Advent is a particularly busy time for us all: cards to send, presents to buy, meals to plan and the list could go on. But amid all this frantic panic and haste we must remember that Advent should be above all else a time to reflect, to grow in relationship with Jesus Christ and remind ourselves of what Christmas is about. There is no better way to do this than to buy an Advent Walk with Me booklet, available at the back of church (£1). This provides a short reflection and prayer for each day of Advent. Remember that a prayer a day not only keeps the Devil at bay but according to an increasing body of scientific research helps us live longer and so celebrate many more Christmases!
We are privileged this year to begin Advent with a copy of a Lampedusa Cross. It is made from pieces of a boat that was wrecked on 11 October 2013 off the coast of Lampedusa, a Mediterranean island south of Sicily, while crossing from Libya to Europe. 311 Eritrean and Somali refugees were drowned but the Inhabitants of Lampedusa helped to save the lives of 155 others. After meeting some of the survivors who are Eritrean Christians in the church on Lampedusa, Francesco Tuccio, the island’s carpenter, was moved by their plight but felt frustrated that he could not make a difference to their situation. The best he could do was to use his skills as a carpenter to fashion for each of them a cross from the wreckage of the boat as a thanksgiving for their salvation from the sea and hope for the future. A similar cross was made for Pope Francis who carried it at a memorial service for those who had perished. The cross stands witness to the kindness of the people of the small island of Lampedusa who do so much for the refugees and migrants who arrive on their shores.
CAFOD has supplied a copy of the cross which will be in our parish.
This Sunday for the Advent service in St Mary’s Sabden at 4pm.
Tuesday it will be in St Hubert’s Dunsop Bridge at Mass.
On Saturday it will be processed into St Michael and St John’s at the 6pm Mass and the 9.30pm Mass on Sunday.
During the week It will be displayed in St Michael & St John’s.
Have you considered inviting a refugee family to a meal with your family? Full details are to found at the back of each church?