DIAKONIA
Advent Newsletter  November 2017
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Do Not Forget the Advent Saints!

During the season of Advent, most of our  attention is focused, quite rightly, on the story of Jesus, Ma ry, and Joseph. This wonderful liturgical season also offers other stories, ones that often go overlooked: the stories of the saints James Martin advises us no t to forget the Advent sa ints.  To explore the saints in December,  read more



Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas
By Michaelann Martin

Issue:  How can families better live the spirit of Advent and Christmas in their homes?

Response:
The Catholic church has designated the four weeks preceding Christmas as Advent, a time to prepare the way of the Lord for His coming as our King and Savior.  In addition, the Church teaches that:

[w]hen the Church celebrates
the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviors first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming....  read more  

For more information please visit:
CERC (Catholic Education Resource Center)

Congratulations to four candidates for the Permanent Diaconate who reach new milestones in their formation.  Bishop Mark celebrated Mass at Saint Mary Parish in Hollidaysburg on Saturday, October 21.  The Liturgy included the Institution of Lectors and Acolytes.  (Left to right): Allan Duman, Lector; Christopher Conner, Acolyte; Bishop Mark; Deacon Michael Russo, Director of the Permanent Diaconate; John Roth, Acolyte; and Jerome Nevling, Lector.  Continued blessings to the candidates, their wives, and their families.
Advent wreath with four burning candles on a table
THE HISTORY OF ADVENT

The name Advent (From the Latin word Adventus, which signifies a coming) is applied, in the Latin Church, to that period of the year, during which the Church requires the faithful to prepare for the celebration of the feast of Christmas, the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. The mystery of that great day had every right to the honor of being prepared for by prayer and works of penance; and, in fact, it is impossible to state, with any certainty, when this season of preparation (which had long been observed before receiving its present name of Advent) was first instituted.  read more
Yule Logs, Honeybees, and Church Bells
Beneath the Sea............
Empty Stockings Hung On Fireplace On Christmas Eve  

Just what is a "Yule log" anyway?  I recently wondered aloud to a group of friends.  "I think it;s like a cheese ball," one friend said.  "No, it's a....  read more
 

3-Minute Retreats invite you to take a short prayer break right at your computer. Spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage.

Knowing that not everyone prays at the same pace, you have control over the pace of the retreat. After each screen, a Continue button will appear. Click it when you are ready to move on. If you are new to online prayer, the basic timing of the screens will guide you through the experience.

To start your retreat "click here"

ADVENT READING LIST

by Henri J. M. Nouwen

by Apostleship of Prayer

by Raymond Brown

by Edward Sri

by Raymond E. Brown

by Archbishop Timothy B. Dolan

by Pope John Paul II
 
Praying with Mary
                                   by  Chris Sullivan

 The very essence of prayer is   recognizing that God is with us. That   is the meaning of one of the Lord's   names, one that we hear over and   again in Advent, Emmanuel. The   Lord  is with Mary. The Lord is with   us.

 What does it take for us to pause   amidst the busyness of this season of   preparation-between the shopping   and decorating, the family gatherings   and holiday parties? Mary's life is   dramatically interrupted by the   visitation of an angel and a   miraculous conception. How do I   hear  the angelic messenger, that   still,  small voice of God (1 Kings   19:12) in my days? What does God   wish to conceive in me? How does   God want to use my flesh to   incarnate  the living Christ?  
 
 Read more click "here"

Loyola Press
A Jesuit Ministry
 
APPETIZING ADVENT RECIPES click here


THE HISTORY OF THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

 The song, "The Twelve Days of   Christmas" is an English Christmas   carol. From 1558 until 1829, Roman   Catholics in England were not   permitted to practice their faith   openly.  Someone during that era   wrote this carol as a catechism song   for young Catholics. It has two levels   of meaning: the surface meaning plus   a hidden meaning known only to   members of the Church. Each   element in the carol has a code word   for a religious reality which the   children could remember.  read more