The Madonna and Child has been a popular subject of art since the Renaissance. The portrayals of Mary with her infant Son were objects of devotion. To learn more, see this article on Madonna and Child artwork from the National Gallery of Art:
Not surprisingly, every year depictions of the Madonna and Child are among the most popular of our Christmas cards.
However, we also get one or two notes or calls each year from people who are offended by the depiction of the infant Jesus in the nude. If this style of art shocks or offends you, please choose from one of our other designs. But know that this way of depicting our Lord has a long history, and is not meant in any way to offend. It comes from a less sexualized culture which viewed children as innocent and pure. In particular, the portrayal of Christ nude emphasizes his true humanity.
Furthermore, the addition of a halo or nimbus around Christ’s head (not present in all depictions) indicates his divinity. Often, when Christ appears in art with other saints, his nimbus incorporates a cross while the others do not. This distinguishes divinity from human sanctity.
Many depictions of Mary and Jesus focus on their humility and humanity. This kind of imagery makes them more accessible. Take this American piece, for example:
Religious Christmas art makes people feel connected with God. They can relate to images of a mother and child. Some prefer more traditional images that emphasize the sacred. Others prefer more human, “homey” images. Some like paintings, while others like mosaics. Some like icons or stained glass-style images. Whatever your taste in art, The Printery House has a religious Christmas card for you!
Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. We are full of hopeful expectations as we prepare for the birth of our Savior and the promise of the new year.
In this time, we can really prepare by reflecting on our deep need for Jesus through Advent devotional booklets. These booklets let us bring focus each day to the things that truly matter in our lives and help us to prepare ourselves to receive God’s gift of Jesus. These booklets are not only great gifts for others but could be one of the best gifts to give ourselves.
Below are a few of our Advent booklets available this season. Click the link to learn more. http://bit.ly/2ysDRSo
The position of The Printery House General Manager has
proven to be a bigger task than I had ever anticipated. Now in my third year of being the General
Manager of the press I would like to share with you one of the great things
that I have learned.
Throughout our lives we receive several invitations, whether
it be to a wedding, a dinner party, or to share a prayer with a family member
or loved one. In seminary, we were
taught that the people who come to church every day are not the people of God
that we needed to worry about. We as
future priests needed to be more attentive to the people who only come to
church at Christmas and Easter, or even more important than those people who
live within our parish boundaries that we never see. At the time it sparked a
couple of questions. How does one reach
out to the people of God who only come to church once or twice a year? How do I reach out to the people whom I never
In October 2016 I was in the press room talking with our
Press Manager/Operator while she was printing an order for 4,600 Christmas
cards. As the cards were coming off the
press, I looked at the card and was blown away by the innovative way this
pastor was reaching out. The card itself
was one of our Christmas cards. As you
would open the card up on the left-hand side, he had printed the church
services for the Christmas Season. On
the right-hand side of the card was our message, but underneath that the pastor
wrote his own note. “Wishing you and
your family a Blessed Christmas Season with the Peace and Joy of the New Year
to come!” and then he signed his name.
I found out that there are several pastors that have cards
printed in this way, which is a creative way of reaching out to everyone within
the parish. We can now help out these pastors even more with our new mailing
program. Given the mailing addresses, we can print, stuff and mail all your
Christmas cards for you hassle free. This could be a great way for your own
parish to reach out to people, and a unique way to invite people to celebrate
the birth of our Lord and Savior.
This article describes in brief the process of monastic formation that a man goes through to become a monk. This is how it happens at Conception Abbey. Other monasteries may have different procedures or terminology.
Those just visiting the community may be termed “prospects” or “candidates.” Either term may be used interchangeably. Vocation guests may be allowed to eat with the monks or to sit with us in our choir stalls at prayer. They may also get opportunities to work with one or more of the monks.
After a period of discernment and communication with the vocation director, a man may decide to ask to test his vocation within the community. After completing an application process and being accepted by the vocations committee, he may come to live with us. At this point we call him a postulant. He has “postulated” himself as a potential member of the community.
Becoming a Novice
If the postulant and the community discern that it is God’s will, he may next proceed to a more formal period of monastic formation or training as a “novice.” According to church law, the “novitiate” or period of being a novice must last at least one year. So if you enter novitiate in August, you could, God willing, profess vows a year and a day later, the following August.
A new monk first professes vows that will last for three years. During this time, he is a “junior” monk. He receives a new name at profession and is called “Brother.”
Supporting Those in Monastic Formation
Young men in the process of discernment and monastic formation need lots of prayers. Please pray for our novices. Pray, too, that God will send us more good men to seek God in the monastic life. If you know someone making vows, send a card.