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Now in its ninth year, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference interactive digital Advent calendar retains a unique and popular online presence. Behind the 28 virtual doors, the calendar offers resources for schools, parishes and the home with short inspirational video messages, some seasonal crafts for children and prayers to help us keep Christ at the centre of our Christmas preparations.
Welcoming this year’s Advent Calendar Archbishop Eamon Martin said, “Advent is often described as a journey. Over the next four weeks we will journey towards Christmas while reflecting on the big themes and the personalities of the Advent season. Some of the major themes of Advent are: waiting and preparation, darkness and light, and the promise of comfort and hope. During this season we meet big personalities such as John the Baptist, the Magi and, of course, Mary Our Blessed Mother who embraced God’s will completely and made a special place for God in her life.
“The Advent calendar invites each of us to make space for God in our lives every day over the next four weeks. Despite the hectic rushing around, getting the decorations and tree up, visiting and shopping, we are encouraged to travel on the Advent journey, pausing each day for a few moments to pray, reflect, and take some practical steps to enrich our experience of Christmas.
“2022 has been a tough year for many – the people of Ukraine are going into Christmas with the continued threats to life, of violence and the destruction of war. At home, many are struggling with the pressures of the increased cost of living and energy crisis. Perhaps this year, more than ever, we need an Advent journey filled with hope, promise and peace and, of course, the message of the Christmas angels: do not be afraid!
“I thank all the content contributors to the 2022 Advent calendar. This year’s theme of Synodality nicely complements our Advent journey as the word ‘synod’ conjures up the image of walking or journeying together as a Church.
“This Advent I encourage all to set out, as the Magi did, and grow closer and closer to that moment when we experience the joy of beholding Christ our Saviour, born for us on Christmas Day. During this season we also journey inwards to prepare in our hearts, as Mary did, for the light of Christ.
Archbishop Eamon concluded, “The Synodal journey, and the Advent journey, remind us that we are all pilgrims on a lifelong pathway. So, over the next four weeks, let us walk together with family, friends and community so that everyone can experience the good news of this forthcoming celebration, and in particular those less fortunate than ourselves.”
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Lisa Sheridan +353 (0) 86 084 3175.