December; Proposed Theme; A child is born for us. Some Thoughts from Fr. Johnny Doherty

·      Christmas is very much centre-stage all through the month of December.
·      This is true commercially and it is true from the point of view of our Christian faith.
·      Sometimes people say that Christmas is for children.  This could not be further from the truth.
·      Rather Christmas is the time when we are taught by children. 
·      First of all we are taught by the child born in Bethlehem, Jesus the Son of God and the Son of Mary.  He teaches us the most important message for human life, namely the wonderful love that God has for us and for all human beings.
·      Secondly Christmas is a time when children teach us the important things of our own lives.
1.   They teach us that our family life is the most important thing of all as we prepare for this great feast.
2.   They teach us the importance of joy in our homes as they laugh and look forward to, not just Santa, but also to the Crib
3.   They teach us the importance of a sense of wonder about the mystery of life as their eyes open wide with wonder at everything during this time.
4.   They teach us the importance of love and affection by their hugs and kisses
5.   They teach us a sense of adventure as they live this season with freshness and with expectation.
6.   And they teach us the importance of taking time with one another and not just giving things to one another.
And Christmas itself is celebrated around the Crib where Jesus Mary and Joseph are presented to us as the very core of this very special event.  This is followed up by the feast of the Holy Family, giving us an opportunity to consecrate our family to them and set out to become an ever greater family through our love for one another and for our God who loves us so much.

1.   What are some of your best memories of Christmas as you grew up?  This is for parents to share with their children
2.   What are some of the things you would like to do this Christmas as a family?  This is for children to share with their parents.
3.   How could you use Advent/December to prepare yourselves as a family for Christmas this year?
4.   How could you, as a family, help to bring joy to other people in your parish and beyond during this season of Advent and Christmas?

Suggested actions:
1.   Make a list of all the people who make up your family, beginning with those in your immediate family and then going out to those in your extended family e.g. grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc.
2.   Make a sacred space in your home where you can create an Advent wreath.
3.   Take 5 minutes together each day during Advent/December to pray for your family, taking one person each day to think about and to pray for – a decade of the Rosary could be a good prayer to say each day for that person.
4.   Include in this list the names of your priest(s); your bishop; Pope Francis and all the leadership of the Church both lay and clerical and take a day as a family to pray for each of these.
5.   Write a family letter of appreciation and support to the priest(s) of your parish and send it for Christmas.
6.   Write a family letter of appreciation and support to the Bishop of your Diocese and send it for Christmas.


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