Dec. 7, 2011
Upcoming Programs
Keeping Advent with Some Friends

The start of the Advent season usually finds me with a "divided spirit." In my priestly and Franciscan ministry, I am thinking of the seasonal messages I want to preach about—and the preparations I need to make for my parish, our school and our Franciscan community.

My colleague in ministry, Brother Tim, has enlisted me this year, as he does every year, to help prepare the external signs of Christ's coming—displays of nativity scenes, our large Advent wreath in church, our outdoor nativity scene with live animals and other "environmental" signs of the coming feast. Working on these externals does help me to reflect on the season.

But internally, I am often beset by the pre-Christmas anxiety that the secular side of our holidays tries to impose on me" buying the right gift, taking part in holiday parties and the temptation to compare this Christmas with Christmases past. It's a sort of Dickens' nightmare sometimes, in which a host of ghosts of Christmases past are ganging up on me!

That's where the quiet, reflective Advent liturgies help. They pull me back into the story of our salvation, bring some silence and sanity into the preparations, reminding me to open up to what the Lord is doing in my life. This year, I have some "friends" to help me. This past year, I completed a book entitled Advent with the Saints. I chose a saint or biblical figure for each day of Advent. The scriptures from the Mass for that day, along with the calendar of the Church, inspired my choices.

I'm finding, as I look over what I've written, that these holy men and women can at least give me a few moments of quiet "communion" with God, through their lives and example. That's making my Advent a bit different this year. (If you'd like to share my reflections, you can find my book at http://catalog.americancatholic.org/Product.aspx?ProductCode=B36132).

If any of my "divided" Advent spirituality sounds familiar to you, I hope you will let the grace of this Advent, with the saints and biblical charactes who populate this season of joyful expectation, assist you with your Christmas preparation.

Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.
American Catholic Radio: Upcoming Episodes (#11-51 , #11-52)
Use the links below to preview the shows or download them in MP3 format for broadcast.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Judy Zarick speaks with Matthew Warner, founder of an innovative communication tool that makes it easier than ever to connect with your parish family. It's made to help meet the unique needs of Catholic parishes. He calls it, flockNote.

Ask a Franciscan
Franciscan Father Hilarion Kistner answers three biblical questions: Did Jesus institute monogamy? How does the Church understand a Catholic's obligation to obey civil authorities? Are the Psalms really the work of King David?

On Faith & Media
Direct from Hollywood, ACR presents Sister Rose Pacatte from the Daughters of St. Paul. Her mission is to help people of faith understand what we're seeing and hearing all around us. She's an educator, author, movie reviewer for the Catholic press, and she's won numerous awards for her passion to illuminate what's good in today's popular culture. Sr. Rose talks this week about media mindfulness and breaking news.

Exploring Our Faith
John Feister's guest is author, teacher and international presenter, Kathy Coffey. Calling herself a wisdom figure for the Church, Ms. Coffey has won 13 writing awards from the Catholic Press Association. This well-known speaker and mother of four gives retreats and workshops both nationally and internationally. Kathy is an editor for Living the Good News, which helps bring the weekly Mass readings alive for all ages. She's written numerous articles for our sister publications, such as the October 2011 issue of Every Day Catholic and the November 2011 issues of St. Anthony Messenger ("Advent: A Season of Surprises") and Catholic Update ("Advent Day-by-Day: All Are Called to Holiness"). Kathy and John talk about Advent spirituality.

Minute Meditations
Barbara Beckwith reads from "Advent Day-by-Day: Rest Stops for a Rushed People," by Susan K. Rowland. A Catholic Update article published by St. Anthony Messenger Press.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Judy Zarick talks with actress Roma Downey. Best known for her role as an angel on the TV series, Touched by an Angel, Roma talks about the projects she's working on now and how angels are still a big part of her life.

Ask a Franciscan
Franciscan Father Greg Friedman answers three pastoral questions: What is the meaning of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God? How old was Jesus when the Three Kings brought him their gifts? Why do we not decorate the church for Midnight Mass until Advent is over?

On Faith & Media
Direct from Hollywood, ACR presents Sister Rose Pacatte from the Daughters of St. Paul. Her mission is to help people of faith understand what we're seeing and hearing all around us. She's an educator, author, movie reviewer for the Catholic press, and she's won numerous awards for her passion to illuminate what's good in today's popular culture. Sr. Rose talks this week about media mindfulness and the film The Nativity Story.

Exploring Our Faith
John Feister speaks with Franciscan Father John Quigley, an artist, preacher and human-rights advocate. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, he is currently developing a new ministry of preaching and the fine arts. Between 1998 and 2010, Father John was director of Franciscans International, a Non-governmental Organization at the United Nations. He was particularly involved in the recognition, promotion and protection of the Right to Development. From 1988 to 1997, he served as director of the office of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation for the worldwide O.F.M. headquarters in Rome. He also can be heard narrating the popular audiobooks of Father Richard Rohr for St. Anthony Messenger Press. He spoke with John Feister about the mystery of the Incarnation from a Franciscan perspective.

Minute Meditations
Barbara Beckwith reads from "Advent Day-by-Day: Rest Stops for a Rushed People," by Susan K. Rowland. A Catholic Update article published by St. Anthony Messenger Press.
 
 
Franciscan Radio
Link to audio features Saint of the Day, Sunday Soundbites, Sharing the Word and American Catholic Radio.
American Catholic Radio
A weekly half-hour catechetical program, in the popular style of the Franciscans.
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