Our Jesse Giving Tree Project
Help those in need celebrate the Birth of the Lord by taking a gift tag from our parish Jesse Tree and returning the unwrapped gift with tag the following two weekends.The Jesse Tree is an Advent custom that helps us to prepare spiritually for Christmas. Jesse was the father of King David, the first king of Israel. Long after King David died, Isaiah made a prophecy that a new shoot would bloom from the stump of Jesse. Christians take this as a reference to Jesus. To show this prophecy being symbolically fulfilled this Christmas, we as members of the body of Christ, can each represent a new shoot through our love and generosity toward others. The weekend of Nov. 23 & 24, you will see Our Jesse Tree in the vestibule of the church. Gift tags will be available. If you wish to participate, Take a tag, buy the requested present and return it unwrapped but with the original tag attached by Sunday, December 8. Bring your gifts to mass and place at the empty manger or drop them off in the Parish Office during weekly business hours. It is important to have these gifts back by December 8! The organizations host their Christmas Parties right after this date. Thank you!
Little Blue Book Available
The Little Blue Book a scripturally based six minute reflection for each day of Advent. It is available in the church vestibule. Each family is invited to take one.
Formed.org Advent Reflections
This Advent, enrich your daily prayer by walking with Dr. Tim Gray on a journey of renewal. Ready your heart for the coming of Christ. Watch, Read, and Reflect each day.
- Watch an inspiring video reflection from Dr. Tim Gray
- Read a passage from the Word of God
- Reflect on how you can prepare for Christ's coming
For a sample click here. For instructions on how to register contact the parish office.
Dynamic Catholic: Best Advent Ever
It’s a free email program that will help you slow down and focus on what matters most during this busy season. You'll experience Advent in a whole new way—leading to the best Christmas of your life!Click here to sign up.
Blessing of the Parish Advent Wreath
All Sunday Masses
Each week during Advent our Parish Family will begin Sunday Liturgy gathered around our Advent wreath. Make an Advent wreath for your home to gather around before dinner.
Advent Wreath Workshop
Sunday, December 1
Following the Sunday Morning Masses from 8:00 am to 11:30 am in the Spiritual Center, learn about and make a family Advent Wreath. The Advent Wreath is part of our long-standing Catholic tradition. However, the actual origins are uncertain. There is evidence of pre-Christian Germanic peoples using wreaths with lit candles during the cold and dark December days as a sign of hope in the future warm and extended-sunlight days of Spring. In Scandinavia during Winter, lighted candles were placed around a wheel, and prayers were offered to the god of light to turn “the wheel of the earth” back toward the sun to lengthen the days and restore warmth. By the Middle Ages, the Christians adapted this tradition and used Advent wreathes as part of their spiritual preparation for Christmas. After all, Christ is “the Light that came into the world” to dispel the darkness of sin and to radiate the truth and love of God (cf. John 3:19-21). By 1600, both Catholics and Lutherans had more formal practices surrounding the Advent wreath.
The symbolism of the Advent wreath is beautiful. The wreath of evergreens depicts the immortality of our soul and the new, everlasting life promised to us through Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, who entered our world becoming true man and who was victorious over sin and death through His own passion, death, and resurrection.The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. A tradition is that each week represents one thousand years, to represent the 4,000 years from Adam and Eve until the Birth of the Savior. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and good works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead.
24-Hour Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Thursday, December 5 to Friday, December 6
Extended adoration begins following the 8:15 am Mass on Thursday and continues on Friday prior to the 8:15 am Mass in the Parish Center Mercy Chapel. A sign up sheet is available in the Church vestibule.
Advent is more than just a count-down to the celebration of the Nativity of the Lord. It is a special time in our liturgical year when we can pass through the door of faith deepening our relationship with the Lord and with all our sisters and brothers. Focusing on our belief in the Incarnation and the second coming of Christ is not an occasion for worry or dread for those who believe. The new beginning of Christ’s birth fosters hope in the possibility of a new world and the dawning of new ways: peace, gathering, sharing resources, cooperation, companionship and concern for the poor and vulnerable. It is a time to be renewed in the graciousness of God towards us as we celebrate God’s promise in the hope of the future, in the revelation of the past and in the experience of faith in the present. One of the great ways we can walk through this door of faith, renewing our enthusiasm for following Jesus, born in time and coming again, is to pray, prepare and welcome through our journey of Advent. We can continue to walk through this door of faith as we bring our parish family Advent celebrations into our homes with Advent celebrations. Let us welcome these days of Advent as a time to be of the same mind as St. Paul: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! The Lord is near”.