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This Week at Holy Spirit
For the week of December 3, 2023

Parish News

Parish Advent Confessions

Experience God’s mercy during our Advent evening of confessions on Wednesday, December 6th, at 7:15 p.m. in the Church. We will have a number of priests available to hear confessions.

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception - Holy Day of Obligation

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is on Friday, December 8th, and is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass, in honor of the Patron Saint of the United States, will be celebrated at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. The Vigil Mass will be celebrated at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 7th. All Masses will be held in the Church.

New Location for Outdoor Nativity - "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"

In December 1223, St. Francis of Assisi set up the first Nativity scene in a cave in Greccio, Italy. The crèche featured live animals and was designed to allow the faithful to personally enter into the Christmas scene and imagine the simplicity and poverty into which our Savior was born.


In honor of the 800th anniversary of the first nativity in Greccio, we have relocated, storm-proofed, and enhanced the outdoor nativity which previously stood on the HSP quad. We invite you to spend time in prayer and quiet contemplation in front of the crèche located in the Sts. Francis Anthony outdoor chapel (on the west side of the church parking lot). We are extremely grateful to the Knights of Columbus, and Neil Johnson, without whom this project would not have been possible. It is our hope that the new home for this beautiful crèche will inspire visitors as they reflect on the Incarnation of the Lord, the Word made flesh. 

Weekly Parish Bulletin

Please click here for an online version of the weekly parish bulletin.

Culture of Invitation

Men's Club (Thos. O'Reilly's)

All Men of the parish are invited to the December Men’s Club meeting on Monday, December 4th, at 6:30 p.m. at Thos. O’Reilly’s Public House in Sandy Springs. Enjoy some Christmas cheer with friends new and old! This event is "Dutch treat", but please let us know if you are coming. RSVP here.

Decorating for Christmas

Tis the season to deck the halls! Volunteers are needed to help trim the trees in the church and outside of St. Mary’s Chapel on Tuesday, December 5th (NEW DATE), at 9:30 a.m. Come enjoy coffee and treats in McDonough Hall after the 8:30 a.m. Mass before getting to work. We will also hang the artificial wreaths and garland in the Church and decorate the windows in the chapel. RSVP if you can help. Contact Kim Schulman with questions.

St. Nicholas Day Party

All families are invited to our St. Nicholas party on Wednesday, December 6th. Come meet St. Nicholas! Hear about his life, take pictures with him, and engage in festive crafts. Refreshments will be served. RSVP online.

Women's Club Advent Retreat

What better way to fully enter into the beautiful season of Advent than through the spirituality of St. Therese of Lisieux and the wisdom of Fr. Jacques Philippe? All women of the parish are invited to our Advent retreat on Saturday, December 9th. Begin the day with Mass at 8:30 a.m. in St. Mary’s Chapel; check in and breakfast will begin at 9:00 a.m. in McDonough Hall. The retreat will end at 1:30 p.m., but participants are invited to stay on for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 2:30 p.m. Come enjoy community and learn how to wait and grow with St. Therese of Lisieux. The cost of the retreat is $40* and includes breakfast and lunch provided by C. Parks Catering & Events AND Fr. Jacques Philippe's book, "The Way to Trust and Love".  RSVP if you will attend.


Our presenters are Helen Young - parishioner of St. Catherine of Sienna, wife, mother of three grown children and “full-time” spiritual director, and Emily Jeffries - parishioner of HSCC, wife, mother of two small children, an expert story teller who has a master's degree in theology. Over the course of the morning, we’ll learn how to practice St. Therese’s “elevator to God” - remaining little before God by recognizing our nothingness, expecting everything from God, as a little child expects everything from his or her father; not getting worried or upset about anything.


*We do not want the retreat fee to be a barrier for anyone attending. If you have a financial concern, please contact Aimee McDonald at or call 404-252-4513.

Faith in Action

Women's Club Service Project

We are excited to have our next service project scheduled for Tuesday, December 5th, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Atlanta. There are many opportunities to help with this ministry, ranging from buying paper towels to preparing entrees to serving the men directly. Please use this link to sign up to help out.

2023 Christmas Angel Program

The St. Vincent de Paul Society is gearing up for our Christmas Angel program. Many of you recall that we used to give actual gifts to our friends among our Latino community at Christmas.  This was pre-pandemic and with the onset of COVID, we opted for safety.


So why are we still giving cash to our hermanos y hermanas? Because the best of intentions are not always able to deliver the exact right size, or style, or brand, or color that the recipient might want. Santa might know … but we don’t. The parents know, too.  And in giving cash, we allow our Latino brethren the chance to select gifts for their own family. There’s dignity in that. And grace.


So while we may miss the shopping and gift selection process, you’ll actually be giving more than cash.  You’ll be giving pride and an abrazo. We hope you’ll again consider being a Christmas Angel this year In past years, the suggested gift amount has been $100 per person. We are hoping to collect a minimum of $35,000. The number of families we can help this year depends on the generosity of our parishioners. Our parish has been blessed in so many ways, please consider sharing some of those blessings with those who can’t afford to bring the joys of Christmas to their families. Thank you for your support as we bring the Christmas spirit to families in need. 


