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The Advent wreath Soon, you and your family will be bombarded with messages about Black Friday, the latest gadgets, the must-have toy and “helpful” reminders that you have x-many shopping days until Christmas. Read the Full Story
Matachines Festival Parishioners at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in Pharr celebrated the parish's 15th anniversary and hosted the second annual Matachines Festival. Read the Full Story
Advent begins Nov. 30 Did you ever notice that dessert is the first dish in line at many buffet restaurants? Read the Full Story
ICM Sisters win 2014 Lumen Christi Award PEÑITAS — Sister Carolyn Kosub, Sister Emily Jocson and Sister Fatima Santiago of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary were awarded the national 2014 Lumen Christi Award, which in Latin means, “Light of Christ.” Read the Full Story
Volunteers needed Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley continues to assist refugees from Central America at an assistance center at Sacred Heart Parish in McAllen. Read the Full Story



Year of Faith - Renovados en el regalo de la fe

Weekly Update

November 25, 2014


Advent: Season of Preparation for Christmas Starts Nov. 30
The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s liturgical year, and it is a time to prepare for the birth of Christ. Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas and is the start of the Christmas season. This year the Advent Season starts Sunday, Nov. 30.

One of the most popular Advent traditions is the lighting of candles of an Advent wreath in both churches and homes. The Advent wreath symbolizes the preparation of the coming of Jesus, as people prepare not only their homes but also their hearts for Jesus.

The Advent wreath dates back to ancient celebrations of the winter solstice, that time of the year when the sun reaches its southern most point in the heavens and the days are the darkest and gloomiest. Because people longed to return to the sunlight and life, candles were lighted around a wheel as a prayer that the Sun might return again. Today the Advent wreath custom retains the circular base and four candles, one for each week of Advent.

The Advent wreath is made of evergreens and features four candles. The circle represents eternity, the continuing presence of God in people’s lives. The evergreens symbolize everlasting life. Three of the candles are usually violet or purple, the traditional color of Advent, and one candle is rose, the traditional color of the Third Sunday of Advent.

The purple candles represent one’s willingness for reconciliation with God and one another. The rose or pink candle symbolizes the hope and joy for the coming of Jesus. A white candle, located in the center of the wreath, symbolizes the light of Christ in the world and his everlasting presence in those who truly believe in him.

The Office of Pastoral Life and Planning has recommended a website that can help us to prepare and to pray during this holy season of Advent. The website is called Praying Advent –

Bishop’s Annual Dinner Set for Dec. 5
The Bishop’s Annual Dinner is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 5 at La Sierra Event Center, 3742 U.S. Highway 77, Harlingen. Please contact the Stewardship and Development Office to reserve a table for this event. Your sponsorship will fund Bishop Flores’ charitable giving throughout the Diocese of Brownsville. The silent auction, drinks and hors d'oeuvres begin at 6 p.m. and the dinner and dance will follow at 8 p.m.

Thanks to our generous sponsors this week:
• The John G. & Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation
• Immaculate Conception Church of Rio Grande City
• Our Lady of Sorrows Church & School
• Saint Martin de Porres Church of Alton
• LifeChek Pharmacy of Alamo
Contact: Jesse at (956) 784-5092 or Baldemar at (956) 784-5095.

Volunteers and In-Kind Donations Needed
Volunteers continue to be needed at the Humanitarian Respite Center at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen. The center, open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., especially needs volunteers from the Rio Grande Valley who are willing to share a few hours of their time on a regular basis. Food, showers, clothing, LOVE, and compassion are offered to Central American refugees fleeing the violence in their homeland and seeking asylum in the United States. Volunteers share in God’s work and receive His grace and blessings. For more information on volunteering at the Center, call Deb Boyce at Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, (956) 702-4088 (office) or (956) 292-5852 (cell).

An updated list of in-kind donations needed at the Center can be found at Items needed at this time include: Wal-Mart and HEB gift cards; coats/jackets/hoodies for children and adults; backpacks; international calling cards; new men's underwear (S and M); individually-wrapped snacks for travel bags (cheese crackers, cookies); breakfast cereal; napkins/paper towels; adult shoes (men's and women's sizes 7-9); bras/sports bras (size 34-38 A, B, C, D); newborn disposable diapers; girl's clothing (3T-4T); women's pants (size 0, 2, 4, 6, 8); men's pants (size 27, 28, 30, 32); sweatpants/sweatshirts/thermal underwear for children and adults; men's and boy's belts; gallon-size and sandwich-size zip-lock bags.

Thanks to Save The Children, we have an abundance of fleece travel blankets at this time. Because we are moving into winter, we request warm clothes donations only - no short pants or sleeveless blouses or shirts. Thank you so much for your donations of time, talents and treasures! They are greatly appreciated!
For more information on volunteering at the Center, call Deb Boyce at Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley – (956) 702-4088 (office) or (956) 292-5852 (cell). The Center is located at 306 S. 15th Street at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall.

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