“Every year Advent reminds us that grace—and that is God’s will to save man—is more powerful than sin.”

Saint Pope John Paul II

We come once again to Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year and the great season of waiting. The Christian life has a permanent Advent quality, for we are always expecting the coming of the Lord. Now, Jesus came, He will definitively come, and He is coming even now—for the risen Lord wants to take up residence in us today. So Advent is, perhaps most immediately, a preparation for that coming; we are getting ourselves ready to receive the Christ who wants, even now, to be born in us.  May the moments below assist us in our prayer, penance, and hope for our Lord Jesus to be born anew in us.




  • Advent Schedule
  • Advent Homilies
  • Advent Resources
  • Advent Flyer
  • Advent Practices and Giving Opportunities
  • Spiritual Disciplines to Embrace this Advent Season
  • Christmas Holy Mass Schedule 
  • Link to Christmas Page

Advent Schedule

Advent Homilies

1st Sunday of Advent | Is Jesus a Thief?
Our Lord compares His coming to that of a thief in the night. Truly, Jesus does try to take things from us. But thieves leave us feeling broken, angry, and sad…surely Our Lord does not intend to do this! So why then do we sometimes feel like Jesus is a thief, and what’s the difference between Him and a real thief? Listen to this homily on the 1st Sunday in Advent to find out.

Register now for the Unbound Freedom in Christ Conference on Friday evening and all day Saturday 12/9 – 12/10.


2nd Sunday of Advent | It’s Time to Clean House
You can look at Advent as when our Church is asking us to prepare our hearts for the wonderful guest that is to come; Jesus Christ. Listen as Father Michael has 3 suggestions on how we can prepare for our Lord this Christmas season.
The hope in this advent season is to offer Confessions as much as the priests can. On 12/12 through 12/17 there will be SIX straight days of Confessions Monday through Friday from 7pm to 8:30pm, Saturday 9am to 10am and 1:30pm to 2:30pm. To assist you at Confession, proceed to this link for an examination of conscience for Children, Teens, Single, Married, and in Spanish.

Gaudete ‘Rejoice’ 3rd Sunday of Advent | Blind Expectations
It’s amazing that everyone who met Jesus didn’t immediately fall at His feet and worship Him. His divinity was hidden in ordinary human flesh. Why then should we expect anything different with the Eucharist? Listen as we grow to see that God’s hiddenness in the Eucharist is utterly consistent with who God is!

4th Sunday of Advent | Following God’s Lead
It takes great courage to follow God’s lead, even if His promises seem hard to believe. As we continue to prepare for Christmas, Father Michael invites us to unite ourselves with St. Joseph who followed God’s lead and choose to believe in His promises so that we too can come to experience the greatest dream as well as the fulfillment of our dreams coming true in our very lives.

Advent Resources

Advent Practices and Giving Opportunities

Advent Practices.

Lighting an Advent wreath is a time-honored custom in the Church. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of his second coming.

Traditionally, Advent wreaths are constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which four candles are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent.  Ideally, three candles are purple and one is rose, but white candles can also be used.

The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of his second coming to judge the living and the dead.

  • The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time.
  • The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass.
  • Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. — USCCB

Countdown to Christmas. Using an Advent calendar – a special calendar with “windows” that can be opened for the 24 days before Christmas – is another way to mentally gear up for Dec. 25. By patiently opening the windows one day at a time, you build up to Christmas as a joyous feast.

Show and tell your spiritual genealogy. Decorating a Jesse Tree is another popular Advent tradition. Each day of Advent, an ornament representing key persons in salvation history leading to the birth of Christ are placed on a tree and Scripture verses pertaining to each person are read. The symbolic ornaments are traditionally handmade, and those placed on the Jesse Tree starting Dec. 17 represent the “O Antiphons” of Advent. The popular hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is a compilation of these seven prayers set to music.

Giving Opportunities.

Angel Giving Program! Be an Angel to a Family In Need.  Pick up a stocking after all Mass times on 11/26 & 11/27 and return it by Sunday 12/11 filled with any of the suggested items to the bin by the Welcome Desk or to the Main Office.

This year’s program benefits those individuals assisted by SVDP, Hesed House & Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry.

Monetary donations can be made under the Angel Giving Fund via our online giving portal or via check made payable to Our Lady of Mercy with “Angel Giving” in the memo for tax purposes. Accepted thru 12/31.

Please contact Lydia Schmitt, in the main office, with additional questions at or 331-707-5377.

Bring PADS Food Items to Masses on 12/3 and 12/4.  PADS will be on Tuesday 12/6 to help our brothers and sisters in need. Check out the PADS board in the Atrium (the entrance to our building) for the food items needed.  We are also thankful for any funds donated via the Give page or checks payable to Our Lady of Mercy and note on the memo “Hesed House-PADS”. Thank you so much for your generosity.
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’— Matthew 25:40

Volunteer at the Catholic Charities Mobile Food Pantry 12/21 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. The Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet Mobile Food Pantry delivers healthy food (meat, produce, and non-perishable items) to people in need. No identification or information will be required or collected. This event is open to anyone in need of food!  Share the Our Lady of Mercy social media posting on your network; you never know who among your network is in need of food.

Giving Tuesday benefiting Our Lady of Mercy.  It is because of your generosity that our church has been able to do so many beautiful things over the years. Thank you for continually responding to the call to give your time, talent, and treasure.

Giving Tuesday is a day when people worldwide financially support their favorite nonprofit causes. It’s celebrated annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving which is on 11/29 this year.

As you prepare to open your hearts in support of worthy causes on Giving Tuesday, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Our Lady of Mercy.

Our parish is gathering donations of any amount this Giving Tuesday to meet our weekly Sunday goal. As of 10/31, we are below budget by approximately $37,000.

