Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gospel For Today: 3rd Sunday of Advent

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT (B) - GUADETE SUNDAY

Today is the third Sunday of Advent, traditionally called Guadete or "Rejoice" Sunday, from the first word of the Entrance Antiphon from today's Mass.  Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.  Dominus enim prope est.  "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.  Indeed, the Lord is near" (Phil 4:4-5).  Today, the penitential purple is lightened to rose in our liturgical vestments as we rejoice at the imminent coming of our Lord at Christmas.  Our first reading says, "I rejoice heartily in the Lord" (Is 61:10).  Our psalm response is, "My soul rejoices in my God" (Is 61:10b).  In our second reading, St. Paul tells us to "rejoice always" (1 Thes 5:16).  

In the midst of all this joy, it might seem a bit odd to us that our gospel reading focuses on John the Baptist, the desert hermit who ate insects and told people to repent. We don't typically think of him as a joyful fellow.  Yet John the Baptist is the patron saint of spiritual joy.  After all, when the pregnant Mary came before her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant at that time with John, he leaped for joy in his mother's womb (Lk 1:44).  The gospels tell us John rejoices at the bridegroom's voice (Jn 3:29-30).  John has a thing or two to teach us about joy, if we would listen.

John's joy is rooted in humility.  Let us not forget that John, by this time, had developed quite a following.  This is why in the gospel today, the priests and Levites are sent to ask John about his identity. They want to know just who this man is and what he is up to.  They are a little afraid of his influence. The gospels even tell us that there is none born of women who are greater than John the Baptist (Mt 11:11, Lk 7:28). Have no doubt about it, John is a great man.  But when the priests ask him who he is, John does not point to his greatness - or to anything else about him.  He tells them plainly, "I am not the Christ."  This seems like an obvious enough statement, but it is significant.  It is important to know who we are, and who we are not.

I suspect that there is no one reading this who would claim to be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  But even though we don't claim it in words, we proclaim it in our actions whenever we fail to rely on God.  When we refuse to repent of our sins, when we deny the need for God's forgiveness, we say by our actions that we can save ourselves.  We are claiming to be our own Christ.  When we think we know better than God, or the Church He founded and continues to guide, we act as our own God.  When we put ourselves, not God, first in our lives, we act as if we were the highest good.  We act as if we are the Christ.

The truth is that we cannot save ourselves. If we try, we will fail.  We need God's love and mercy.  We are good, but we are not the greatest good.  To recognize reality and our place in it we need to be humble like John the Baptist and admit, "I am not the Christ."

John was humble.  That is why he was happy.  True humility does not involve berating yourself.  We tend to think of pride as saying, "Look how great I am," and humility, it's opposite, as saying, "Look how horrible I am."  But both are wrong.  Either way you are looking at yourself.  Looking always at yourself, even if it is to look down on yourself, is a form of pride.  True humility does not look inward, but outward.  John never said, "Look at me," either to say how great he was, or how poor he was.  Instead, he said, "Look at Him!"    John said, "I must decrease so that He might increase" (Jn 3:30).  In this way he is like the Virgin Mary, who never points to herself, but always to her Son.  

Recognizing that there is a God and we are not Him relieves us of a heavy burden.  We cannot save ourselves, no matter how hard we might try.  When we finally admit that we are not our own personal Christ, we can start to look outside ourselves for the real Christ.  We start to look for something greater than ourselves.  John recognized Jesus as one infinitely greater than he.  He found the incarnate God, born among us to bring us light, love and salvation.  There is cause for rejoicing here, for those humble enough to receive Him.

Rejoice in the Lord always!  Again, I say, rejoice!  Indeed, the Lord is near!





--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gospel For Today: 2nd Sunday of Advent

Our prayers are with all WCU students during exam week.  Please join me in praying for the intercession of St. Nicholas, whose feast day was yesterday.  In addition to being the real-life inspiration for Santa Claus, he is also one of several patron saints of students.  (So if you are wondering what to ask Santa for this year, feel free to ask him for a little help on your exams).  A reminder that we are not having small groups, or our Wednesday dinner this week.  We will be doing Community Table service this Tuesday from 3:30-6:00 for those who can join us.  And the chapel at the Catholic Student Center will be open continuously during exam week for anyone who needs a quiet prayer space.  Please take advantage of it.  I hope to see you all at our final Mass of the semester this afternoon at 4:00pm.  

