Like other annual occasions this year, our 2020 Borromeo Academy Prayer Luncheon was an on-line remote event. Through the gracious blessing of angel donors’ matching challenge gift of $50,000.00, parishioners and other benefactors gained tremendous incentive to join us. Because of your generosity, we met the challenge and raised nearly $150,000.00 to provide scholarship assistance for families under severe financial strains and to stay on track with the development of our Early Childhood Education Center. This achievement is a big relief for our parish as we try to bounce back from coronavirus deficits of the last nine months, reach calendar’s end with a #Giving December burst of generosity, and springboard into next year. THANK YOU!
From this weekend’s Luncheon Ceremony, we move quickly to next weekend’s Lighting Ceremony. While darkness envelopes our northern hemisphere, making its annual descent upon us, we join the worldwide holiday tradition of being a light in the darkness. This custom seems especially prevalent in Kansas City with the annual Country Club Plaza’s festive lights that shine brightly through winter’s gloom. When we created a small plaza around our church entryway and gathering area two years ago, we wanted to connect, in a small way, with our city’s charm. Because we’re also known as America’s “City of Fountains,” we installed a fountain to show our connection to our beloved hometown as well as our connection with the foundation of our Christian faith in the flowing waters of baptism. On Saturday, December 12, after the 4:00 Mass, we will join with parishioners and neighbors for a lighting ceremony of our own. If you are in the area, we invite you to join us from your cars where you can tune in for a brief prayer before the big switch gets flipped; if the weather is nice enough, you might even step onto our spacious lawn or join our neighbors from theirs. The event will be hosted by our Borromeo Youth Group that will lead the countdown. North Kansas City teacher, parishioner, and newly elected Missouri State Representative, Maggie Nurrenbern, along with her young family, will honor us by flipping the switch as we embrace the holy days of Advent while daylight diminishes ever darker until Christ’s nativity heralds the dawning light of the world.
There are particular locations in our metropolitan area that really light it up each year. The Marriott Hotel downtown puts on a light show every night for residents and visitors with millions of different colored bulbs; but during the holiday season—and Chiefs’ season—it is enriched even more. Longview Lake’s Christmas in the Park drive in Lee’s Summit features over 500,000 lights twinkling for those who drive through it. Notable neighborhoods, like Candy Cane Lane in Prairie Village, also create a magical holiday wonderland for us to enjoy. From Powell Gardens near Kingsville to Penguin Playground in Olathe to Zona Rosa’s northern lights in our northland, we, too, join in the incredible display.
Our little plaza might not be much to offer in the vast array of holiday luster where a billion lights flash upon the blackened landscape, yet we want to do our part to brighten your journey. It is our Christian view that darkness symbolizes sin and human error that cause us to fall from the pathway leading to God. Couple that with the coronavirus plague and other devastating challenges of earth, and we seem to grope blindly. The true light is Jesus. He is the only vaccine for the virus of sin. As a church, we simply want to help people find their way. Let us do our best to be spiritual light for one another.