Message from the Executive Director
The crescendo of the Thanksgiving Holiday, with its mixture of joyous celebrations with family, neighbors and friends, bustling into the newest frenzy called Black Friday careens into our religious season of Advent. At the top of this crescendo of activity, the news on the first Sunday of Advent announces that since the onset of the recession four years ago, the number of children living in poverty in our country has risen to 16 million.
In the season of Advent we are called to reflect on the more quiet parts of our human existence - the longing for hope and the overwhelming presence of a God whose love yearns to be “among us”.
“God among us” is a gift that is exchanged each time we are lifting one another in love and compassion. Our IVC volunteers, all during the year, bring light to someone’s dark moments. They are living examples today of the miracle revealed at Christmas of a God who loves us through the acts of selflessness we do for others as the Son taught us through his birth, life, death and resurrection.
This Advent, we invite you to join with us in a deepened prayer experience that reveals to you the way you will uniquely reveal God among us by your own actions in giving and receiving. In these challenging times, we are called to selflessness in new ways. As part of the IVC community you give light and hope each and every day through the selflessness of our volunteers. May this advent season deepen our ability to be bearers of God’s love “among us” in this very day and age.
We also welcome you to this newest edition of our IVC ebulletin. We hope you enjoy the stories, information and links to prayers and resources. If you have ideas or suggestions for our ebulletin, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessed Advent and Christmas!
Mary C. McGinnity
IVC in the Media
Father in heaven,
Our hearts desire the warmth of your love, and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of his coming may find us rejoicing in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.
(Advent Family Prayer, Loyola Press, http://www.loyolapress.com/advent-family-prayer.htm)
As we begin this Advent season of expectation and peaceful preparation, we strive to not get carried away in the whirlwind of Christmas surrounding us. IVC shares An Ignatian Advent Retreat: Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life as a tool to help us slow down to witness God in our daily interactions. http://ignatianspirituality.com/wp-content/uploads/Seasonal/Advent-Retreat-2011.pdf
In the Gospel for the first week of Advent, Jesus tells his disciples, “Blessed are those who see what you see” (Luke 10:23-24). While many searched for a Messiah, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples, everyday people whose lives were transformed. IVC volunteers strive to see the world in the same way, by encountering God around them, especially in those they serve. During Advent, we challenge ourselves to keep our eyes open to witness our coming Savior in our interactions and in our response to our brothers and sisters in need.
IVC San Diego hosted Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ on November 20th for a presentation entitled “Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues”. Over 450 people attended this event, which was a partnership between IVC San Diego, 7 departments of the University of San Diego, and The Immaculata Catholic Parish. Sr. Helen Prejean gave an outstanding and passionate presentation, followed by a reception and book signing. Click here to read more about this event and view a photo gallery.
Advent Day of Reflection ~ Joy and Mystery: The Gift of Christmas – IVC Los Angeles invites you to take a respite from the busy holiday season. Join Bishop Joseph Sartoris, Auxiliary Bishop, retired, for prayer and reflection on the joy and mystery of the meaning of Christma. December 10, 10:00-2:00. Contact Anne Hansen: 805-987-9807 or email@example.com.
IVC Staff Update
All IVC Staff gathered in DC in early November for meetings and community-building, including a Mass celebrated by Fr. Jim Conroy. Exciting topics included growing IVC, IVC and social media, and the Boomer Generation.
IVC Regional Directors and National Staff at meeting in DC
IVC welcomes 5 new Regional Directors – Rich Massaro in Philadelphia/South Jersey, Christine Curran in Chicago, Kathleen Groh in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Maria O'Rourke in St. Louis, and Becky Ehrman in Omaha. Each brings experience and energy to help grow IVC in his or her community!
IVC has hired Mr. Tom Ulrich as Director of Program Operations and Regional Development. Mr. Ulrich brings decades of experience for Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA and the USCCB and is author of Parish Social Ministry: Strategies for Success. We are excited for him to join the national team in January.
Thank you for your consideration of IVC's Annual Appeal, in progress today. If you have not received our gratitude card in the mail and would like to make a gift, please click here.
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In This Edition:
Message from IVC Executive Director
Advent Prayer & Spiritual Resources
IVC in the Media
IVC Staff Update
Be Part of IVC
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