I. National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) #BeSaints : Every other year, Catholic young people and their chaperones—youth ministers, campus ministers, parents, catechists, priests, coaches, and scout leaders—come together to pray, learn, and grow in their faith. In addition to opportunities to receive the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, NCYC participants attend general and breakout sessions on topics relevant to living as a disciple of Christ in today’s world, visit with organizations that provide resources and other support to youth and youth ministry, spend time in personal and communal prayer, and engage in service to others. The theme this year is “Called,” and the event was held in Indianapolis November 16-18. Three full days of Catholic Immersion! The mission statement says it all: In a distinctly Catholic setting, the National Catholic Youth Conference invites participants to encounter Christ, experience church, and be empowered for discipleship. Many thanks go out to Haley Fitzgerald for organizing this important event, and to Meghan Payne and Jacob Fischer for assisting her and serving as chaperones for those attending: Kevin Payne, Christian Leigh, Lorenzo Sanz, Taylor Norton, Joseph Fusco, Caitlyn Sullivan, Emilee Hutchison, Delaney Flaherty, Jade Flaherty, Madison Warren, Max Kurtz, Rachel Weaver, and Clayton Lewis. A big thank you to our parish family, who helped make this event possible for our youth. Your support of their pancake breakfast and car wash fundraisers and your generous donations help fund this trip. God Bless you all and our youth!
II. Kick-off Evangelization and Re-Evangelization: join Bishop Medley here at the Cathedral for a Holy Hour on Sunday, December 3rd, at 2:00 p.m. This event is the beginning of a Diocesan program—a journey really—to begin to build our faith. As the youth at NCYC are “called” and invited to discipleship, so are we. We have a new Office of Evangelization in the Owensboro Diocese, headed by Joe Bland, and he, along with Bishop Medley, are implementing a program to bring Christ’s Word, bring the Church, back to the faithful—beginning with ourselves. It begins with us, it begins in our hearts. Some of us have lost our way; some of us have wandered; some of us have been steady; but ALL of us need to rededicate ourselves to Christ and His Church. The theme for this Evangelization Program is “Living as Missionary Disciples” and the first year is the year of prayer: encountering Christ through prayer. Please join us for this monumental event. Please join us! All 78 Parishes have been asked to hold a Holy Hour on this date at this time. Think of the positive impact of the entire diocese of Owensboro praying in Adoration at the same time. . . .
III. Advent is around the corner, the season of hope and waiting. The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for many Christians. During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming. Because the 4th week of Advent this year is one day, it’s the shortest Advent possible!
IV. Tree Giving: Next weekend you will have the opportunity to feel the joy of giving to those who have little or nothing. Please take a tag or two from the Giving Tree and return the gift, wrapped, with the tag attached to the outside, BEFORE December 16. You may leave the gifts under the tree or bring them into the parish office. God gave us His only Son for a gift—what can we give? Thanks to Lupe Ellis for organizing this outreach.
V. Lessons and Carols return to St. Stephen Cathedral. We are thrilled to host the Kentucky Wesleyan Singers for “A Festival of Lessons and Carols” at 7:00 p.m., on Thursday and Friday, November 30th and December 1st to kick off the season of hope and our new Arts at the Cathedral Season. Since the middle ages, Cathedrals have been recognized as cultural centers. Come celebrate the arts with us.