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Christmas Greetings!

Joy, prayer and gratitude are three ways that prepare us to experience Christmas in an authentic way.

~  Pope Francis

It is absolutely remarkable what can be achieved when we work together as a community.

The outpouring of love and support the past 3 weeks has been a perfect example of this!  Christmas is the season of giving and making a difference.  WOW!  What a difference this community has made! The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul – Saint Matthew Conference, The Catholic Children’s Aid Society are in awe and humbled by our school’s overwhelming kindness and generosity.  Not only have we assisted with mittens,  for families in need; we have provided hope and happiness to these families this holiday season. Thank you very much!  May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace, the joy of Christmas give you faith and the warmth of Christmas grant you love!  Joyeux Noël

Celebrating Advent as a Family

  • In this Fourth Week of Advent, our final days of preparation before Christmas, we ask Christ to forgive us for our sins and, through His grace, to create us anew when He comes. When we look at the fourth candle, we remember God’s promise of peace. We recall the words of Jesus in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” As we approach Christmas, let’s remember that God’s intention is a place of peace.
  • I Wish for Peace – https://carfleo.com/2020/11/30/i-wish-for-peace-advent/

St. Matthew Catholic Parish News – Day of Prayer for Indigenous Peoples

Sunday, December 12 is the Diocesan Day of Prayer for Indigenous Peoples. It’s an important day to pray for truth, reconciliation, healing and pardon. We pray as well for justice, thus far largely denied to Indigenous communities, and share in the act of proclaiming the need for great change in our society. As an act of solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters, we’ll pray for these intentions at all our Masses this weekend. We’ll also begin our gatherings with the reading of a land acknowledgment statement.

~ Father Allen Varlaki

Follow St. Matthew Catholic Church on Social Media and keep up to date with all that is happening in our parish! There are four ways to connect to the parish:

Winter Break Travel

With the holiday season approaching, it is anticipated that many staff, students and families will choose to make travel plans over the break. We would like to remind families to follow federal directives related to international travel and quarantine requirements

Promoting Well-Being – The Mental Health Benefits of Gratitude

You may have heard the saying attitude of gratitude. It’s a great little rhyme to remind us that we live a life of gratitude – and practice it! When we practice gratitude on a regular basis, it not only impacts our mental and physical health, but those around you.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation for what we have. At a time when many of us are struggling to adapt to a new normal, practicing gratitude is more important than ever. 

Showing gratitude has the following mental health benefits:

  1. Expressing gratitude can improve your mood. People who regularly express gratitude for the positive things in their life are shown to be happier overall, leading to lower rates of stress and depression.
  2. Showing gratitude can make you more optimistic. Studies show that those who express gratitude regularly appear to have a more positive outlook on life. 
  3. Sharing gratitude can improve social bonds. People have reported feeling more loved and more connected to others in their lives when they routinely practice gratitude or those around them practice gratitude.
  4. Practicing gratitude can improve your physical health. People who actively express gratitude tend to be more engaged in activities to take care of their physical health, like eating well and exercising. This leads to higher energy levels, better sleep and a stronger immune system, or the ability to fight off illness or infection.

How can your family practice gratitude? The first thing is to build gratitude into your daily schedule – and practice it! Here are a few ways you can practice gratitude to improve the overall well-being of your family and those around you.

  1. Start your day by writing down one thing that went well the previous day and why it went well. You can do this while eating breakfast or before you start on work or schoolwork. Writing it down is important because it is a record of what happened that you can refer back to. This allows you to reflect on your actions and continue growing.
  2. Most of us feel frustrated by something in a normal day. When you find yourself feeling upset or frustrated, hit the pause button and reset your thinking. Come up with something positive about the situation or think about something else entirely that you are thankful for.
  3. Go around the dinner table and have each person state something general they are thankful for, and something specific to that day that they are thankful for.
  4. Share your gratitude with others by writing a note to someone you are grateful for.

Practicing gratitude is just one way you can improve your mental and physical health. Find more resources on gratitude at OnOurSleeves.org.

~ https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2020/05/gratitude

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

May you have the gift of FAITH, the blessing of HOPE

and the peace of His LOVE at Christmas and always!

Gojmerac, AnnieChristmas Greetings!