Updated: Jan 9
Dear Friends in Christ:
Here we arrive for the Second Sunday of Advent! The days may be getting shorter, but our Advent wreath is getting brighter. The growing brightness of our Advent light indicates that we are drawing closer to the great feast of light, Christmas, the birthday of the One who declared, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’
With the birth of Jesus the light of God’s love shines over us in a special and wonderful way. So, as we continue this Advent journey, we are reminded of the theme for our parish Advent Longing for Light? Follow the Star!
What have you done to prepare for the coming of Jesus this past week? Did you spend more time in prayer? Did you attend a daily Mass? Did you look for opportunities to experience His presence in your life? Did you open your heart to seek to be His presence for others? Did you join me and Father Federico in reading a chapter of Luke’s Gospel each day? No matter what you did, or did not do, I encourage you to consider these questions this coming week of Advent as a way to prepare for His coming!
I am told that some people are just not feeling it for this year’s Advent due to temperament or circumstance or who knows what is holding them from fully entering this season of Advent. But that is precisely what Advent is for! Advent is a season of longing and waiting. It is a season set aside each year to help us realize that we are in need of deliverance from our current condition in life. Advent helps us to realize we need to prepare the way for the Lord.
This weekend we hear the shouts of John the Baptist in our Gospel: “Prepare the
Way of the Lord, make straight His paths.”
John the Baptist reminds us of the importance in preparing the way of the Lord in our lives. As we heard last weekend we do not know the day our Lord will come, so we must be ready at all times. We properly prepare the way for the Lord when we open our hearts to His presence, repent of those things we have done wrong, and have a change of heart turning it completely open to His grace.
We have to pay attention. We have to listen to the Lord in our prayer life. We have to put energy into seeing the signs and understanding the message we are hearing. We have to do all of this as a way to prepare for His coming.
John the Baptist and all the prophets, past and present are calling us to get ready, to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord, to prepare our hearts to receive the great gift that Jesus the Light of the World brings to us, the very presence of our Loving God. Yes that is the Good News! Yes that is what we are preparing to celebrate! Yes we who are longing for Light are excited to follow the Star that leads us to the Light of the World! May we be ready to receive Him when He comes.
Don’t forget these great Advent activities meant to help us prepare on this journey:
1. Stop by Saint Bridget Church during the day to spend some time in quiet prayer with Jesus in the Eucharist. The Church is open each day from 7AM until 4:30PM. Eucharistic Adoration is on Fridays from 1-4PM.
2. Come to daily Mass once, twice, or more each week. Come on your way to work. Daily Mass usually takes about 20-25 minutes (there is no music and the Liturgy of the Word is shorter) so see it as a great way to start your day!
3. Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and be freed from the weight of sin. On Thursday, December 12th we will have the opportunity for Confessions from 6-7PM in Saint Thomas Becket Church.
4. Light an Advent wreath at your home each evening at dinner time.
5. Use the Little Blue Book. These are little blue prayer books, some remain available at the doors of church today, which contain short reflections for all the days of Advent based on the daily Gospels of Advent.
6. JOIN ME AND FATHER FEDERICO…we are asking you to join us in reading the Scriptures. WOW! So go home, get the family bible off the shelf, dust it off if need be (I hope not), and be ready to be spiritually renewed by God’s Word! JOIN US in reading one chapter of Luke’s Gospel each day of Advent! Use #lukeatsbos to post insights on social media or email any insights to firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear how the Scriptures are speaking to you during this journey.
7. TUNE IN EACH DAY…OUR OWN IN-HOUSE VIDEO SERIES…We are offering you a video series with reflections for every day of Advent. We will be hearing from a variety of people who make up the life of our parish family. Parishioners of all ages have been asked and are willing to help us reflect on this Advent Journey. We are very excited. We will post the videos on our parish Facebook page as well as on our website. Don’t miss hearing from fellow parishioners about their experience on this Advent Journey.
Advent is a good time to cleanse our souls from sin…we invite you to join us for a
celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation on THURSDAY, December 12th, from 6-7PM in Saint Thomas Becket Church. During this time we will have six priests available, including Father Federico and me, in each of the classrooms in the Education Wing for the celebration of individual confession. Stop by on your way home from work, or pick up the family and bring them all to experience the mercy of God on our Advent journey. What a great way to prepare for the coming of the Lord! We invite you to spend some time in prayer in the Church before and after experiencing the gift of God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT…once again, the youth of our parish family are offering an opportunity for parents to have a night out. Youth ministry members will entertain children for the evening while parents enjoy a night out to shop, enjoy a meal together, or have fun. The night will include pizza, crafts, cookie decorating, and sports in the gym. Holiday movies will also be shown! Open to all children of the parish from age 3 and up. Admission is only a new unwrapped toy per child, or a cash donation of $30. All toys and proceeds will be donated to St. Vincent DePaul Shelter in Waterbury. For more information or to sign up email Donna Yatcko at DYatcko@StBridgetSchool.org. Thank you to our youth for providing this opportunity to our families!
THEOLOGY ON TAP will be held on Wednesday, December 18th…due to an increased schedule of activities here in the parish this month we have to move our Theology on Tap to Wednesday evening this month to fit it in the schedule. We are excited to welcome Sister Cecelia Marie Scaduto, ASCJ, who is serving as the Archbishop’s Delegate for Senior Priests in the Archdiocese of Hartford. Sister Cecelia is responsible for managing and coordinating the medical and non-medical needs of senior priests in the Archdiocese. The topic will be something like What Catholics should know about end of life issues! Living Wills, donation of organs, and other end of life issues will be addressed. Please join us in this relaxed atmosphere to continue to grow together in our knowledge of the faith!
I wish to express my profound gratitude to the 569 families who have contributed, as of December 2, 2019, (this bulletin went to print earlier than normal) to our Annual Family Commitment, a total of $154,170.00, which reflects the generosity of 18.45% of our families. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to our parish family.
As I am sure you are aware, the added expense of doing projects to your family home can be overwhelming. Now imagine the number of buildings and the size of the buildings we have to care for. It gets quite costly when major repairs need to be made. But as a family of faith we have a responsibility and an obligation to ensure our facilities are up-to-date and running efficiently. We need EVERY family in our parish family to make a commitment according to their means to help us reach this goal. Thank you for the deep love you have for our parish family.
As always, remember to pray for our parish family and ask God’s blessings as we build His kingdom here. Please know that I am praying for you, and I ask for your prayers for me, that together through the intercession of Saint Bridget of Sweden, our Patroness, and united in the Eucharist, we will reflect the presence of Jesus to the world.