Hope | Peace | Joy | Love

Advent comes from the Latin word meaning “coming.” Jesus is coming! Preparation for Christmas is an important theme for Advent, but more is involved. This reflective season gives us a vision of our lives as Christians. In these few short weeks we take in the sweeping panorama of time – from Christ’s birth to his Second Coming. The season of Advent brings us the magnificent vision of life and hope for the future given to us by Christ. It is also our time to become more involved, more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a Christian community. Thus we are preparing not only for Christmas but also for Christ’s Second Coming. This means that when he comes again, we will be awake and watchful. He will not find us asleep.

Scroll below for many resources to make the most of this season of reflection.

“Enjoy Advent!” – article by Fr. James Martin

Worship and Formation

What a beautiful way to start the Advent Season! All women are invited to a special Mass to help put hearts and minds in the right place during this busy season. This liturgy will be on Tuesday, December 5th at 6:30 PM in the Main Church. Fellowship and hospitality will follow Mass in the parish narthex. All are welcome!

Join the St. Mary Community as we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Friday, December 8th.

Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m and 7:00 p.m.

Join our Filipino community in celebrating the annual event of Simbang Gabi. This year, St. Mary will offer Mass in the Main Church at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 17th. All are welcome! To view the full schedule for the Simbang Gabi novena click here.

Prayer and Reflection for Individuals and Families

During Advent, we are beckoned to pray and act. When accompanied by tangible deeds, our faith breathes life into our common home, with every step we take to care for it. Join Laudato Si’ efforts to care for our common home during Advent. Click here to download the Pray and Act Calendar. Each day addresses one of the seven goals of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform

Advent should be an intentional season of preparing our hearts and homes for Jesus, and it can help bring focus, deeper meaning, and grace to the holidays. Download the Living Advent guide for a 4-week journey to help families intentionally prepare their hearts and homes for Jesus. Click here to download.

The parent guide to accompany 5-Minute Prayers Around the Advent Wreath by Lisa M. Hendey offers discussion topics and questions based on the age of your children. Each day of the four weeks of Advent includes topics and questions for young children, middle-schoolers, and teens based on the theme in Hendey’s reflection.. Click here to download.

Take time to pray and prepare for the coming of Christ. Sign up now to receive the online Advent Calendar from CRS and return each day during Advent to receive Scripture, quotes and images filled with hope as we reflect on the needs of our global family. Click here to sign up.

Prepare for Christmas and deepen your experience of the Advent season this year with Arts & Faith: Advent. Each week Loyola Press will provide a video commentary about a work of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures. Use these videos to take a new look at this season of hope and preparation through the lens of sacred art. Click image to visit Loyola Press.

Most people spend the month before Christmas feeling overwhelmed, busy, anxious, and anything but peaceful. With so much worry, it’s easy to miss out on the beauty and joy of Advent. Don’t let that be you this year. Sign up for BEST ADVENT EVER and make the radical choice to slow down and spend just a few minutes each day immersed in God’s word. Click here to sign up.

Community Events

St. Mary of the Annunciation invites you to this unique event for Advent. Through beautiful Marian music and scripted narrative, participants will be invited to reflect upon Mary’s own physical and emotional experiences during this time to better understand what it must have been like as she awaited Jesus’ birth.

Click image for more information.

On Saturday, December 16th, from 1-3pm, Santa Claus will be in the narthex in the Main Church. Enjoy pictures with Santa, cookies & Cocoa, and crafts! No registration is necessary and there is no cost to attend. For this Season of Giving non-perishable food items will be collected for the Fremont Food Pantry.

Cardinal Blase Cupich cordially invites all to his annual Christmas Concert featuring the City Lights Orchestra. The concert will take place on Sunday, December 10, 2023 from 2:00 – 3:30 at Church of the Holy Family, 1080 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago.  No tickets are necessary. Seating and parking are available on a first come first serve basis. Click here for printable flyer. 

Additional Advent Resources

Dealing with Holiday Stress

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yet, for many of us, it’s the most stressful time of the year. Here are 3 things to try when stress creeps up on you. Click here to read more.

For additional mental health resources visit https://stmaryfc.org/ministries/human-concerns-commission/mental-health/.

Creighton University Online MInistries

Each year, the busyness of this season serves to distract us from having an Advent season that truly prepares us for the celebration of Christmas, with all its meaning. The site offers simple ways to enter into this Advent season, week by week, in the midst of our everyday lives. Click here to visit Praying Advent. 

Advent in 2 Minutes!

What is Advent all about? How is Advent different than Christmas? In this fun and engaging video Busted Halo explains the significance of this special season in the Church and why the experience of waiting, hope, and preparation is still so important in our lives today. Click here to view.

Inspiration from Loyola Press

Find articles to inspire you as you live the Advent season, from authors including Tom McGrath, Joan Wester Anderson, Jim Campbell, and Jane Knuth. Browse the articles offered by Loyola Press for a different inspiration each day. Click here for more.

Ignatian Advent Resource

During Advent, we contemplate the First Coming of Jesus as Savior, and anticipate his promised Second Coming. Amid the flurry of Christmas preparations, we look for ways to observe the holiness of the season in our everyday lives.

Advent Waiting

During Advent, we eagerly anticipate the coming of Christ. While we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus that occurred over 2,000 years ago, we also use the season of Advent to anticipate The Second Coming. Click here to read more.