By Fr. Terry Kerner

Two weeks until Christmas! Advent does come and go so quickly that its significance can easily be overlooked. We get caught up with the calendar with its deadlines for certain things that HAVE TO BE DONE that we create a lot of stress and anxiety about the whole season. It is good to make a conscious effort to slow down the brain and be able to open our heart to the richness of Advent. All the stress and anxiety can give way to the anxious joy of celebrating some beautiful days in our Catholic heritage.

Remembering December 8th with the recognition of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and her Patronage of the United States is one example. And who can forget the feast day of St. Nicholas on the sixth of the month and the legacy of names and traditions he has given us. Then of course on December 12th again we honor the Blessed Mother and her appearance at Gaudalupe to St. Juan Diego. And for folks suffering with eye and vision difficulties we celebrate on the 13th the feast of St. Lucy who because of her name we celebrate festivals of light around the world. Advent can and should be a joyful and even a fun preparation for Jesus Christ’s birthday. I suspect that He feels that way about ours!

Our parish Advent Communal Penance service is scheduled for December 17th at 11:00 am. Open to all the parishes we hope to see you there. You won’t be handed a lump of coal for confessing I assure you, only the joy of God’s forgiveness that I’m sure you put on your Christmas list!

Enjoy every moment to celebrate our Catholic heritage!