Time for forgiveness has begun, pope says as holy doors open worldwide

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With the opening the Holy Door at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Pope Francis declared that the time for tenderness, joy and forgiveness had begun. As holy doors around the world were opened at city cathedrals, major churches and sanctuaries Dec. 13, the pope said this simple gesture of opening…

Advent is God’s “prime time”

Q. How can families make Advent more meaningful? A. The liturgical season of Advent most powerfully focusses the church’s attention on time: the many centuries during which Israel, God’s chosen people, awaited the coming of the Messiah, and now, the time (how long?) between his first coming and his final coming. Advent reminds us that…

Prayer books for Advent, Christmas, Year of Mercy

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Here is a list of new books suitable for reading during Advent, the Christmas season and the Year of Mercy: “Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Pope Francis” by John Cleary. Liguori Publications (Liguori, Missouri, 2015). 136 pp., $11.99. “Goodness and Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas” edited by Michael Leach, James Keane…

Come Lord Jesus! An Advent reflection

By Father Eric Hollas Come Lord Jesus! I don’t often draw inspiration from comedians, but you have to give them their due. Great comics succeed because of their keen insight into human behavior, and they get us to laugh at ourselves, even when it hurts. A case in point is a guy I heard recently…

Advent services, programs, retreats and concerts

All Sundays of Advent Collegeville • All are invited to join the St. John’s Monastic Community for the Advent Eucharist at 10:30 a.m. and Sunday evening prayer at 5 p.m. in the Abbey Church. Little Falls • All are invited to attend the Advent liturgy at 8:30 a.m. with the Franciscan Sisters in Sacred Heart…

Advent invites us to slow down and prepare our hearts

As the days grow darker and colder here in central Minnesota, we know that we are quickly coming to the end of one liturgical year and moving to the next. The great season of Advent is upon us — the first Sunday of Advent is Nov. 29. It is a season of waiting and of…

This Advent, bring Christ’s love, mercy to a world in need

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, The world continues to mourn with the people of France after the murder of so many innocent people in Paris one week ago. As Pope Francis said, such violence and hatred is an affront to the dignity of the human person and can never be justified, whether it’s in…

Books for Advent and Christmas seek to inspire faith, guide prayer

By Ann Jonas For The Visitor To help prepare spiritually for the Advent and Christmas seasons, some noteworthy books have recently been published. They offer some wonderful options to deepen our prayer life and make the seasons more meaningful. “Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem” by Adam Hamilton. Abingdon Press, September 2014….

‘Tis the season: A primer on the sacrament of reconciliation

By Sue Schulzetenberg-Gully The Visitor Bishop Donald Kettler has asked pastors in the St. Cloud Diocese to offer extra times for the sacrament of reconciliation during Advent. The Visitor recently interviewed Father Mike Kellogg who explained the sacrament, the role of the priest and how it fits with the Advent season. Father Kellogg is pastor…