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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gaudete Sunday at St. John Bosco in Woodstock

Gaudete Sunday brings out the rose-colored vestments and the call to "Rejoice, the Savior is near!"

But we had another reminder today of the first Christmas, because we were visited by representatives of The Bethlehem Carving Group. They come every year with beautiful woodcarvings, rosaries, and other devotional items -- all made in the Holy Land and sold to raise money for the Catholics who still live there. Not many sadly. Catholics used to represent about 37% of the population. Now they are less than 1%. The violence has driven them away and those that remain live in uncertainty. We bought a beautiful statue of the holy family this morning made from a single piece of olive wood. The detail is intricate and I was especially taken by the faces of Mary and the babe. It was a way to contribute to the Catholics in the Holy Land and to remind ourselves often to pray for them. The statue will sit on our dining room table throughout the Christmas season as a call to imitate the holy family. It will also be a continuous reminder to be in union with our suffering brothers and sisters around the world. Our Lady Queen of Peace, pray for us.

N.B. You need not schedule a visit from the woodcarvers to see the items for sale, although actually handling the statues and seeing them close up is better than just seeing pictures. You just can't appreciate the beauty of the detail from the photos. But you can check out their catalog here.

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