Advent Angel (Part One)

Photo by Flickr user Sam Bald

Uncharacteristic of me on a Sunday morning, I flipped through the pile of papers on my kitchen desk. After a week off from school, I wanted to make sure I had important dates and papers recorded and completed before sending the kids back the next day.

It was a good thing I did. I noticed the Advent Angel form listing the family in our parish we were to “angel” this Advent. It was the first Sunday of Advent.

I live in the land of plenty. We have an excellent, Orthodox Catholic Diocese with great priests and a cohort of seminarians that would make most bishops drool. I have a vibrant parish with no shortage of ways for fellowship, worship, and growing in the faith. The Advent Angel program is one of many great programs, traditions, and offerings at our parish and our dioceses to live one’s Catholicity and grow in personal formation and fun in our faith.

In the Advent Angel program, families or individuals wanting to participate fills out and exchanges a form with their contact information for a form of another family. Secretly, each Sunday in Advent, an “Advent Angel” family drops off special gifts to the home of their assigned family. On the last week, they connect in person. Kids love the excitement of being Advent Angels and of receiving the gifts from our Advent Angels.

Sneaking in the van in front of the home of our target family, racing in to drop our gift on the porch, and peeling out before being spotted make you feel both naughty and nice at the same time. It is a great way to combine faith, family, and fun. In the back of my mind, I am building up a fortress of joyful memories in the spiritual and emotional bank accounts of my kids to help ensure that they are not one of the many Catholic youths to lose their faith during their high school and college years.

Last year the family who had us had a unique idea with the weekly gifts. Over the four Sundays of Advent, in addition to some cookies or other various gifts, they would give us several Christmas miniatures. On the last Sunday, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that they had actually given us a completely new nativity set. I don’t collect anything except nativity sets. You can never have too many nativity sets in my book.

Thinking this was such a neat idea, we decided to do this with our family this year. Read how that went in my next blog post, Advent Angel Part 2.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Participate in the programs your parish has to make the Catholic faith rich for you and your family. If they don’t exist, approach your pastor about starting one.