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From the desk of Fr. Speier 

Dear Parishioners, 

 Parishioners: The season of Advent begins now. Advent is the four week season giving all of us time to prepare our spiritual selves for the coming of the Savior at the end of time. Advent is not just a time to prepare for Christmas. Even though it proceeds the celebration of Christmas it is a very special season for us. 

 You will see in our churches the color purple which symbolizes the time of waiting and preparing. Another symbol that we have in our churches is the Advent wreath. Again it is a reminder for us of the time of waiting and preparing. 

 The evergreen branches symbolize the God given life that we all share. Even though at this time of year nature looks drab and lifeless we know that life is not extinguished. The God given life is still strong. The life of God in us never dies. 

 The circle of the wreath is a sign of God’s never ending love for his people. The candles of the wreath remind us of the four-week season. 

 Each of the candles has a name. The first candle is the Prophet’s Candle. This candle symbolizes hope for the coming of the Messiah. The prophets of the Old Testament, especially Isaiah, waited in hope for the Messiah’s arrival. 

 The second candle represents faith and is called the Bethlehem’s Candle. Micah had foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, which is also the birthplace of King David. 

 The third candle symbolizes joy and is called the Shepherd’s Candle. To the shepherd’s great joy, the angels announced that Jesus came for humble unimportant people like them, too, the color rose signifies joy. 

 The fourth candle represents peace and is called the Angel’s Candle. The angels announced that Jesus came to bring peace – He came to bring people close to God and to each other again.  

 There are other variations of the Advent wreath such as, the Advent calendar, the Advent Log, the Jesse tree. Christians in China light their homes with decorative paper lanterns. Some also decorate a Tree of Light with paper chains of flowers. 

 On December 7 at 9:00 am at St. Clement Parish, in Jaeger Hall, we will once again offer Breakfast in Bethlehem which is a time for children and their families to eat together, pray together and share fellowship and hear the Christmas Story. This is led by Mrs. Pat Urbaniak and Mrs. Patrice Tscherne. I believe this is the third year we are offering this morning session. I would like to invite all the children of our parishes to attend with their families. The cost of this morning session is $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for children just to cover our costs. 

 In addition to all the normal activity of getting ready for the Christmas season I would like to encourage all in our parishes to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This first deanery Penance Service will be held at Regina Coeli Parish at 3:00 pm. In addition to this Penance Service Father Auth and I will have confessions at both of our parishes at 3:00 pm each Saturday.