The Pastor’s Corner
Looking at a desk calendar, it appears that we have a short Advent season this year, only three and a half weeks. The season goes by so quickly that we can miss this great opportunity this season gives us to open ourselves to the presence of the Lord in our life. There is a lot of noise during Advent: Christmas carols, advertised sales, outreach opportunities, special television and cable programming, get togethers in pre-Christmas Christmas Celebrations.
We need Advent’s silence. This might be a good time of the year to come to the Adoration Chapel during the week and spend time with the Lord in that wonderful island of peace and quiet. Our culture doesn’t provide many places of silence. We have to search them out. We are blessed here at Sacred Heart to have that “place apart” where we can let the Lord quietly come into our hearts and lives and prepare ourselves to be part of the new evangelization.
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I would like to thank Mr. Greg Beatty for designing the Academy Blue Ribbon sign in front of the school. It is an important national designation. We can justly be proud of our Academy, the place where we “put faith in the future.”
In Our Lord,
Father Stan Krempa
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Advent – the season of hope
The first day of Advent this year is December 1st. Beginning the Church’s liturgical year, Advent (meaning, “ad-venio in Latin or “to come to”) is the season leading up to the celebration of Christmas. The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. Advent devotions remind us of the meaning of the season. Special Advent devotions include the lighting of the Advent wreath; the Advent calendar which helps remind us of the season with daily thoughts and activities; Advent prayers that prepare us spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.
BECOME A PART OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Catholic studies show that only 23% of U.S. Catholics regularly attend Mass each week yet 77% self-identify as proud to be Catholic. The Mass is the life-blood of the faith of a Catholic. The Mass is what feeds our faith and gives us the graces we need to live out our lives the rest of the week. If only 23% of U.S. Catholics attend Mass but most still consider themselves Catholic, they are missing the point of Mass and our Church needs renewal. (“Sacraments Today: Belief and Practice Among U.S. Catholics”, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), 2008)
The New Evangelization is an effort that first asks all of us to renew our relationship with God. It calls for us to look deeply inside ourselves and convert our hearts back to God. Then we are asked to work to deepen our own faith through prayer, worship, and good works. Finally, we are to believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel. The focus of the New Evangelization calls all Catholics to be evangelized and then go forth to evangelize.
This effort is called the “New Evangelization” because we are proposing the Gospel to those who have already been introduced to the Good News but have experienced a crisis of faith. Pope Benedict XVI called for the re-proposing of the Gospel “to those regions awaiting the first evangelization and to those regions where the roots of Christianity are deep but who have experienced a serious crisis of faith due to secularization.” The New Evangelization invites each Catholic to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church.
For more resources, click here: USCCB