Jesuit resources for Advent

November 25, 2020 in Featured News, News

Jesuit ministries are offering a wide-range of services this year to enrich the Advent journey. These include Masses, retreats, books, prayers and a movie club. Below you will find a description of what is on offer along with links to the services.

Sacred Space and Pray As You Go

This year’s Advent retreat is entitled God Is With You and is a collaboration between Sacred Space » prayer website and Pray As You Go » audio website, written by Gemma Simmonds CJ. This joint collaboration gives retreatants the option of listening and reading step-by-step. The retreat reminds us that although “we have spent so much of 2020 physically apart from each other, or at least more distanced than ever before, the Incarnation shows how it was vital to God’s plan for him to draw near to us in the flesh as God-with-us”. The retreat will run from 26 November to 28 December 2020.

The retreat starts with an introductory session which leads into five sessions in total – Session 1: God with Us, Session 2: How can this be?; Session 3: Do not be afraid; Session 4: Going home by another way; Session 5: A future full of hope and Conclusion.

Each of the retreat sessions guides us through a Stillness exercise which leads us into the Reading, followed by a Reflection. Finally, we are invited to Talk to God.

Before beginning the retreat there are some practical suggestions outlined to help us – these include how, where, when and what. Practical hints are offered in terms of how long you should devote to each session of the retreat. It’s a good idea to decide this in advance, and try to stick to it. The material presented in each of the sessions lasts about 20-25 minutes. Under the headings of “where” and “when” you might like to give some thought to what time of the day is best for you to pray – morning, evening, or taking a break in the middle of the day.

Finally under the heading “what” ask yourself what you are making this retreat for. What gifts and graces you would hope to receive from God during these times of prayer. Make sure that you start the prayer by asking God for these, and try to be open to whatever else God wants to give you. Many times we do not know what we really need.

The retreat schedule includes an introduction followed by one session per week.

Introduction: Thursday 26 November
Session 1: Monday 30 November
Session 2: Monday 7 December
Session 3: Monday 14 December
Session 4: Monday 21 December
Session 5 and Conclusion: Monday 28 December

Click here for the Sacred Space retreat page ».

Gardiner Street Parish

At this point in time, the Parish Council of Saint Francis Xavier Church in Gardiner Street, Dublin, envisage two scenarios for a safe celebration of Christmas 2020.

Scenario 1: Masses with a congregation of 100 people, including 50 people in the church and 50 people in the Ignatian Chapel and environs. Seats to be booked online and at the front office in advance.

Scenario 2: Masses online without a congregation.

The same timetable will apply for both scenarios:

Christmas Eve

  • 6pm Family Mass
  • 8pm Gospel Choir Mass
  • 10pm Traditional Midnight Mass

Christmas Day

  • 9.15am Quiet Christmas Morning Mass
  • 11.00am Traditional Christ-mas Morning Mass
  • 12.30 Poranna Msza Bożo–narodzeniowa (Christmas Mass in Polish)

Watch the Gardiner Street website for updates » or call Melanie/Louise at the front office on 01 836 3411.

Gardiner Street Movie Club

Watching and Waiting with Hope Cinema Evenings with Fr Jake Martin SJ will take place on Tuesdays of Advent at 7pm via Zoom video conference. People are invited to watch the films on YouTube beforehand in their own time followed by a discussion on Zoom. There may be a small payment to watch the films ‘Magnolia’ and ‘Children of Men’. Here is the schedule for the evenings:

1 December: Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999)
8 December: Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron, 2006)
15 December: City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
22 Decemeber: General discussion

Email [email protected] at any time to get a link to the discussion via Zoom. Click here to see the Cinema Evenings schedule in PDF format ».  

Click here for the Gardiner Street Parish winter newsletter ».

Manresa Jesuit Centre of Spirituality

Awaiting Graciousness: Advent 2020 is a time of uncertainty – perhaps as Advent should be! Perhaps this year finds us beginning our Advent from a starting point we might not choose and may challenge our journeying with hope. Isaiah reminds us that God is waiting to be gracious.

  • Mass will take place at 12.15 pm each day from Sunday 29 November 2020. The readings and liturgy will guide our Advent steps and be reflected in other offerings that may will vary day by day.
  • Triduum/Advent three-day retreat will include a video each morning on the Advent theme with pointers for prayer, online Mass at 12.15 pm, guided prayer on the day’s theme, and opportunities to meet online with others for times of reflection and prayer on an adventure motif. The retreat will be offered at a convenient time for each retreatant.
  • The One-day Advent retreat will include input in the morning, online Mass at 12.15 pm, guided prayer in the afternoon, and an opportunity to meet online with others. The retreat will be offered at a convenient time for each retreatant.

Click here for more information from Manresa ».

Jesuit Resource

The Jesuit Resource website is a repository of resources for Jesuit education and Ignatian spirituality gathered and developed by the faculty and staff of Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. They have published prayers for Advent observed by many Christian churches in preparation to celebrate Christmas. Here is one of the Advent prayers for families:

God of Love,
Your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us.
He is a sign of your love.
Help us walk in that love during the weeks of Advent,
As we wait and prepare for his coming.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our Saviour.

– Author Unknown

Click here for more Advent prayers ».

Messenger Books

Messenger Publications have published a big collection of books for Advent and Christmas. These include:

Hearers of The Word – Praying and Exploring the Readings for Advent and Christmas: Year B »

In Hearers of The Word Kieran J O’Mahony OSA continues from his series of Year A, with commentaries on the readings for the liturgical period from Advent to the 2nd Sunday of Year B. The prayers and prayer guidance that he provides allow for a multi-dimensional understanding of the Gospel in terms of their historical and theological significance.

Alert, Aware, Attentive: Advent Reflections »

We often find it hard to believe that we have a unique voice. Advent begins with “a voice crying in the wilderness”. Every voice matters – especially voices in the wilderness that are stifled and silenced by alienation and apathy. This book by John Cullen dares you to take the time to listen to Advent voices in the wilderness.

Sacred Space: Advent & Christmas 2020-2021 »

A daily prayer experience from Sacred Space, the internationally known online prayer guide invites readers to develop a closer relationship with God during this season of preparation and anticipation. Each day includes a Scripture reading and points of reflection, as well as a weekly topic enhanced by six steps of prayer and reflection.

Sacred Space: The Prayerbook 2021 »

The Scripture, prayers, and reflections beginning the first Sunday of Advent 2020 until the end of the liturgical year 2021 will inspire you to a richer daily spiritual experience and invite you to develop a closer relationship with God. Each day includes Scripture reading and points of reflection, as well as a weekly topic enhanced by six steps of prayer and reflection: The Presence of God, Freedom, Consciousness, The Word, Conversation, and Conclusion.

You Have the Words of Eternal Life: Reflections on the Weekday Readings for the Liturgical Year 2020-21 »

Taking the reader from the first Sunday of Advent 2020 to the feast of Christ the King 2021, these short reflections attempt to listen to the gospel text on its own terms while showing how it can continue to speak to our church and our world today. The book will appeal to priests in parishes who may wish to prepare a short homily for the weekday Mass, as well as to parishioners who wish to prayerfully reflect on the weekday gospel readings and Lectio Divina groups in parishes.