Postulant Ken and Brother Ronan preparing the Advent wreath.

The season of Advent has begun! Each year the Christmas festivities begin earlier and earlier. As a result, those unique rituals of Advent are increasingly lost in the pre-Christmas buzz.

The Advent season is indeed a special time. As the poet Patrick Kavanagh put it, Advent allows us to see again the newness in ‘every stale thing’. Advent transforms our vision bringing wonder and delight into our lives. Kavanagh writes of the ‘spirit-shocking wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill’, when it is seen through Advent eyes.

In Galway, our Postulants Ken and Michael are working with Brother Ronan to decorate the church for Advent. All sorts of wreaths in evergreen are being prepared. Different hues of green and brown and the scent of woodland pine will help us to remember that we are indeed in a special season.

We are waiting in expectation for something God alone can give us.

Advent is about waiting in hope. Not the dull, tedious wating of a long queue or a traffic jam!

Advent is more like waiting in the arrivals of an airport for a much-loved family member to return, stretching and straining to peek through the doors and catch a first glimpse of the one coming home. It is the kind of waiting that adds to the joy yet to come.

It is this expectation and longing which makes our celebration of Christmas meaningful and transforming.

For Jesus is indeed coming! Wishing you a peaceful and a hopeful Advent season! 

Friar Liam Kelly OFM


If you are interested in this way of life why not make contact to find out more: 

Phone:  087 396 0262 

Postal address: Franciscan Friary, Athlone, Co Westmeath.

Postulant Michael busy getting the greenery for the Abbey church.