News for Catholic living from the Diocese of Little Rock
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Dec. 9, 2022

David Liem, case manager for the Refugee Resettlement Office, Dec. 6, meets with Abdull, an Afghan refugee who was hired as a translator for the Afghans who relocated to central Arkansas. (Chris Price photo)

Settled in Arkansas

Eighty-eight Afghan refugees have called central Arkansas home for the past year. Catholic Charities has a case worker assigned to help them find housing, jobs and schools and learn English to make their new lives in the United States a success. What are their biggest challenges?
How many Catholic churches and organizations have sponsored Afghan families in Arkansas?

A. 2
B. 7
C. 4

(Answer at the bottom)


I recently read a book by St. Teresa of Kolkata called Love: A Fruit Always in Season. In the section on Advent, she says, “May Jesus find welcome in the manger of your heart. May it be warmed with love and humility. It is beautiful to see the humility of Christ--humility in the manger and humility in the tabernacle. One thing Jesus asks of me is that I lean upon him; that in him alone I put complete trust; that I surrender myself to him unreservedly.” I find it powerful and fruitful to gaze upon baby Jesus in the nativity scene or in the arms of Mary or Joseph. It truly blows my mind (and my heart) that he is a baby…a baby wholly vulnerable and needy, like any other and every other baby. He first trusted his life to humanity and then invited us to trust in Him for fullness of life.

Reflection: Today spend some time in front of a nativity scene or an image of baby Jesus. What stirs in you? Visit Jesus from as deep a place as you can.

— Deacon Danny Hartnedy


St. Juan Diego

Dec. 9

Baptized at 50, this Indian was walking to Mass on Dec. 9, 1531, when Mary appeared to him near Mexico City. On Dec. 12, Mary told him to pick flowers blooming atop the hill and put them in his cloak to take to the bishop. When Juan opened the cloak, the flowers fell out and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe adorned his garment. 


Travel agent for guilt trip

My dad and his wife asked my husband and me for $55,000. They want the money so they can pay off their debt. My dad said we should do this if we want them to get ahead and have anything left in their later years. My dad is 80, and his wife is in her late 70s. My husband and I are both in our 50s. Please tell me how to handle this.   
Manipulation or not?


Finding God's mercy

A diocesan shrine dedicated to Divine Mercy at St. Edward Church in Little Rock will be a "place of pilgrimage, adoration and reconciliation." The shrine will open on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 11. Adoration will take place at 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Reconciliation will be available every day except Monday.



12: Our Lady of Guadalupe feast day
19-30: Christmas break for most Catholic schools
23-26: Christmas holiday, diocesan offices closed
24-25: Christmas collection for retired and infirm priests
27-30: Come and See retreat, Subiaco Abbey


"Social inequalities, forms of slavery and exploitation, family poverty due to the lack of work or poorly paid work are realities that must be listened to in our church communities. They are more or less forms of exploitation  - let us call things by their real name,"

— Pope Francis, Dec. 9

December aSpirations

• Meet Knights' state deputy Lloyd Cambre
 Cursillo movement relaunching in the diocese

Four religious celebrate jubilees this year
Answer: C
Two parishes in Little Rock and North Little Rock and two organizations have sponsored Afghan families.

Did you get the right answer? Let us know!
Thanks for reading aSpire. Craving more? Take a nibble on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram; get some depth on the Arkansas Catholic website. And for a heaping helping, subscribe to Arkansas Catholic. Oh, and forward this issue to share!
Malea HargettHave a news tip? Please contact me. 
Your humble editor, 

Malea Hargett
Arkansas Catholic
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