E-Flame Newsletter December 2016
We warmly welcome you and thank you for subscribing to receive the  Ignite Your Faith  E-Flame newsletter. Each month, you will find information on current and past events, articles to cultivate your faith life, and a calendar of upcoming prayer opportunities. We invite you to use this email as a one-stop resource center in growing your prayer life and Igniting Your Faith. 
Upcoming Prayer Opportunities
*Special Advent Prayer Opportunities *

Holy Day of Obligation 
Immaculate Conception 
Dec. 8 at 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. 

Advent Penance Service
Dec. 13 at 7-8:30 p.m.

Festival of Lessons and Carols
 Dec. 16 at 7-8:30 p.m.

Christmas Eve Masses
Dec. 24 at 4:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Christmas Day Mass
Dec. 25 at 10:30 a.m.

-First Friday of the month, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
 To sign up and for more information, CLICK HERE.
-Every Wednesday (when Faith Formation is in session), 4:30-7:30 p.m.

*Rosary For Life: 2nd Sunday of the month at 9:45 a.m. 
(Dec. 11, Jan. 8)

*Rosary Society: 1st Thursday of the month at 12:30-2:00 p.m.

*Holy Day of Obligation:
-Mary Mother of God. Dec. 31 at 5 p.m. or Jan. 1 at 8:30 or 10:30 a.m.

*All Parish Retreat: Jan. 28


Advent Prayer Inspiration 
We as Catholics are blessed to have a rich tradition of beautiful prayers written by the saints, spoken by popes, and even have the words of Jesus that we can use when conversing with God. Below is a link to EWTN's prayer resource page. EWTN, the Eternal Word Television Network, is a Catholic T.V. network that provides viewers with Catholic based programs and news. EWTN's website is where you can find an array of prayers for this advent season, including prayers for the Immaculate Conception on December 8th and a Christmas novena to bring comfort and peace to your heart this Christmas season.


Spiritual Bouquet
A gift of prayer
Victoria Siedlecki

Would you like to bless someone this Christmas but have no idea what to get them?  A spiritual bouquet is the perfect gift! A Spiritual bouquet is simply a group of prayers, a time of fasting, an act of charity, and/or a mass intention done on behalf of a loved one. From experience, when I have completed a bouquet for someone, the prayer experience drew me closer to God, it drew the other person closer to God, and blessed and strengthen my relationship to my loved one. What could be better than that? Below, you will find a link to a spiritual bouquet template. This gift can also be a fun way for kids to learn prayers and the gift of giving instead of receiving.  Remember, f lowers die, gadgets and gizmos wear out, but intentional prayers from our hearts to our merciful Lord are for eternity.  

 Prayer Inspiration  
We are more than half way through the prayer season of Ignite Your Faith and it is time to check in to see how our parish community is doing with Igniting Their Faith through prayer. Here are some responses from parishioners who answered the following questions. 

What is one thing you have added to your prayer life since Ignite Your Faith started?

-Prayer time in the car
-Signing up for email devotionals
-A prayer app on my phone
-Keeping promises to God to have quality time with Him

What is one thing you have wanted to do in your prayer life, but have yet to take action?

-Pray the rosary.
-Learn more about novenas and pray them.
-Find more time for prayer, not just minutes but longer quantity of time.
-Attend daily mass.
-Be intentional and mindful about prayer, not just "going through the motions".

As you read through these responses, is there any that you agree with, any that you are inspired to try yourself? There is no need to worry if you haven't found your prayer "sweet spot" yet. Our Catholic tradition is full of many beautiful and holy ways to deepen your relationship with God. Maybe this advent season, strike up a conversation with someone you know who has a strong prayer life, and ask them how they came to have a deep relationship with God. You never know, it might just be the way that God calls you to know Him better.


