St. Leonard Catholic Parish
M anotick, Ont

"Celebrating 50 Years as a Catholic Community "
Monthly E-Newsletter for Dec 1st
Welcome to the St. Leonard monthly E-Newsletter. Lots of pre-Christmas community activities took place yesterday and today is the First Sunday of Advent. Join in our online Advent programs this month and let's prepare room for Jesus so that this can be our best Christmas ever!
Pastor's Message for Dec 1st

Advent: Preparing for the Coming of Jesus

Today marks the first Sunday of Advent and our first day of getting ready for the great celebration that takes place on Christmas day. Advent means “coming’ in Latin and is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas when we prepare for the coming of Jesus into the world. Did you know that Advent only starts on the 1 st of December when Christmas Day is on a Wednesday (which will happen in 2019)?

And need I remind you just what it is, that we as disciples of Christ, will be celebrating on Dec 25th? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 The entire reason for Christmas is the love of God. God so loves us that he came to earth as a human so we could get to know him and learn to trust him and love him back. God became one of us, a human being so we could understand what he is really like and that he could be our saviour as the angels declared to the shepherds of Bethlehem at that first Christmas, “Today… there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.”

At this time of year, in a special way, we are filled with anticipation and longing for the coming of Jesus. Advent is a time for personal preparation, to ask ourselves, “Am I ready to welcome Jesus?” Amid the bustle of Christmas traditions, such as family gatherings, cultural observances and gift-giving, I encourage all of us to take some time to still ourselves and to reflect on this question. I strongly encourage all of you to sign-up for one of the two daily devotionals that will come to your email inbox each day being promoted in this month’s E-Newsletter; Advent Reflections from FORMED daily or The Best Advent Ever from Matthew Kelly and Dynamic Catholic. And, if you would like to go a little deeper, please consider the six-part bible study entitled Lectio Mary available through our FORMED parish subscription.

May we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus through prayer and repentance, and may we lead lives of generosity, justice and charity. By virtue of our baptism we have been given a personal mission to love God and to love our neighbours. During the next four weeks may all of us make a special effort to light up the world with the good news of God’s love.

I invite everyone to open their hearts during this Advent season to celebrate the birth of our Saviour and to wish one another God’s peace for the coming year. May you have a blessed Christmas, filled with wonder and love! 
Father Gerard
Community

Weekend Pre-Christmas Events
Saturday marked a joyful day of community activities as our Parish got ready for Christmas. Pictured here are the team from the Knights of Columbus (led by Trevor Ibach) who set up the Christmas creche, the team (led by Arlene Bretzlaff) who put together the Victorian Tea and Penny sale and all of the many volunteers and children (led by Stephane McNichol) who participated in the Manotick Christmas Parade. Thanks to all!
Worship

Christmas and New Year's Mass Schedule

Tuesday, Dec 24th: 3:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 10:00 pm
Wednesday, Dec 25th: 8:00 am (no music) 10:00 am

All Christmas Masses to be held at the Church this year.

Tuesday, Dec 31st     7:00 pm New Year's Eve Mass 
Wednesday, Jan 1st      10:00 am New Year's Day Mass

Parish Reconciliation Service: December 18th @ 7:00 pm
Children's Christmas Pageant
On Sunday, Dec 15 at the 9 am and 11 am masses our annual Children's Christmas Pageant will be held. Come out and support our kids as they tell the story of Jesus' birth. Please Contact Elisabeth Murphy murphy.elisabeth@gmail.com  if you have any questions.
Discipleship
December Feature on FORMED: Mary
Who is Mary, the mother of Jesus?
Why is Mary so important to Catholics, and why have so many people been devoted to her over the centuries? What can we learn about her from Sacred Scripture? Find out the answers to these questions and much more in this Lectio series on Mary.  
  
Featuring the insightful biblical teaching of Dr. Brant Pitre, Lectio Mary: The Bible and the Mother of God examines what Scripture, the life of Christ, and the early Church fathers reveal about Mary. By closely examining the connections between the Old and New Testaments, Dr. Pitre presents clear and easily understood explanations about the life and identity of Mary, the Mother of God.   
  
