Advent begins tomorrow, November 27. It is a time when we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. Bishop Walkowiak writes in his Advent reflection, “Advent is the most countercultural liturgical season of all. It coincides with the end of the year. Americans of means are bent on buying, selling, partying, rushing around, and yes, worrying. Psychiatrists say that this time of year is the most stressful of all. How ironic that this should be so as we prepare to welcome the Prince of Peace.”
Schools across the diocese participate in the Advent season in many ways with focus on the Prince of Peace. One example comes from the staff and students at St. Joseph School in Pewamo. They are trying something new! In years past, they have done a Christmas program but now they are shifting the focus of their program to the Advent season. As a Catholic school, St. Joseph wants to teach students about the importance of the different liturgical seasons. “Our pastor encouraged us to focus on Advent during the season of Advent, and to celebrate Christmas during the liturgical Christmas season,” said Ryan Weber, the principal at St. Joseph. “That’s what we are hoping to do.”
The new program features a skit portraying a Biblical retelling of Mary’s journey to Bethlehem - from the Annunciation by the angel Gabriel until the birth of Christ. The 8th grade students at St. Joseph will perform most of the roles, while the younger students will accompany the skit with songs. Mr. Weber says they are hoping to have two performances and the public is welcome. “I’m looking forward to it,” he says. “It will be a wonderful way to help our students of all ages experience the journey that is Advent in a way they never have before. In this very visible way, students will prepare for Christ’s birth by traveling the road to Bethlehem with the Mother of God.”
Here are more Advent resources and events:
- Bishop’s Full Advent Reflection: Preparing our hearts for the Prince of Peace | ¿Qué deseamos para este Adviento?
- Diocesan Advent events, from Adoration and confession to retreats and concerts. Join us on Tuesday, December 13, for Behold the Mystery: a diocesan evening of Eucharistic Adoration. Almost all of the Catholic churches in the diocesan will be participating. This is a wonderful opportunity to sit in silence with the Lord during this busy season, and offer him your heart.
- Dominican Center at Marywood is hosting “Preparing for Advent and Christmas”
- Catholic Information Center is hosting an Ignatian retreat entitled, “Awaken: An Advent Retreat”
- Advent resources put together by the USCCB. The resources include blessings for Advent wreaths, an Advent calendar, and prayers to use throughout the season.