Happy Advent

Hi everyone.  I wanted to reflect briefly upon our upcoming Advent Season which begins this Sunday November 27.  Also, I will highlight some of the wonderful initiatives and activities that the Office of Campus Ministry is currently working on and implementing into the life of all students, faculty and staff here at USMC.

Advent is a time of waiting.  We wait patiently or perhaps even more impatiently, for the Christmas season.  Yet, Advent is a time to slow down, take a deep breath, reflect on the time “in waiting”, and to prepare our way and hearts for the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate, God made man, in our very flesh and likeness.  This is not an easy task.  We are incredibly busy making arrangements for dinners, purchasing gifts for our loved ones and friends, and trying to manage our day to day challenges; whether that be as a student awaiting the arrival of end of term exams, or others with families, trying to manage the schedules and responsibilities associated with family life.  Wherever we find ourselves, let us briefly and with patience, examine the following questions; What are we looking for?  Who are we looking for?  How do we prepare for those in our lives that we love and treasure?  How do we make room for the “sacred”?  How can we slow down in order to do more?

I trust that these questions cannot be answered as they are asked, but rather, they will provide for each and every one of us an opportunity reflect and pray throughout the season of Advent with a patient and loving spirit.  Remember to take care of yourself first and foremost, in order to then give to others what you possess.  Even Christ did the same.  He regularly set time aside in silence and solitude to reflect and pray in order to truly and fully give of Himself to the world.  Let us imitate Christ as we begin the journey of Advent.

During the season of Advent, we, at the Office of Campus Ministry, will be working with other departments and students in ensuring that we too, begin to prepare for the Christmas season.  We will be placing in Brennan Lounge an Advent wreath, a nativity scene, a Christmas tree and of course, a large donation basket for our Christmas Toy Drive.  Also, on November 28 we will be hosting with Trek for Teens and the Student Philanthropy Group a movie night.  On December 4 we will be having an event to celebrate our grandparents.  This will be in partnership with UTICA and we will have a special blessing for all grandparents after the 4:30p.m. Mass at St. Basil’s Church with a light reception to follow in the Coop.  On December 5, we will have a special Advent sandwich patrol for our homeless mission in downtown Toronto, and finally, our Toy Drive runs until Friday December 9.  Donation baskets will be placed throughout our campus.  Please be generous and help out the more than 15 local needy families that we are assisting with the St. Vincent de Paul Society from our collegiate Church.

Happy Advent everyone.  May the many blessings and Graces received during this season be with you always.

Angelo Minardi

Director of Campus Ministry