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT (B)

St. John the Baptist
"Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths."  We receive this imploring message twice in today's readings.  First we hear it from the prophet Isaiah and then again from the evangelist Mark at the very beginning of his gospel.  "Prepare the way of the Lord!"

Mark is quoting from Isaiah (and elsewhere in the Old Testament) as an introduction to John the Baptist.  John is the forerunner of the Christ and the last in the long line of prophets who were, each in their own way, preparing the world for His coming.  John is rather a rugged figure.  Isaiah had said, "In the desert prepare the way of the Lord," and that is just what John had done.  He lived in the desert (the gospel rather mysteriously says "he appeared in the desert"), wore camel's hair and ate locusts.  Yum.  Icons of John traditionally have him looking rather like a cave man.  He was a wild, untamed figure, devoted entirely to preparing the way for Christ.

When we hear someone telling us to "prepare the way of the Lord!  He is coming!", especially when that person looks admittedly a bit crazed to us, we think of the doom and gloom prophets, standing on the street corner holding signs that say, "The end is near!"  And maybe we don't pay much attention to those people. Or maybe they fill us with a sense of unease or even dread.  "You better repent of your sins and get right with God," they warn. "Do it now because He is coming!  Your time is drawing short!"

Last week I mentioned the bumper sticker that reads, "JESUS IS COMING (quick, everyone look busy)."  It is meant to be funny, but as I mentioned last week, there is truth to it.  But there is also a danger to the attitude it expresses.  Do we think of the coming of Christ as something like the boss coming down to the factory floor, ready to fire any employee not performing adequately?  Like a teacher entering the classroom just itching for a reason to send students to detention?  Or like a parent coming home ready to punish any child who has misbehaved during the day?  Many of us, no doubt, do think about the day of the Lord's coming with a bit of fear and trepidation.  We know we are sinners.  We know we have failed to love as we ought.  And we fear God's judgment at His coming.  

But if that is where we leave it, we are neglecting the most important part of the message.  John preached repentance, but he also preached forgiveness.  He was identifying the illness because he knew One was coming after him with the cure.  This is good news.  

When Isaiah was telling people to "prepare the way of the Lord," the context was not fear and trembling, but comfort and tenderness.  Today's reading begins "Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem..." (Is 40:1).  The passage ends with a description of the Lord-to-come as a gentle shepherd feeding his flock, gathering his lambs, and "leading the ewes with care" (Is 40:11).  That's not a frightening image.  This is good news.

When Isaiah describes how we are to prepare the way for the Lord, he tells us to make a straight highway.  Fill in the valleys and make low the mountains.  We are to make a plain out of rugged land.  What Isaiah is telling us to do is to remove obstacles.  Valleys, mountains and rough terrain make travel difficult.  They present obstacles to reaching our destination.  If we are to make a path to the Lord we need to get rid of any obstacle between ourselves and Him.  

What are those obstacles that stand between you and the Lord?  Not literal mountains and valleys.  So what, then?  Sin?  Does sin present an obstacle between you and God?  No, not even sin!  Christ has conquered sin (1 Cor 15:57).  Christ offers forgiveness, the remedy to sin, which John reminds us of today.  So what, then?  What obstacle stands between us and Christ, if not sin?  The only obstacle between us and the Lord is our own unwillingness to repent from our sins.  That is the valley we must fill in.  That is the mountain we must lay flat.  God does not force forgiveness upon us.  We must ask for it and open our hearts to receive His love.  And God so desperately wants us to do that.

St. Peter gives us in today's second reading some of the most comforting words in all of scripture.  "The Lord... is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."  When you feel downtrodden, when you feel worthless, or when you fear God's judgment and doubt His forgiveness, remember this.  God wants you to get to heaven.  He wants you there with Him!  St. Peter tells us "Therefore beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before Him, at peace" (2 Pt 3:14).  