We still have a small remaining inventory of "Ignite Your Faith" t-shirts - especially size M and L. We are offering these at a special discount of 20% off, for a total of $12. This could make a great holiday gift - for yourself, a family member, or friend! Please contact Jonell Cella ( jonellcella@yahoo.com) to inquire about the size(s) you need and for payment                          and pick-up instructions. 

Prayer Articles 

Prayer and Advent
Shelly Dau, Pastoral Council Member

During the four weeks of Advent, we prepare for the celebration of Christ's birth through prayer and reflection. We contemplate the First Coming of Jesus as Savior, and anticipate his promised Second Coming. And amid the flurry of Christmas preparations, we look for practical ways to observe the holiness of the season in our everyday lives .

The word "advent" comes from the Latin word Adventus, which means "coming." Advent marks the beginning of the church year, and it's a season of anticipation, reflection, prayer and hope.
Advent is also a spiritual journey we take, through the truths of Scripture that point to the birth of Jesus, our Messiah, to a reaffirmation that he has come, is present in the world today, and will come again in glory. It mirrors the journey of faith we make when we accept Christ as our Savior, walking with Him each day and hoping to be in his presence forever. 

Most churches have at the heart of their worship an Advent Wreath. The circle of greenery reminds us that God is eternal, the Alpha and the Omega, without beginning or end. The wreath also reminds us of the hope we have in God, of newness, renewal and eternal life.
The candles symbolize the light of God entering the world through the birth of Jesus. The light from the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world who comes into the darkness of our lives. It also reminds us that we are called to be "light to the world," as we reflect the light of God's love and grace to others. 

Traditionally, the color of Advent is purple, which ties directly to Lent. Purple forms the link between the birth and death of Jesus. On the third Sunday, however, the color typically changes to rose in anticipation of the end of fasting and the start of rejoicing for the birth of Christ. In fact, each of the four Sundays of Advent have a theme, if you will. They are Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.

Charles Wesley's traditional hymn of anticipation goes like this: 

 1. Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee. Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart. 2. Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring. By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.

We watch. We wait. We pray: 

Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me the wonder at the wisdom and power of your Father and ours. Receive my prayer as part of my service to the Lord who enlists me in God's own work for justice.
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world, peace in my home and peace in myself. 

Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me the joy, love and peace it is right to bring to the manger of my Lord. Raise in me a sober reverence for the God who acted there, hearty gratitude for the life begun there, and a spirited resolution to serve the Father and Son.

Prayer & Thanksgiving  
Shelly Dau, Pastoral Council Member

"Giving thanks is an important part of our prayer life. Prayers of thanksgiving are prayers of giving thanks, being grateful to God for all His blessings upon our lives. They are a celebration of God's goodness. Just look around you. There is so much to be thankful  for." To dive deeper into what the Bible says about being thankful, CLICK HERE.

A Prayer to the Holy Spirit 
 Art Kearney, Pastoral Council Member

Replace my tension with a holy relaxation. 
Replace my turbulence with a sacred calm.
Replace my anxiety with a quiet confidence. 
Replace my fear with a strong faith. 
Replace my coldness with loving warmth. 
Replace my bitterness with the sweetness of grace. 
Replace my darkness with a gentle light.
Replace my night with your day. 
Replace my winter with your spring.
Straighten my crookedness. 
Fill my emptiness. 
Dull the edge of my pride. 
Sharpen the edge of my humility. 
Light the fires of my love. 
Quench the flames of my lust.
Let me see myself as You see me.
That I may see You as You have promised,
and be fortunate according to Your word. 
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

"The Spirit is active in the Church in the here and now!" To read more about why Dynamic Catholics pray to the Holy Spirit, CLICK HERE

***For more opportunities and information, 
including an overview of the program, full articles, 
and up-to-date prayer resource list, 
click below***

We hope you enjoyed the second edition of St. Bart's E-Flame newsletter! If you have a prayer story you would like to share in an upcoming newsletter or thoughts about how Ignite Your Faith is changing your faith life, please let us know. Email Victoria Siedlecki at siedlecki0906@msn.com