Equipping the Domestic Church/ISSUE 100/11.27.22


It is such a blessing to be a part of building the Domestic Church in our Diocese and beyond! Today marks the beginning of a new liturgical year for the church and the beginning of the season of waiting and expectation we experience in Advent! May this First Sunday of Advent begin a beautiful season for your family, of witnessing to the peace and hope of Christ's kingdom here on Earth!

Photo by KaLisa Veer on Unsplash


The Polish Tradition of Oplatki

Have you heard of this Christmas tradition? Learn more about this unique Catholic custom from Eastern Europe, that helps focus the Christmas celebration on Christ!



Click on the link below for the readings that you will hear at the Sunday Mass for the coming two weeks. This will give you a chance to prepare your heart and mind for full and active participation in Mass this weekend! For a Mass schedule in our diocese click on the purple button below.

Sunday Readings:

Family Stories: Here are some stories to share during Advent:

The Last Straw by Fredrick Thury

On this Special Night by Clair Freedman

The Little Shepherd's Christmas by Carol Heyer

Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown


Create an ACROSTIC POEM for Advent. An acrostic poem is a poem where certain letters in each line spell out a word or phrase. Typically, the first letters of each line are used to spell the message, but they can appear anywhere, as long as ADVENT is spelled out in 6 lines of poetry about the season!


Here is an Advent playlist from the bloggers at Carrots for Michaelmas! This is called WONDER.


Follow an Advent journey with the Behold series. A book and journal are available through Ave Maria Press, but you can also watch the series on YouTube for some simple Advent reflection. Below is the introduction. Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT is a dynamic speaker you are sure to be nourished by in the Advent season.
Introduction | Behold: Advent with Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT


Are you sharing stories of the Nativity? Bake some Christmas star cookies together to enjoy during storytime!


Today is the day to start the Advent wreath. Don't worry if you don't have a perfect Advent wreath, here are some basic elements that can get you started to have a wonderful Advent tradition for your family!

1. Three purple and one pink candle. (The purple candles signify penance and the pink signifies joy for week 3). If you can't locate those colors in taper candles, consider votives, or even tea lights with pink and purple ribbons.

2. Place the candles in a circle pattern to signify eternity (God has no beginning and no end)

3. Add some evergreens from your Christmas tree, the craft store, or a bush outside! The greens signify eternal life and the unchanging presence of God.

4. You can also add a white candle for Christmas Eve!

Light your candles at dinner time or a time that works well for your family. Pray each time you light the candles. Prayers are found below by clicking the purple button!

Don't want to light candles in your home? You can also make a paper version with construction paper, or battery-operated tea lights!


Make "play" time, family time!
Big picture


The average American family spends less than 10 minutes eating together every day. We invite you to SLOW DOWN during the Advent season and set a priority for your family to relish meal time. Eating slower is healthier and you will have more time to say grace, enjoy one another's company and have real, screen-free conversation! This added family time will be a gift you give your family that no one will be interested in returning!


The Teachable Lessons in Popular Animated Christmas Shows

If we are taking the time to watch a "Christmas special" with our kids, we can also take the opportunity to point out the positive messages that help them learn little life lessons in a meaningful way! Watching Rudolph? Talk about bullying and how Rudolph saved the day even though he had been singled out and picked on for being different! Then we have the Grinch, whose sadness about his own life prompted him to be cruel to others. It was the Whos that made a big impact on him and changed him for the better by sharing kindness with him, despite his hard-to-love personality! Finally, Charlie Brown reminds us to seek the true meaning of Christmas. You can find out about more positive Christmas shows and the messages they offer on the website


Holy Day of Obligation: These are days we are required or obligated to attend Mass according to the Precepts of the Church. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass is rooted in the Third Commandment (Keep Holy the Sabbath Day). We also have other days that fall during the year, that are designated Holy Days. We have two Holy Days of Obligation in the month of December: The Immaculate Conception on December 8 and Christmas. Another Holy Day closely follows on January 1 (The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God). The remaining Holy Days of Obligation include Ascension Thursday, the Assumption of Mary, and All Saints Day.


Here are some questions to get kids talking and thinking about the season of Advent:

  • John the Baptist talked about preparing the way for Jesus. How am I making room for Jesus to enter my life?
  • Have I spent time focused on the real meaning of Christmas?
  • How might thinking about others help me to change my attitude this Christmas?
  • What could I do to please God during the Advent season?
  • What did it feel like for Mary and Joseph to travel such a long distance before Jesus was born? What would it feel like if my family had to travel a long way and had no place to go for shelter?

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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