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Happy New Year!  Today is the First Sunday of Advent, which begins the new year on the Church calendar.  We officially begin our preparation for Christmas – not the outward preparation of shopping and baking and traveling, but the inward preparation needed in order to make our hospitable place to welcome our Savior.


Just as the New Year is often a time when we try and improve ourselves by making New Year’s resolutions, the new liturgical year can be a great time to try and improve the practice of our faith and deepen our relationship with Christ.  Here are a few suggestions:


  • Find ways to spend more time in prayer. Time with loved ones is a fundamental part of deepening those relationships, and our relationship with Christ is no different.  Again this year we’re offering a 5:30pm Mass on Tuesday evenings each week during Advent.  We will also offer a variety of prayer materials to help your personal prayer this season.
  • Work on persistent sins. We often think of Lent as a time when we give things up, but Advent is a great time to look at our most persistent sins and work on some concrete actions to try and make improvements.  A good confession is a great way to start this process, or to re-start it if you fall into a rut.  We’ll offer confessions at 6:00pm every Tuesday evening during Advent, as well as our regular confession time of Saturday at 9:00am.  Our parish penance service will be on Thursday December 21st, and any of the priests is always available to make appointments at other times.
  • Work on relationships. Advent is a great time to work on a relationship that needs a little extra attention, especially relationships where we’ve experienced tension or lack of forgiveness.  It’s also a good time to nurture relationships we may have neglected throughout the busy year.  What better way to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ than to rid our hearts of this excess baggage and fill them up with love instead?


Whatever you do to observe this Advent season, just make sure to do something consistent to make it special.  These next four weeks will go by fast, so let’s make the most of them!