By Father Dennis Schaab, C.PP.S.
Advent, St. Mary’s Parish, Centerville. Appannoose (Baby Chief) County, poorest in the state. Once, hundreds of pony coal mines were operated here. Once 30,000 people lived here, now there are 12,000. The remnant. Anawim.
Once there were six Catholic Italian and Croatian churches; now there is one. Our Catholic school closed in ‘08. We have a 100-year-old hospital. We have the biggest Advent wreath in the church; it’s up for the last time because of remodeling.
The angels blow their horns at the coming of the Lord.
The angel spoke in the incense to the father of John who prepared the Way of the Lord.
The angel appeared in a dream to Joseph, twice. He took the pregnant virgin into his home and then took their Holy Family to Egypt.
The angel declared unto Mary and with her great “Yes” the Word was made flesh.
The angels sang Peace on Earth to the shepherds.
These are the Advent Scriptures this year. The angel speaks to the anawim, the poor ones, who remained faithful to God in times of difficulty. We carry the angel instead of the cross down the aisle beneath the wreath to the altar, that we too may be anawim and hear the Word who comes to those who listen and wait and hope.
Again, we renew our belief in the most difficult belief of our faith: the way our God comes. The babe in the crib is a sugar-coated pill.
(Father Dennis Schaab, C.PP.S., is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Centerville.)