Seek Justice This Advent Season

Seek Justice This Advent Season

Seek Justice This Advent Season

This Advent, commit to simplicity. In a season that can mistakenly be focused on consumption, it’s a good chance to explore ways to live simply as we prepare for the coming of Jesus and the restoration of the earth.

Here are some ideas shared by our Social Justice and Peace Commission to live a more simple and intentional life, perhaps starting now, during Advent.

______ Take some breaks from my cell phone/smart phone, computer, and other devices so that you can be really present to the people around you.

______ Establish priorities and learn to say “no” to things that are not important to you and “yes” to things that are important.

______ Keep a gratitude journal by recording the big and small blessings that come my way.

______ Get rid of junk mail by
• throwing it into a recycling bin as soon as it arrives
• stopping it from being delivered by asking to be removed from mailing lists
• going paperless for bills, opting for digital bills instead

______ Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and less meat and dairy to lower my impact on the environment.

______ Reduce use of single-use plastics.

______ If you use a cut Christmas tree, plan ahead for helpful ways for disposing of it. Ecomaine is a great resource for statewide options.  Their information on recycling gift wrapping is something to consider before purchasing. “if you can rip it, you can recycle it,” they say!

Thanks to the Ignatian Solidarity Network for their leadership on this initiative. You can also sign up for the Ignatian Solidarity Network Advent calendar online here. It has daily suggestions for living more simply and in ways that help restore the earth.

Advent Hope and Healing

Advent Hope and Healing

Advent Hope and Healing

During this season of Advent, our readings at Mass are particularly beautiful expressions of hope and expectation. The imagery is that of light overcoming darkness.  This is not meant to be a remembering of ancient history, but our prayer and reading is intended to awaken hope in our own lives and an awareness of the interplay of darkness and light in our world today and in our personal experiences.

One often-overlooked source of help and blessing is the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

This sacrament is not about judgement or punishment. It is God’s desire to bring healing and renewal to our lives, to lift burdens from our hearts. Give some thought to making Reconciliation a part of your Advent season this year. Praying with one of our parish priests, who also understands the struggles we can all face (priests do, too!) can be a source of comfort and wisdom.

As always, the Sacrament is available on Saturday afternoons from 3:00-3:30 at St. Pius X, or by appointment with one of our priests. During Advent, we also will be celebrating this sacrament at the following special times during the week of December 12th:

Monday, December 12th, 6:30-7:30 PM, a priest will be available at St. Pius X Church to celebrate the sacrament.
Wednesday, December 14th, Advent Service of Healing and Reconciliation, 7 PM at St. Pius X Church, with multiple priests available to celebrate the sacrament.
Thursday, December 15th, the sacrament will be celebrated following the 9 AM Mass (9:30 – 10:00 or as long as needed.)

Please join us.

A Break from the Busy

A Break from the Busy

A Break from the Busy

The signs that the season is changing are all around us. I had to scrape my car windows for the first time this morning. People are talking about the first snowfall of the season. The TV ads have changed from politics to Christmas. But what season are we entering? In the secular world, we have already entered the Christmas season with an emphasis on gift giving, parties, and connections with family and friends. We all know that this makes the month between Thanksgiving and December 25th a busy and hectic time. This secular Christmas time ends on December 25.

In the Catholic world, we are entering the season of Advent. This coming Sunday, we celebrate the feast of Christ the King – the last Sunday of the Liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent bringing in the next year. Descriptions of the Advent season often include words like “expectant waiting,” “reflective preparation,” and “solemn.” In ancient times, the Advent season lasted 40-days, much like Lent. In the Catholic Christian world, the Christmas season begins on December 24 and ends on January 6th with the feast of the Epiphany (the 12 days of Christmas that we will sing about between now and December 24!).

Our Lady of Hope, Cheverus High School, and the Ignatian Partnership of Maine are offering a way to make space for the reflective, preparatory aspects of Advent without completely forgoing the fun and connections found in the secular Christmas season. We don’t want to give you more to do in this time – to make a busy season even busier. Instead, we want to give you a 15-minute break from the busy each day – a time to stop and reflect on the Gospel readings of the day as the Church prepares for the coming of Christ. We will introduce two styles of prayer important in Ignatian Spirituality – Ignatian Contemplation and Lectio Divina.

In addition, we are inviting you to share the journey with others through two sessions of small group faith sharing. We invite you to integrate the prayer experience into your life by meeting with a spiritual director twice. These times will serve as a small introduction to these practices for those who have not done them before and an opportunity to deepen the experience for those familiar with these practices.

We hope you will register and join us for an orientation session on Monday November 28th, at 7 PM on Zoom. To get started, you’ll find the registration here at this link.

Brian Conley, SJ

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