Friends of Blessed Sacrament,

This weekend, our Catholic Church ushers in the Holy Season of Advent. Advent is the season of preparation for the commemoration of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago. In her wisdom, our Catholic Church sets aside four weeks to help the faithful prepare our hearts to welcome the Christ-child.

The weeks leading up to Christmas are very busy for almost everyone in our society.  There are parties to prepare for, gifts to purchase, and baked goods to make for our loved ones.  Houses are being cleaned for holiday guests, Christmas decorations are being taken out of storage, and perfect meals are being planned.  We forget, however, that in order to get to Christmas, we must first journey through Advent.  More importantly, it is only when we take a step back from the busyness of the holiday season and the chaos of life that we find God’s voice in the silence of our hearts.

This year, I have selected Our Journey to the Manger as our theme for Advent as we journey together toward Christmas. While the Gospel does not go into detail about Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, we do know that what occurred in that manger changed the course of human history forever.

In her Wisdom, the Catholic Church teaches, “The Catholic school loses its purpose without constant reference to the Gospel and a frequent encounter with Christ.”  (The Catholic School, Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977, n55)  The beauty of the liturgical seasons, such as Advent, helps us provide opportunities to teach our students about their faith and opportunities for encountering Christ in those meet.

As a school community, we will continue with a number of events and activities that help our students understand the holiness of Advent and the importance of silence in our lives as we build a closer relationship with the Blessed Sacrament. Examples of our school-wide Advent prayers and activities include:

  • Daily Prayer Incorporating The Jesse Tree
  • Understanding the Characters of the Manger Scene
  • Christmas Around the World: Exploring Christmas Traditions in Other Countries
  • Preparing the Christ-Child’s Manger with Good Deeds
  • Weekly Time with Jesus: A Student Adoration Experience Focused on Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Service
  • Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
  • Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • The Forever Grateful Project (The Angel Tree)

I would also like to share with you my Our Journey to the Manger playlist that I use as I drive to and from Blessed Sacrament Catholic School each school day.  It helps me re-focus before I begin the school day and re-center myself after the school day.

May Our Lady of Guadalupe, whom we remember during the Season of Advent, bless you and your loved ones.

In service to the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament,

Michael Fierro