From the Editor - What are you doing about Advent and Christmas?

What are you doing about Advent? Have you prepared your homes and parish communities with Advent wreaths, Advent calendars, Jesse Trees, Advent candles, scriptural texts and prayers about Advent?

Do the children know about Advent and are they prepared for it? Of the many things that they can do and make and draw and paint and construct and cook to prepare for Advent and Christmas, what are they going to do?

Maybe you can pray together the Novena of the Child Jesus, the pre-Christmas Novena, in family or parish community! This starts on December 16 and continues the nine days until Christmas.

Have you thought about building a Christmas Crib together as a family instead of buying one?

Advent prepares us for Christ’s coming into our world and our lives as He comes now, as He will come again at the end of time and as He came in the past in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.

This issue of The Far East offers us several stories from across the globe about Advent and Christmas preparation and celebration. Take time to read these stories from other countries and be enriched by them. Let them help you in your Advent and Christmas preparations and reflections.
Fifty years ago on October 12, 1962 Vatican II began. In this issue, we read how different Columbans experienced Vatican II as they worked in many different countries. We also remember the four Columban Jubilarians and two award winners in this issue. Congratulations to all.

As Christmas is a time for family, it is important to read the reflection on the Australian Catholic Bishops' 2012 Social Justice Letter, “Gift of Family in Difficult Times” (see pages 20-21).

The Holy Family is our model for Advent and for Christmas. Let us begin the journey with the shepherds and the Magi to the stable in Bethlehem to come and adore Him, the Christ Child.

Fr Dan Harding

Read more from The Far East, November/December 2012