Diocese of Joliet - St. Michael Catholic Church

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Diocese of Joliet

Religious Education Office

St. Charles Pastoral Center

101 W. Airport Road

Romeoville, IL 60446-6527

www.dioceseofjoliet.org

Advent 2013

Dear Parents,

Never think otherwise. Yours is a

holy

vocation.

God has blessed you with the privilege of co-creating with Him. Together with God you have brought forth new life into this beautiful and sacred world. Whether you have many children or one, you have accepted the holy role of

parent

… and

God wishes to accompany you on this graced and often challenging journey.

I know that you are busy with many things, relating to parenting and otherwise. Our lives seem to be busier today than ever. In some ways, perhaps it’s just the time we live in. Perhaps there are ways we can strip away some of the noise and clutter and become a bit more centered. (I’ve been recently considering how most of us have too much stuff and not enough time… both of which can be barriers to spiritual attentiveness.)

Consider what is important in life. The coming Season of Advent provides us an opportunity to reflect and reprioritize.

Advent words include

waiting

,

silence

,

poverty

,

darkness

… and

hope

. How contrary these themes are to the incessant messages we are bombarded with in our society (all the time and especially in the weeks before Christmas) by companies who want our money. All God wants is a relationship.

Catholic faith should always be about coming into deepening relationship with our saving God, who is made personal and accessible through Jesus. Every day is an opportunity to reconnect, recommit and live joyfully in the love of Jesus Christ… and the power of God’s Holy Spirit. I invite you to find ways, be they simple or profound, to allow our God to become the center of your life again this Advent… and beyond. (Your parish leaders should be able to help with this.)

In rediscovering (or discovering for the first time) your spiritual grounding in Christ, you will give your children the very best gift possible: a parent who knows and loves God, and lives in right relationship with God and with others and especially family.

Each time I see a couple at my parish bringing their profoundly disabled child to Sunday Mass, I am inspired and so very humbled. They are living out their holy vocation, faithful to their beautiful daughter, faithful to God and to their community. They come to Mass out of a sense of gratitude for the grace that is in their lives. They come out of a sense that they need God’s continuing outpouring of grace to sustain them for the challenges that await.

When Catholic people gather at the Eucharistic liturgy, we obey Jesus’ command at the Last Supper. We assemble as community, wounded and sinful, in need of God’s mercy. We open ourselves to be fed in Word and in Sacrament, to be loved back to wholeness. We leave nourished and ready to again take on the great mission of the Church… to be the Body of Christ for one another and for the world!

Come to the Lord this Advent, personally prayerful and communally present, and lead your family on this journey of faith.

As family, be a faithful and faith-filled small Christian community that places God first, in

all

things. Feed on our Lord,

Jesus, who invites each of us to take our place at the banquet of grace we call the Mass, and live out your sacred calling as parent, sustained and accompanied and loved by our God every step of the way.

Come, Emmanuel, be light for our darkness!

Thomas S. Quinlan

Director

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