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Preparing the way of the Lord during Advent

CNS Photo by T. McCarthyJust as Jesus' parents, Mary and Joseph, patiently and joyfully awaited the birth of their baby boy thousands of years ago, we are a people waiting in joyful anticipation for the arrival of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Advent is a wonderful time to renew your faith and return to the Church:
Find a church near you for Mass times during Advent  
The Advent season begins this year on Sunday, Dec. 2 and continues through Monday, Dec. 24. Advent marks a time of joyful waiting. The character of Advent is two-fold: it's a time to prepare for the solemnities of Christmas in which the arrival of Jesus on earth thousands of years ago is remembered and celebrated. But it is also a time to recall that which we express each week in our profession of faith at Mass, that "Christ will come (again) in glory to achieve the definitive triumph of good over evil." (CCC, 681) 
During this Advent season "be on the lookout" for Jesus and respond to his presence just like John the Baptist did when he leapt for joy in his mother Elizabeth's womb, and like the shepherds in the field who believed and responded to the angel's proclamation. Look for Jesus in the faces of those you encounter each day, seek him out in your practice of daily prayer, and announce the presence of Jesus to others in whatever way your personal, spiritual gifts call you to do so. Allow your words and actions to point others toward Christ, by placing him at the center of your heart and mind.

 Bishop Walkowiak's Advent 2018 Message


Advent & Christmas at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew

Watch Live: Sunday Mass from the cathedral

On our websiteOn Facebook | On television on WXMI FOX17 (check your local listings).  

Advent enrichment in our diocese

Why aren't there four full weeks of Advent this year?

The length of the fourth week of Advent depends on when Christmas Eve and Christmas fall in the week. This year (2018) Advent is relatively short. Sunday and Monday Dec. 23 and 24 are the only days in the fourth week of Advent. In the General Roman Calendar, Dec. 24 this year is the last day of Advent, Christmas Eve, and also (beginning with the vigil Mass) the first day of Christmas time.  

Do Catholics need to attend Mass twice on the weekend of the Immaculate Conception?

This year, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a holy day of obligation, falls on Saturday, Dec. 8. According to Canon Law, Catholics should attend two separate Masses between the evenings of Dec. 7 and Dec. 9, one to fulfill our holy day obligation (e.g. either a Friday vigil Mass or Mass on Saturday) and one to fulfill our Sunday obligation (e.g. vigil Mass on Saturday or Mass on Sunday) - a welcome opportunity to receive our Lord in the Eucharist twice over the three days! 

Resources, prayers & activities

Read an Advent reflection from Bishop Walkowiak (FAITH Grand Rapids magazine)
Sign up to receive daily Advent reflections from: (Word on Fire | Dynamic Catholic)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): 
Interactive Advent calendar 

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission Week, Dec. 8-12

The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the unborn, will be celebrated around the country December 12. Here in the diocese, the Office of Hispanic Ministry is hosting the Guadalupe, River of Love Mission Week, an opportunity for all members of the faithful to be inspired by Our Lady and her enduring message of love and compassion, first received by St. Juan Diego 500 years ago. Details


Prayer for the lighting of the Advent wreath (English | Español)
Creighton University's Online Ministries (
Praying Advent | Celebrating Christmas

Recipes & activities

Recipes from FAITH magazine's "Catholic Culture" writer Michelle DiFranco
Photo credit: CNS photo by T. McCarthy