Sunday, December 2, 2007

Liturgical season of Advent

Today we begin the liturgical season of advent and a new year for the church. Advent is the time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of our Savior and also to prepare us for his coming in glory at the end of time. Advent is a time of hope and joyful waiting. Central figures in the Advent liturgy are John the Baptist and Mary. May these be weeks of grace and peace for all of us.

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Next Sunday the special collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious will be taken up in all of the parishes in the United States. This annual collection provides financial help to Religious communities in the care of their elderly members. These men and women religious have devoted their lives to the service of the Church and society. A great majority of the elderly religious, assisted by this annual collection are nuns who helped provide a low-cost or free education to millions in the Catholic schools throughout this country. In many cases their communities received little or no compensation for their ministry. The Catholic sister, brother, or priest remains in active ministry until age 74. Today, 37,870 women and men religious are past age 70 and need our help with the current high cost of living and health care. Now we are asked to share in their care. Please be generous in next Sunday’s collection. This is a way we can say thanks to these wonderful nuns and other religious. Checks should be made out to St. Bernard Church. Special envelopes are in the pews. Thank you for your generosity in past years.

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