Bishop da Cunha Building Faith Blog Fall River Diocese

Preparing for Advent 

This Sunday, December 3, we begin the beautiful season of Advent; the time the Church sets aside each year for us to prepare for the coming of Jesus. It is important for us to remember the true meaning of Christmas—reflecting on how we can open our hearts and homes to receive Jesus. I want to invite all of you to join me in remembering that Advent is not only a time for remembering the infant Jesus’ first coming but also a renewal of our desire for his second coming.

Advent is a perfect opportunity to revisit the Church’s festive traditions of placing ornaments on a Jesse Tree, counting down with an Advent calendar, and lighting the Advent wreath. Participating in these activities as a family strengthens not only our faith but also our family bonds. Time spent with loved ones—sharing, talking, and laughing, is the greatest gift we can give one another this year. Now more than ever, it is critical to take time to check in with our family members, participate in things that bring us joy, and focus on our Catholic faith and the greatest gift we’ve ever received—Jesus, our Savior.

My wish is for each of you to use these coming weeks of Advent to embrace the present season without rushing into Christmas. For you to seek time of quiet and prayer, among the hustle and bustle, so that your heart will be overflowing with the joy of the Lord on Christmas morning.


Candles_oranges_advent 2023

Advent Resources

Amid the Christmas rush, the Secretariat of the New Evangelization invites families to come together to celebrate Advent. On its website, you will find ADVENTure: Celebrate Advent as a Family, with a  host of wonderful Advent family resources here.

USCCB Offers Advent and Christmas Online Resources for Prayerful Preparation. You can access those on their website here.

If you are on social media, I invite you to connect with the Diocesan Facebook and Instagram platforms, where you will find more resources and inspiration posted throughout Advent.

Marian Medal Award

This Sunday, it will be my honor to present the Marian Medal to 63 members of parishes from throughout the Diocese. The Marian Medal Ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. in St. Mary’s Cathedral. The names of this year’s recipients are listed on our website here.

This annual diocesan award recognizes our parishioners for their dedicated service to the Church. Recipients are nominated for the award by their pastor. It was Bishop James Connolly who established the tradition of the Marian Medal in 1968. In the 50-plus years since, so many deserving laymen and laywomen have received the venerable award for their dedication in a variety of charitable works, devotions, and ministries. The Awards ceremony is always a joyous event, and I look forward to the opportunity it provides each year to say thank you for the service, generosity, and witness of our parishioners. 

Medal on ribbon_Blessed Mother Mary with Infant Jesus
Marian Medal Award

The Marian Medal itself is made of pewter and is embossed with a Madonna and Child Jesus image on one side and the Fall River Diocesan coat-of-arms on the other. During the ceremony, I will bless and present the medals in the context of the celebration of Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, along with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

While all are welcome to join for the ceremony at the Cathedral, the Marian Medal Awards Ceremony will also be streamed live on the diocesan Facebook page beginning at 3 p.m. You can view that here:

Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha

Diocese of Fall River
Diocese of Fall River
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