As Advent begins, here are some opportunities in diocese

Photo Caption: A candle burns in an Advent wreath on the first Sunday of Advent a year ago.

Advent, a season of joyful expectation before Christmas, begins Nov. 30 this year. Parishes and institutions throughout the Diocese of Peoria have planned special activities. Here is just a sample. To have your local activity presented here and/or in the next issue of The Catholic Post, email cathpost@cdop.org.

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WORKSHOP ON PRAYER JOURNALING SET DEC. 6 IN MOLINE

MOLINE — To help people prepare their hearts for the coming of Jesus, the Bishop’s Commission on Women in the Church and in Society is hosting an Advent Prayer Journaling Workshop on Saturday, Dec. 6. It will be held in Culemans Hall of Sacred Heart Church, 1608 13th St.

The event begins with a welcome and opening prayer at 8:30 a.m., followed by an introduction to prayer and journaling by Father David Whiteside, the commission’s spiritual adviser and pastor of St. Patrick in Havana and Immaculate Conception in Manito. He will also celebrate Mass for the workshop participants.

During the morning they will learn how to make a prayer journal from Deena Pavinato, who chairs the commission, and then have an opportunity to create one of their own. There will be time for participants to pray and start their journals before the workshop ends at about 12:15 p.m.

“When I created my own prayer journal, picking things that were important to me, it made me want to journal more,” Pavinato said.

She explained that the journaling process can be as easy as listing things we’re grateful for, prayers for others and prayers for ourselves, as well as what people think of as traditional journaling.

“We just thought it might be a helpful tool as people journey through Advent,” she said.

The cost for the workshop is $20, which includes the journal, art supplies and holy cards to use for decoration. Participants are invited to bring photos or any other items that they want to incorporate.

Advance registration is necessary; the deadline is Nov. 28. Those who are interested should send their name and contact information, as well as the registration fee, to Ellen Ehrgott, 506 W. Washington, Rushville, IL 62681. For more information, contact her at ehrgott@casscomm.com.

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“DIVINE MERCY” THEME OF NOV.30-Dec. 3 PARISH MISSION IN OGLESBY

OGLESBY — “Divine Mercy in the Gospel” is the theme for a parish mission that will be given by Father Ben Cameron, CPM, from Sunday, Nov. 30 to Wednesday, Dec. 3, at Holy Family Church, 311 N. Woodland Ave.

The sacrament of reconciliation will be available from 6 to 7 p.m. each day. Father Ben’s presentations will follow.

A 1991 graduate of Christendom College, Father Ben joined the Fathers of Mercy in 1992. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1997.

He currently serves as the assistant general of the Fathers of Mercy and is the director of its Mission Band. The primary apostolate of the community, which was founded in 1808, is to conduct parish missions and retreats.

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“MAKE ROOM FOR HIM” MORNING OFFERED DEC. 6 IN ROCK ISLAND

ROCK ISLAND — “Jesus Comes — Do I Make Room for Him?” is the theme for a morning of prayer and reflection planned for Saturday, Dec. 6, at Benet House Retreat Center, which is located on the grounds of St. Mary Monastery, 2200 88th Avenue West.

Sister Charlotte Sonneville, OSB, former director of Benet House, will be the facilitator for the Advent morning, which begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon. She also holds a master’s degree in pastoral ministry and has done graduate work in Bible studies.

Participants are invited to bring a sack lunch. Beverages will be provided.

There is no charge to attend, but a free-will offering will be accepted. For more information or to register, contact Sister Jackie Walsh, OSB, at (309) 283-2108 or retreats@smmsisters.org.

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MOLINE CHURCH TO HOST MONDAY PRAYER SERVICES

MOLINE — Advent prayer services will be offered at Christ the King Church, 3205 60th Ave., on Mondays, Dec. 1, 8, 15, and 22. They will be held in the day chapel of the church at 6:30 p.m.

Refreshments will follow in St. Francis Hall.

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HEADING AVENUE FRANCISCANS TO HOST LESSONS, CAROLS NOV. 30

WEST PEORIA — The Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception are inviting people to join them for a service of Advent Lessons and Carols on Sunday, Nov. 30, at 4 p.m. It will be held in the chapel of Immaculate Conception Convent, 2408 W. Heading Ave.

