Parishes Prepare for Advent
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 25, 2021
DIOCESE—Parishes around the Rockford Diocese are gearing up for Advent. Events shared with us by parishes include:
– Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Aurora, is having a Christmas wreath and greenery sale Dec. 4-5 to support Waterleaf Pregnancy Center in Aurora.
– Holy Angels Parish in Aurora is having an Angel Tag Christmas Tree to “help (children) have a brighter Christmas.” The parish also is selling Christmas cards.
– St. Joseph Parish in Aurora hosted a Bake Sale and Vendor/Craft Sale on Nov. 20.
– Holy Family Parish in Rockford is having two events for parish women: an Advent Dinner by Candlelight and “Wine and Wreaths for Women” where participants will create Advent or other wreaths. Additionally, the parish is hosting an “Organ Guild of Rockford” concert at the church.
– At St. Mary School in Sycamore the student council began a “Reverse Advent Calendar” where students were encouraged each day to give something — suggested items from the St. Vincent de Paul Society based on the needs of those they assist. The reverse calendar runs from Nov. 29-Dec. 17 and donations will be delivered to the SVDP in time for Christmas (see photo on Worth the Wait, page 8).
– Several parishes with Hispanic parishioners are planning events and Masses for special December feasts including the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, feast day of St. Juan Diego, Dec. 9, Our Lady of Guadalupe (novena Dec. 3-11 and feast Dec. 12), as well as the four Sundays of Advent and Christmas. 
The tradition of Posadas is also planned in some parishes, including at St. Mary, DeKalb, by the Hispanic Ministry Office for the DeKalb Deanery.
– At St. James Parish in Lee a parish family organized a Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day for individuals who otherwise would not be celebrating; free will offerings welcomed.
– At Church of the Holy Spirit in Roscoe, “A Walk through Advent” is scheduled for Dec. 5 after the 9:30 a.m. Mass. It will include four stations with prayers and activities centered on waiting, focusing, praying, and connecting – all to slow down and reflect on the true meaning of Advent.
– The Newman Center/Christ the Teacher Parish in DeKalb is remembering the faithful departed with mums to decorate the church in November, purchased in the names of numerous people by their loved ones – all listed in parish communications.
– St. Patrick Parish in McHenry is planning several events including an Intergenerational Family Event on Nov. 27; a blessing of Advent wreaths the weekend of Nov. 27-28 at Masses; times of 24-hour exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for adoration; a Monday-Thursday rosary; Advent Wednesday evening Masses at 6 p.m. except for Dec. 8 (Immaculate Conception) at 7 p.m.; and a “Breakfast with St. Nick” on Dec. 12 hosted by the Marriage, Family, Life and the Evangelization ministries.
– St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish is holding a “Family Build Night” on Dec. 1, which will allow families to spend time together using Lego bricks to build an Advent wreath or nativity scene or ornaments. 
Children are encouraged to build ornaments for people they know who “may need the joy and encouragement that Christ’s birth brings at Christmas.”
– The Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford is holding an Advent Scripture series led by John McGrath, retired director of ministry formation and religious education for the Diocese of Rockford. Sessions will be held Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, all from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., in Fellowship Hall, 1243 N. Church St.
Individual sessions will cost $5, or $10 for all three. Registration will be at the door. 
– St. John the Baptist Parish in Somonauk is hosting the “Dynamic Deacon” Harold Burke-Sivers for its parish mission, Dec. 12-15.


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