An Advent adult faith-formation program is being offered at a parish site in every deanery.
The one-day program, “The Word Was Made Flesh and Dwelt Among Us,” highlights the meaning and significance of the Incarnation — the reality of the Word of God being made flesh in the Virgin Mary’s womb and living among us.
The Advent reflection featuring various speakers from the archdiocese will be offered in six parishes Sunday, Dec. 1, and four parishes Sunday, Dec. 15. Each site will host a meal, a conference on the coming of Christ and an opportunity to assist the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in its outreach to people in need.
The afternoon or evening program will accept a Christmas donation of a SCRIP gift card of any amount to be used by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in purchasing items for people who turn to the parish-based charitable outreach for assistance. Guests may bring a SCRIP gift card that is purchased in their own parish or SCRIP cards will be sold at the parish sites.
“We’re reaching out to the whole archdiocese,” said Sister Mary Kathleen Ronan, director of the archdiocese’s Lay Formation Program. More than 800 people attended a Lenten program in March on the Eucharist.
She said she’s impressed that so many people want to learn about their faith, noting that the new logo for the faith formation stresses sharing the faith, a treasure that’s lived out. And she’s grateful to the speakers, parish pastors hosting the program and the people who attend, including many who provide rides to their fellow participants who may lack transportation. All are welcome, including children old enough to understand.
“We’re going to grow in awareness that we’re all one great body in Christ,” Sister Mary Kathleen said. “The reason we’re so joined to one another is that He came for that purpose, to bring us all back to God.”
The topic is a natural outgrowth of the Lenten series on the Eucharist, Sister Mary Kathleen said. “We all go our separate ways, but we are all still united.”
The gift card collection also is part of that unity, she said. The Society will purchase items such as underwear and hygiene items needed by clients.
“You feed your own soul by listening to these phenomenally inspiring speakers,” she said, pointing to the subject of the program. “He came to redeem us. And when He redeemed us, He gave us the liberation to get out from under all the stuff that bogs us down, much of it which we call sin. He took our flesh and then ultimately went all the way to the cross” and Resurrection, she said.
Christmas also will be so much happier knowing that participants helped people in need through the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Sister Mary Kathleen said.
Anyone planning to attend one of the parish-based programs is asked to make reservations at www.bit.ly/2J6kaWD, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (314) 792-7370.