Refreshments will be available after the service, which should last about an hour.

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CAMPUS, DWIGHT PARISHES TO SPONSOR 3-DAY MISSION

DWIGHT — Everett Fritz of YDisciple, a Catholic youth ministry initiative of the Augustine Institute, will be the speaker for a three-day Advent mission sponsored by the parishes of Sacred Heart in Campus and St. Patrick in Dwight.

“Ask for a Sign from the Lord” is the theme for Sunday, Dec. 7. Fritz will speak at 6 p.m. in the parish hall at St. Patrick, 114 W. Mazon Ave. A shared dinner is planned and those who attend are asked to bring a dish to share.

The sessions on Monday, Dec. 8, and Tuesday, Dec. 9, will be held at 7 p.m. in St. Patrick Church, 100 W. Mazon Ave. Fritz’s themes will be “For Nothing Will Be Impossible for God” and “What Do You Want Me to Do for You?,” respectively.

There is no charge to attend, but a free-will offering will be accepted to assist in covering costs. For more information or to register for the mission, call (815) 584-3522 or send email to stpatsdwight@att.net.

Fritz, the content development and promotion lead for YDisciple, will also make a presentation, “Forming Our Youth Into Lifelong Disciples,” to parents at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, and at 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8, in the parish hall of St. Patrick Church.

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“ROSARY RENEWAL” THEME OF DEC. 9-12 MISSION IN GALESBURG

GALESBURG — Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 2401 N. Broad St., is planning a parish mission from Tuesday, Dec. 9, to Friday, Dec. 12, with “Rosary Renewal” as its theme. The presenter will be Father George Knab, OMI, of Belleville.

He will open the mission on Dec. 9 with “Causes for Our Joy,” and continue with “Seat of Wisdom” on Dec. 10, “Mary Immaculate” on Dec. 11, and “Honor of Our People” on Dec. 12. Each session begins at 7 p.m. and will be held in the church.

In addition, there will be Mass at 8:15 a.m. each day. The sacrament of reconciliation will be available on Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., each hour on the hour.

Father Knab was ordained for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1967 and has served as a high school chaplain and hospital chaplain in Indianapolis, Indiana, and pastor at parishes in South Carolina and Florida. He also has been a preacher for Unbound, formerly called the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, and his Oblate community.

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CARDS AND COCOA EVENT DEC. 6 AT OSF ST. JOSEPH, BLOOMINGTON

BLOOMINGTON — Members of the community will have an opportunity to brighten the lives of patients who will be at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center over the holidays by participating in Cards and Cocoa on Saturday, Dec. 6.

The Christmas cards that will be written and created from 9 a.m. to noon in the Business and Conference Center at OSF St. Joseph, 2200 E. Washington St., will also be distributed to people in local nursing homes and retirement communities, and veterans’ homes throughout the Midwest. Last year, more than 3,000 Christmas cards were given away.

Those who are unable to attend can still help by donating new Christmas cards and card-making materials. These may be dropped off by Monday, Nov. 24, at the information desk at the main entrance (Entrance A) of OSF St. Joseph Medical Center.

For more information on Cards and Cocoa, contact Bobbi Hynes, director of Volunteer Services, at (309) 665-4728, or visit osfstjoseph.org/volunteer.

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WESTVILLE CHURCH TO HOST VICARIATE-WIDE MISSION

WESTVILLE — “The Seven Virtues vs. the Seven Deadly Sins” will be the theme of a vicariate-wide parish mission to be hosted by St. Mary Church here Dec. 7-10.

Father Ben Cameron of the Fathers of Mercy will preach the mission, which will feature involvement from all five parishes of the Danville vicariate — also including Holy Family and St. Paul in Danville; St. Anthony, Hoopeston; and St. Isaac Jogues, Georgetown.

The mission will use a special prayer of consecration to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary authored by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC. The mission schedule is as follows, with each evening starting at 6 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 7 — Holy Hour; Monday, Dec. 8 — Mass for the Holy Day of the Immaculate Conception; Tuesday, Dec. 9 — Holy Hour; and Wednesday, Dec. 10 — Closing Mass. Confessions will be heard before and after each night’s event.

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