Christmas is the busiest season for almost every Catholic parish. Throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit, we receive tens of thousands of people to our churches that we do not see at any other time of the year. Most of these individuals are Catholics who have stopped practicing their faith but still make Christmas Mass a part of their holiday tradition. Over the last few years, the Department of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship has encouraged parishes to focus on this key demographic during Advent and Christmas and make it part of their evangelization efforts.
This year, we hosted the Come to Christmas video competition in order to encourage parishes to creatively reach out to their local community. Our hope was not only to inspire parishes to create a useful tool, but also that parishes would have fun and grow as a team while making their video. Every parish that participated seemed to really enjoy the project, and all did a great job! We were inspired and moved by each entry, as parishes put their best foot forward in creating a heartfelt and warm invitation to come and celebrate Christmas at their parish. From among these great entries, we selected one winner: St. Isidore in Macomb Township !
The St. Isidore staff has pulled out all the stops in preparing for Christmas this year; it is clear that the pandemic has not stood in the way of this team’s missionary focus and desire to welcome all to the celebration of Christmas. The video they created is only one part of a larger Christmas initiative called Turn on the Light .
St. Isidore is hosting three events to help the community get in the spirit: a live-streamed Advent Concert on December 4th, Light up for Christ , an outdoor Turn on the Light event with carols and fellowship, and Storytime with Fr. Ron on December 19, a live-streamed event which will include a beloved Christmas story and Christmas carols.
Christmas Mass schedules at St. Isidore have been adapted in order to accommodate as many people as possible. Their regular 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Masses have been replaced with an all-virtual Mass experience — with Christmas Watch Party gift bags! The staff has prepared 3000 gift bags, which include gifts from the St. Isidore family so that individuals can interact with Fr. Ron when watching Mass at home. In addition to the virtual Mass experience, St. Isidore will host in-person Masses at Midnight, 8:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. on Christmas Day.
Congratulations to Fr. Ron Victor and the staff at St. Isidore for all their efforts in preparing for this most unusual Christmas season. It is inspiring to see how these joyful missionary disciples are unleashing the Gospel in their corner of the Archdiocese of Detroit!