Families make crafts to welcome Advent season

Families make Advent crafts at St. Patrick Parish in Ottumwa.

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

OTTUMWA — Maggie Hoerdeman smiled as she watched her young sons frost Advent wreath-shaped sugar cookies with bags of green icing. Sitting at tables in the St. Patrick Parish hall, Fulton, 4, and Ignatius, 2, made enough for their younger sister, Zita, to enjoy.

Maggie and her husband, Joe, appreciate opportunities for their family to get involved in parish life, so they were eager to attend the annual Advent craft event Nov. 26. “Faith formation for our kids is very important to us,” she said, noting that the boys had fun making Advent crafts to welcome in the season.

Families could choose to assemble Advent wreaths from a cardstock kit or create artificial fir wreaths with real candles. Organizers encouraged families to bring them to Mass the weekend of Dec. 2-3 for a blessing. A local confectionary, Ashby’s Bakery and Ice Cream Shop, donated the cookies and icing.


A case of brightly colored beads and string beckoned families to make St. Andrew chaplets. Copies of the St. Andrew Christmas novena were available for families to pray at home between Nov. 30 and Dec. 24.

The parish extended invitations to its religious education collaborators, St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottumwa and St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Bloomfield. About 40 people attended, said event coordinator Laura Bates-Glenn. “This is the first year since 2019 that we were able to hold the event” due to COVID-19 precautions. She is grateful families were once again able to enjoy this tradition.

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