In her book, Donkey Bells, Catherine Doherty speaks about Advent:
“For me, the word ‘Advent,’ has a double connotation. It means the arrival of a new liturgical season, the preparatory time for Christmas, for the coming of Our Lord as a Child on earth…. But it also means that other Advent, the Second Coming of Christ in glory at the end of the world. That is an advent which Russian hearts long for and expect. They hope it will happen in their lifetime, but even if it doesn’t, they rejoice that it will happen in someone else’s lifetime.”
Here at Madonna House we long for that, too, and as we approach Advent, we sense your presence with us, sharing in that expectant joy. And we thank you for all you have done for us over the years and for all that you continue to do.
Ralph Edelbrock, the circulation manager for Restoration, sends a big thank you to those who responded to his plea for 9 x 12 envelopes to mail the paper.
As for our other office needs, we are, as usual, asking for #10 white envelopes and 8 ½ x 11 white paper—plain or with printed letterheads, or even used if it is still good on one side (We use this last kind as scrap paper). We also need some 2006 calendars.
Our mission gift shop is now on winter hours and is open three days a week. Looking ahead to the Christmas shopping season, the folks who work there can see that the stock needs to be replenished after a very busy summer. Here are a few suggestions about some of the kinds of items that people love to buy: Eskimo carvings (which are highly prized as gifts representing Canada), old icon calendars, interesting chess sets, and silver-plated cutlery. Even single knives, forks, and spoons sell well, and our cutlery drawer is almost empty.
Thank you for the religious medals and statues which are in demand any time of year. And for preparing items to sell, we need tiny pricing labels (about 5/16 x ½ inches or .8 x 1.3 cm.). We would appreciate any amount you can send us as they are very hard to find.
Our nurses, wanting to be ready for the usual winter maladies, are asking for cough drops, cough expectorant, Regular Tylenol, and Tylenol Arthritis—also evening primrose, baby aspirin, and paper tape (easier on sensitive skin).
Our list of needs is rather short this month. I will just ask for a few more things: good kitchen chairs for our Cana families, Victor Plastic Mouse Traps, and (looking ahead to after the winter) sturdy wire bicycle baskets.
As we begin this holy season of waiting and preparation, our prayer for each of you and for each of us is that we will let desire grow in our hearts for the “long expected one”—he who longs for us far more than we can ever long for him. And we take this opportunity to wish you a joyous and peace-filled celebration of Christ’s birth on earth.
In Our Lady of Combermere,
Susanne Stubbs and Mark Schlingerman (December 2005)
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