A Issue 2, January 2015
Santa Claus Visits Parish Christmas Party
Father Joy welcomed more than 200 parishioners to the annual Parish Christmas Party in Joy Hall. After Father said the blessing,
Jerry Kessler, the emcee for the afternoon, invited the Choir to the food table followed by the rest of the parishioners. The Choir,
under the direction of Mark Blackburn, began to sing Christmas Carols to get the festivities started.
The menu consisted of ham and turkey sandwiches, salad, chips, and relish trays, and drinks. Dessert was found in the “Cookie
Room,” which was decorated with Christmas decorations and loaded with Christmas cookies made by our parishioners.
Eva Andrzejewski, along with her helpers, made sure that over 60 children got their food, consisting of chicken nuggets, mini
corndogs, and a relish tray and juice boxes. The choir sang “Here Comes Santa Claus” to announce the arrival of Santa Claus and
his elf from the North Pole. The children jumped up and down and cheered with excitement when Santa came through the back of
the Hall ringing his Christmas bells. Santa visited with each child, gave them a candy cane, and posed for a picture. The children
beamed with excitement! Even some of the “older children” visited and posed for a picture with Santa.
Tony Gentry won a $25 gift certificate for making a correct guess as to how many bows were in a jar. Sonya Little won the BIG
prize—the sleigh and reindeer that were on display on the Joy Hall stage.
Father Joy closed out the party with everyone praying the Our Father.
The Social Committee would like to thank all the parishioners who made cookies and helped make this year’s Christmas Party
a huge success!
We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from the Social Committee,…Andrea Wheeler
Anonymous Christian
People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed – Dr. Samuel Johnson
Theologian Karl Rahner defines an “Anonymous Christian” as the numerous men and women
who are desirous of “God,” who receive and embrace the gift of God’s self-communication—even
if only in the hiddenness of their hearts.
It fits with my own Christology because I adhere to the belief that Christ came for all
peoples—believers, non-believers, Jews, gentiles, Muslim, Hindu, and on and on. If that were not
Deacon
so, how can we say we have a universal (catholic) church?
I love the way the Catechism of the Catholic Church states “The desire for God is written in the
Jim Bodine
human heart, because man is created by God and for God” (CCC 27). The United States Catechism
for Adults (USCCA) states on page 3, “God has planted in every human heart the hunger and
longing for the infinite, for nothing less than God. St. Augustine, a theologian from the fifth century, said it best: ‘Our heart is
restless until it rests in you.’”
This also fits for me with the idea of “natural law.” This is an innate understanding of good and evil, an inherent moral code,
which God implants on every human heart. The concept of the Anonymous Christian, as put forward by Rahner, is embodied for
me by all the people in the world who live the Christian message without ever professing a belief in Christ. I have known such
people. They live the corporal works of mercy on a routine basis but who would cringe at the claim that they were doing so out of
religious devotion. Rather they would say that it was “just the right thing to do.” Or that they were only trying to be “nice” or
“neighborly.” When asked if they go to Church, the answer is often times, “No I don’t. I meet God in the woods, in the streams, or
in the beauty of nature.”
One interesting statistic that I recently read on the Glenmary Home Missioners webpage was from a study that said up to fifty
percent of the population in the areas they serve is “un-churched.” While not adhering to any recognized denomination many of
these people described themselves as “spiritual.” This would, in my view make them likely candidates to be classified as
Anonymous Christians.
I cite the above because here is the challenge for those of us who do believe that the fullness of revealed truth, the truth revealed
by Christ necessary for our salvation, is contained within the Catholic Church. How do we reach these folks with the message that
it is through Jesus Christ, not some vague spiritual entity, that salvation is accomplished? I don’t have the answer, but I do know we
are called by our Holy Father to battle the moral relativism that is contained in so many of these belief systems, and to evangelize.
First, we must ask ourselves, are we perceived by others as Anonymous Christians? If we are, then how can we proclaim the good
news to turn Anonymous Christians into known Christians? If we want people to know Christ then maybe we have to make the
introduction.
Cleopas Hernandez, Brandon and Amber Martel, Mario Thompson, and Olivia Torongeau.
47th Anniversary Celebration
Fr. Davis Koottala, who was
visiting Fr. Joy, was on hand for out
Parish Anniversary celebration on
November 9. He is the new assistant
pastor at Our Lady of the Valley in
Birmingham. Fr. Davis is from the
Diocese of Irinjalakuda in India, Fr.
