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…

Advent meditations for Pope delve into meaning of peace

Vatican City (CNA) – Papal preacher Father Raniero Cantalamessa gave his first advent homily to Pope Francis, touching on the biblical meaning of the word peace – both as a gift from God and a longing of the human heart. “The theme this time will be peace. But peace in the biblical meaning, which is…

Working toward God’s abundance for all

By Carolyn Woo In the Catholic Relief Services guest dining room in Baltimore we have decorated the left wall with pictures of grains, plants, trees, water. The inscription reads: “We shall see the bounty of the Lord.” On the opposing wall, we have the words from Psalm 27:13, “in the land of the living.” It…

‘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…

Do it yourself Advent – Week 4

December 20, 2013, edition Week 4 — Dec. 22 The following Advent wreath prayer for the fourth week of Advent is intended to help busy households make Advent a prayerful time during the rush of Christmas preparations. The language is fairly simple, to be used by groups of adults or adults with children. Sharing the…

Why do we have Nativity scenes?

Because they remind us why we celebrate Christmas December 20, 2013, edition By Father Michael Kwatera Q. Your November column on Advent got me thinking of how important my family’s Nativity scene is to me, and also the one used in my parish church for decades. I think they help us remember what is at…

Do It Yourself Advent – Week 3

Dec. 6, 2013, edition Week 3 — Dec. 15 The following Advent wreath prayer for the third week of Advent is intended to help busy households make Advent a prayerful time during the rush of Christmas preparations. The language is fairly simple, to be used by groups of adults or adults with children. Sharing the…

Do It Yourself Advent – Week 2

Week 2 — Dec. 8 The following Advent wreath prayer for the second week of Advent is intended to help busy households make Advent a prayerful time during the rush of Christmas preparations. The language is fairly simple, to be used by groups of adults or adults with children. Sharing the task of proclaiming the…

Books on Advent enhance prayer life and the spirit of holiday season

Nov. 22, 2013, edition By Ann Jonas For The Visitor To help readers spiritually prepare for the Advent and Christmas season, some notable books have recently been published. All of them can be used again for another Advent season, as they are not specific to this church year. They offer us some wonderful options to…