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WELCOME TO

ST STEPHEN CATHOLIC PARISH

We're glad you came!


Advent 2021

 

The Advent Season is all about reflecting on how we can prepare our hearts and homes for Christ's birth in the world as it is today.  It is a time for faith communities and families to remember, through prayer, reflections, special music, and good deeds what the true meaning of Jesus' birth is.

Advent / Christmas 2021 Schedule

 

Sunday, Nov. 28  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st Sunday of Advent

Wednesday, Dec. 8, 6pm  . . . . . . . . . . . . . Solemnity of Immaculate Conception

Friday, Dec. 10, 6pm  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advent Reconciliation Service

Friday, Dec. 24, 5:30pm   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christmas Eve Mass

Saturday, Dec. 25, 9:30am  . . . . . . . . . . . . Christmas Day Mass (no 5pm Mass)

Sunday, Dec. 26, 9:30am  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Feast of St. Stephen (Mass/Reception)

Saturday, Jan. 1, 9:30am  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . New Year’s Day Mass

Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 1 - 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . Regular Weekend Mass Schedule

Liturgy Times / Location

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About Us

Weekend Masses at St. Stephen are Saturdays 5:00 pm and Sundays 9:30 am.

 

Additional, you can attend our weekday Masses, Monday-Friday at 8:00 am.

Masks continue to be required for everybody, regardless of your vaccination status.  Masks are available on the bulletin boards by the church entrances.

 

Our Masses at St. Stephen are no longer live-streamed, but if you are not yet ready to return to Mass in person, CTK is still live-streaming their Saturday 4:00 pm and Sunday 10:30 am Masses as well as their weekday Masses at CTK Facebook page or CTKPH YouTube channel.

St. Stephen Family – our parish records are out of date.  People move, people change emails and phone numbers.  Children are born and others move out.  Please take a few minutes to update your information for our records.

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you. Feel free to give us a shout and connect with us.

St. Stephen is a small, but vibrant, Catholic community located in the hills behind Palos Verdes Mall in Walnut Creek.  We share staff and clergy with Christ the King Parish in Pleasant Hill.



A MESSAGE

​​​​​​​

FROM FR. PAULSON

Dear Friends:

Jesus says, “Be careful… be on watch and pray”

 

This weekend begins a new Church year – Advent – four weeks that precede Christmas, when we, filled with joy, prepare ourselves to celebrate again Jesus’ birth. During the Advent season we recall two central elements of our faith: the final coming of the Lord and the birth of Jesus. It is a new year for each of us and all that excites one with a new start.

 

To assist us in our efforts, today’s readings provide some help. Jeremiah in the first reading reminds us that God keeps His promises. In the second reading, Paul encourages the Thessalonians to break away from their routines and to be holy and pleasing to God. And we hear some piercing symbolisms in Luke’s gospel, as Jesus warns His followers of His future coming. Be vigilant, pray always.

 

What does this mean for us? Advent is inviting us to a real encounter with Jesus. It is a time to be open to new adventures that might come our way. It is a time to be more aware of God’s presence in the world, in ourselves and in the people around us.

 

Ah! But it is a busy time of the year! We all get caught up in the busy-ness of the season. But, it is important to take some time to check in with ourselves. Buying gifts, decorating trees and homes, baking and all our other traditions will still make their annual appearance in our already busy lives. Stepping away from this is not easy but using a bit of energy to focus on Advent will heighten our Christmas joy.

 

Here are some ideas to enrich your celebration of Advent at home.

 

· Advent Wreath:   

Prepare an Advent wreath. Three purple candles, one pink (or any candles) and some evergreens.  Place on a tray or plate. The candles symbolize Hope, Peace, Joy, Love. Each week light one more candle and pray together.

 

· Gifts for Others:   

Gather together clothes and toys that can be donated to any of numerous charities for Christmas distribution. Children could pick out a toy to donate – something they would like to receive as a Christmas gift.

Donate baby supplies to a local charity.

Bring a meal to someone in need.

 

· Read

The story of “Las Posadas”:

Posadas is a Spanish word meaning “shelter”. A Hispanic tradition, Las Posadas recreates Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter in Bethlehem.

Read Matthew and Luke’s version of the nativity. Each of these gospels tell the Story of Jesus’ birth from a different perspective. Put together the traditional scene of Christmas crèches down through the ages.

 

· Family Tree Ornaments: 

(Advent Themes) Using materials of your choice create ornaments to represent the traditional Advent themes.

1. God’s People – The Candle of Hope.

2. The Old Testament Prophets – The Candle of Peace

3. John the Baptist – The Candle of Love

4. Mary, the mother of Jesus – The Candle of Joy.

 

· Pray: 

Gather around your Advent wreath each Sunday for prayer.

Make some quiet time each day to pray.

Go for a walk and enjoy all of God’s Creation.

Plan to attend the Advent Reconciliation Service, joining others to celebrate God’s mercy, forgiveness and love: Saturday, December 11, 3PM or Monday, December 13, 6PM at CTK, or Friday, December 10, 6PM at St. Stephen.

 

I wish all of you your best Advent ever filled with many blessings. Remember, the real Advent happens within. The real preparation is in your heart.

 

Lovingly,  Sister Maureen Viani, SNJM

 

Fr. Paulson

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