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The Season of Advent 

From the Pastor...

On Sunday, November 27 we began a new liturgical year with the season of Advent. This wonderful, yet too often, overlooked, season affords us the opportunity to prepare for the coming of Christ. As the season of Advent begins, we are reminded that there are three comings of Christ we celebrate: Jesus reminds us that we do not know the day or the hour when the Lord of the House is coming – therefore, we must be alert. Let us take time during this wonderful season of preparation to make ourselves ready for the coming of Christ, not only at Christmas, but for all eternity. During this Advent season, let us welcome the radiant light which is the Lord, Jesus Christ – Emmanuel, into our hearts and into our homes.

Merry Christmas!

Father Lavelle

ADVENT FAITH FORMATION

This year, we will have two Advent Faith Formation sessions. On Wednesday, December 7 at 6:30pm, we will welcome Joan Lawson, Chancellor and Archivist for the Diocese of Youngstown, as she offers a wonderful reflection entitled: “A Dickens of an Advent – Ebenezer Scrooge and Catholic Social Teaching”. 

On Wednesday, December 14 at 6:30pm, we will gather in the Church for a Lessons and Carols Sing-along focused on the Advent Journey to Bethlehem. The format for the evening will be Scripture Readings, Reflections, and Liturgical Music inviting us to prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas. A cookie and punch reception will follow in the parish hall.

BLESSING OF THE BAMBINELLI

This Advent, we will continue with the beautiful tradition of the Blessing of the Bambinelli (the baby Jesus statues).  This blessing will take place at all the Masses next weekend, December 10 & 11 - Gaudete Sunday (the 3rd Sunday of Advent).   Please bring the baby Jesus figurine from your family nativity scene to Mass.  At the time of the blessing, Father will ask everyone to lift up their statue for the blessing.  This is a wonderful opportunity for us to share in the one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in all our homes during the coming season of Christmas.  May God continue to pour forth the blessing of his Son into our hearts & homes this Christmas.

We are also asking that we extend the care for the baby Jesus by bringing donations of diapers, formula and other infant needs to Mass next weekend.  They may be placed in the blue bins at the doors of the church or in the Sacred Heart Chapel (the bell tower).  The items will be distributed through Catholic Charities and other agencies to those in need.  Thank you in advance for your generosity.

YOUNG AT HEART

Our Young at Heart group will meet] Monday, December 12 at 11:30am for Mass, celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe, and then meet for lunch in the parish hall, followed by a presentation on ways to continue celebrating the Advent season.  Please let the office know if you plan to attend.

ADVENT RECONCILIATION SERVICE

Our Parish Advent Reconciliation Service will be celebrated on Monday, December 12 at 7:00pm in the Church.  We also welcome our First Reconciliation children to the celebration of the sacrament for the first time that evening.  Please plan to join us.

EUCHARISTIC PRAYERS FOR ADVENT

This year, we will be again using the Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation I & II at our Sunday celebrations during the Advent season. These are designed to be used during times of reconciliation and penance and are particularly fitting during the Advent and Lenten seasons. As we heed the call of the Baptizer and prepare the way for the Lord, we are all in need of preparing our hearts, which in most cases, calls for repentance and change of heart. May these Eucharistic Prayers not merely serve to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, but may they serve to transform our hearts into a loving dwelling place for Emmanuel – God with Us.

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