In past years, the suggested gift amount has been $100 per person. We are hoping to collect a minimum of $35,000. The number of families we can help this year depends on the generosity of our parishioners. Our parish has been blessed in so many ways, please consider sharing some of those blessings with those who can’t afford to bring the joys of Christmas to their families. Donate online at or drop off your contribution at the parish office. Thank you for your support as we bring the Christmas spirit to families in need.


All checks should be made payable to Holy Spirit with “Christmas Angel” in the memo. Volunteers are in the Narthex this weekend to accept your donations. You may donation online through December 15th.

Annual Parish Christmas Ornament

In honor of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, Members from the Sovereign Military Order of Malta are pleased to announce the online sale of our 2023 Christmas ornament featuring the St. Francis window in St Mary’s Chapel. The ornaments are $30 each or $25 each for two or more ornaments. You may purchase your ornament using this link; pick up in the parish office during regular office hours. Please allow 24 hours for processing. All proceeds will benefit Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem. Volunteers will be in the Narthex after all Masses this weekend and next to sell ornaments. We also have a limited number of last year's ornaments - the Holy Spirit window.

Archbishop's Annual Appeal

We are only $24,761 away from fulfilling our 2023 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal Goal! Won’t you help us over the line? You may make a pledge using this link. All pledges must be paid by December 31st.

Adult Faith Formation

Sunday Morning Adult Faith Formation

Join Fr. Paul Burke this morning, Sunday, December 3rd, at 10:00 a.m. in McDonough Hall where he will present, "Around the Year with The Church: Living the Year with the Church Calendar and the Saints." Next week, Sunday, December 10th, Fr. Juan Pablo Duran will present, "The Domestic Church: The Importance of Family in Catholic Education". 

Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (also known as R.C.I.A.) Class Forming

Would you or someone you know like to learn more about the Catholic faith and what Catholics profess to believe? Perhaps you—or your spouse or fiancé—would like to become Catholic? Maybe your parents were Catholic, but you never received the Sacraments? Or maybe you’ve drifted away from the Church and want to renew your connection to Catholicism by entering full communion with the Church.


O.C.I.A. aims to address all the above situations. The class can be taken for information only and there is never any pressure to be confirmed, although participants are fully prepared for Baptism, Penance, Eucharist, and / or Confirmation if desired. We are now enrolling for the next session of O.C.I.A. which will begin on Sunday, January 7th, and conclude on Sunday, May 19th, with reception into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday, March 30th. The class will meet on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m., with Mass offered either before or after at 8:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. Those who wish to be confirmed at Easter Vigil must commit to full participation in the program until May 19th.

A nominal fee of $35 is required to register for the course; this fee helps cover the cost of books and other materials. Because acceptance into the program requires pastoral approval, prospective O.C.I.A. participants should begin gathering now sacramental documents, including—if applicable—certificates of Baptism and Marriage. Remote and in-person interviews with participants are now being held; please contact Dr. David King to arrange registration. The deadline for registration is December 29th. 

Children and Family Ministry News

Altar Server Training

The next training for prospective Altar Servers is today, Sunday, December 3rd, at 3:00 p.m. in the Church. All children in the parish who have received the Sacrament of First Communion are invited to become Altar Servers. Contact Deacon Allen Underwood for details.

Holy Spirit Prep News

GOAL Scholarship Tax Credit

Give the gift of a Catholic Education! Support Catholic education by redirecting a portion of your 2023 tax liability to GOAL Scholarship in support of Holy Spirit Prep’s tuition assistance program. GOAL provides tuition assistance to students with demonstrated financial need who wish to attend Holy Spirit Prep. Complete your online pledge today at Contact Ed Festa with questions.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday Night Dinner
Parish Christmas Celebration

Join your parish family for an evening of fun on Wednesday, December 13th, the Feast of St. Lucy! We will begin with our Wednesday Night Dinner, catered by C. Parks Catering & Events, and served by members of our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Dinner will feature a delicious beef pot roast with mashed potatoes, a Christmas mixed salad, roasted vegetables, yeast rolls, a chocolate yule log, coconut cake, and chocolate peppermint mousse. The cost of dinner is $15 for adults and $5 for children; there is a family maximum of $35. RSVP online no later than noon on Tuesday, December 12th.

After dinner, gather outside in the outdoor chapel for a blessing of our beautiful outdoor crèche before joining our Traditional Choir for a carol concert in the Church.

Women's Club Christmas Coffee

All women of the parish are invited to drop by the home of Marcia & Stewart Weinhoff for the Holy Spirit Women's Club Christmas Coffee on Thursday, December 14th, from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Enjoy a cup of coffee and delicious food while visiting with fellow parishioners and Holy Spirit clergy. Please note that there will not be any parking available at the Weinhoff's home! A continuous shuttle will be provided from Northwest Unitarian Univeralist Congregation, 1025 Mount Vernon Hwy., in Sandy Springs. RSVP on the parish website.

Advent Holy Hour

Take an opportunity during the last week of Advent to slow down and prepare for the birth of Jesus with a beautiful evening of prayer and music with Fr. Ballman on Monday, December 18th, after the 6:00 p.m. Mass.

Women's Club Happy Hour (Brooklyn Cafe)

Bring a friend and meet other women of the parish for Happy Hour at the casual, neighborhood Brooklyn Café, 220 Sandy Springs Circle in Sandy Springs. We will meet on Thursday, December 28th, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. A $5 donation appreciated for appetizers. RSVP if you plan to attend.