Season of Advent
By MICHELLE DELANEY, Globe staff reporter
With Advent season well on its way, numerous parishes are holding special events. Advent helps us prepare for the coming of Christ and what better way to come together as a parish or community than with volunteering and fellowship? While it would be next to impossible to have enough space for every parish’s activities, here are just a few events that have or will take place during the Advent season.
St. Mary Church in Sac City came together after Mass on Nov. 27 to make Advent wreaths. This is the third year for this event. Along with getting an original handmade wreath, everyone gained information on the origins of the Advent wreath and prayers for each week of the season.
“It’s a great opportunity for our parish to come together as a whole. Also, it’s helps to remind us that Christ is the reason for this season. I feel like sometimes we forget that,” said Ann Pugh, volunteer.
Numerous parishes are taking part in some sort of Advent tree, giving tree or adopt-a-family. St. Joseph’s in Jefferson, St. James in Le Mars, Sacred Heart in Sioux City and St. Joseph’s in Wall Lake are just a few parishes participating. This type of program allows for hands-on giving in their local community. It helps ensure that struggling families are able to have a Christmas filled with joy.
The women at Immaculate Conception Parish in Cherokee gathered for their annual Advent by Candlelight night on Dec. 4. The women joined together in the lighting of the Advent candles, Advent prayer, dessert, companionship, reading of a Christmas story and singing Silent Night. Money raised from the event went to buy a small "Tenderness" gift box by Willow Tree, which is given to new mothers at baptisms throughout the year.
“This event is a quiet Advent celebration with beautiful tables, delicious desserts, and nice conversations. It is an opportunity for them to slow down during the busy preparations of Christmas,” said Sister Janice Hoffman.
The Sonshine singers presented “A Christmas with Sonshine” at Corpus Christi in Fort Dodge on the Dec. 3. The ecumenical group performed Christian music and had a sing along with the audience. About 400 people braved the snowy weather to attend this event.
The Una Vocis Choral Ensemble of Mason City performed at St. Cecelia’s in Algona on Dec. 3. The concert, titled “The World’s Desire” consisted of Christmas carols and sacred music performed in a mostly a capella style.
“It was beautiful program because the songs focused on a virgin birth and it really got you in the thought process, thinking about what Advent is. We’re not only preparing to celebrate the birth of our savior, but we’re also preparing and thinking about what has taken place so many years ago for us today,” said Deacon William Black.
St. Joseph’s in Jefferson had a cookie parade on Dec. 3. This event has been held for over 25 years and is the main fundraiser for the women’s council. At the parade, an afghan, made by Jean Lowe, and embroidered towels, made by Margaret Dudahy, were raffled off. Cookbooks were also sold at the cookie parade and door prizes were given away. Additionally, Beads for Life, jewelry made out of magazines by women in Uganda, were sold.
“It’s a good time for everyone to get together and kick off the Christmas and Advent season, and it gives people the chance to visit. We had a really good turnout, there were lots and lots of cookies,” said Cheryl Tiffany, St. Joseph’s secretary and cookie parade volunteer.
These are just a handful of the activities going on in the diocese for the Advent season.
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