All members of the community are invited to step aside from holiday madness for 25 minutes of a silent prayer form known as Visio Divina, “sacred seeing,” in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher following the noon Mass, about 12:35-1 p.m., on Thursday, December 12. This ancient contemplative form of prayer asks only our quiet presence as we are guided through an experience of a sacred image from our illuminated Saint John’s Bible. Sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry and the Garaventa Center. Contact Karen Eifler (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Did you know about the role of anticipation in preparing for Christmas?
“On that day…” is a phrase that features in many of the first readings through the beginning of the Season of Advent. The Season starts with a sense of anticipation. Those using the readings are taken into the Book of Isaiah and the longings of the people of Israel for the coming of the day of the Lord – the day when many of the anxieties and struggles of life are brought to a peaceful resolution. The readings point to a longing that Christians understand as finding fulfillment in the birth of Jesus, celebrated on Christmas. They also point to a longing that remains in our hearts to this day.
Jesus did come into the world in a manger one day in Bethlehem. Yet a return is awaited, a return in glory when the fullness of the kingdom of God is to be made manifest in its fullness. It is a return that will bring about the justice and peace and life that our hearts long for. The Season of Advent then seeks to draw our longing to the foreground and awaken a greater awareness of the anticipation that we hold in our hearts for the fullness of life that God seeks to draw us into. Consider the many aspects of this season leading up to Christmas – even the aspects that may seem to some as getting into Christmas before it is even Christmas. Throughout are images, songs, and emotions that point ahead with a bit of nostalgia for a something that we long for. Throughout is a sense of anticipation for something that we might not even be able to name. Throughout is an anticipation for the fullness that is yet to come, a fullness we long for and eagerly await its arrival.
Did You Know? is a mostly weekly feature in upbeat that pokes around the many interesting features of UP as a Catholic and Holy Cross university. If you have a question or topic of interest that you would like covered in this feature, please send it to Fr. Jim Gallagher, C.S.C., Campus Ministry, or Karen Eifler, Garaventa Center.
All staff and faculty are invited to celebrate Thirst Friday in the Garaventa Center on December 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. Along with the usual convivial mingling with colleagues from all over campus, enjoy a live jazz ensemble and a tasting menu of “Only At Christmas” noshes, crafted by several members of the campus community. Come for 10 minutes are stay till the lights are turned off, but do come! 17 extra credit points for anyone who brings a first-timer. Questions? Contact Karen Eifler, email@example.com.
Many people may know that the Advent season focuses on expectation and think that it serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas. This is part of the story, but there’s more to Advent.
The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus, his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, and his first miracle at Cana. During this season of preparation, early Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas.
By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas. More on the “anticipation” part of modern Advent practices in a future Did You Know segment.
“Did You Know?” is a mostly regular feature in upbeat in which dimensions of Catholic practices of faith are unpacked. If you have a question, please contact Fr. Jim Gallagher (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Karen Eifler (email@example.com).
Did you know about the new candle grotto in the Marian Garden?
It is a long standing tradition in Catholic, as well as other religious traditions, to light a candle as a physical representation of one’s prayers. For many years though, the UP campus did not have a regular place to practice this tradition. That is until just recently when a new candle grotto was installed, dedicated, and blessed in the Marian Garden next to the Chapel of Christ the Teacher. The new space was crafted out of cedar, brass, and copper by two local sculptors and will now provide a space for members of the campus community to go at any time of the day or year to light a candle. A purple candle will always be lit and in place, representing our prayers for the whole of the University of Portland community.
For Christians, the tradition of lighting a candle is closely linked to the idea that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. At the Easter Vigil, a large candle is lit in the darkness of the opening of the Mass. It is a representation of the wonder of the light of Christ entering into our world. From that candle, all of the baptized light their own candles noting that the light of Christ has come to dwell in them. Situating our candle grotto in close proximity to the statue of Mary in the garden next to the Chapel is a reminder that the light of Christ came into the world through Mary. That light continues to break forth upon the world through each of us and our prayers. We draw close to the Blessed Mother, Mary, as we offer our prayers knowing that through her intercession and witness that light grows in the world this day.
