Christmas Celebrations at St. Matthew’s Parish

A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Happy New Year Saint Matthew Assyrian-Chaldean Catholic Church - Ceres-CA

For the three Parishes of the Northern Vicariate the Blessings of Christmas arrived early this year, as early as Saturday, December 1st. The Parish Choirs of St. Thomas, St. Mary, and St. Matthew came together for a Joint Christmas Concert at the Heritage Theater in Campbell-CA. The children’s rendition of the Nativity was mesmerizing, and the cooperative performance of all the choristers made the ensemble as a whole, captivating. And the summit of the event was the heartfelt speech of our Bishop, His Excellency Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo whose presence in itself was an added blessing. Also, in attendance were the Clergy and many of our parishioners from the Northern Parishes.

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On Sunday evening, December 9, Daughters of Mary of our Parish held our annual Christmas Gift Exchange For Ladies. The theme was all about Christmas; lovingly and charitably came together as one family, for one more chance to honor Christmas.

Sunday, December 16 began with our Pastor, Fr. Awraha Mansoor celebrating the Holy Mass in the morning. Then, Daughters of Mary held our Annual Christmas Season Bazaar, followed by our Annual Christmas Party For Kids. The highlight of the events was the children themselves, making their way into the hall while singing Christmas carols. Then having a chance to visit with Santa and receive gifts, participated in making ornaments while having lunch and special treats. Fr. Awraha towering over the little ones, he blessed them, and delivered a touching and an authentic Christmas message to all.

In the evening of Sunday, December 16, we attended a Joint Christmas Concert held at St. Thomas Parish in Turlock-CA. Both choirs of St. Thomas and St. Matthew Parishes participated in the concert, which began with a beautiful Christmas drama, performed by Parish children.

And the jubilation continued, as our Parish Choir began making their unannounced visits to several families through the neighboring towns. Though their visits took the families by surprise, but their lovingly-loveable spirit echoed their singing, bringing the spirit of Christmas in their angelic voices, and brought Christmas Cheers to everyone.

The finale of our Christmas jubilation was most precious, as we all made our way to our Parish for the Christmas Vigil on Monday, December 24, at 9PM, honoring the Birth of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Assistant Pastor, Father Potrus Sulaqa, led the Christmas Vigil celebration and then the Holy Mass. We came together as one family rejoicing, as one family looking forward to the Feast of our Salvation; The Epiphany. The following morning, Tuesday December 25, our Pastor, Father Awraha Mansoor, celebrated the Christmas morning Holy Mass. Both Father Potrus and Father Awraha offered their blessings and gave inspiring sermons about the anticipation of Advent- the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.