- Human Services & Rehabilitation
- Social Sciences
- Certificate in Accounting and CPA Track Program
- Certificate in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling
- Certificate in Communications
- Certificate in Criminal Justice
- Certificate in Graphic Design & Multimedia
- Certificate in Human Resources Management
- Certificate in Medical Assisting
- Certificate in Paralegal Studies
- Certificate in Project Management
- Non-Credit Programs
THE DEEPENING YOUR FAITH SERIES:
Joy Comes to Life!
"The Way of Christ, and Journeying with Mary in Advent" Online Christmas Retreat Course
This user-friendly, easy-to-follow two week virtual retreat course will be led ONLINE by Professor Virginia M. Kimball as part of the Deepening Your Faith Series presented by Continuing & Career Education at Assumption College.
Two weeks only: December 1–15, 2013
|VIDEO: DR. KIMBALL'S BACKGROUND|
Participants will be able to take part in theological and spiritual enrichment each day for two weeks: Sunday, December 1 through Sunday, December 15. Each day new material will be presented, proceeding along the way through reflection and prayer on key passages of scripture (with the encouragement to read scripture daily); presentations on Christian life and teachings; and Marian poetic meditations presenting Mary as a model of discipleship.
The retreat opens with the theme of life in Christ based on a little known but exceedingly clear and important ancient document called the Proto-gospel of James. This document provides valuable tradition and background on the mother of Christ and his nativity.
The “birth narratives” found in Matthew and Luke will be read and explored. The ancient hymn of creation in the prologue of the Gospel of John will be studied and discussed in order to understand the Christology of the newborn child in Bethlehem. Excerpts from early Christian writers and theologians (such as Justin, Irenaeus, Ambrose, Augustine and Athanasius) and sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (looking at the creed and its statement of the “Christmas mystery”) will be presented for study. Poetic meditations will be available for private prayer and reflection.
Each weekly session will include:
- Topics for Christian living - chosen specially for each week [Video/audio presentations]
- Scripture - passages provided with written reflections to consider daily.
- Marian poetic meditations – “Walking with Mary, the mother who bore Christ” [demonstrating catacomb art, ancient iconography, Medieval, and Renaissance art, and contemporary folk art selections]
- Reflections on doctrine for the week. References will be given to corresponding Catechism of the Catholic Church sections on each week’s topic.
- Virtual chapel - Christian liturgical art and music will be accessible, a place for prayer and prayer intentions.
- The online retreat is available to the participant (asynchronous time) any time of day or night, along with special announced times for interaction and discussion sessions.
Opening day, Sunday December 1s - The First Day of Advent
- Meaning of the word “Advent” and its history
- Scripture study: Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7: 14; Isaiah 11:1, Isaiah 40:1-11 / Introduction to “the birth narratives” – why are they called this?
- Christian art of the Nativity – images in the Catacomb of Priscilla
- Marian references from Justin Martyr … Introduction to the Eve/Mary parallel
- Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 525-526
Monday, December 2nd
- Reading and understanding the background of the Protogospel of James
- Study of the Creation Hymn in the Prologue of John’s gospel, John 1: 1-14
- Christian art of the Nativity, early mosaics
- Marian references from Irenaeus
- CCC 437
Tuesday, December 3rd
- Finishing the study of the Protogospel of James
- Study of birth narrative in Luke – the Annunciation, the Visitation
- Christian art of the Nativity, Byzantine typology [Study of the icon of the Annunciation and Nativity – meaning of symbols in these icons]
- Marian references on the Incarnation from Athanasius
- CCC 484-486
Wednesday, December 4th
- Study of birth narrative in Luke – the Magnificat
- Christian art - Nativity in the Middle Ages [Seeing theology in image]
- Marian references from Ambrose on Mary and the Incarnation
- CCC 487-489
Thursday, December 5th
- Luke: Birth of Jesus, Circumcision and Naming, Presentation in the Temple , Return to Galilee, Finding Jesus in the Temple at age 12.
- Christian art – more on Mary and Nativity and biblical events in art of the Middle Ages
- Marian and Nativity references from St. Ambrose
- CCC 514-518 - The Creed and understanding the Incarnatin
Friday, December 6th
- Feast of St. Nicholas, history and influence of St. Nicholas on Christian faith: (teaching true things about Nicholas to children in lieu of “Santa Claus”
- Scripture considerations of the genealogy of Jesus
- Luke 3: 23-38 and Matthew 1: 1-17: Begin study of birth narrative in Matthew, consider how Matthew shows fulfillment of Prophecy
- Christian art – illuminated manuscripts
- Importance of daily prayer, looking at Marian texts in the Daily Hours
- Presentation on chant in the Christian tradition from earliest days
- Hebrew à Greek à Latin
- What is the spiritual value of chant?
