Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., shared a reflection Dec. 10 for the third Sunday of Advent:
‘I say it again: Rejoice!’
For most of us, the idea of “going home” brings eagerness, comfort and joy, whether it be simply after a long day at work or, in some cases, a much longer period of separation.
It’s good to be home. When we walk up to the door of our house, we anticipate the good things behind it: family and loved ones waiting for us; things familiar to us; a place where we can be most truly ourselves, most truly “at home.”
Advent, in a sense, is a homecoming – a return to the Church and all that it offers: a family; things familiar; the opportunity to be “at home” with God and one another – all things to celebrate with joy.
Today, the third Sunday of Advent, is traditionally called “Gaudete Sunday,” a Latin word from the ancient prayers that begin this day’s Mass telling us “to rejoice.” Advent is the doorway to the joys of Christmas when Jesus came to dwell with us; the joy of encounter with Christ!
To read the full text of Bishop O’Connell’s message, click HERE.
The faithful of the Diocese are asked to consider the positive impact that a priest, religious sister or brother made on their lives, and to respond generously with a financial gift of thanks through the Dec. 11-12 collection for retired religious being taken in all parishes.
The annual Retirement Fund for Religious, which is taken in all dioceses throughout the nation, has been crucial to allowing those who dedicated their lives to forming and teaching Catholics to retire, assured that their most basic needs will be met. The fund will go toward health care and living accommodations – vital to these dedicated and faithful servants who have no lifetime income from which to draw Social Security nor personal savings.
Approximately 300 religious women and men from nearly 30 different orders are currently living and serving in the Diocese of Trenton. When members of these communities retire, they rely completely on donations from the laity, primarily through the annual fund. Last year, the Diocese of Trenton donated $147,549.20 to the collection. In 2021, the Monastery of St. Clare, Chesterfield, received financial support made possible by the Retirement Fund for Religious.
To learn more about the Retirement Fund for Religious, visit: retiredreligious.org. To donate, contribute to the special collection, send contributions to your parish office or mail to: Retirement Fund for Religious, P.O. Box 96988, Washington, D.C. 20090-6988. To read more about the collection, click HERE.
There are high expectations for Christmas 2021, and the new issue of The Monitor Magazine offers readers lots of inspiration and insight as they prepare for the coming of the season. From the Christmas message of Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. – “Christmas: Make It Last” – to a look at parish efforts to welcome those who have not yet returned to church, the December issue is all about how to make the most of this beautiful opportunity to shut out the world’s noise and conflict and focus on peace and love.
Look for a Christmas feature on the most precious of gifts, and an overview of the Gifts of Community, Presence, Sharing and Prayer as offered and received in our parish communities. Also check out the second chance story of a homeless artist who designed the Vatican Christmas stamps; a warm and cozy Christmas soup recipe, and a study of God’s grandeur as described by poet and priest, Jesuit Father Gerard Manley Hopkins.
There is much more news and insight in this 72-page Christmas issue. For an overview, click HERE.
The December magazine has been mailed to PREMIUM SUBSCRIBERS, and all subscribers have unlimited access to content at TrentonMonitor.com. Not yet a subscriber? Sign up now by clicking HERE, or writing to Monitor-Subscriptions@DioceseofTrenton.org.