Picture of stained glass window in our
chapel depicting Mary visiting Elizabeth

At our evening meal on November 30, we blessed our Advent wreath. Each week we will add one candle until all four are burning, signaling the progressive brightening of the world as the Light of Light draws nearer.

Prior to this ceremony, we celebrated the first vespers of Advent, the season of joyful expectation as we await the birth of Christ.

It is a special time for us who are dedicated to living the mystery of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. Mary, carrying the first beginnings of Jesus as an embryo in her womb, went to visit her cousin who was far advanced in her pregnancy. The two unborn children recognized each other, and John leapt for joy in response to Jesus' baptizing him, filling him and his mother with the Holy Spirit.

It is with profound hope and in anticipation of the most important birth in the history of the world that we contemplate the first tender shoots sprouting from the root of Jesse. May we, too conceive Jesus in our heart and carry Him to others.


Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

Prayer to obtain favors

Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother.. Amen - Author Unknown

While a novena is normally a nine-day prayer, the term is sometimes used for any prayer that is repeated over a series of days. The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is often called simply the "Christmas Novena" or the Christmas Anticipation Prayer, because it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas. The prayer can be said all at once or divided up as necessary (perhaps five times at each meal.) Prayed as a family, The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is a very good way to help focus the attention of your children on the Advent season.
There was a man sent by God
who came as a witness to testify to the Light
that all might believe through him.

At the beginning of this Advent season we see the towering figure of St. John the Baptist coming to show us the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

We needn't spend much time thinking about the sins of the world. They are all too painfully obvious.

But we do need to spend as much time as possible contemplating the Lamb of God who has overcome the world and all its evils, who takes them all away. He and John both call us to repent and believe in this good news.

Let us respond in faith as we meditate on the words of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI.


"Advent means a presence begun,
the presence of God.
To celebrate Advent means to bring to life within
ourselves the hidden presence of God."



Click here for Advent 2

Eagerly we await the fulfillment of our hope
the glorious coming of our Savior.
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