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Caritas Australia’s Advent resource can help students:become more familiar with the Scripture stories for Adventidentify key times of the liturgical yearidentify key symbols, signs and rituals of the Catholic Traditiondemonstrate developing understanding and appreciation of the Church as a community that continues the mission of Jesuscompose and pray simple prayerslearn about the Church’s response to injustice through its organisations


Make your own Advent wreath. Download this ‘how to’ guide for more information.If you make a large class Advent wreath on a wall in green you can decorate it each day by printing and cutting out a symbol, writing a prayer on the back and pining them to your class Advent wreath. Symbols can be printed from the slides at the end of this PowerPoint.


Advent wreath helps us keep our thoughts focused on the coming of Christ at Christmas, so we should integrate it into our daily activities. This could be done as a class at a set time of the day. Everyone gathers around the wreath and someone lights the appropriate candle(s). A leader prays the Advent wreath prayer for that week. If you want the candles to stay lit for a prolonged period of time you could use battery operated candles to reduce risk.


The word ‘advent’ means ‘coming’. Lighting the candles on the wreath symbolises the coming of light (Jesus) into the world. Advent wreaths can be used in Church, at school or at home.

The first candle (violet) represents hope, the second (violet) peace, the third (rose) joy, and the fourth (violet) love. The central white candle is lit on Christmas Day and represents Christ.This Advent we will learn, act and pray for a more just and fair world – a world full of hope, peace, joy, and love.


Advent is the first season of the Church year. It is a special time of waiting as we get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus, God-with-us. Light the first violet candle: the candle of hope. God of hope, as we light this first candle on our Advent wreath may we be filled with your love. May we be people of hope among our friends and family. Amen


Matthew 24:37-44

The gospel story is telling us that we must be ready when Jesus comes again. We cannot be exactly sure when that will be, so we can try to be ready all the time. How do you think we can get ready to welcome Jesus in our lives? Is it just about buying presents and putting up Christmas trees? Are there other things we could to do? (e.g. sharing with others, being kind, helping other people).What could you do this week to prepare for the coming of Jesus?


Sariful lives in Bangladesh with his wife and three children.Due to drought it doesn’t rain very much and Sariful found it hard to grow food to feed his family. Three years ago Caritas Bangladesh, with the support of Caritas Australia, started a special project to help farmers like Sariful learn new skills to grow food.

Photo credit: Caritas Bangladesh

Through the project Sariful was able to gain livestock, farming equipment and seeds for planting.


Sariful now has food to feed his family and extra

food to sell for an income. Sariful is also a source of hope for others. He has become a community leader and is now able to educate other villagers.

Help in your school garden. Contribute a food item to a Christmas hamper to help other families who don’t have enough food to eat this Christmas.

Photo credit: Caritas Bangladesh


God of hope, As we prepare for Christmas, may we take the time to open our hearts to others. We promise to listen and wait patiently. We pray that all people will have enough food to eat this Christmas. Amen


Light the first violet candle of hope and the second candle for peace. God of peace, as we light our Advent candles today we ask forgiveness for the times we have not shown mercy to our friends or family. We pray that we will always use kind words and help others so we can all live in peace. Amen


Matthew 3:1-12

We heard that John the Baptist told everybody that Jesus was coming and that they needed to get ready. He warns the people, coming to be baptised, that they need to change their lives for the better to help them be ready for Jesus. What things can you do better? Are you always helpful? If we change our lives and try to live with a kind and generous spirit, we can help to make the world a happier place for other people too. How could you be more kind and generous this Advent? What will you do for others so that you are ready when Jesus comes?


The Red Dust Healing program helps people find peace in themselves. It helps people find why they are feeling hurt and angry and provides tools to talk about it. Before joining the program, Len, from the Western Kimberley community of Yiyili, struggled with problems he didn’t feel he could talk to anyone about.

Photo credit: Caritas Australia

However, through the program, Len has learnt skills to understand the past and found the answers on how he can live a better life and to look after himself.



