Catholic Bishops’ online Advent calendar proves popular with over 5,000 hits

12 Dec 2013

The recently launched Advent calendar on the homepage of the Irish Catholic bishops’ website has proven very popular in dioceses and parishes around the country with over 5,000 hits in the first 12 days of the calendar. The novel online Advent calendar was launched by Archbishop Eamon Martin on Sunday 1 Advent.

Speaking at the launch of the Advent Calendar Archbishop Eamon Martin said: “The season of Advent is a time of spiritual preparation for the Lord’s coming at Christmas.  Advent also prepares us for the second coming of Christ at the end of time.  As Christians, we must always be prepared for the coming of the Lord as reflected in today’s Gospel reading at Mass, ‘You must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do no not expect’  [Mt 24:37-44].  Taken together then, each day of Advent amounts to a period of time which allows us to journey and reflect on ‘the joy of the Gospel’. I invite everyone during the Advent season to visit and to enjoy the information provided on our online calendar.”

Commenting on the Advent Calendar, Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer with the Catholic Communications Office said: “We have had a lot of really positive feedback to the calendar from parents who are using the calendar each day with their children. The nature of the virtual calendar lends itself very well for use in the classroom and in the home. People are using the daily prayer intentions and enjoying the musical offerings of Advent pieces that are not as widely known as some of the traditional Christmas carols. People have also responded very well to the special Advent daily prayers and to excerpts from Evangelii Gaudium, the Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis.”

The Advent Calendar provides new content each day including:

–           Mass readings of the day;

–           Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), published on 26 November last, will be promoted using excerpts from it;

–           Advent videos: blessing of the crib in the home, blessing of the advent wreath in the home, prayer when lighting the lights on the Christmas tree, family table prayer;

–           Advent music;

–           information on saints during the Advent such as Saint Nicholas on 6 December;

–           family prayers (mother and child, children, grandparents, parents and godparents);

–           prayers for the season: for families in need, for those suffering neglect and violence, for Irish emigrants, for those in prison, for those who are sick, for those in difficulty;

–           Tweets from individuals, parishes, Irish Church agencies and from the Vatican;

–           resources for Advent and Christmas from Veritas;

–           Trócaire Global Gifts for 2013 information campaign;

–           Crosscare’s Dublin Food Bank appeal;

–           Christmas messages from Irish bishops in preparation for the Nativity of our Lord.

The Advent Calendar can be accessed at


Notes for Editors

  • Archbishop Eamon Martin is coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, chair of the Bishops’ Council for Communications and can be followed on Twitter @archbishopeamon
  • Advent (from ‘ad-venire’ in Latin or “to come to”) is the Church season encompassing the four Sundays and weekdays leading up to the celebration of Christmas.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444