As we enter into the third week of Advent it might seem like Christmas is already here.  If you go into any store, Christmas carols are playing, there are Christmas sales and people are rushing to get all of their Christmas shopping done.  Decorations are going up and people are preparing their homes for celebrations with family and friends.

Advent invites us to slow down, take the time to prepare.  Each week during Advent, we light a purple or violet candle on the Advent wreath reminding us of Hope, Peace and Faith.  This third week of Advent is the middle of the season.  During this time of prayer, repentance, and preparing our hearts, this PINK candle reminds us, it is also a time of great JOY!

This week we light the pink candle on the Advent wreath.  We prepare for the birth of a baby.  One of life’s greatest joys and we remember to give thanks for all of the joy in our own lives.

As our students prepare to write their exams and our community prepares for Christmas, I would like to share two things that have brought me great joy being part of the StMU community.  In November, we had our Fall Student Retreat and reflected on

Exercising Hope in Darkness and this past week, a number of staff and students helped with our Stuff a Sock drive for Alpha House.  In my short time at St. Mary’s I have enjoyed meeting students, staff, and faculty and I am grateful for the joy they bring to St. Mary’s each and every day.

Wishing you and your families a blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas.

Jolene Smith

Director of Campus Ministry