The December 6, 2007 copy of The Providence Visitor, oops, I mean the RI Catholic, arrived on my desk and what did my wondrous eyes behold? A headline proclaiming LaSalette Shrine, whose devotion to Advent is questionable, is lighting up the Advent season.
The article that followed had nothing to do with Advent and everything to do with celebrating Christmas before its time. The lights are shut off on January 1, well before the official end of the Christmas season on January 6. What a sham!
On page 8, the attack on Advent continued as another headline proclaimed, “It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas at Catholic schools.” The article goes on to announce all of the Christmas plays and concerts that will be taking place in our Catholic schools during Advent. To quote Pogo, “We have met the enemy and it is us!”
Catholic schools were founded in part to prevent our children’s faith from being defiled in the public school system. How things have changed. Now Catholic parents get to pay tuition to have their children’s faith watered down in the very schools that were supposed to safeguard it. When we do not respect our liturgical year, we undermine the power of the liturgy that is meant to sustain and guide us.
Your paper should ignore, not call attention, to any school, parish or religious institution that dilutes, intentionally or unintentionally, the wonderful season of Advent.
Fr. Joseph Creedon
The writer is pastor of Christ the King parish in Kingston.