So prepare the way of the Lord.  Make straight a path for Him in your heart. Search your soul, examine your conscience, repent of your sins and receive His forgiveness.  Make Confession part of your Advent this year, especially if you have not been in a while.  God wants you to get to heaven, and so does your priest.  Have no fear of the confessional, because God is waiting for you there, patiently, ready with His forgiveness.  This is good news.

Prepare.  Repent.  Be at peace.


EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
To prepare for the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) it helps to first examine your conscience, identifying your sins, so that you may repent of those things and "make straight His paths."  An examination of conscience is an excellent tool to help you prepare for a good confession.  There are many available.  Click here for one that is recommended for college students by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS).  Or, click here for a shorter one that would make a good daily exercise to help you live each day in the light of Christ's love.  (You can print it out and keep a copy in your Bible, or tape it up by your bedside).  There are many others available (just Google "examination of conscience"), but the point is to get in the habit of regularly examining your soul so that you can identify early on any obstacles you may be throwing up between you and God, so that you may always keep the path between you and Christ open and clear.  


--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Weekly Update from CCM


Good morning, students!  Next week may be finals week, but this week is a week of finals in another sense.  We will have our final Wednesday dinner together and our final Mass on campus of the semester.  We hope you can come out to celebrate the end of the year with us!

Here is this week's schedule...

TUESDAY (TODAY)
Adoration in the chapel from noon till 12:30.

Small Group scripture study in Balsam Lobby from 6:30-7:30.


WEDNESDAY (TOMORROW)
Vespers in the chapel at 6:00pm.

Supper @ the Center at 6:30pm.  This week Pasquale & Trevor are our chefs, and they will be cooking up a feast of chicken parmesan (eggplant parmesan for the vegetarians), and Bekka is whipping up a special dessert.  After dinner we will celebrate our annual End of Semester/Advent/anticipatory Christmas party.  This will consist of:
1. Grinchy Gift Exchange!  To participate, please bring a wrapped gift of $5 or less value.  
2. Caroling across campus!  After our gift exchange we'll raise our voices in cheer as we process all around campus spreading holiday joy to unsuspecting bystanders.


THURSDAY
Adroation in the chapel from noon til 12:30.

Small Group scripture study on UC Balcony from 5:30-6:30.


FRIDAY
St. Nicholas Day party at Father's House!  St. Mary's at 5:30pm.  Meet at CCM by 5:00 for a ride over.
We will begin with Mass at St. Mary's at 5:30, and then walk over to the rectory where we will help Father Voitus decorate his many and varied Christmas trees.  Father's holiday decorations are the stuff of legend, so he needs our help getting everything set up.  He's providing dinner - we are to bring the cheer!  


SUNDAY
Confession/Rosary at 3:30.
Mass at 4:00.  Last Mass on campus of the semester!
Credo from 5:15-6:30.  Last Credo discussion of the semester!  We'll continue our discussion on Catholic morality.  Please join us!


FAITH FACTS
Advent Traditions.  If you are looking for ways you can keep the spirit of Advent this year, check out this article for some great ideas!


Our prayers are with all of you as you make your own preparations for the end of the semester.  Please try to take some time in all the business of this time of year to remember to prepare your souls to welcome Christ!

Pax Christi,
Matt

--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gospel For Today: 1st Sunday of Advent

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT (B)

Today we begin a new season in the liturgical year, a season of anticipation, a season of waiting.  The word advent means "coming;" we await He who is to come, Jesus Christ.  We wait in two senses.  We join in the long waiting that the world had to endure before Christ's Incarnation in Bethlehem two thousand years ago; and by so doing we remind ourselves that we still wait for that glorious coming of our Savior at the end of all days.  

"When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior's first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for His second coming" (CCC 524).  Listen to these words: ancient expectancy, long preparation, ardent desire.  This is what Advent is meant to renew in us.  It is fitting that as we begin a new liturgical year, the first psalm the Church prays in Morning Prayer in the Divine Office for today is Psalm 63.  "O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting.  My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water."

