Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
I can honestly say that I, and more than a few of our parishioners, received an early Christmas present in attending the Ordination and/or First Mass of "Father" Nelson Rubio.  In the beautiful setting of the Cathedral of St. Andrew  in Little Rock, some witnessed Nelson receiving the priesthood through prayer and the silent "Laying on of Hands" by Bishop Taylor than by all the priests who were concelebrating the Ordination Mass.  We watched the bishop anoint his hands with the Sacred Chrism and be vested with a priest's stole and chasuble.  Finally, Father Rubio joined with other priests in praying the words of consecration along with Bishop Taylor and took a solo part of the Eucharistic Prayer.  At the end of the Mass, Father Rubio offered his first blessing to the bishop who knelt before him and then to the rest of the congregation.

Speaking of "Consecration," those who participated in Father Rubio's First Mass were touched, and will long remember Father Rubio's cracking and tears coming down his eyes as he spoke the words of consecreation with the priests concelebrating, saying the words with him.  His long journey to the priesthood that was delayed for awhile in Venezuela and which brought him to Arkansas to be a priest for our diocese and included a serious sickness which still weakens his body at times, has ended, and his new life as a priest of God has begun.  He thanked everyone, especially you, our parishioners, for your love and support these past few years as his adopted parish family.

I also thank you for helping to get Father Nelson to this "life-changing" point in his life.  Continued prayers for him as he begins serving the people of God with Father Rueben Quinteros in Marche and North Little Rock are needed and will be appreciated.

I want to thank our Ladies of the Sacred Heart, our Knights of Columbus, and our Men's Club for the support they have given to Father Nelson, and our parishioners who gifted him.  Finally, for those who were not at the First Mass reception, I want you to know that the parish gifted Father Nelson with four beautiful chasubels for him to wear as he celebrates Mass in the future.

Thanks to Parish Life coordinators Sherrie Nichols, Jennifer Rivera, as well as Cathy Silk, and all those who brought food for the reception.  It was nicely set-up and the food was delicious.

Let's remember Nelson at Christmas as he celebrates his first Christmas Masses and rests before his new ministry begins.

Finally, a Blessed Christmas Season from me to all of our parishioners and your families.  May God's love and peace fill your hearts in a special way on these special days.