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Saint Francis' Love of Christmas

Sunday we celebrate Christmas. It was a feast dear to Saint Francis. In fact, he encouraged his followers to fast from the Feast of All Saints until Christmas. He also requested that civil rulers and landed gentry give an extra ration of food to their animals on Christmas day.
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Advent Reflection, Week 3

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A Franciscan for 50 Years

"No one seemed to smile as much as the Franciscans,” says Sister Mary Lou Carlson, OSF, when she remembers discerning her call to religious life back in the 1960s. The warm sense of welcome that Franciscan spirituality exudes drew Sister Mary Lou into entering a religious life in community in 1964, but her vocation to serve was nothing new. “My ministry over the past 50 years has been to spread the Gospel of Jesus. I work hard to help people get to know Jesus and the unconditional love God has for ever yone,” she remarks.
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Getting to Know the Saints

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A Mary Christmas: The Nativity of Our Lord

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
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Advent with Mother Teresa: Put the Past in the Past

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord! —Psalm 25:6–7 The prophet Balaam is the protagonist in one of my favorite Bible stories—Balaam and his inscrutable donkey (see Numbers 22:22–40, which precedes today’s  first reading).
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Advent Reflection, Week 2

Enjoy this Advent reflection with Kelly Wahlquist, author of Created to Relate: God's Design for Peace and Joy.
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The Choice to Rejoice this Christmas

I could not make sense of the commentator’s words. “Good morning! Welcome to our celebration of the Third Sunday of Advent, Rejoice Sunday. We will light a pink candle on our wreath today to symbolize this moment of expectant joy.” It was December 16, 2012, and only 48 hours earlier, 26 innocent children and adults had been massacred at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The nation was numb. We were in shock. How could we rejoice?
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Our Lady of Guadalupe

Even before the sun breaks through the horizon on December 12, the burst of firecrackers rings throughout Mexico to announce the greatest national fiesta of the year—the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. 
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The Seven Joys of Mary: An Advent Reflection

At every Mass we assert that we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is not a better time to reflect in joyful waiting than the quiet season of Advent, which comes before the celebration of Christmas. And there is no greater model of joy for us than Our Blessed Mother, Mary.
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