It can be difficult to keep Advent in college.  The semester is almost over.  You return from Thanksgiving break to busily finish up final projects and papers.  Exam week is right around the corner.  And then it is home again to celebrate the joy of Christmas with family.  Before you leave campus there will be Christmas parties and wishes of "Merry Christmas," because the next time we see each other it will be the middle of January.  What place is there for Advent in campus life?  Yet I know college students know all about longing for something more, desiring a better future, a hope of peace and security, and having to wait for it all.  You know all about anticipation.  

The people of Israel had to wait nearly 700 years from the time Isaiah wrote his prophecy until they saw it fulfilled in Christ.  Isaiah speaks on behalf "of those who wait for Him."  He pleads that God might "rend the heavens and come down," but remembers to pray also that God "might meet us doing right."  Isaiah knew how fickle and unfaithful the people of Israel could be while they waited for the Lord.  Even at the Lord's coming, most of the chosen people completely missed it, so caught up were they in their own ways.

I'm sure you have seen the bumper sticker: "JESUS IS COMING: quick, everyone look busy."  It is humorous, but it makes an important point.  Just as the people of Isaiah's time did not know when their Lord was coming, so we today have no idea when the second coming of Christ will be.  Christ Himself tells us in today's gospel reading (Mk 13:33-37), "Be watchful!  Be alert!  You do not know when the time will come... May He not come suddenly and find you sleeping."  

Like the people of ancient Israel, and indeed the whole ancient world (for God "awakens in the hearts of the pagans a dim expectation of this coming" (CCC 522)), we today still wait for the advent of our Lord.  But there is a vital difference.  The ancient world waited for One they knew not, while we await for the return of One whom we know.  

Isiah's prophecy has been fulfilled.  Two thousand years ago at the Annunciation, as Mary rendered her fiat ("Let it be done unto me according to Your word" (Lk 1:38)), God rent the heavens and came down.  From that moment, everything changed.  From that moment, we have lived in a different world.  God existed for the people of the ancient world as behind a veil.  Now the veil has been torn in two.  So while we await that unknown day of Christ's second coming, we do not wait alone.  We do not wait without help or hope.

Isaiah prayed that God might find His people faithful upon His coming.  We hope for the same thing, but that hope is based in a firm trust in Christ.  Christ has given us all we need to make us ready to meet Him in glory.  St. Paul, in today's second reading (1 Cor 1:3-9) gives thanks "for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in Him you were enriched in every way... so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of Lord Jesus Christ.  He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."  

We have the opportunity and great blessing today through the Church to build a relationship with God that is much more intimate and powerful than anything the ancient prophets could have imagined, so that even in our waiting we can get a foretaste of heaven.  Do not squander that opportunity.  Keeping close to God now will ensure that we remain close to Him on that blessed day when we will behold Him face to face.  Until that day, let us be filled with a spirit of longing and desire for Him, and also a spirit of hope that He will find us faithful.

"Be watchful!  Be alert!  You do not know when the time will come... May He not come suddenly and find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'" (Mk 13:33, 37).

--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Weekly Update from CCM

Dear Students,

Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ!  We have a short week this week due to the Thanksgiving Break.  Our prayers are for safe travels and an enjoyable holiday with your families and friends.  Special prayers for all of those in our Pride of the Mountains Marching band who are in NYC this week for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Be sure to tune into NBC at 9:00am Thursday morning to see our Catamounts (including a few from CCM) leading the parade!

Most of our regular weekly activities are cancelled for this week because of the break.  So here is this week's (short) schedule, and a preview of next week.

TUESDAY (TODAY)
Adoration in the chapel from noon to 12:30.  Come spend thirty minutes in silent prayer before our Lord!

Community Table service from 3:30-6:00.  Meet at CCM by 3:15 if you need a ride over.  

No Small Group this evening.


SUNDAY
Confession & Rosary at 3:30 in the chapel.
Mass at 4:00.
Credo from 5:15-6:30.  The topic for our discussion will be "The Moral Act."  What gives our actions moral weight?  How do we evaluate whether an act is good or evil?  Are we always culpable for our actions?  These and other questions will be discussed.  We hope to see you there!


NEXT MONDAY
Simply Stitched meets at Alex Cassell's house from 8:00-9:30pm.  Meet at CCM by 7:45 if you need a ride over.


