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Essay Contest for Youth in Grades 5-12!

We received information from our Diocesan Youth Ministry office of an essay contest that is being sponosored by the International Catholic Stewardship Council. The 2012-2013 essay contest is entitled "Essays on Christian Stewardship in the Catholic Tradition" and is open to youth in grades 5-12. They have broken the contest into three categories:

  • Category 1: Grades 9 to 12
  • Category 2: Grades 7 to 8
  • Category 3: Grades 5 to 6
Each category offers a first, second and third place cash price of $500, $250. and $100, respectively. Youth have until March 15, 2013 to complete their essay and submit it with the necessary paperwork. Winners will be notified by Monday, June 3, 2013. Information for this contest can be accessed by downloading the paperowork here. A hardcopy is also posted on the youth bulletin board in the atrium.


Advent Begins Sunday!

It's hard to believe that the beginning of the new liturgical year is less than a week away. The liturgical season of Advent kicks off the new year. While the rest of the world has already started focusing on Christmas with big sales, Christmas trees and Santa Clause, Advent calls us to slow down a bit and ponder the great mystery of the Incarnation.

There are two parts to this holy season. The first calls us to meditate on the coming of Christ in His glory at the end of time. Are we prepared for that day when the Son of Man will return to establish his earthly kingdom? Are we making the necessary changes in our life so that we can enter into the inheritance that has been promised to his faithful ones? 

The second calls us to remember and celebrate the great mystery of the Incarnation itself...Jesus' historical coming which we will celebrate on December 25th. How great a gift was offered to us when God stepped down from His throne in heaven to dwell among us and teach us how to follow him!

There are a number of ways that we can slow ourselves down to take full advantage of this holy season. First, we can take five minutes out of our day to meditate on the importance of the Advent season. We can do this by meditating on the daily scripture readings or by utilizing the "Little Blue Books" which are available for free here at the church. We can mark the passing days until Christmas using an Advent calendar. The use of an Advent wreath at home can also help us to mark the passing of the Advent season.

Special prayers can also be used to prepare ourselves for the great feast of Christmas. One devotion that is very popular is the use of the Christmas novena prayer. It is believed that those who pray it devoutly from the Feast of St. Andrew (Nov. 30) until Christmas will receive the blessings of Christ. The prayer is a beautiful way to prepare for the coming of Christ:

Hail and blessed be the hour

and the moment

when the Son of God was born

of the most pure Virgin Mary

at midnight in Bethelehm in piercing cold.

In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God,

to hear my prayers and grant my desires

through your most precious Son

and His most blessed mother. Amen.

May the season of Advent be a fruitful and rewarding preparation for Christmas and all the joys that it brings!


November...A Season of Giving

During the month of November it has become a tradition for many people to reach out to those less fortunate than ourselves. Our parish has been no exception. Every year we help our brothers and sisters in the community who are having difficulty meeting their basic needs. This year is no different. We are presented with several opportunities to share the great gifts that God has given to us with those in our community who are struggling. Along with the ecumenical community of North Pole, we are looking for the following items:



Yams/Sweet Potatoes


Instant Mashed Potatoes



Canned Pumpkin



The above items can be dropped off in the atrium of the church in the bins marked for St. Jude's.


Lord of Life Lutheran Church is collecting turkeys for the Fairbanks food bank to give to those in need in our community for Thanksgiving. Our parish of St. Nicholas has promised 50! Please take a turkey off the bulletin board in atrium if you can donate. Turkeys should be returned to St. Nicholas no later than November 20th. They can be dropped off in front of Father Robert's house next to the moose planter. For questions please call Anne in the parish office at 488-2595.


Don't Forget to Vote


By our baptism, Catholics are committed to following Jesus Christ and to be "salt for the earth, light for the nations." As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, "It is necessary that all participate, according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This is inherent in the dignity of the human person ... As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life" (nos. 1913-1915).


Saint Nicholas Annual Christmas Bazaar!


Don't forget...tomorrow is the annual Christmas Bazaar here at St. Nicholas. Not only do we have wonderful handmade gifts and yummy treats prepared by our parishioners, this year we are featuring over 25 different independent vendors! The bazaar runs from 9:00-3:00 pm and the proceeds benefit our religious education program and pastoral center. Come one, come all!