This weekend we celebrated the third week of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word that means “rejoice!” On this day, we lit the rose colored candle of the Advent wreath. In the gospel reading, we read of John the Baptist, the messenger who pointed the way to Jesus. Jesus tells the people of the greatness of John, and he also tells them that those who follow Jesus are blessed and will inherit the kingdom.
As we continue through the Advent season, preparing ourselves for the celebration of Jesus’ coming at Christmas, we are invited to avail of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. There are numerous opportunities for individual Confession, and times are listed in the parish bulletins. Through participation in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, we prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ coming at Christmas. Our students in Grades 3 through 8 have had the opportunity to participate in a beautiful Reconciliation Service last week and this week where our priests from the three parishes joined together to provide our children with the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. We hope as a family, you will continue to avail yourself of this beautiful Sacrament throughout the year.
With the upcoming hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, the house to decorate and presents to wrap, it is important, as Catholics, to remember that Advent should be our focus. It is a difficult season to celebrate because of the commercialism of the secular world in which we live. At this time, we keep in mind people who are less fortunate in our community and the world. Thank you for all the donations we have received for the Senior Citizen Retirement Home and the coins collected by 2nd grade for the St. Vincent de Paul Warming Center. Our hearts are full as we look at the generosity of our HFCS community. –
According to the General Norms for the Liturgical Year, Advent has a twofold nature: It prepares us for Christmas, when we recall Christ’s first coming among us, and it is also a time when we look forward to His second coming at the end of the ages. Advent is the season of joyful expectation. Our challenge, as Catholics, is to help our children to look beyond the materialism of Christmas and focus on spiritual preparation.
A special thank you to our students and Mrs. Bukowski for the wonderful Christmas program last Friday. And thank you as well to our amazing PIE volunteers for the Cookies, Cocoa, and Santa that followed the program.
As we wind down the week, we hope that you will enjoy our time off from school, December 19th through January 2nd, when you can gather with friends and family to enjoy the special gifts of Christmas: hope, joy, and most importantly faith.