As we approach the Advent season, we are reminded that publicly funded Catholic education is a call to service. Regardless of our position or our responsibilities within Catholic education, our role is a call, birthed in our Baptism to bring the saving message of Jesus Christ into the lives of those students whom it is our privilege to serve. This reality elevates our duties and responsibilities to another plane. Left to our own strengths and abilities, the task seems and is very challenging, but we are not alone in this task. Jesus promised us the abiding strength of the Holy Spirit to be with us always –not just for a century or two at the church’s beginning, but always. But the promise is predicated on our faithful and faith-filled response to that call to service following the example of Jesus who said, “I am in the midst of you as one who serves.”(Luke 22:27Nick Milanetti, Executive Director, OCSTA
The Advance Kit consists of monthly prayer services leading up to next May’s Catholic Education Week.
NOVEMBER 2019 ADVANCE KIT
From the Advance Kit:
The Advance Kit has five prayer and reflection activities for the five months preceding Catholic Education Week, each activity reflecting one of the five sub-themes of Catholic Education Week:
Advent: Our Hope in Christ … Notre espérance, c’est le Christ
January: The Hope Within Us … L’espérance en nous
February: The Hope Among Us … L’espérance au milieu de nous
March: Hope for the World … L’espérance pour le monde
April: A Future Full of Hope … Un avenir rempli d’espérance
How can the Advance Kit be used in a local Catholic educational community?
Each service may be used to begin a meeting or gathering, or to provide an opportunity for the adult partners in a local Catholic education community to discuss the themes. Each prayer service includes:
- Prayers that reflect the theme
- A scripture reading that connects with the theme
- A personal reflection related to the scripture reading
- A theme-related reading taken from the contemporary Catholic spiritual writings
- Questions for discussion or reflection based on that reading
Advent 2019: “Our Hope in Christ”
SUGGESTED OPENING SONGS
- Spark ~The City Harmonic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVzrCGM_ilI)
- The Light of Christ ~Donald Fishel
- Christ, Be Our Light ~ Bernadette Farrell
Who created light in the beginning and fashioned the solar system, so we may be reminded of lengthening nights, help us trust once more in the power of the birth of your Son.
May Jesus’ birth ignite hope in our lives again!
READING: A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows – light! Sunbursts of light! You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy. Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The Word of the Lord. R. Thanks be to God.
QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
Which line in the reading ignites hope within you?
Do you live in deep shadows or great light?
READING AND GUIDED REFLECTION QUESTIONS
Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world, and everything he touches becomes young, new, full of life. The very first words then, that I would like to say to every young Christian, are these: “Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!”
Pope Francis, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit to young people, 2019, #1
Has Christ touched you, are you young at heart and full of life?
Do your words ignite hope in youth with whom you interact?
Spirit of Jesus,
Bring calm to my mind, peace to my heart and silence to my soul.
In the silence may I hear your voice.
In the peace may I see your face.
And in the calm may I know your love for me.
SUGGESTED CLOSING SONGS
- Go Make A Difference ~Steve Angrisano & Tom Tomaszek
- All That is Hidden ~Bernadette Farrell
- My Soul in Stillness Waits ~ Marty Haugen