Catholic Faith Education Newsletter

December 1, 2003


Advent & Christmas

Advent wreath

The following are some of the online resources available on Advent.

bullet Celebrate Advent / Christmas - Sharing Christmas with Others - A beautifully made web site from the for young children with stories, crafts, and an advent calendar. A great Pauline Christmas website... Check out the flash audio enhanced story book....

bullet Advent & Christmas quotations - These 30+ quotations from various sources were collected by Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, TOR.

bullet Advent and Christmas Devotions - This page from the web site contains a listing of various web sites containing useful resources. (no longer available)

bullet Excerpt from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy on Advent.

bullet Advent and Christmas Crafts and Activities For Children - Various craft projects for Advent

bullet Church Library - Art Catalog - Official Website of The United Methodist Church - A very nice collection of public domain clipart under the following headings:
* Nativity Images
* Angels
* Bells
* Candles
* Trees, Wreaths & Holly
* Text Banners
* Miscellaneous Images

bullet Catholic Catechist Online: Advent and Christmas - A good list of links to useful resources. (no longer available)

bullet Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas - an article by Michaelann Martin - How can families better live the spirit of Advent and Christmas in their homes?

bullet Christmas Tree Blessing for the Family at Advent from (no longer available)

bullet Devotion - Prayers - Advent Wreath Prayers - From the web site of Saint Charles Borromeo Parish.

bullet The Liturgical Season of Advent - by Fr. William Saunders - How did the celebration of Advent come about?

bullet U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Publishing - The US Council of Catholic Bishops has made available a number of resources on its web sites: Blessing for the Advent Wreath (in pdf format), for the Christmas Tree (in pdf format);2003 Advent Resource Supplement (pdf) - "This extension of the resource, Advent 2003: Celebrate Christ’s Coming to Establish Peace on Earth, offers various ways to use the resource during and after the Advent season"; and Advent 2003: Celebrate Christ's Coming to Establish Peace on Earth - " This resource is offered as a seasonal aid for prayer and reflection about the social justice message of the Sunday gospels. It provides elements for individuals and groups to develop their own prayer, study, and reflection opportunities for use in parishes,schools, families, social justice committees, small faith-sharing circles, and other settings.

bullet Advent Wreath Prayers - Prayers for the weeks of Advent

bullet Mary Page Advent Calendar: - A Collection of Resources - Rev. Bertrand Buby, SM, Hebrew Testament Reflections, O'Antiphons, Masses for Advent from the Collection of Masses in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary .
" Mary Page would like to journey through Advent with you! Join us as we explore the progressively unfolding wonder of the Incarnation day by day."

advent wreath


Various articles and resources on Advent and Christmas are available on the web site:

bullet Celebrating Advent - by Posie McPhee

bullet Christmas Traditions - by Shonnie Scarola

bullet Origins of Christmas Traditions by Shonnie Scarola, Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

bullet Celebrating with Advent Hymns - by Kelly Beck

bullet Advent Wreath Prayers - Brief prayers for each week of Advent.


bullet My Friend Magazine - The Catholic Magazine for Kids - Click on : Daily 2003 Advent Calendar.

bullet Prayers and Readings for Advent - By Bass Mitchell

bullet Crafts - Various templates for Advent Wreaths and other Christmas related crafts from

bullet The Christmas Story Advent Coloring Book - 24 coloring pages with quotations from Luke (first 15 pages) and Matthew (last 9 pages) to reinforce the Christmas story.


bullet An Advent Adventure - an Advent adventure for nine to eleven-year-olds. The activity can be done very effectively outdoors.

bullet A Celebration of Peace: Christmas - This exercise gives us a unique chance to connect the beauty of each sunrise with Christmas. The way that the prayer talks of the change from darkness into light can stretch the youngsters' spiritual awareness of Jesus in their lives.

bullet A Christmas Meditation - Invite your young people to participate in meditative prayer. Encourage them to use their imagination when responding to the gospel story. This activity might appeal to youngsters between the ages of eight and ten.

bullet A Dream Come True -- Christmas - Invite your ten to twelve-year-olds to focus on Saint Joseph during the following Christmas reflection. Then give them the experience of centering contemplatively on the name of Jesus.

bullet We Celebrate Advent (no longer available)- Explain to the children that Advent is a time to prepare the way for Jesus to come into our hearts in a special way at Christmas. Help them to complete each prayer with their own personal responses.


