All Diocesan Articles



Christmas Commercialism Clouds Advent's Patient Waiting

Posted on November 27, 2020 in: FaithSparks, Advent

Christmas Commercialism Clouds Advent's Patient Waiting

Advent dawns upon us and once again we begin our journey of patient waiting for the arrival of Christmas – which can be a special challenge and struggle for children and young people, but also for adults.

The culture decorates for Christmas even before Halloween is over. The Hallmark Channel began showing Christmas movies with its countdown to Christmas on October 24. Holiday displays and advertisements for toys began circulating at the same time, and the Amazon toy catalog came in my mailbox in mid-October!

This year, Santa is showing up in our homes for virtual visits the day after Thanksgiving. With all this rush to commercialize the season, I often get the question, “How do we get across to our children that the real reason for the Christmas season is the birth of Jesus?”

Let me introduce you to one of my all- time favorite Christmas tales, Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki. In this sweet picture book, children will discover the true meaning of Christmas as Santa Claus retells the story of the first Christmas. When Santa Claus tells the forest animals that he is not looking forward to delivering all those heavy packages, they are worried that there won’t be a Christmas anymore. To help everyone understand that Christmas would still come even if he didn’t deliver presents, Santa tells the story of the first Christmas, and they all learn a good lesson about the true meaning of Christmas.

If you would like to order this book for your family you can purchase it at your favorite bookstore for under $9. Or if you prefer, you can find a video of someone reading the book on YouTube. A link is included below.

All this early holiday saturation, in addition to the stress and worry about the pandemic, can affect all of us. Perhaps this year, more than any before, we need to take this Advent season to dive deeper in prayer, receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, and slow down to reflect on the meaning behind this special liturgical season.

For us to appreciate Christmas, we need to take time to prepare and journey through Advent before we can celebrate the gift of the newborn Christ. To support you in doing this, the Office of Faith Events is offering a virtual Diocesan Advent Mission. It will take place the first three Thursdays in December at 7 P.M. and focus on three of the themes of Advent: Patience, Love and Peace.

On December 3 we will look at patient waiting; December 10, will focus on ways love is coming into our lives and our world, and on December 17 we will consider the various aspects of peace in our lives, homes, hearts and world. Each evening we will watch a reflective video related to the evening’s theme, have discussions, and contemplate what God calls us to do in preparation for the birth of His son within the context of our lived realities. There is no cost to participate in the Advent Mission, but registration is required. You can do so by emailing Marianne Nicholas at or calling her at 860-848-2237, 304.

We hope you will join us for this spiritually enriching mission experience without ever having to leave the comfort of your homes.

By Liza Roach


Book: Santa's Favorite Story

Or, if you would like someone to read the book to your child via video, visit,

Bookmark and Share  

Most Viewed Articles of the Last 30 Days

Virtual Rosary Prayed Live Online Every Tuesday in October
October is the month of the Most Holy Rosary so the Office of Faith Events has put together a simple program to do a Group Rosary Virtually on Every Tuesday at 3pm.  It is a great opportunity for children and youth to learn the Rosary as a Community Online!  The first week will kick off on Tuesday, October 5th at 3pm.  We will do the first mystery of the Rosary and then the next mystery the following week.  By the end of the month, we will complete the 4 mysteries. In honor of 40 Days for Life, we will be offering a special Project Rachel Rosa...

Read More

The Gospel of Mark 6 Week Virtual Scripture Seminar
Join the Office of Faith Events for a Virtual Scripture Seminar  Discipleship and the Gospel of Saint Mark A Bible Study with Dr. Lisa M. Gulino  Dr. Gulino will guide participants through the pages of the Gospel of St. Mark.  The Gospel of Mark unfolds, within the context of Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, key characteristics of living as a disciple of Jesus. You will learn key tools to reading the Gospel of Mark.  The study of the Word of God is not enough, how do we pray with God's Word as well?  Each session will pre...

Read More

Change Can Bring Both Challenge and Beauty

Posted on October 05, 2021 in: FaithSparks


Change Can Bring Both Challenge and Beauty
Fall is here, and the beauty of the season is all around us. From the crisp chill that floats in the air to the vibrant colors of the leaves, we know that a new season is coming when these changes begin. Change is one of the most challenging things for humans to do. If you are like me, the first thing you do when you need to make a change is avoid doing it. I think avoiding what needs to be done will produce the results I want, so I just keep doing what I know is comfortable. Yet, as we have often heard, the definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and...

Read More

Welcome Back to Life - Sept. 29 Hope & Faith Video
This week on the Hope and Faith Series, Andrea Hoisl- Director of the Office of Faith Events, speaks about what it is like to get back to life in the midst of a pandemic.   View previous videos or more articles on Faith by visiting    

Read More

Replay of Trashed: The Unborn, The Migrant, The Poor, The Environment
The Kickoff to Respect Life Month featured Dr. Patrick Lee, Director of the Center for Bioethics at Franciscan University, Steubenville, and professor in the Philosophy Department. This conversation, hosted by Fr. Robert Washabaugh, took place on October 3rd, the eve of the Feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi. The discussion explored the interconnection between the sacredness of life and creation.    We will continue to explore this topic through weekly videos culminating in another live event on Sunday, November 21, from 7- 8 PM ...

Read More

CST Principles Address Needs of the Poor and Migrants
This week on the Hope and Faith Series, Sr. Mary Jude- Director of the Office for Hispanic Ministry, speaks about five principles of migration from Catholic Social teaching.   View previous videos or more articles on Faith by visiting      

Read More

Our Advertisers Support Our Ministries

Please Support Our Advertisers

Annual Catholic Appeal

Signup for Weekly Newsletter

    Recently Added Galleries
    Click to view album: Palm Sunday
    Click to view album: Blessing of the Fleet
    Click to view album: Mass of Ordination for Father Michael Bovino
    Click to view album: Rite of Election 2020
    Latest Articles
    St. Michael School is Vibrant Part of Community
    Sacraments 101: Elements of Marriage - 'Free, Total, Faithful, Fruitful'
    SVdPP Ministry is Looking for a Grant Writer
    CST Principles Address Needs of the Poor and Migrants
    Catholic Charities Diocese of Norwich: Key Dates and Milestones of the 1970s and 1980s
    Vigil Mass Kicks Off 40 Days for Life Campaign
    Cyclists Complete 5-Day, 337-mile Virtual Trip Across Haiti
    O Tannenbaum - Help Us Decorate a Tree

    Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
    201 Broadway
    Norwich, CT 06360-4328
    Phone: 860-887-9294