With the artistry of the Augustine Institute’s Lectio series, this dynamic video program and accompanying workbook combine an in-depth biblical study with insightful questions, answers to common misconceptions about Mary, and personal reflections to lead the participants into a deeper love for Mary and a clearer understanding of her role in the Christian life.  
If you are not already a FORMED user, t he Parish has a paid subscription to FORMED. To sign-up:
2. Select St. Leonard Parish
3. Register with your name and email address
4. Check that email account for a link to begin using FORMED
Join Brother Francis this Advent
Brother Francis leads us on a daily journey in this special seasonal celebration of the coming of the Lord! Featuring meditations, prayers and suggested activities to keep our focus on Christ this Advent.
Daily Reflection Thursdays during Advent
On the the 3 Thursday mornings (Dec. 5,12 and 19th) during Advent we will be offering coffee, tea and snacks after the 9:00 am Mass. We will also be engaging in a discussion on the "Best Advent Ever" daily reflection for that day. Hope to see you there!
While the radio starts playing Christmas songs ln November, you might be interested to that there are also songs especially for Advent. These include songs such as:
'Hope for Everyone'  LISTEN
‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel!’  LISTEN
‘People Look East’  LISTEN
‘Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus’  LISTEN
‘Lo! He Comes, With Clouds Descending’  LISTEN
‘Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying’  LISTEN
‘Maria Walks Amid the Thorn’  LISTEN
'Gabriel's Message'  LISTEN
Youth Ministry
Exciting New Direction with Youth Ministry
St. Leonard’s Youth Ministry (YM) is gaining momentum by building on the knowledge gained from the October YM Activity Survey. Youth are looking for fellowship with their Catholic peers and they are interested in learning more about their Christian faith.

Starting the first weekend mass in Advent, December 1 st , there will no longer be a regular youth Sunday evening 6:30 pm mass. Instead, youth masses and other sacred ceremonies will be included around many of the to be announced Sunday evening youth activities.

The 11 am mass choir will be the new youth friendly music ministry, playing contemporary Christian songs.

For all future activities check the Parish Bulletin, Parish Newsletter and Mass Announcements and high school bulletin boards. 

I look forward to supporting the YM Team in their upcoming year of exciting and engaging activities and working together to build up St. Leonard Parish’s youth community. 

Father Gerard
Charity
COMMUNITY IN ACTION!

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox campaign at St. Leonard is now over.

Thank you to many of you who prepared these shoeboxes this year. St. Leonard parishioners
brought in 70 shoeboxes for children in poorer countries. These shoeboxes will be added to many
thousands gathered from Churches all over North America.  Samaritans Purse, a Billy Graham organization started this initiative 25 years ago and it is now managed by his son Franklin Graham.

You can still donate 'on line' if you didn't get a chance this year.

Merry Christmas to All of you! From Marc Wood
Stewardship
Become an Active Disciple through Service!
Immediate Requirement: Leader for the Safe Environment Ministry

In carrying out the various ministries at St. Leonard parish, we need to be certain that volunteers deal with parishioners and others with love and concern. The Archdiocese of Ottawa has mandated that all volunteers sign and adhere to a code of conduct that they will follow in their ministry. In addition, the Archdiocese wishes that volunteers in certain ministries pass police checks. The leader of the Safe Environment ministry will ensure that there is a list of the volunteers in each ministry and that every volunteer complies with the requirements of the Archdiocese in terms of providing a safe environment. Please contact Vince Thomson ( vince.thomson@mcgill.ca)
What's on in December?
Dec. 4   Milk Bag Mat Weaving 1 pm
            Pastoral Council Meeting 7 pm
Dec. 5 Advent Reflection 9:30 am
Dec. 7 Pro-Life Roast Beef Dinner 6 pm
Dec. 10 Milk Bag Mat Weaving  1 pm
Dec. 11 Knights of Columbus Meeting 7 pm
Dec. 12  Advent Reflection 9:30 am
Dec. 14 First Aid Course 9 am
Dec. 15 Children’s Christmas Pageant 9 am and 11 am
Dec. 17 and Dec. 18 Packing of Christmas Hampers in the parish hall
Dec. 18  Advent Reconciliation Service 7 pm
Dec. 19  Advent Reflection 9:30 am
Dec 24th: Christmas Eve Mass
3:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 10:00 pm
Dec 25th: Christmas Day Mass
8:00 am (no music) 10:00 am
Dec 31:  New Year's Eve Mass 7:00 pm
Jan 1:    New Year's Day Mass 10:00 am
After the 9 am and 11 am Sunday masses in December coffee will be served in the Parish Hall.
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