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Second Sunday of Advent

The second Sunday of Advent gives us the opportunity to prepare our hearts in faithful waiting, celebrate the birth of Jesus, and ready ourselves for his second coming. It's a beautiful chance to reflect on the ways prophecy has been fulfilled and to ponder what the future (promised to us through prophecies) will bring.

Psalm 46:10-11 says:  ...Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

This week, we pause to remember who God is and what He has done for us. When our lives are hurried, we only have the chance to focus on our to-do lists. Making space in our schedules for prayer and meditation helps us to better see God at work in our lives and in our world.

As we prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ arrival as a gift to all humanity, let’s stir up in our hearts and homes a sense of anticipation. May God’s spirit transform the days leading up to Christmas into a time of holy anticipation; preparing our hearts, as we faithfully await the chance to celebrate the arrival of our king.

The Meaning of Advent

The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.”

Advent in the 4th and 5th century was a time of preparation for the baptism of new Christians. Christians would spend 40 days in prayer and fasting to prepare for the celebration that accompanied the baptism of new believers.

Over time, advent was connected to the coming of Christ. Originally Christians used this term to reference Christ’s second coming, but by the Middle Ages, Advent was connected to Christ’s first coming that we celebrate at Christmas.

Today, we celebrate Advent over the four weeks leading up to Christmas each year. This year we begin Advent on November 29th and end this season of prayerful anticipation on December 24th.

Advent season is an invitation to set your mind off the stresses of the year. We can take our focus off of the crazy hustle of the season and the sadness that could accompany the different ways some of us may be choosing to observe the holiday season this year. Even when things feel chaotic we can find peace in Jesus. Advent is a chance to focus our thoughts on the gift God has given us in his son Jesus who stepped down from heaven and took the form of a man so that we might believe.

The tradition for the second Sunday of Advent includes lighting the second purple candle that is a symbol of faith.

This second Sunday of Advent we read, pray, and reflect on the hope God’s plan gives us (foretold by the prophets and fulfilled by the life and death of Christ), and we meditate on the promise of Christ’s coming glory-filled return.

 

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World Day of Prayer

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What You Need to Know about our Church Reopening

Nini unahitaji kujua juu ya ufunguzi wa Kanisa

Lo que necesita saber sobre nuestra reapertura de la iglesia

Click here to watch Fr. Jim's video explaining the new guidelines for attending Mass.

Mass    Saturday    6:00 pm, Spanish

 
  Sunday   10:30 am, Multilingual
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Thurs.
  Following 7:00 pm Mass until 9:00 pm
         
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        Daily Reflections 
         
         
Mass at St. Boniface:             
     Monday     7:30 am   English
     Tuesday     7:00 pm   English
     Wednesday     7:30 am   English
     Friday     7:30 am   English
     Saturday     4:00 pm    English
          6:00 pm   Spanish
     Sunday     9:00 am   Spanish
        11:00 am   English
        12:30 pm   Spanish

The Strangers We Meet

Painting in the vestibule of St. Leo's

The work of the late Fr. Jim Hasse, SJ, “The Strangers We Meet” depicts Christ breaking bread at Emmaus. Instead of more traditional representations, it depicts Christt as a man of African descent, sitting with people of various ages and from various ethnic heritages. All the models were St. Leo parishioners.

“Fr. Jim captured spiritual life in his works, revealing the sacredness in everyday people and everyday actions,“ says Fr. Josephh Folzenlogen, SJ, who lived and worked with the priest painter at Claver Jesuit Ministries in South Cumminsville (OH). “Jim’s paintings were mirrors in which people could see their own beauty.”

Models for the 2004 painting were Timaya Smith (the child in the foreground), Amy Egan, Darnell Edwards, Ivy Peppers, and Rick Nohle.

“Since Jim used people from the parishes and neighborhoods where he worked as his models, the paintings were not just images,” says Fr. Joe. “They were connections with people he loved. Those people were also his children.”

St. Leo parishioner Stephanie Sepate describes the painting as “a beautiful remembrance of purpose” in every life.

“In the upper left of our painting is the figure of the angel by the tomb of the Risen Lord, and the women running to share the news,” she says. “What a beautiful remembrance of purpose in each of our lives — we are not really strangers to each other but we are all one universal family in our life’s journey.”

Fr. Jim Hasse, whose paintings appeared in several publications and are held in private collections, including the art museum at St. Louis University, died in 2011. Most of his paintings are of biblical subjects and feature African-American people he worked with. To see several galleries of his works with associated reflections, click here.

