Christmas At St. Norbert

Saturday started off with me attempting to fix a problem with my iPhone. I do not know how, but apparently I put my phone on a private browsing mode. Going deep down the rabbit hole of settings, I pressed one button too many and I was doomed. My phone was stuck in a gigantic zoom font. Every time I tried to fix it, it got worse. Turning the phone on and off alerted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, so three times they contacted me to make sure I had not been abducted. Mike could not fix it either, so I went to our daughter Sonja’s house. She wanted nothing to do with this. “Mom, I was in bed! I can’t fix this!” I was frantic because I could not answer calls or text messages; moreover, I was going to do some volunteer work at St. Norbert.  But God always comes through for me;  it turns out that Keaton, my tech genius, was in town. He came over and within 10 seconds made the font go back to normal. I paid him with two oversized muffins, wished him a Merry Christmas, and now I could go on with my day. I headed to Target for cat food,  when I received a called from Sonja, “Mom, both dad and I are getting notification of where you are, please turn that off your phone! It’s following you, like you were abducted!”  I do not fear a lot of things but my phone does scare me. These gigantic fonts traumatized me! But again, with a little prayer, I fixed it!



Everyone helps, young and old
Fresh fruits and vegetables

Food Ministry

I arrived early to meet with Teresa to sort out new Christmas toys for the children of our parish. I have always known about the food service our parish offers to families in need, but I had never seen this ministry in action. The food ministry is organized and under the direction of Michelle.  From young to old, this community worked for hours  packing  grocery bags for families. Volunteers, who were young adults ranging from elementary to high school, worked in unison to lovingly pack these groceries. First the dry and canned goods, and then a bag of fresh fruits and vegetables. Staged in another area were a group of young ladies selecting bread  to add to groceries. The fruits and vegetables were fresh and looked delicious. Honestly, with the high cost of food, I know these families welcome this special blessing.  St. Norbert provides this service every Saturday. The only requirement to receive groceries is to register with the church. St. Norbert keeps a log of all registered families and requires an ID to continue to receive groceries.

The bread crew


Teresa an me

The Toys

I finally met up with Teresa and we asked a few of the boys to help us transport five oversized bins of toys to the ministry center for sorting. The boys took all the toys out of the bins because Teresa wanted to make sure that there were enough toys to give out at the Posada. The Posada is a traditional Mexican reenactment of the Holy Family searching for a place to lodge for Jesus’ birth. We prayed with the boys, then sent them back to the food ministry. While Teresa ran errands, I sorted  the toys. We used six long tables to sort over 500 toys. There was a section for girls three through six years old, and another table for boys of the same age. We had separate tables for balls,  stuff animals and a table for boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 13. It was a joy for me to participate in this ministry. Teresa is the head of Family Life and Formation. She does her job with all her heart and is very loved in this community.


The beautiful tamale crew


While I was sorting out the toys, a group of women was busy making tamales. Our family only makes tamales once a year because it is the most laborious task that requires most of the day. But these precious volunteers at St. Norbert had this tamale-making assembly line intact. They even took time to make me lunch with a fresh cup of coffee.

The money raised for the tamales, $25 a dozen, goes toward the Family Life and Formation office.

On Wednesday we will be making our tamales. My 13-year-old dishwasher is giving me a little heartache because  it’s leaking,  but I’m praying that’s a plumbing problem that can be fixed. Meanwhile I cannot use the dishwasher and our plumber is not available until Wednesday. Everybody’s schedule is overbooked! It really doesn’t matter because when we make tamales, we wash all the pots and pans by hand. This year we are only using 15 pounds of masa, and we will have plenty of help too. Jenny’s parents are coming just in time to join the crew and Russ’ mom will also be there to help. Please pray that I do not mess up the recipe like I’ve done in the past.

All For The Birth Of Christ

We must always keep in mind that we do  all this to prepare our hearts for our Lord. We reflect on the birth of our Savior and the struggles that His Mother Mary went through, and how St. Joseph protected his family from harm. They are model parents. The role of the man is to protect his family, while the role of a mother is to nurture her children. We reflect on what the new year has in store for us and pray for a better world. I know I may sound like a contestant from the Miss America pageant, but we do need to improve our world. This starts with us individually. The only advice I can offer is to fall on your knees and ask God to come into your heart. The Lord waits for all of us. He does not care about the color of your skin or if you are steeped in mortal sin. He wants you to know that no matter what sin you have committed in the past, He will wipe it all away and give you a fresh start.

Dear Lord, I pray for all who are spiritually in prison. Clear their minds and deliver them from all mental illnesses. Hear the cries of those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol; fill them with Your love. Help them out of their misery, and grant them peace. Speak to them, touch their hearts and heal their pain. Grant them their Christmas miracles. Lord, I thank You for our Pastor, Father John Moneypenny, who shepherds his flock with great love. Amen.


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