12/14/2017 11:55:00 AM Parishes, schools celebrate Advent, Christmas
Christmas in Bethlehem was a highlight of the Advent season in Epiphany Parish, Brick. Held Dec. 9, the evening had families begin their journey in Bethlehem, where they interacted with various merchants and characters. The shepherd boy then led the festival-goers into church, where the Epiphany Council, Knights of Columbus, hosted its annual production of The Live Nativity, shown in photo at left, which featured children from the parish portraying the Holy Family as well as angels and shepherds. A few live sheep helped to enhance the setting. Photo courtesy of Epiphany Parish, Brick
Students smile for a photo while working behind a food table during Holy Cross School’s Christmas bazaar. For months, eighth-graders in the Rumson school and their parents have been planning the event, which featured photos with Santa, shopping, sweets and hot cocoa. The money earned will fund the students’ graduation dinner dance and class trip. Photo courtesy of Holy Cross School
As December ushered in the Christmas season, schools and parishes across the Diocese made their to-do lists and checked them twice when it came to helping those in need or bringing smiles and good will.
Some schools held bazaars and fundraisers so youngsters could purchase something simple for their families, or help their communities or fellow students, while parishes welcomed Santa and lit their Christmas trees to the delight of young and old alike.
The preparatory season of Advent also lent a feel of anticipation and faith. Advent wreaths and Nativity scenes were blessed, and annual dinners, Christmas pageants and carols all contributed to the expectancy of the season, as the days until Christmas dwindled and the coming of the Christ Child approaches.
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., joined in the celebrations with both the old and the young of his flock, taking time to be with retired and elderly residents, and celebrating Mass in various parishes.