Mexican celebrations during Advent

Paz Vital, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

Growing up in Mexico, every year around this time everyone looks forward to major festivities. The Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12. It’s a huge celebration throughout the whole country which commemorates the appearances of the Virgin Mary to an Aztec man in the 16th century. The story is that Mary appeared to Juan Diego and sent him on a mission to have a shrine built in her honor. He hardly felt capable of achieving this task since he was an indigenous man and spoke Nahuatl, not the Spanish of the Bishop. At first the …

brightly lit, snow-covered tree branches casting shadows on the snow

Home for the Holidays

Rosy Kandathil, OSB Letters home, Living in Community Leave a Comment

My first semester at St John’s School of Theology ended with a whimper. Although I was officially back at the monastery for winter break, I had a final paper and an exam yet to submit online. It was confusing: my body was home, but my head was still at school. On the fourth Sunday of Advent, with two hours to my deadline, I finally pressed the send button and breathed a sigh of relief. It was done; all of my assignments were in. Now I can relax, I thought. The semester had been long and challenging in unexpected ways. It …

Rosy Kandathil’s Homily – Christmas Eve: December 24, 2015

Rosy Kandathil, OSB Homilies 2 Comments

“Home” for Christmas Isaiah 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7; Luke 2:1-20 It is good to be home. Home. It’s the place our hearts inevitably turn as we approach this time of year: I’ll be home for Christmas. And on this Christmas Eve, so many have set out (or will set out) for that familiar place called home, surrounded by friends and family. But the meaning of “home” changes as we grow from children into adults. My earliest memories of home conjure up images of a place: my room, my toys, my Christmas tree and presents, my parents and siblings around a …

candle light and plain, bare Christmas tree await Christmas Eve services in the assembly room

Christmas in community

Holy Wisdom Monastery Living in Community Leave a Comment

Reflections by Joanne Kollasch and Lynne Smith, co-directors of formation  The Christmas Eve liturgy is a highlight of the season for our community. Soft candle light flickers around the assembly room. We sit in muted silence before the service begins. This is a time for quiet meditation, time to take in the Christmas tree and crèche scene surrounded by poinsettias. Our Advent liturgies dwell on the theme of anticipation of Christ’s coming rather than rushing to Christmas. Christmas Eve is the culmination of our anticipation, ushered in by the cherished music of Christmas. This is the beginning of the celebration …