Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Simple Initiative

After the success of our 'Catholicism for the Curious' posters last Lent, in the parish we decided to try something similar for Advent and Christmas this year. In many places the stranglehold of secularism is such that the word 'Christmas' itself is studiously avoided. Some people send cards with the words "Season's Greetings", a strange sentiment given that the season in question is 'the bleak midwinter'! In other places we can hear the greeting "Happy Holidays" - which I always think is best uttered by one of those grinning, battery-operated flowers that wiggle about in reaction to noise. And of course we also hear of those dour, humourless local authorities that celebrate 'Winterval' - wasn't it Oliver Cromwell who abolished Christmas and forbade mince-pies?

Where was I? Oh yes, Advent and Christmas! Wouldn't it be great, we thought, if all our parishioners were to display the same poster from the beginning of Advent until the Feast of the Epiphany? If we all had the same poster - a simple Nativity image - in our windows, it would say to the people of Balham that Christmas means more to us than office parties and tinsel. And then we thought, why stop there? It's not just Catholics who rejoice at Christmas time. All Christians are united in celebrating our Saviour's birth. Why not invite other Christian communities to join us in giving witness? So we did. I'm very pleased to say that they were just as enthusiastic about the project as we are. It will be wonderful to get all the Christians of our parish to give this united witness.

So the posters are at the printers and we hope they will be delivered this week. This is the scene they will display. (The image at the top of this post is from Swirling Mist Press who sell a variety of Catholic goods). We can then begin distributing them on Sunday. The idea is to give a powerful, joint testimony to Christ in the two important liturgical seasons of Advent and Christmas.

Simple. Easy. Effective. Just what you would expect from the Holy Ghost!


Augustinus said...

Great idea, Father. But will it be displayed till the Feast of the Epiphany (6 January) or until the Transferred Observance of Convenience decreed by the bishops (which in the immediate case will, as a happy by-product, give one more day).

Duddu said...

Hello Fr. Stephen,

This is a Spanish reader that likes your blog...

I will like to ask you some questions...

Is it possible?

Can you give answers to vocation calls?

Fr Stephen said...

Hello Duddu
You are welcome to email me at:
Puedes escribir en ingles o en castellano...

Fr Stephen said...

The best thing will be to leave them up until the Baptism of the Lord, but I suspect that most of the local non-Catholic Christians would want to take them down by twelfth night. After two months we'll probably be ready for something different.

duddu said...

Dear Blogger,

I am a reader of your blog and Don Fulgencio's blog.

Today is "thanks giving" day. And I am thinking in my vocation. That is why I say thanks to God to have met your blog.

I have talked to you in Spain, when you were in Santa María de Caná(Pozuelo).

Better in Spanish?

I will ask you about vocation "pros and contras". Thanks in advance.

Maybe is better if i ask them open. There are other readers I know that read your page all the days... And they are thinking about vocation.


Fr Stephen said...

OK Duddu
Ready & waiting...