“Did You Know?” is a mostly weekly feature in upbeat that pokes around among the many interesting features of UP as a Catholic and Holy Cross university. If you have a question or topic of interest that you would like covered in this feature, please send it to Fr. Jim Gallagher, C.S.C., Campus Ministry, or Karen Eifler, Garaventa Center.
All are invited to come together on Monday, November 11, at 2 p.m., at the International Peace Garden by Buckley Auditorium as students, faculty, staff, and religious from our UP community offer prayers for peace in multiple languages and faith traditions. The event is co-sponsored by the Garaventa Center and international student services. For ADA accommodations or more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or x7702.
St. Joseph is the foster father of Jesus. He was engaged to Mary when, by the Holy Spirit, she became pregnant with Jesus – see the Gospel of Matthew 1:18-25. Not much is known about St. Joseph beyond the fact that he remained committed to raising Jesus alongside Mary and that he is named as a carpenter. Scriptures relay that several times he received dreams that helped him to know how to help Mary care for Jesus. From these few bits of information, St. Joseph has become the patron of many groups, including carpenters, fathers, travelers, as well as patron of many countries and peoples. Interestingly he is also known as the patron of a good death. Joseph comes about this by way of not being referenced later in the Gospels. So it is believed that he died earlier in life, with Jesus and Mary at his side—a pretty good way to go.
St. Joseph is also the patron of the Holy Cross Brothers. Blessed Basil Moreau took on a group of teaching brothers, the Brothers of St. Joseph, founded by Fr. Jacques Dujarié, joining them with an already gathered group of priests to found the Congregation of Holy Cross. The brothers continued to look to St. Joseph as their patron and have ever since sought to emulate his devotion to Jesus and his commitment to service to God’s family.
Did You Know? is a mostly weekly feature in upbeat that pokes around among the many interesting features of UP as a Catholic and Holy Cross university. If you have a question or topic of interest that you would like covered in this feature, please send it to Fr. Jim Gallagher, C.S.C., Campus Ministry, or Karen Eifler, Garaventa Center.
All ticket holders for the Saturday, November 16 performance of The Penelopiad are invited to enjoy wine, cheese, and desserts as campus experts highlight what to look and listen for in this play based on a novella by Margaret Atwood. Sponsored by the Garaventa Center and the Rumpakis Chair for Hellenic Studies. For ADA accommodations or more information contact the Garaventa Center at email@example.com or x7702. For theater tickets call the Hunt Center box office at x7287.
It’s nearly universal among faith traditions to have beliefs and practices focused on departed family, friends, and strangers. The Catholic Church professes its links to those who have gone before us with two adjacent holy days: November 1 of each year is All Saints, and November 2 is All Souls. When Catholics talk about All Saints, they are referring to those whose faith and actions on Earth, infused by Divine grace, lifted them directly to heaven after their deaths, where they intercede for those still on earth. All Souls is a day for Catholics to pray for the souls of all the departed, especially, in Catholic lingo, those in purgatory (which is a concept to be addressed in an upcoming entry in this space), awaiting the final judgment of a loving and benevolent God. At UP, one marker of All Souls each November 2 is the laying of a wreath in front of the memorial (between Buckley Center and Franz) honoring all those who have served on our faculty or staff and have died. It is another manifestation of the essential communitarian orientation at the heart of Catholicism. Living or dead, we are all connected to one another.
“Did You Know?” is a sort of regular feature in upbeat about the host of wild and lovely things Catholics profess. If you have a question, send it to Fr. Jim Gallagher (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Karen Eifler (email@example.com).
The next meeting of the Faith and Intellectual Life Discussion Group will be on Friday November 8, from 3:30-5 p.m., in the Murphy Room. The group will discuss Phillip Goff’s “Believers Without Belief,” Peter Atterton’s “A God Problem,” and the short film (9 minutes) Powers of Ten. Links to the readings and film can found on the Garaventa Center website’s FILDG page. All faculty and staff are welcome. Refreshments will be served.