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Living as Missionary Disciples | December 6, 2022

Why become Catholic?
Malcolm Buggeridge was born on March 24, 1903, and raised with no religion. He was an author, editor and media personality. In 1967 he conducted a television interview with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She was instrumental in his decision to convert to Catholicism in 1982. She showed him the power of love and how it can have an effect on the entire world. She encouraged him to become like a child in God’s hand. Show others the power of love. (Taken from A Century of Catholic Converts, Lorene Hanley Duquin)

How to Celebrate Advent and Christmas as a Catholic

I’ll be Home for Christmas!
In a few weeks a number of inactive and unchurched people will walk through the doors of your Church. The regular attendees are often less than excited as they grumble about the lack of parking spaces, someone taking their “seat”, the noise and confusion.

Prepare your congregation now! Recommit all of the parishioners to be “Missionary Disciples”. Sprinkle them with holy water and remind them that “By virtue of Baptism we become ‘missionary disciples,’ called to bring the Gospel to the world (Evangelii Gaudium, n. 120). May Christmas be a point of encounter for all of us.

Some tips:
Be civil in the parking lot both coming and going.
Extend a warm welcome when seeing others.
Sit in the middle of the pew, encouraging others to join you.
Be sensitive to anyone who may not know what books to use, when to sit, stand, etc.
Introduce yourself after Mass.
Invite people to come back.
Welcome the latecomers and the babies crying.

Away in a Manger, No Crib for a Bed.
Over 89.3 million people have “no crib for their bed”. They have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. As we approach the new year, let us recommit ourselves to the two feet of social justice charitable acts and social change.

We Three Kings
In Matthew 2:22 we read: “On coming to the house, they (the 3 Kings) saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.” As people enter our houses this year may they too find Christ. On the feast of epiphany (the three kings), which is Friday, Jan. 6 take time to bless your house for 2023.

Other ideas:

Christmas Cards – Send religious Christmas cards with religious stamps.
Christmas letter – Don’t just fill it with news on how special your life has been this past year but remind everyone how special they are in the eyes of God. “For God so loved the world that he sent his Son.”
Decorations: Place lights in your windows as a reminder that Christ is the light of the world. Let people see your Christianity from the street.
Crèche: Give your nativity scene a place of honor in the home and gather around it to pray. Prayer for the blessing of the Crèche.
Learn about St. Nicholas (feast day Dec. 6)
Nicholas is an Advent saint. His job is to remind people of God’s generosity. God doesn’t just pass around toys or video games or aftershave. God gives the ultimate gift. God gave Jesus. Reflect on this dialogue between God and Santa (St. Nick).
Dec. 8: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On this date we celebrate the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Ann. We know that 9 months from this date (Sept. 8 will be the birth of Mary). Attend Mass on this Holy Day of Obligation and pray for all women who are pregnant or hope to be.
Dec. 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Mary, under this title is the patroness of the Americas. Pray for justice for all of God’s children, especially those of Hispanic descent.
Feast of the Holy Family (Dec. 30)
Create a photo Christmas tree. Gather pictures from photo albums: children, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, godparents, etc. Mount pictures on various colors of heavy paper, punch hold, attach ribbon and tie around Christmas tree branch.
Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 8)
Celebrate your baptism. The Christmas season ends on this day.

Upcoming Event:

Inclusive Christmas Mass, Wednesday, December 28, 7:00 PM, St. Bernadette Parish, Orchard Park. They welcome families with special needs. The Mass will be interpreted in American Sign Language and will offer a shorter, less crowded worship setting allowing for freedom of movement as needed. The lighting will be dimmer, the music soothing and low-gluten hosts will be available. Questions may be directed to Sharon Urbaniak at 716-648-1720 ext. 3 or sharonu@saintbopny.org

Question: 

If your parish ever did Alpha, please contact Sr. Louise Alff at lalff2@buffalodiocese.org. Thank you.

Prayer for Christmas

Come, Lord our God, and surround our feast day table as we delight in this joyous season of Christmas. Gift us in this meal with the taste of happiness as we savor this coming together of family and friends. As sparkling stars and singing angels rejoiced at the birth of the Christ Child in Bethlehem, so may we take great joy in this our Christmas dinner celebration. May You, our God, bless it and us in Your holy name. — Edward Hays

Christmas Chuckle, Reflections, Wishes
I stopped believing in Santa Clause when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. (Shirley Temple)
Christmas is a time when you get homesick, even when you’re home. (Carol Nelson)
The person who does not have Christmas in the heart will never find it under the tree. (Roy L. Smith)
May you go often to the Bethlehem of your heart and visit the One who offers you peace. May you bring this peace into our world. (Joyce Rupp)

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