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 CHRISM MASS 2019

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Call to Continuing Conversion and Rite of Election 2019

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May 19, 2019

May 5, 2019

April 21, 2019 Easter Sunday

 

 

    The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

   St. Nicholas School, Kinsley, Advent Cantata, Dec. 7, 2008

 

   

 

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Christmas traditions around the world

By Margo MacArthur
Catholic News Service

The Christmas customs that unify Christians worldwide center around Nativity scenes, Christmas trees, carols, gift-giving and Christmas dinner. In fact, religious celebrations and secular pageantry have merged to produce a season of good cheer for all.
Christmas in England, for instance, gave the English-speaking world the Christmas tree. During the reign of Queen Victoria, trees were first brought indoors and decorated with apples to satisfy Prince Albert’s longing for a custom from his German childhood.
On Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, visitors to English homes are given tiny wrapped boxes containing sweets or gold coins. It seems that Father Christmas (a tall, red-robed version of Santa Claus) accidentally dropped some coins down the chimney when delivering gifts centuries ago, and the English have included gold coins among their gifts ever since. In Africa, where Catholicism is on the rise, Christmas customs are spirited and prolonged.
In Ghana, for example, Christmas and the weeks leading up to it are celebrated publicly and joyously with shouts of “Afishapa!” (“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”)
Since Ghanaians have moved to the cities in droves in recent years, at Christmastime most try to return to the villages or towns where they grew up. They share a Christmas Eve meal of soup or stew. Then they go to church, inviting all relatives, friends and even strangers along the way to join them.
On Christmas Day, a larger feast which includes rice, chicken or goat and many native fruits and nuts is served in houses decorated with brightly painted paper ornaments. Mango, guava and cashew trees in the middle of a courtyard are also decorated, and the bright decorations extend to schools and churches.
New clothes and new shoes or books and journals are also popular gifts on Christmas Day, after which Ghanaians go to church, and processions and revelry extend into the evening and through many nights ahead.
For Italians, the Christmas season begins with the Novena, the eight days before Christmas during which necessary preparations are made and Christmas itself.
Presepios, life-size Nativity scenes, which St. Francis of Assisi first commissioned to dramatize Jesus’ humble birth, are the center of activity outside most Italian homes. Some include beautifully carved figures. An “urn of fate” in which gifts are placed resides beside the presepio.
On Christmas Eve, Italians fast. At evening, canons are fired.
Christmas Day is acknowledged with a feast after which gifts are selected from the urn. As twilight falls, families gather again by the presepio to light candles, sing songs and recite poetry. But the main exchange of gifts does not take place until Epiphany on Jan. 6.
The night before, Italian children hang up their stockings, hoping that the good witch Befana, who has been looking for the Christ Child for centuries, will leave gifts at every house in case Jesus is there.
In Mexico, Christmas, or Navidad, is celebrated for nine days. Neighbors dressed as Mary and Joseph go door to door, asking if they may stay the night. Each night, they are turned away; then the door is reopened for a party, and children are given pinata full of candy. Finally, on the ninth night, Mary and Joseph are let in. Family and guests dine together, and then go to church to celebrate Christ’s birth.
Recognizable in these varied traditions is the same gladness in celebrating the birth of Jesus within the family and beyond, and the same goals of choosing and giving gifts.

(Margo MacArthur is a freelance writer in Andover, N.J.)

Past Issues

April 7, 2019

March 24, 2019

March 10, 2019

Feb. 24, 2019

Feb. 10, 2019

Jan. 27, 2019

Jan. 13, 2019

Dec. 23, 2018

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

 

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