Advent Newsletter  
St. Lawrence: The Inspiring (And Witty) Patron of Deacons

We often think of deacons simply as "assistants to priests," but that is not the whole truth:  St. Lawrence
shows us that deacons have a crucial role in building up the Church and the Body of Christ.

Reprinted with permission form GetFed.com,
a service of The Catholic Company
Rite of Acolyte
Candidates Jerry Nevling and Allan Duman received the Ministry of Acolyte at a Mass celebrated October 13, 2018 at St. Mary, Hollidaysburg. Jerry and his wife Lori are members of SS. Peter and Paul, Philipsburg.  Allan and his wife Joanna are members of St. Mary, Hollidaysburg. Continued blessings to the candidates, their wives, and their families.

[Pictured (Left to right): Lori and Jerry Nevling,  Bishop Mark, Allan and Joanna Duman and Deacon Michael Russo, Director]
Why Joy Is a Gift For Advent, Not Just Christmas (& Thoughts From Pope Francis)

Joy is a funny thing.

Google defines joy as "a feeling of great pleasure and happiness," and basically asserts that joy is a simple emotion, such as being angry, happy, or sad. If this is indeed true, then living joyfully depends on the presence of a circumstance which invokes happiness, relief, or the absence of distress.

However, for the Christian, joy is much more than a fleeting emotion. Instead, Galatians 5:22 lists joy as the second fruit of the Holy Spirit, meaning that joy is a gift that we receive from God through the Holy Spirit.

Reprinted with permission form GetFed.com,
a service of The Catholic Company
The "O Antiphons" of Advent
Manger in the stable in night closeup
The Roman Church has been singing the "O" Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are t he antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testam ent to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative "Come!" embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.

December 17
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!

December 18
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

December 19
O Root of Jesse's stem,
sign of God's love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!

December 20
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God's eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!

December 21
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 22
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

December 23
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
Natural christmas window decoration with handmade reindeer and trees of wood.     Note  Shallow depth of field

by Judy Bauer (Editor)

by Edward Sri

Meditations for Advent
by Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet

by Scott Hahn

Waiting for Christ
by John Henry Newman

by Pope Benedict IVI

by Raymond E. Brown SS
A Christmas Prayer 
for the Forgotten
                                     by  Gretchen Filz

Dear Lord,

As we prepare for Your coming,
let us reflect on the journey Your
earthly parents took.

They were tired and alone,
yet there was no room for them at the inn.
There was no one to lend a helping hand.

Lord, help us to recognize those who may
need our help or love this Christmas.
Let us pray for those who have none.

We pray that those without loved ones
will still share in the season's blessings.
We especially pray for those who feel
forgotten and unloved.

Lord, break our hearts for what breaks Yours.  Help us to see with Your eyes,
serve with Your hands, 
and to give of the talents and treasures 
You have blessed us with.

We implore you, O Lord, to stretch forth
Your paternal arms to anyone feeling the
sting of loneliness or pangs of sadness
this Christmas season. Please bring them
into Your love and peace.

Reprinted with permission form  GetFed.com,
a service of The Catholic Company
Enrich your Advent 
experience this year with music 
Advent At Ephesus  
by  Benedictines Of Mary, 
Queen Of Apostles
Available at Amazon.com

Traditional Advent Hymn: O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Traditional Advent Hymn:
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Virgin Mary Guadalupe Painting which was revealed by Indian Peasant Juan Diego in 1531 to Catholic Bishop Shrine of the Guadalupe Mexico City
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Feast Day:December 12
Patron of the Americas

Our Lady of Guadalupe, my mother,
into your hands joined in prayer, 
take my prayers, 
petitions and hopes, 
and present them to Jesus for me. 

Remembering the love 
and care your hands rendered to him, 
he will not refuse what they hold now, 
even though they are from me.