President Joe Therber: Advent is a season for hope

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A priest says Mass at Scecina

Above, Father Bob Gilday of Little Flower Catholic Church says Mass during Advent on Dec. 4 at Scecina. The Mass was live-streamed to students who were learning at home.

By Scecina President Joe Therber

We begin this Advent season unlike any other we have experienced. We await the delivery of a lifesaver, a vaccine we hope will end our time in the COVID-19 desert where we’ve been socially distanced from important people and experiences of our lives. Even attending church – often a place of hope and peaceful refuge – has been altered.

Advent is a time each year when we wait and watch for the real Savior, Jesus, to arrive as a baby and again at the end of time. The church marks this time with hopeful, prayerful preparation. Maybe this year, with COVID curtailing external activities, we can find even more time to calm ourselves and to welcome Jesus through Scripture, prayer, and worship. Maybe it will be easier to avoid the stores and the materialism of the secular holiday this year.

Here at Scecina, our everyday hustle-and-bustle has been interrupted by the directive for schools to return to online learning. We are still in school; our students are learning from home, participating in sports, and attending virtual club meetings. They’re just not in our classrooms and hallways every day as usual. We wait and watch expectantly and hopefully for their return.

We cannot sugarcoat the trials and tribulations of opening a high school during a pandemic. It’s been hard work, planning, praying, and some crying. We are fortunate that our faith holds us together. More than ever, the bonds of Christian love, community, and hope we have at Scecina have kept our eyes on our important mission to serve young people and our community.

This year, living in this extraordinary time, let us watch for Jesus with hope, generosity, and compassion in our hearts. May we bring Jesus to those suffering from anxiety and stress, especially those walking in fear or uncertainty.

While the virus has slowed us down, let us consciously make time for one another and for our Lord, Jesus Christ, too.

Peace to you and yours this Advent and Christmas season,

Joe Therber

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