December 22
4th Sunday of Advent



Bl. Karolina Kózka (Feast Day November 18)

August 2, 1898 – November 18, 1914 


Karolina grew up in a Catholic family in rural Poland in the Diocese of Tarnow. She was one of eleven children. Her family prayed daily and displayed the love of God to her. Often, Karolina would gather neighbors and relatives, mainly children, and they would read the Scriptures together under a pear tree near her home. She loved praying the rosary, using the beads given to her by her mother. Her prayers often caused her to get less sleep than she needed.

She would pray the rosary constantly, and even though it was a long walk to Mass, she would go during the week, in addition to Sunday. Because of her love for serving, she helped her uncle in the library, and she also helped organize things at her parish. In addition to serving the Church, she taught her younger siblings and the children of the area their catechism. By age 16, Karolina was a beautiful, enthusiastic girl. 

In 1914, World War I broke out in Poland, and in November 1914, the Russian army controlled her city. On November 18, an armed Russian soldier attempted to force himself on her and eventually killed her. Karolina was only 16. 

Three thousand people flocked to her funeral and called for her cause for sainthood to be introduced. Pope John Paul II beatified her in Poland. 

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When Mary came to visit her cousin Elizabeth, she was pregnant.

Who was the child in her womb? What role does Elizabeth’s child play in the Christmas story?

·    When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Share a time when you were filled with the Holy Spirit.

·    Elizabeth greets Mary with a blessing. What words would you use to greet Mary if she visited your home?

·    In what way did Bl. Karolina’s family shape her faith?

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Make Your Own Ornaments

Create your own salt dough ornaments to hang on your Christmas tree or to give as gifts. You need only three ingredients: flour, salt, and water.

Mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup table salt, and 1 cup of warm water to make a dough. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment or wax paper and then use cookie cutters to cut whatever shape you choose. Put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and create a small hole somewhere on the ornament for a ribbon or ornament hook so you can hang it on the tree. Bake at 250 F for about 2 hours or until the ornaments are dry. Once cool, you can paint them if you wish. Consider lightly spraying them with a coat of polyurethane spray for the ornament to last for years to come.

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Arugula and Pear Salad with Honey Dressing 

Modern folklore suggests that the partridge in a pear tree in The Twelve Days of Christmas represents Jesus. Enjoy this light pear salad as we prepare for the first day of Christmas.


1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced finely


arugula lettuce


goat cheese

pomegranate seeds

candied walnuts or pecans

** Can also use gorgonzola cheese instead of goat cheese and add grapefruit instead of pears.

Whisk all dressing ingredients together. Combine salad ingredients and dressing. Keep extra dressing in fridge as it will keep for several weeks.

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Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

We hear Elizabeth say to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Join in this prayer today with a family Rosary. 


Recite a rosary together as a family, meditating on the Joyful Mysteries. Offer each decade (set of 10 Hail Marys) for something for which you are grateful. To find the prayers of the rosary and the joyful mysteries, please visit http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/rosaries/how-to-pray-the-rosary.cfm

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Today’s Gospel is filled with joy! Which part of Mass was most joyful to you today?

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Get together with some other families and go Christmas caroling, sharing the news of Jesus’ birth.

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Mary traveled around 81 miles from Nazareth to the Judean countryside where Elizabeth lived. She stayed there for three months.

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