A New Life

Michelangelo sculpted the Pietà in 1498–1499,    taking less than two years to complete. His depiction of the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion on the rock of Golgatha is one of the most famous pieces of sculpture known by so many across the world.

Showing the "religious vision of abandonment and a serene face of the Son", Michelangelo did not want his version of the Pietà to represent death, but rather a representation of the communion between man and God through Christ’s gift of life.

For the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the Vatican loaned the Pietà for installation in the Vatican pavilion. A conveyor belt moved people, who stood in line for hours, past the sculpture. It is housed in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

Several decades ago, St. Leo was gifted with a beautiful representation of the Pietà in memory of the Schuchart Family. Over the years, the wear and tear, fragments of the more fragile areas of the statue cracked or missing, and chipping paint called a friend of the parish to totally refurbish our Pietà. To repaint it with its former colors would have shown the flaws; it was decided to paint it all one color, especially in keeping with the make-up of our parish—all one people. After months and months of prayerful restoration, our Pietà finally came home, quite appropriately, the day before Ash Wednesday.

As we celebrate Holy Week and Easter, we are grateful for Michelangelo’s reminder of the ultimate gift in our midst. The St. Leo Pietà has been given a new life; let us all celebrate a season of renewal in our own lives as Lent ends and as we rejoice in the hope and joy of Easter’s Alleluias!

- Stephanie Sepate


Second Sunday of Advent

From Fr. Jim:  
December 6, 2020 

Bivuye kwa Padiri Jim:  
Desemba 6, 2020
(African translation)

de Padre Jim . . .
6 de diciembre de 2020

      

Retirement Fund for Religious:  Next Sunday December 13th, there is a collection for The Retirement Fund for the Religious.   Many of us would not be where we are today in the practice of our faith if it were not for the faith of our parents and the faith of the religious sisters and brothers who have dedicated their lives to teaching the faith and living the faith in service of so many of God’s people.  This fund is always a way to show our deep gratitude to them and to show our care and love for them in the needs of their retirement.  In a television advertisement for this fund, an elderly sister with a walker is making her way to her chair in the chapel.  She is saying that there are many things that she can no longer do because of her age but one thing she will always be able to do is pray.  She assures everyone that she is praying for us every day.  She calls this her prayer ministry.  The advertisement ends by asking the viewer to consider supporting the fund in some way and to remember the retired religious because “you know that they are remembering you.”  Thank you so much for keeping them in your prayers and for your generosity.

For Your Advent Prayer and Reflection: As the Season of Advent invites us to be awake and aware of the many ways that God has come, is coming and will come into our lives, where do we hunger the most for God’s merciful love?  Where does our world need it the most?   Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come with your saving grace.

The Blessed Virgen Mary, from the moment of her conception, was free to say “Yes” to the presence of the Lord in her life without the effects, limits and conditions of sin.  While we do not live our lives sinless as did Mary, nonetheless, we can, like Mary, choose to do God’s will.  God comes to us, too.  What is God’s will for us?  To what is God asking us to say, “Yes?”

John the Baptist calls for repentance as we prepare for the Lord to come into our lives.  We need to acknowledge our shortcomings and change our ways.  We need help in order to say “yes’’ to God’s will fully and completely as Mary models for us.  We need God’s forgiveness and mercy to keep saying “yes” to God’s will and way of Love.  Where do we need God’s mercy the most? For what do we need forgiveness?  Come, Lord, Jesus, quickly come with your saving grace.

What can I do In Advent to prepare the way of the Lord?  Simple acts of kindness like holding the door for someone; saying please and thank you; Be kind, courteous and smile; Do works of mercy – feed someone or donate to our food pantry; share clothes with someone or donate to St. Vincent DePaul or Helping Hands in North Fairmount.  Perhaps our parish Wish List in the bulletin can offer suggestions to you.  Listen to someone; free yourself from distractions like the cell phone and be really present to someone.  Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation; come to our weekly Thursday night Mass; Pray a Hail Mary to our Lady of Guadalupe.  Learn about St. Nicholas, or St. John the Baptist; Introduce yourself in church to someone you do not know and find out a little bit more about them.  Make a family Advent Wreath and light the first two candles.  Come, Lord Jesus.  Quickly Come!

I recently read this post on Facebook:  “While you are waiting for the Lord, do what waiters do – Serve!”