To All Hibernians:
In December we pass through the liturgical season of Advent into that of Christmas. Advent represents the time of preparation for the coming of the Savior. The liturgical color, representative of repentance and humility, is violet, except on the Third Sunday of Advent, traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday, when the color rose represents the joy of approaching the Christmas season. The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8, is the patronal feast of the United States, and a holy day of obligation. The Christmas season begins with the vigil Mass of Christmas. The liturgical color is white.
FROM THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming.
MAJOR SAINTS AND FEAST DAYS OF DECEMBER
|December 3||Francis Xavier, Priest||Memorial|
|December 7||Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor||Memorial|
|December 8||The Immaculate Conception||Solemnity|
|December 14||John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor||Memorial|
|December 26||The Holy Family||Feast|
|December 27||John, Apostle and Evangelist||Feast|
|December 28||Holy Innocents, Martyrs||Feast|
IRISH SAINTS OF DECEMBER
December 12 Finnian of Clonard (c.470-c.549)
One of at least three saintly Finnians, this Irish saint may have been born at Myshall, Carlow,
Ireland. He may have spent some years in Welsh monasteries. Later he founded several monasteries in Ireland, including Clonard, in Meath, which for many centuries was renowned for Biblical scholarship. Though often referred to as a bishop, there is not solid evidence of his consecration, but Finnian was certainly mentor and teacher to many who went on to spread the faith throughout Ireland and beyond.
December 18 Flannan (7th century)
Son of an Irish chieftain, he received a monastic education. On a pilgrimage to Rome, he was consecrated bishop by Pope John IV. Upon returning, he settled at Killaloe and is considered its first bishop.
December 20 Ursicinus (d.c. 625)
Probably an Irishman, he was a disciple of St. Columban on the Continent, founded a monastery at St. Ursanne in present-day Switzerland, and evangelized the local people.
December 29 Aileran the Wise (d. 664)
Nothing is known of Aileran’s early life. We know that St. Finian induced him to enter the monasterey at Clonard, where Aileran became known as one of the most erudite scholars of this erudite group of monks. He knew Greek as well as Latin, and studied the Eastern and Western Fathers. Aileran’s works include lives of Sts. Patrick and Brigid and a commentary on the genealogy of Jesus which was popular in the Middle Ages.
NEWS AND ISSUES:
–At a conference held at Notre Dame, Catholic and former Democratic Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski urged Catholics in public office to be Catholic first, over excessive party loyalty, personal comfort, or fear. Lipinski, one of the few pro-life congressmen of his party in recent years, was several times “primaried” by the pro-abortion wing of the party, and ultimately defeated in the primary election of 2021.
–Title X is a federal program subsidizing family planning services. Rules adopted by the Trump Administration barred federal tax dollars from supporting recipients which provide or promote abortion and required Title X clinics to be physically separated from abortion facilities. In the latest of a string of pro-abortion moves, the Biden Administration has reversed this policy. Reacting to this, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, outgoing chairman of the American bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, challenged the President: “He likes to call himself a devout Catholic. I would urge him to begin to act like one, especially on the life issues.”
FROM AROUND THE ORDER
Many of our New York brothers are concerned about the rising incidents of vandalism directed at Catholic churches and shrines….National Director John Wilson informs me that Father Henry Reid of New York leads the rosary daily at 3 PM Eastern, on Facebook…. Great Falls Montana’s Division 1 Catholic Action Chairman Nickolas Wingerter has been introducing a “saint of the month” at division meetings…. Vice President Kevin Jones of Denver’s Michael Collins Division 1 shares that the division has lent support to a candidate discerning a vocation to the permanent diaconate as well as to a diocesan priest incurring moving expenses. The division is also hoping to organize a requiem Mass in connection with the dedication of a memorial at the mining town of Leadville…. Catholic Action Chairman Joseph Gill of our Medina Ohio Division has organized a Catholic lending library of over 100 titles.
A Merry Christmas to all.
Patrick J. Lally
[Sources consulted for this report include: Butler’s Lives of the Saints, complete edition, ed. and rev. by Herbert Thurston and Donald Attwater; 4 vols. (New York, 1956); The Liturgy of the Hours According to the Roman Rite (New York, 1975); The National Catholic Register; ewtn.com; catholic.org; priestsforlife.org; catholicnewsagency.com; usccb.org.]