Joy’s home diocese.
The 47th Anniversary of OLQU was celebrated on November 9, beginning with a
special blessing by Father Joy during the 9 AM Mass. June 17, 1967 was the date for the first
Mass held at OLQU, and on Nov. 9, 1967, OLQU was dedicated as a Parish.
Following Mass a breakfast was served to all attendees with special attention given
to the burning of the mortgage by Father Joy, assisted by the Fundraising Committee.
Father Joy also recognized the fact that with the membership at OLQU there are 520
volunteers doing the Lord’s work.
A very special visitor was on hand for this event. Assisting Father Joy at Mass was
Father Devassykutty Koottala Joseph (Father Davis) from India, who is in the USA for the
first time and is assigned to Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Birmingham for five years.
We, as a vibrant parish, are now developing plans with a committee to celebrate the
50th anniversary of OLQU on November 9, 2017.
Volunteer Appreciation Party
The annual Volunteer Appreciation Party was held on November 7 in Joy Hall. All who volunteer in the Parish were invited to
attend, and most did, and had an enjoyable evening.
POSADA and BONFIRE
BURNING of the MORTGAGE
"Congratulations and thank you! We paid off the diocese construction loan on October 31,” said Fundraising Committee
chairman Fran Spinelli, during our mortgage burning ceremony on November 9. He explained this final $19,875 payment completed
a total of $2,620,000 in construction projects over the past nine years—and we are now debt-free.
"Together, we are building the community and building for the community." Those are the words of Father Joy, and the
entire parish thanks him for his guidance, leadership and spiritual strength.
Fran thanked Fundraising Committee members Andrea Wheeler, Margie Davis and Joe Cassani for their tireless efforts on
behalf of our parish family. He also made special mention of former members Barbara Chandler, Susan O'Keefe, Mary Sutton, and
Fred Gahr.
Next, Father Joy took the stage and lit the match! He burned the mortgage to a thunderous round of applause. Father Joy
thanked the entire parish and reminded us the real gain is building of community. Our community is lifted, and that is a true and
enduring accomplishment…Fran Spinelli
Queen Bees are Busy
The annual Christmastime Bonfire on December 19 was preceded this time by a Posada celebration. As the flyer in the Bulletin
put it,
Las Posadas “the inns” recreates the long and daunting search of Mary and Joseph for a place to stay, the place of
our Lord’s
birth. It is through their persistence and God’s grace that they find a humble dwelling of warmth
and safety. This celebration is a reminder to all that by welcoming the poor, the forgotten, and the needy into our
community, we are welcoming Jesus into our hearts.
The children traveled from the parking lot to the pavilion, stopping at each “inn” along the way, until they reached the one that
gave Mary and Joseph a place in the stable.
The Men’s Club sponsored the Bonfire, which gave those who participated yet another opportunity to eat and sing Christmas
carols!
In October, a group of Queen Bees met for lunch and some lively conversation at the IHOP on University Drive. A few of
us continued on for a leisurely stroll through the Huntsville Botanical Gardens for a look at the fall foliage and the sculptures made
out of wires, fans, and used machine parts (by local artist Wade Wharton) that are displayed along the trails.
In November, we met for a potluck lunch in Joy Hall, and to make Christmas ornaments for distribution to residents at the
Regency in December. Please watch the weekly bulletins and the bulletin board in the Gathering Area for future events.