Web site reviews and listings of online resources on Advent and Christmas resources are also available on the Resources for Catholic Educators web site at:

bullet Web site Reviews - Advent
bullet Web site - Christmas
bullet Listing of Resources - Advent
bullet Listing of Resources - Christmas
bullet Saint Nicholas


Advent and Christmas Stories - by Rob Neves

       Stories that help young children understand the Gospels. The four wonderful stories below can be useful during the Advent and Christmas Season.

      bulletHe’s Coming Back - Luke 21:25-36

      bullet Prepare the Way of the Lord - Luke 3:1-6

      bullet What should We do to get Ready? - Luke 3:7-18

      bullet The Big Plan - Luke 21:25-36

Click here for information on recordings of these stories and more by Rob Neves.


The challenge of sharing the words of a different time, written in different place, left in different language and describing a different world can be intimidating. It helps to understand that the people in the Bible were real just like you and I, and we have many things in common. The approach I have developed for sharing the "Good News" allows children to hear the Word in context and make real meaning for their lives today.· In this approach we look at the teaching style of Christ (as described in the Gospels) and use it to wrap the concepts, scripture passages or lessons as part of the fabric of a story -- Rob Neves

“How Would Jesus Tell the Story?”
Effective Story Telling In Our Ministry to Children

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Upcoming Conferences & Forums

Marygrove to Host National Education Conference to Mark the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Detroit, MI--Marygrove College announced that it will kick off a year-long series of events, which will culminate in a three-day national conference to focus on the status of education since Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka. "Revitalizing the Purpose and Spirit of Education: The Imprint of Brown v. the Board of Education" will host educational leaders from throughout the country who will explore educational standards since Brown, and the needs of schools, teachers, and students in the next 50 years. "There is a great deal of debate about the strides students have made since the Brown decision," said Alfred Cooke, Ph.D., dean of education. "We hope to provide a thought-provoking forum to discuss these differing perspectives, and help develop a sense of what the future educational landscape can look like."

The series marks the 50th anniversary of the May 17, 1954, U.S. Supreme Court decision, which ended federally sanctioned racial segregation in the public schools by ruling unanimously that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. A groundbreaking case, Brown not only overturned the precedent of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which had declared "separate but equal facilities" constitutional, but also provided the legal foundation of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

The conference will take place October 1 - 3, 2004 and is under the sponsorship of Marygrove College Graduate Studies, the Education Unit, the Master in the Art of Teaching Program, and Undergraduate Studies, Office of Alumni Relations, and Continuing Education.
Marygrove College is a Catholic, liberal arts college located on 53 park-like acres in one of Detroit's oldest residential neighborhoods.
Offering more than 35 programs, Marygrove is widely recognized for its teaching, social work, art, music and dance, undergraduate, and graduate programs.

send us your special event news and we will post it here.

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A bit of humor


Did You Forget Me?

A pious man, who had reached the age of 105, suddenly stopped going to synagogue. Alarmed by the old fellow's absence after so many years of faithful attendance, the Rabbi went to see him. He found him in excellent health, so the Rabbi asked, "How come after all these years we don't see you at services anymore?"
The old man lowered his voice. "I'll tell you, Rabbi," he whispered. "When I got to be 90, I expected God to take me any day. But then I got to be 95, then 100, then 105. So, I figured that God is very busy and must've forgotten about me, and I don't want to remind Him!"

Wrong Department

A woman was sitting next to a priest on a plane when a terrible storm broke out. "Can't you do something about that awful lightning?" she demanded.

"I'm sorry," the priest answered, "I'm in sales, not management."

-- from Catholic Parish Resources - Bulletin fillers, materials, Mass, Cards


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