For nearly 30 years the schooner Rouse Simmons brought Christmas trees from northern Michigan and Wisconsin to the city of Chicago. It would arrive near the Clark Street Bridge in early December all decorated with Christmas lights. The public was invited onboard to purchase Pine trees, garland, wreaths and other decorations. Whatever was not sold was given to the poor of Chicago. The ship was soon dubbed the “Christmas Tree Ship”. The captain was called Captain Santa because he gave away so many trees to Chicago’s poor.
The Rouse Simmons and its cargo of approximately 5000 trees sank during a winter gale on November 23, 1912. The captain and entire crew died in the storm. But the tradition continues. Trees grown in northern Michigan are today purchased by the Christmas Ship Committee of Chicago. In December, courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard, these trees are brought to Chicago where they are distributed to more than 1000 needy families.
So what are your plans to help the poor this Christmas ? As Advent begins, let’s take a look at not just our Christmas shopping list, but at the Advent plans we made this year. As Christians, we do so as we look forward to the day when God’s plans will be fulfilled !
DeColores, Deacon Doug
Join us in prayer!
We encourage you to join us as we recite the Holy Rosary every night at 8PM! On Wednesdays, we pray the rosary via Zoom with the rector and rectora.
Resources for those not able to attend Mass
Daily Readings in English and Spanish from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Prayers, readings for Mass, and additional spiritual readings are available at:
“Give Us This Day” a digital file of their periodical, which includes daily Mass texts. Visit GUTD.net and select “Digital” in the upper right of the screen.