“Advent reminds us that God needs each of us to bring the message of Christmas,
the message of Jesus, into our world.”---Bishop Robert P. Deeley
PORTLAND---Hundreds of students, staff, alumni, and parents gathered together at Cheverus High School on Wednesday morning, December 19, filled with joy and Christmas spirit at the school’s Advent Mass, celebrated by Bishop Robert P. Deeley.
Concelebrating the Mass was Fr. Robert Pecoraro, S.J., the president of Cheverus (additional pictures below).
“This time of Advent is a time in which we are encouraged to open our hearts to listen more attentively to the stirring of God in our hearts,” the bishop told the large assembly. “Jesus comes in the darkest time of the year to be our light. His message to us is a call to live in his light. He shows us a way to live.”
Bishop Deeley joked that in recent visits with younger students at Catholic schools, he got the feeling that their enthusiasm for the birth of Christ was joined by an excitement to “share in the birthday gifts.”
For the older students, Advent should have a deeper meaning.
“Advent reminds us that Jesus comes now into the heart of each of us,” said Bishop Deeley. “He shows us our gifts and he calls us to use them for the good of each other and for the world. Advent reminds us that God needs each of us to bring the message of Christmas, the message of Jesus, into our world. Christmas itself reminds us that, with God, all things are possible.”
The bishop asked the students to know that Jesus loves them and to trust in the direction that love sets for their lives.
“Jesus wants us to be happy,” said the bishop. “That being the case, the way to be happy is to find what it is that Jesus wants me to do with what He has created. It may not be what I expect but, if it is what God wants of me, it will bring me happiness.”
Bishop Deeley brought happiness to the students during the Mass by giving them a gift himself.
“A bishop’s holiday. Fr. Pecoraro can find a day in the spring semester to give you an extra day off,” said Bishop Deeley to sustained applause from the students.
The Mass ended with an enthusiastic rendition of “Joy to the World.”
Wednesday marked the students last day before Christmas break. Cheverus will reopen on Thursday, January 3.
Prior to departing, Bishop Deeley attended a reception at the school with Cheverus alumni and faculty.