New Beginnings

New Beginnings

by James P. Campbell, D.Min.
Liturgical Year: Advent

Our children are fascinated by beginnings. They want to know how things are made, how their parents met, and where they come from. A wonderful family exercise on a rainy day is to bring out the family albums and go through them with your children or grandchildren. They will discover faces like their own in these pictures of the past. They will be able to discover connecting links and a firm sense of identity.

Advent is the season in which we celebrate new beginnings. It is the season in which we begin the liturgical year and prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior. We all know how easy it is to be distracted by the lights and decorations of businesses selling their goods. It’s easy to get caught up in this noise, identifying the season with the momentary pleasure a gift supplies. But when the next year comes, the gift is forgotten as the new season presents new possibilities. How do we give our children memories that stay with them for years to come?

As we see in Advent activities such as the Jesse Tree, we find the beginnings of the Christmas story in the Old Testament. These are the stories of the faithful people who are the ancestors of Jesus. Using an age-appropriate Bible with our children, we can create firm memories by reading to them the classic stories of our spiritual ancestors. There we find the story of Adam and Eve, of Noah and the ark, and of the call of Abraham and Moses. We see Moses leading the Israelites from Egypt to the Holy Land. We read of David’s kingdom and the message of the prophets. Hearing these stories in a loving environment will create for our children loving memories that will be a permanent blessing from year to year.


James P. Campbell, D.Min. 

Jim Campbell, father of two children and grandfather of six, is a religious educator and author.

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Books by James P. Campbell, D.Min.

52 Simple Ways to Talk with Your Kids about Faith

Opportunities for Catholic Families to Share God's Love

52 Simple Ways to Talk with Your Kids about Faith offers engaging ways for parents to talk with their children about God, faith, and morality.

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The Stories of the Old Testament

A Catholic's Guide

An invaluable book for Catholics who want to experience the Old Testament, not just read it.

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María y los Santos

Compañeros del camino

Un libro excelente para la catequesis y espiritualidad en torno a María como Madre de Dios y Madre de la Iglesia. ¡Un recorrido fascinante respecto al proceso de canonización y la declaración oficial que la Iglesia emite en torno a las apariciones de la V

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