We would like to thank Julie Owens for serving as co-head of the Queen Bees ministry in the past year and a half. Though
Julie is leaving as co-head of the ministry, she still intends to attend and assist the Queen Bees when she can. We will surely miss
her dedication, great ideas, and bubbly personality in the planning and execution of events. And we welcome Lucille Mims, who
has graciously agreed to fill in as co-head of the Queen Bees ministry for the future. Our thanks to
them both…Marilyn Correia
Our Parish Feeds the Hungry at Johnson Towers
[The Pastoral Council sponsored] another successful visit to Johnson Towers [on November 15]. Thank you for your support
in the multiple aspects to make this visit a successful one for God's glory. We needed volunteers, food items, and car pool
transportation. Yet, we had plenty of those and brought joy to the tenants at the Towers. The most important thing was the presence
of the Holy Spirit, as felt by many, during our visit. We experienced several of God’s miracles during our visit. For instance, there
were several homeless people outside of the towers wearing blankets due to the cold weather. One of our parishioners invited them
to come in, and let them know that we had plenty of warm food inside the Towers. The group of homeless stated that they are not
allowed in the Towers, since they are not residents. However, after our parishioner talked to the Towers front desk lady, the Towers
allowed the homeless inside the lobby area so they could get warm food. This is not the norm, not it happened during our visit earlier
this year, but this time God let it happened for us. Another miracle was the amount of food that we distributed at the Towers. OLQU
donated 11 large pans of food. To put it in perspective, we normally use 4 large pans to serve a little over 100 parishioners during
Welcome Sunday breakfast after the 9 AM Mass. By all of our human calculations, we expected a lot of food left over. However,
God had a plan for that food. We distributed almost all of it with only very little broccoli left over. Another miracle was the number
of parishioners that supported this outreach event. God calls His people to do His work, and by doing His work we come closer to
Him. We had more food than last time, and we needed a larger number of volunteers—and God provided the needed help. We had
parishioners volunteering in the OLQU kitchen warming up the food that could not come to the Towers, we had parishioners
donating food items that could not come to the Towers, we had parishioners that donated their time to come to the Towers, and we
had parishioners that helped in more than one thing. The combined support from our parishioners resulted in the help needed for
this event.
Several of our parishioners also had the opportunity to engage in a conversation with the tenants at Johnson Towers. As in the
past, at least one of the tenants showed interest in the Catholic faith and showed interest in coming to OLQU. During the
conversation, the tenant asked about the sacrament of Reconciliation and about asking God for forgiveness. As many of us, this
tenant struggles with forgiving others and herself. Our visit became another step for the tenant to come closer to God.
I would also like to add a special acknowledgement of the young parishioners that supported us at the outreach event: Kristen
Hansen, Duane Wolpert, Ana McAlpin, Chloe McAlpin, Victoria Roos, Gregory Roos, and Ryan Dahl.
Thank you again for your support and showing the tenants at Johnson Towers that God cares for them.
God bless you all….Rodolfo BernalI
NITE AT THE RACES
The annual “Nite at the Races,” sponsored as a fundraiser by the Men’s Club, was held on December 31. This event has
become a most favorite enjoyment for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Joy Hall held a capacity crowd of enthusiastic revelers who
made a choice of which horse they chose to bet on that could be a winner for them. There were 10 races consisting of 12 horses
which raced with a team for each race. Those that paid to sponsor a horse(s) were treated to a table of snacks and complimentary
glass of champagne. Mike Janssen served as the emcee, announcing rules, names for sponsoring horse and amount to be won for
winner of each race.
There was a delicious offering of choices of sandwich or plate of bar-b-que or brats with all the trimmings. The “Spinelli”
popcorn machine proved to be a favorite snack for everyone and it had a good workout.
As usual at most fundraising events, “50-50” chances were sold. One half of the proceeds benefit OLQU and some lucky
participant won the other half and the lucky person for this drawing was Fred Gahr.
There were many supporting volunteers involved that cooked, served the food, manned the betting tables, cash-out table,
cashiering for the food sales, printing programs, selling horse sponsors, set-up and clean-up. Appreciation to all of those that had a
part for this successful event to support the OLQU Building Fund…Martha Marsh
Simple Gifts
On November 21, the Music Ministry team led a thanksgiving
service of music and prose. The evening was well attended and
was presented to prepare our hearts and minds for the Holiday season.
The theme “Simple Gifts” and night reflected on the realization that some
of the greatest gifts from our Lord are often the most overlooked. Our
hope, as a ministry, was that everyone who attended had an opportunity to reflect on the power of God’s grace and mercy.
To thank Him for his protection, His love, and be grateful in showing our love for Him and one another. It’s was also a
time for our parish family to gather and give thanks to God for each other. “Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free, tis
a gift for OLQU to join together and praise our Lord as our family.”…Mark Blackburn
Angel Tree
During Advent, the Angel Tree Ministry placed 130 angels on the tree, and all
were taken. We had 31 Golden Angels (adults), 42 boy Angels, and 57 girl
Angels. Thanks to your generosity, these Angels were blessed with a Merry
Christmas. Angel Tree also helped ten individuals from a group home through
monetary gifts from our parishioners. You made their Christmas very happy!
Please pray for all the Angels. We would like to specially thank Beth Anderson,
Julie Owens, Bev Massa, and Bob Atkinson for all their help…Lucille Mims

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