This has helped Len become a confident father, husband and inspiring leader for young people in his community

. Learning how to talk about things that worry us is important. Who can you talk to when you are worried?

5th Dec- International Volunteer Day- How can you help others? Think of two ways you can help everyone play peacefully in the playground.

Photo credit: Caritas Australia


Jesus, Prince of peace,Help us to be peaceful people at school and at home by using kind words and treating everybody with care and respect. We pray for all people around the world that they can live in peace. We give thanks for all people who are helping others in need. Amen


Light the first violet candle of hope, the second violet candle for peace and the rose candle for joy. God, as we light our Advent candles today we remember that you are the source of our joy. May we see your joy in the hopes and dreams of our sisters and brothers around the world. Amen.


Matthew 11:2-11

John the Baptist wants to make sure that Jesus really is the special person he has been waiting for, so he sends some friends to check. Jesus speaks to John’s friends, explaining he is the one who has come to heal the sick and to bring good news to the poor. This answer tells John that Jesus really is the one he has been waiting for. We are not able to heal the sick as Jesus did, but we can help other people. What “healing” words and actions can we use to help people who are sick or lonely?What does it mean to bring good news to people who are poor? Do you have any ideas?


Psyche Mae (pronounced sy-kee may) was only 12 years old when she met Sister Ann from the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ). She was living with her parents, sister and three brothers on the edge of a garbage tip in Manila, Philippines. Through the FCJ program, her mother learnt to make bags to sell and Psyche May was able to go to school.

Now aged 25, the good news is that Psyche Mae has completed her education and is now helping others as a social worker.

Psyche Mae, aged 16, and her mum. Photo credit: Sean Sprague



mother is a part-time FCJ skills trainer and her father works with the FCJ House Repair program. Her sister and brothers are all at school receiving an education. How is the story of Psyche Mae’s family a ‘good news’ story? How can we bring good news to the poor?

Share the joy of Psyche Mae’s good news story with your family List 2 things you can do to bring good news or joy to others this week.

Psyche Mae, aged 25, speaking at Caritas Australia’s Women for the World event in Sydney. Photo credit: Peter Brennen


God of joy, You sent your Son Jesus to bring good news to people who are poor. Help us to be that good news, and work together with our neighbours around the world for a life that is fair for all families. Amen


Light the first violet candle of hope, the second violet candle for peace, the rose candle for joy and the final violet candle for love. God of love, as we light our Advent candles today we think of your love for us and how we can share your love with others. Amen.


Matthew 1:18-24

In this story an angel comes to tell Joseph that everything will be all right. Mary will have a son named Jesus and that he is the son of God. This fulfils what the prophet said about a son being born named ‘Emmanuel’, which means, ‘God is with us.’Joseph listened to the angel and did what God wanted him to do. What are some things God wants us to do? What is a sign that God is with us today? “Love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care…seeks to build a better world.” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ #231)What small gestures can we do to build a better world?


Agatha is a mother of two and lives in one of the world’s poorest countries, Malawi. She joined a community development program where she learnt to grow enough food to feed her family all year round. Agatha is working together with123 other families to manage small irrigation projects.

Relying on rain to water the crops is difficult as levels of rainfall is changing each year. Irrigation has provided a backup and helping the community increase the amount of vegetables they grow.

Photo credit: William Mponda, CADECOM


My life has changed forever. I wasn’t given any coins, but the knowledge and skills to turn around my life on my own.”When we think about other people without enough food or clean water, what do you think God would want us to do?

When thinking of gifts, perhaps instead of buying a present – you could ‘be present’ with them. Take the time to practise little ways of love this Christmas.

Photo credit: William Mponda, CADECOM


Loving God, We are all part of your one global human family. May we show our love with small gestures as we seek to build a better world. We look forward in hope to celebrating the birth of your son Jesus – the Prince of peace - a sign of your love for each and every one of us. May we love one another as you have loved us. AmenInvite students to make the sign of peace.



Christ Candle





Pine cone






Seed pods


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