Monday, December 29, 2008

On the Way of Lights

In the evening, Sr. Assumpta, Sr. Emi, Sr. Rebecca, Sylwia, and Emily went to Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville, Illinois, to see the "Way of Lights." The Shrine is run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and for Christmas they put up thousands of Christmas lights. The lights stay up for about two months and many people come to see. We drove through the whole Shrine and saw many trees, figures, and other beautiful lights. At the end there was a life-size Nativity scene. It was a beautiful way to continue celebrating Christmas.

Baby Jesus Party at the Polish Parish

December 28:

On the feast of the Holy Family, we went to the Polish parish, St. Agatha's, to hold a Baby Jesus Party for the people there. Once a month we go to St. Agatha's, and before Christmas we had a book exhibit there. This time we took pictures with Baby Jesus, did face-painting and coloring, and a book exhibit. Sylwia spoke after Mass to invite the people to come and to tell them about our congregation and our mission. After Mass the people always come downstairs and meet together for coffee and cake. They always like to see us, and we have many good friends there.

Merry Christmas -- Wesolych Swiat!

December 25:
We celebrated a beautiful Christmas Day in community. We sang at the 9:00 Mass at our parish, St. Elizabeth of Hungary. When we came home, we opened gifts and ate a delicious lunch. We finished our day by having Adoration together, and in the evening we watched a movie.
P.S. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Preparation

December 24:
It's Christmas Eve! The postulants wish you a very blessed Christmas! This Advent we have been preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus, especially this last week with our Christmas Novena, and now we are preparing a delicious meal for our bodies! We are celebrating Christmas Eve with the traditional Polish meal for "Wigilia" (Christmas Eve). Last night we made about 150 pierogow. We will also eat barszcz czerwony (beet soup). Before the meal, we will read the Gospel of the Nativity story, pray the Our Father together, and share oplatek. Each person receives a piece of oplatek, which is unleavened bread, and shares it with every other person, thanking them for their presence and their gifts and wishing them blessings and prayers. Tonight we will go to 10:30 Mass, and we will pray for you and your intentions.
P.S. Merry Christmas! Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!

December 13:
At 10:00, our big party began! We held our annual birthday party for Baby Jesus, and more than 300 people came. For many families, this birthday party is a special Christmas tradition. In our chapel, we prepared many costumes of Joseph, Mary, shepherds, angels, and kings for the families to dress up and have their picture taken with Baby Jesus. Some families brought their own real baby to be Baby Jesus! After the picture-taking, the families could go to the conference room where there was birthday cake and other refreshments, face-painting, and coloring. The face-painting was especially popular with the children. We even had two clowns who came to the party to play with the children and make fun balloons. We were also very happy and blessed to have many wonderful helpers for this day. It was a beautiful day...and now we are already starting to think about next year's party!