NEXT WEDNESDAY
Dec. 3 will be our final "Supper @ the Center" for the semester.  We'll have our annual Advent/End of Semester/anticipatory Christmas party, with our "Grinchy Gift Exchange."  Please bring a wrapped gift ($5 value) to share.  After, we'll go caroling across campus!  


NEXT FRIDAY
On Dec. 5. Fr. Voitus invites us to the rectory for a special St. Nicholas Day decorating party!  Help Father decorate his home for the holidays.  Stay tuned for the time...


FAITH FACTS: THANKSGIVING
Thanksgiving is a national holiday. It was instituted by our government, not by the Church.  Nevertheless it can be considered a religious holiday in that the One we are called to express our thanks to is none other than the God who gives us all we have, and all we are.  The popular image of Thanksgiving's origins involves pilgrims and natives sharing a harvest feast.  But the national holiday was actually instituted by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, during the Civil War.  His proclamation reads, in part:

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. (Oct. 3, 1863).

 So remember to give thanks and praise to God this Thanksgiving, and every day.  And remember, the word Eucharist means "thanks giving."  Catholics celebrate a thanksgiving meal each and every time we attend Mass.  There can never be a better way to offer thanks to God than through His Eucharistic Son.
Father all-powerful, your gifts of love are countless and your goodness infinite; as we come before you on Thanksgiving Day with gratitude for your kindness, open our hearts to have concern for every man, woman, and child, so that we may share your gifts in loving service. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gospel for Today: Christ the King

REMINDER:  In place of our normal Credo discussion after Mass today (4:00pm) we will instead car pool over to St. Mary's to hear a special presentation on Byzantine Advent traditions by Fr. Deacon Matthew Hanes, a visiting Ukrainian Catholic deacon from the St. Basil the Great Greek-Catholic mission in Charlotte, from 5:30-6:30.


THE SOLEMNITY OF JESUS CHRIST KING OF THE UNIVERSE (A)

Today the Church celebrates the great Solemnity of Jesus Christ King of the Universe, often called simply "Christ the King."  This solemnity was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to the secularism that he saw rampant in the world during his time.  He believed the world needed a reminder of Who was really in authority (a reminder which is still needed today).

It is fitting that this great feast falls on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, before we begin our Advent season of preparation in anticipation of the birth of a newborn King in Bethlehem.  Jesus Christ was King of the Universe already at His humble birth, but very few recognized Him as such at the time.  When Christ comes again in glory at the end of time, His authority will be universally recognized.  All will live in the light of His reign.

Today in our gospel we are given a preview of that that day will be like (Mt 25:31-46).  Jesus speaks of the Son of Man (one of His many titles) coming in glory and sitting upon His throne, with all the nations assembled before Him.  We tend to think of kings and other powerful figures of basking in the limelight.  But not in this case.  Christ the King is the light, and He shines His light upon us.  This is why so much attention is given in today's gospel reading not to Christ, but to you and I.  We see all peoples from every nation, every last one of us, being judged.  The King will separate us out, the sheep from the goats.  The sheep will go to His right, into eternal life, while the goats will go to the left, into eternal punishment.  

How will the King determine who is a sheep and who is a goat?  He will judge us according to the love we have shown our neighbors during our lives -- specifically, the least of our neighbors.  Have we clothed the naked?  Have we fed the hungry?  Have we visited the sick and those in prison?  Have we ministered to their needs?  For, as Christ tells us, whatever we do for the least of His people, thus we do (or do not do) for Him.  We will be judged according to how we loved.

Most Christians know this gospel passage.  It is a poignant reminder for us to love our neighbors.  But why does the Church present it to us here, on the Solemnity of Christ the King?  Shouldn't the readings be something about Christ's glory and might and power and divinity?  Where is the triumph?  Where is the kingship?  This gospel reading seems to be more about us and how we ought to behave.  And that is rather the point.