We wouldn’t be able to accomplish everything we do without your continued support. Your gift of any amount will help us meet our weekly Sunday goal so as to enable us to live out our vision of offering every person a life-changing encounter with Jesus, grow disciples, and send them on mission.

If you’ve been impacted by Our Lady of Mercy, please consider supporting us on Giving Tuesday, please select “Sunday Contributions” on the secure online OSV give link below.

We pray you are able to help us by joining in this effort, unleash the power of your generosity!  All donors will receive a new OLM car magnet. Please be sure to write on the memo “Giving Tuesday” so we can send one to you or stop by the parish office to pick up your car magnet.

We thank you for your generosity in helping us erase the Weekly Sunday Goal shortage this Giving Tuesday!

Christmas Flower Memorials. This Christmas we will decorate the church with poinsettias around the altar.  Flowers can also be memorialized by using one of the flower envelopes found in the narthex.  The recommended donation is $10.00.  Thank you for your generosity and for helping to make our church beautiful during the holiday season.

Spiritual Disciplines to Embrace
this Advent Season and Always


Text APP to 88202 to download

Check out the ‘Reflections’ Button

Check out the ‘Advent’ Button


The waiting of Advent can be a time filled with great family activities and memories. Jackie and Bobby share some activities for Advent that have helped make the season more meaningful in their family. Maybe something they do will make perfect sense for you and you household.


This Advent season, walk with Dr. Tim Gray on a journey of renewal to ready your heart for the coming of Christ. Each day of Advent, Dr. Gray will unpack the meaning of this season and its rich traditions, as well as offer practical advice for making this Advent your best yet.


On behalf of the Augustine Institute, FORMED is offering Adventus: A Spiritual Pilgrimage to everyone this Advent and Christmas Season. In light of the separation we face as communities, this special documentary allows Catholics all around the world to unite and make a spiritual pilgrimage to the Holy Land to see the places associated with Christ’s Birth.



Welcome to this great journey of Advent, the liturgical season of vigilance—or, to put it more mundanely, of waiting.

Waiting is very hard for most of us. I suppose we human beings have always been in a hurry, but modern people especially seem to want what they want when they want it. We are driven, determined, goaloriented, fast-moving. I, for one, can’t stand waiting. So when I’m told that waiting seems to belong to the heart of the spiritual life, I’m not pleased, for here, too, I want answers, direction, clarity–and I want them pronto.

So what sense can we make of the countercultural and counterintuitive spirituality of vigilance? The first thing we have to realize is that we and God are, quite simply, on different timetables. “To you, O Lord, a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8). What is a long time to us is an instant for God.

Also, is it possible that we are made to wait because the track we are on is not the one God wants for us? G.K. Chesterton said that if you are on the wrong road, the very worst thing you can do is to move quickly. Maybe we’re forced to wait because God wants us seriously to reconsider the course we’ve charted, to stop hurtling down a dangerous road.

Or perhaps we are made to wait because we are not yet adequately prepared to receive what God wants to give us. Saint Augustine argued that the purpose of unanswered prayer is to force an expansion of the heart. And even if we desire with sufficient intensity what God wants to give, we still might not be ready to integrate a particular grace into our lives or to handle the implications of it.

So may we embrace the spirituality of Advent, and may we spend these holy days together waiting–in prayer, penance, and hope–for the appearance of Christ our Savior.


Bishop Robert Barron”

St. Ignatius was a master of practical prayer and recommended making a daily examination of the consciousness, whereby one reviews the day, at the end of the day, in the presence of the Lord.  St. Ignatius directs people to spend most of their time reflecting not on sins, but on the blessings of the day.  The following link is a summary of the Examen as presented by Father Gaitley, MIC.


Why it is so many Catholics don’t go to the sacrament of reconciliation? There is a relationship between confession and the Eucharist. To help alleviate fear around going to confession here are tips on how to make a good confession.

Examination of Conscience/Reconciliation Resources

*Behold, I make all things new. – Revelation 21:5

Each of us carries a deep longing to be made new. That longing is a fundamental part of our humanness. We live it rhythmically as we mark the passing of time—for example, with the changing of the calendar every January. The new year often brings resolutions to become better at what matters most, to refocus, to make changes. Even though our resolutions often crumble, the repeated effort of making them speaks to our aching desire to be better and our attempts to become so.

In an even deeper manner, the Catholic faith is marked to its very core by God’s ceaseless invitation to begin anew. For the believer, each year is interwoven with the movements of the liturgical seasons, the repetition of which perpetually draws us more and more deeply into life in Christ.

In secular terms, the new year begins in January. But on the spiritual plane, our new year starts even earlier, with Advent. Advent is, in a real sense, our annual new beginning. It can and should be marked with the same drive to refocus, but on a goal beyond weight loss or picking up a new hobby.

Advent is a time to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ, as we remember the first time He came to us and see Him come to us again and again. Of all the seasons of the year, Advent offers us perhaps the clearest sense of adventure and journey. It is a season for resetting our horizon, reframing our movement toward fullness in Christ. And even though Advent is brief, it is filled with spiritual riches. Yet, because Advent falls during a busy time of year, we often rush over or even miss the treasures God places before us in the Church. This Advent page and resources we handed out is born out of a desire to lift these gifts up and hold them out to you in a way that deepens your entry into the greatest of mysteries.

We pray that these resources will help you settle down and enter into a journey that, year after year, promises to transform our lives. We really do set out on an adventure together, as a Church, every year. In this season of longing, hope, and new beginnings, let us move toward a deeper adoration of the King of kings, who comes in the quiet of the night to save us. When we engage the movements of the season, we begin to sing more fully that cherished hymn: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.