The Advent season is upon us and as the frost on the morning windows remind us…change is upon us…and in us. As we busily prepare our homes for the holiday season, we are reminded of the meaning of Advent in our lives. We are to prepare not just our homes, but also our hearts for the coming of Christ…the salvation of our troubled world, wrapped in a swaddling cloth. We take time to begin “anew” with the beginning of the church year by visiting the sacraments more frequently, create special times of prayer for our families and find ways to be of service to those around us. I’ve always been fond of the Christmas quote, “Children need a STABLE background” with a picture of baby Jesus in a stable. At St. Peter School we focus on the “stable” and bring our focus to Jesus and his role in our lives especially during the Advent season. Each day the news seems to bring more bad news from a world that is more in need of faith more than ever before. We struggle to make sense of things, to explain things to our children and to find a way to help bring peace and kindness to a hurting world. Advent offers us all a time to renew our relationship with Jesus and the practice of our faith. For that is the answer and always has been. At St. Peter School each morning we will gather together around our Christmas tree for an Advent Morning Prayer and students will receive an “Advent Faith Challenge” to put their faith “in action” with small acts of love and service to each other and in their homes. Be sure to ask your children about the daily “Faith Challenge” and we will post them on our Facebook page as well if you’d like to join in. Be sure to chat about the daily faith challenge at home each evening. We will continue to collect hats, gloves and blankets through December 15th for the Salvation Army as well. If you don’t have an Advent wreath at home, light a candle at dinner to bring the season to your table and don’t forget to say a special prayer for your Advent Family from our “Family Prayer Exchange.” It’s such a delight to see kids walk up and down the halls the few days before we go home for Christmas break delivering cards to their “prayer families.” We also invite you to take some time to think about how your family can “prepare the way” in your home each day for Jesus’ coming. As a special reminder of this time of renewal, Fr. O’Neill has penned a letter to our school families about Mass attendance. Take time to prayerfully reflect on his message and the love he has for the souls of our beautiful students. And if your family has had a hard time getting to Mass regularly, perhaps this Advent will offer you a time to renew your faith practice. .
Since Christmas is on a Monday this year, it is that “once in a great while” occurrence when we are obligated to attend Mass either Saturday (12/23) afternoon or Sunday (12/24) morning as our Sunday obligation. The Sunday evening (12/24) Masses will be the Christmas Eve Liturgies. The Sunday evening Masses and Monday morning Masses (Christmas Day) will fulfill the Christmas obligation. Attending Mass Christmas Eve does NOT fulfill our Sunday obligation.
January 28 – February 2 St. Peter School will join thousands of other Catholic Schools in the annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week. Along with special events and spirit days, the highlight of the week is our annual Winter Carnival. This year’s Winter Carnival will be Wednesday, January 31st from 6-8pm. We will need at least one lead parent from each classroom to help plan and organize each class’ carnival booth and all available hands to make the event as successful as in years’ past. The first organizational meeting for our 2018 Winter Carnival will be Wednesday, December 13th at 6:30 pm in the Annex. There is Family Reading Night going on as well for any students who would like to read while their parents are at the meeting. After Christmas we will send home information about Catholic Schools Week and our Winter Carnival T-shirts.
May God bless you and your families with joy and peace this Advent season and be sure to “prepare the way” for the Lord is coming!
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