Advent Newsletter  

(54) By virtue of their ordination, a sacramental fraternity unites deacons.  They form a community that witnesses to Christ, the Deacon Servant.

-The National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States.
Rite of Lector
Take this book of Holy Scripture and be faithful 
in handing on the Word of God,  so that it may grow strong
in the hearts of His people.
  -Prayer from the Institution of Lector
Bishop Mark Bartchak installed deacon candidate Mark Komula into the Ministry of Lector during Mass at St. Peter Church in Somerset on October 19, 2019. 

[Pictured (Left to right): Bishop Mark, Janis and Mark Komula, Deacon Michael Russo, Director] 
Advent Waiting

Waiting in line can be one of two experiences. See if you identify with the examples below:

First Example: Waiting in Dread

You're standing in line at the post office or the grocery store, waiting for your turn. You're tapping your foot and keep looking at your watch. You don't want to be in this line. Before long, you begin to think, "Oh, I can't wait for this to be over!" Often times, the other people in line with you feel the same way! No one speaks to anyone else. Clearly few are enjoying the experience; the impatience or irritability you feel might even be visible on your face. Such an experience of waiting in line can seem isolating, almost lonely.

Second Example: Waiting in Excitement

Now think about the times when you waited in line at an amusement park, to buy tickets to see your favorite baseball team, or to hear your favorite band. In these instances, the waiting is much different. People are excited and you might even be talking to some of them about the ride you're getting ready to experience, the sports team that you love, or the band you're about to hear.

This second example is the kind of waiting we are called to in Advent.

Waiting in Joyful Hope

At Mass, after praying the Lord's Prayer, we hear ". . . as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ." This prayer reminds us that during Advent, we wait in joy, in hope, and in anticipation for the wonderful event we are about to experience-the feast of Christmas, the coming of Christ into our lives in new ways, the return of Christ in glory at the end of time. As the Church, we wait during Advent and look forward to celebrating the fact that God loves us so much that he sent his Son into the world to save us. This waiting is far from empty; rather, it is full of the hope that God promises us as we prepare for Christ in the feast of Christmas.

Reprinted from Loyola Press

Natural christmas window decoration with handmade reindeer and trees of wood.     Note  Shallow depth of field

by John Henry Newman

The Essential Advent and Christmas Handbook: A Daily Companion
by Essential Liguori

by Pope John Paul II

by Scott Hahn

by The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living

by Anthony Chiffolo
A Deacon's Prayer
Written by Deacon Lazaro J. Ulloa

Come to my assistance my Lord and my God, that I may do for You all that you ask. Strengthen me in adversity and do not let me succumb to my feelings of worthlessness. Help me to feel in my heart all that You speak to me, and help me to understand. May I be to others what they need: a body to work when others cannot; a heart to love those who are forgotten; a shoulder to console those whose soul is in need; a smile to brighten the most somber of Your children; a mouth to proclaim Your love. 

Let me be to You, as a brush is to a painter, worthless without You, but capable of transforming the human heart by the power of Your mercy. Send me, my Lord if you need me, to touch others as You would touch them, to hold them as You would, to love them as only You can. Make my heart like Yours, that I may forgive everything and love beyond my own human frailty. 

Come live within me, that I may die to myself so You may fill my very being. Let me serve others as You would serve them, that in doing so I may serve You. Do not let me fail, oh Lord, or lead Your people astray. Allow me to live in Your presence today, that tomorrow I may die in Your hands and may You raise me one day that I may touch your face and live in Your glory.


O come, O come, Emmanuel - (Piano/Cello) - The Piano Guys
O come, O come, Emmanuel - (Piano/Cello) - The Piano Guys
  Prayer for Advent Grace

Gentle God
Let the grace of this sacred season take hold of me.

Free me from distractions
that steal away glimpses of your goodness.

During these days and weeks of
anticipation and expectation,
make me mindful of joy, hope,
and the wonder of your incarnate love.