The Pastor's Column


Fr. Lara's Lines


Advent Joy

Christmas seems closer than ever. Plans have already been made and everyone seems to be just waiting for the green light. The holiday season is always busy; in fact, in past years, more than one hundred million Americans traveled more than 50 miles from home between December 23 and January 1. It is certainly a time to forget about the daily routine and spend time with family and friends. In the Church, the closer we get to Christmas the more excited we become, not because of the gifts and parties, but because of the coming of our savior, Jesus. The Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday, which is the joy of knowing the birth of our savior is at hand.

Gaudete Sunday (Mt 3:3)
Gaudete is Latin for joy or rejoice. This word is taken from the entrance antiphon used during the Third Sunday of Advent Mass, Gaudete in Domino semper or Rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4-5). Joy is the appropriate attitude for one to have when a happy expected event is about to happen. Think about when you are waiting for the arrival of a loved one at the airport, or the birth of a new baby, or an upcoming wedding. One rejoices at the approach of something wonderful. The Third Sunday of Advent is a time for rejoicing; the expected Messiah is the reason for our joy.

The color for Gaudete Sunday is rose. The rose candle in the Advent wreath is lit. Some priests wear rose vestments. Rose is the color for joy; we transition from the expectant purple to the joyful rose before we get to the festive white. This week we lighten the purple in joyful anticipation of the coming of Jesus into our hearts.



John the Baptist
John the Baptist is the forerunner of Christ. He is a hugely important figure in Christian tradition because he proclaimed and announced the coming of the Messiah. John the Baptist represents the continuity between the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament disciples. He was the one who pointed to Jesus when he saw him and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” John the Baptist was a popular prophet, but he knew he wasn’t the Messiah. He was the one who was supposed to prepare the way for Jesus. Inspired by John the Baptist, let us prepare the way for those who have been away from Jesus so that they might receive him into their hearts this Christmas season.

Widow/Widower Group
The sense of being part of a community is crucial when dealing with the loss of a loved one, especially a spouse. For this reason, the OLPH-SCL Widow/ Widower Ministry is constantly inviting people to join their meetings. This ministry is open to all widows and widowers who are interested in fellowship, support and friendship. It’s a perfect opportunity to gather socially as well as exchange ideas and information about relevant topics and interests. No widow or widower is left behind. For more information, contact Irene Alwan at ima@yourITdept.com

Tax-credit scholarships
Catholic education is a priceless legacy we can leave to future generations. Saint Catherine Labouré parish is committed to educate our children in both the school and Religious Education program. My dream as a pastor is for our children to be educated in Christian values and brought up in the practice of the faith. This is an immensely huge task, but together we can accomplish this challenging mission. Our school is in need of your support; the cost of educating a child is not fully covered by tuition. The parish contributes to the school budget every year. In order for this to be a lesser expense, we are working on different avenues to raise funds for our school.

The State of Illinois created a tax credit scholarship program through the Invest in Kids Act that is mutually beneficial to students and donors. It provides a 75% Illinois State income tax credit to individuals who contribute money to fund scholarships for students from low-income families to attend private schools. There is still time to participate in the tax credit scholarship program. Please consider participating.

We can make a difference in the community of Glenview and the world. Catholic education would not happen without the help and support of our community and those who love our Church. For more information, please contact me at pastor@stcatherinelaboure.com Janice Seipp at jseipp@sclschool-glenview.org , or the archdiocese’s Tax Credit Scholarship Office at tcs@archchicago.org .