Pope Pius XI established this feast to combat secularism.  Secularism is a way of life that leaves God out of man's thinking.  The secular person organizes his or her life as if God did not exist.  Christ makes no difference to his or her actions.  Today's celebration reminds us that we cannot allow our lives to become secularized.  We must always and everywhere remember that Jesus Christ always was, is now, and ever shall be King of all Creation.  He is ruler over all, and that makes a difference as to how we live our lives.

Living our lives as subjects of Christ the King means ever striving to be a sheep in His flock (not a goat).  Living in the light of Christ means seeing Jesus in the least of our brethren and treating them with the love that Christ has for them.  It makes a difference in our behaviors and actions, in how we relate to others, each and every day.

We become different when we acknowledge Christ as our King. We treat others differently.  We love differently.  Today, let us renew our commitment to serving the King of the Universe, the King of us all.  


A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King. A plenary indulgence is granted, if it is recited publicly on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King.

Prayer:
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.

Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968

--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weekly Update from CCM

Good morning, students!  Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ on this frigid Tuesday!  Our prayers especially with all of our freshmen as they register for classes today for freedom from anxiety.  Today is also the memorial of the dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome.  Let us pray to these two saints that the faith espoused by the Apostles be alive in our hearts this day.

Here is this week's schedule...

TUESDAY (TODAY)
Adoration in the chapel from noon till 12:30.  Thirty minutes of silent prayer time before the Lord.

Community Table volunteer service from 3:30-6:00.  Meet at CCM by 3:15 to ride over with us.  

Small Group Scripture Study from 6:30-7:30 in the Balsam Lobby.  Open to all (bring a friend)!


WEDNESDAY (TOMORROW)
Vespers (Evening Prayer) in the chapel at 6:00pm.

Supper @ the Center from 6:30-8:30.  Olivia is making a special spaghetti recipe for us, which you don't want to miss.  Our program after dinner will be led by Pasquale.  The topic is "The Meaning of Life."  Do you know your purpose?  What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?  (Hint: It's not "42"). 


THURSDAY
Adoration in the chapel from noon till 12:30.

Small Group Scripture Study from 5:30-6:30 on the UC Balcony (or inside if it is too cold). Invite a friend!


FRIDAY
Our very own Joseph Coca's senior recital is this Friday in Coulter at 2:30.  Let's all come to show our support!

This Friday is also the start of our College Discipleship Retreat in Black Mountain.  Those who signed up for the retreat should receive an email later today with information.  Please pray for all students on retreat this weekend.


SUNDAY
Confession/Rosary at 3:30.
Mass at 4:00.

Special "Byzantine Advent" presentation at St. Mary's from 5:30-6:30.  Instead of our usual Credo discussion this week we are taking a field trip!  Immediately after Mass everyone is invited to ride with us to St. Mary's to hear a special presentation by Fr. Deacon Matthew Hanes, a deacon in the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Rite, serving the St. Basil the Great mission parish in Charlotte.  Fr. Deacon will be speaking about the customs and traditions of celebrating Advent in the Eastern Churches.  This talk will be an excellent way for us to begin to prepare for our own observance of Advent, which will begin the following Sunday.


NEXT MONDAY
Simply Stitched meets at Alex Cassell's house from 8:00-9:30.  Meet at CCM by 7:45 if you need a ride over.


LOOKING AHEAD...
Thanksgiving break!  Our regular weekly schedule will by and large be suspended the week of Thanksgiving break. However, we will still have Adoration on Tuesday and provide service to Community Table that afternoon if anyone is still around and can help!

St. Nicholas Party!  Father Voitus is inviting us again to join him at his rectory for a St. Nicholas party the evening of Friday, Dec. 5.  We are still working out the details so stay tuned for a time.


FAITH FACTS
Today is the optional memorial of the dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul.  These basilicas are built upon the tombs of these Apostles.  Because of the primacy of St. Peter, and the prominence of the ministry of St. Paul to the Gentiles, the See of Rome has always enjoyed a primacy of authority in the Church.  To learn a little more about the history of these two basilicas and why we celebrate their dedication, click on this link.

Defend your Church, O Lord, by the protection of the holy Apostles, that, as she received from them the beginnings of her knowledge of things divine, so through them she may receive, even to the end of the world, an increase in heavenly grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


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WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723