It is hard to believe it, but Advent is here! November 29th, we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent, which is the time that leads us to Christmas. I need to admit, being born in the warm savannas of Colombia, when winter approaches I am not the most enthusiastic person. I find it helpful, though, to overcome the concerns of winter with the events that I look forward to. For instance, before the chilly weather came, I went out shopping, and I got a nice winter coat and a very warm pair of boots. I am looking forward to wearing them!
The great event that keeps us looking forward during Advent is Christmas! Christmas for me means the beauty of the liturgy, the music, novenas, gatherings, family, friendships and food. Every celebration which we are part of is pointing toward the great mystery of Christmas, the coming into this world of our Lord Jesus Christ. And He is the reason why, dear friends, the Church invites us to prepare our hearts for four Sundays before the celebration of His Nativity. As we go every year through these beautiful times of Advent and Christmas, we already have a set of activities and celebrations aiming to spiritually prepare us. There will be more opportunities to be part of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, more moments dedicated to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, time for adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, novenas and much more.
Dear families, despite the chilly weather outdoors, St. Patricks is a warm place to come together and celebrate Advent and Christmas. St. Patricks is our extended family; come and invite your friends and neighbors along with you. I am looking forward to celebrating Advent and Christmas with you.
Finally, we registered St. Patricks to “formed.org”. It is an online resource which you will have access to if you have internet at home. It is designed to be studied individually, with the family or with groups of people. This is the best Catholic content all in one place. It is time to double our efforts with continued formation regarding the contents of our faith. I believe FORMED will help us to discover even more the beauty of our Catholic faith. See the instructions to sign up in this news letter or on the Sunday bulletin.
May the hope of Advent become a reality for you with the coming of Baby Jesus on Christmas Day.
Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.