“So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Dear Parents and Friends of St. Michael’s School,
Happy New Year! Yesterday marked the beginning of the new liturgical year for our church, and we begin again on our journey toward becoming more holy, prepared, loving, and kind. As always, that’s a tall order, but since the theme for the First Week of Advent is HOPE, we can be optimistic that, incrementally, we will come closer to our ultimate goal.
The term Advent means, “the arrival of a notable person” – in Latin it means “coming,” and this period of time before Christmas, I believe, is one of the great treasures of a Catholic School experience. Children learn to prepare for the coming of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas, they learn to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ, and they also learn to prepare for Jesus to come into their lives right now.
We don’t know when Christians first celebrated Advent, but it may date back to 567 AD, when monks fasted during the weeks leading up to Christmas. In the next few weeks, SMS students in grades 3-8 will participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and will be given the name of a special person to hold up in prayer. Across the grades, students will learn about important symbols, such as the Advent Wreath and Calendar, and the Jesse Tree, which help us better experience this most blessed season. As a school community, we will again be collecting blankets for Fr. Joe’s Villages to help the homeless in our own community, and we will also be partnering with our parish’s Corporal Works of Mercy ministry in a shoe drive for boys in Uganda. Of course every child (and adult alike) can’t help but think about what gifts they might receive on Christmas morning, but our students are also learning to answer the call of their Baptism to give all of God’s creation the gift of their care and concern.
May this Advent Season inspire all of us to take our preparation in earnest, so that next year at this time we will see the progress, even if only miniscule, that we have made.
P.S. Tomorrow is GIVING TUESDAY. Your contribution to The Fund for St. Michael’s School will help us continue to form students who are faith-filled, knowledgable, and of high moral character. Together we can make a difference. Go to smspoway.org and click on Donate Today.