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Featuring “Blessings of a Christmas Tree” and Resources for the Fourth Sunday of Advent!


This Week in Ministry is a new product for myUSCCB members that provides timely content every week, formatted for use in a variety of ways. Whether your content needs include a parish bulletin, e-newsletter, social media, or more, “This Week in Ministry” provides solutions, helping you spend less time planning and more time doing. 

Free Downloadable Resource:

When the blessing of a Christmas tree is celebrated in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a parent or another member of the family. Download the “Blessings of a Christmas Tree” to share in bulletins, newsletters and handouts for families and others who set up nativity scenes in their home or yard. This free weekly resource is available to myUSCCB members and nonmembers.

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Exclusively for myUSCCB members:

Sunday to Sunday Bulletin Insert:
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• What is the story of the  first Christian martyr? Why was December 25 chosen to celebrate Christmas? Read short catechetical items and interesting facts about the origins of Catholic customs and liturgical practices. 

Pro-Life Perspective:
• Recognizing our fragility helps us to remember and love those who are weak and defenseless. Tom Grenchik provides a thoughtful reflection on the beauty and fragility of human life that we see in the infant Jesus. Also available in Spanish! 

Saint of the Week:

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• Read the story of the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen, and his great wonders. 

Homiletic/Liturgical Resources for the Fourth Sunday of Advent:

• Pour Forth, We Beseech You: Commentary on the Collect
• The Sanctifying Power of the Spirit: Commentary on the Prayer over the Offerings

• Prepare Us for the Coming Feasts: Commentary on the Prayer after Communion   

Catechetical Corner 

• Learn the tradition of setting up a crèche in the home and how this practice can enhance understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. Also available in Spanish!  

Fact of Faith

• This week, Paulist Father Larry Rice explains how the date of Christmas was determined and discusses variations on how and when the feast has been marked throughout history. 

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• In our cartoon from Catholic News Service, a child visiting Santa equivocates when he is asked about his “good” behavior during the year.  Use it in bulletins, newsletters, websites, and in social media posts. 

Social Ministry Resource

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• Our partner organization, Catholic Relief Services’ Fair Trade Initiative invites you to reflect on the Annunciation and the virtue of hope. This resource features a story about a Haitian folk artist representing a group of fair trade artisans who help rebuild homes and communities destroyed by the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Shareable Image:
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• An image of Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem, blessed with a quote from Pope Francis about meditating on their virtues to help prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Suggested Social Media Post:

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• The Light of Faith: Sunrise over the Sea of Galilee
• Christmas Tree Blessing: Image of a tree at the Vatican
• Christmas image of an infant Jesus figurine

• Includes easy-to-follow instructions

Spanish text also available!

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