- CCC 884 Councils and what they do, the role of St. Nicholas in a council
Saturday, December 7th
- Continue with birth narrative in Matthew: Annunciation to Joseph Mt 1:18-25, Wise men Mt 2: 11-12, Escape to Egypt Mt 2: 13-15 and return to Nazareth vs 19-23
- Presentation on legend of the trip to Egypt and visual presentation of all the monasteries and legends there about the Holy Family and their presence there
- Christian art – the beauty of Coptic art
- Introduction to Marian and Incarnation references from Augustine
- CCC 464 – 470 Incarnation
In Week Two, we will consider two very important feast days – the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe. We will consider related biblical passages, continue to see Christian art on the Nativity as it develops, study more on the birth narratives, and also continue to look at doctrine.
Sunday, December 8th
- Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception , its meaning (often misunderstood that it means Jesus was born immaculately of Mary)
- Scriptural passages relating to the Immaculate Conception Gen 3:15 (again) and Rev. 12. Also, passages relating to Daughter of Zion Zephaniah 3: 14-17
- Christian art of the Immaculate Conception, Renaissance art and in particular the stained glass windows in the Mary chapel of the church, Mary Our Queen, in Baltimore
- CCC 490-493
Monday, December 9th
- Mary, human mother and this importance. Galatians 4:14 and Romans 1:3-4
- Lining up the birth narratives (Matthew and Luke) together and seeing how they compare, which leads to their important message
- Christian art … the Annunciation in the Renaissance
- A look at Renaissance Christmas music (samplings)
- CCC 494-495
Tuesday, December 10th
- Study of the human condition and why Christ came … Genesis chapter 3, and excerpts from Paul’s letter to the Romans 9 (and other epistles if time)
- Advent practices … what can we do to prepare? Read scripture and pray. Do things in the family – give links with suggestions to the web. Understanding the Advent candle. Considering Confession and its value. Attending Mass.
- Christian art … the Nativity in the Renaissance
- More Renaissance and Baroque Christmas music (samplings)
- CCC 496-498
Wednesday, December 11th
- Christian life … the Beatitudes, and instruction from Paul’s letters
- More on Advent practices
- Christian art … the wise men and the escape to Egypt in Renaissance and Baroque art
- Christmas music in the 18th and 19th century … highlighting and understanding Handel’s Christmas oratorio (Isaiah as a source)
- CCC 499-501
Thursday, December 12th
- The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe: The feasts connection to the earliest appearance of Our Lady, Theotokos of the Fountain 4th c. and Theotokos of Protection
- Ideas on teaching children and families about Our Lady of Guadalupe (very strong in Latino communities)
- Biblical passages that demonstrate the symbolic connection between God’s gifts and water
- The spiritual meaning of the artistic elements in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- A look at the feast day’s liturgical texts
- CCC 502-507
Friday, December 13th
- The Feast of St. Lucy, the legend and story of her life as martyr
- Discussion of what is a martyr? Do we have to “die” for the Infant born on Christmas … or can our life be a “witness” (martyrdom in its true meaning)?
- A biblical study of martyrdom – Stephen, Christ, Paul …. the apostles
- The meaning of Christ’s death which is the gift of life unending to humanity
- A look at the feast day’s liturgical texts
- CCC 2473-2474, 2506
Saturday, December 14th
- Praying with the Psalms. A look at Psalms that would be wonderful prayer moments in Advent.
- Understanding biblical, Hebrew poetry and its parallelism. How does this deepen the meaning of the poetry of the Psalms?
- Looking at contemporary art of the Nativity, in painting, architecture, and folk art.
- Consideration of Christmas carols. Which ones are the most true to the biblical tradition? The history behind, for instance, Silent Night.
- CCC 508-511 (Pulling it together)
Sunday, December 15th
- Wrap up. What does the Bible tell us about Christmas?
- A full presentation of the Christmas crèche: The story of St. Francis, The Presepio, Modern crèche and why they are important to have in a family setting. Introduction to the collection at the Marian Library (an online resource)
- Doctrine … ideas on good ways to teach children and other adults about the faith
- A look at Lumen Gentium, VIII.
- CCC 185-197 Creed of the People of God, how does it relate to the Nativity?
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Dr. Virginia M. Kimball is an adjunct professor at Assumption College, Worcester, MA. She is a member and former president of the Mariological Society of America and is president of the United States Chapter of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is a member of the Orthodox Theological Society of America and frequently contributes to the Mary Page (www.marypage.org), often with poetic meditations related to icons, the Rosary, and liturgical feast days. She earned her Licentiate [S.T.L.] and Doctorate [S.T.D.] in Sacred Theology at the International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton; a Masters Degree at Andover Newton School of Theology in Newton Centre, MA; and studied two years at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA. She is co-author and editor of the ESBVM publication, Mary for the Love and Glory of God; co-author and editor of the forthcoming Mary: Godbearer to a World in Need; and contributor of a chapter in Mary for Time and Eternity, Essays on Mary and Ecumenism, edited by Fr. William McLoughlin and Jill Pinnock [Gracewing, 2007]. She often contributes to the journal, Marian Studies. Virginia is the mother of nine children and has 20 grandchildren.
TUITION (Great Gift Idea!)
PC: Windows Vista or Windows 7 with at least 1 GB RAM, and several GB of free disk space
Mac: OS 10.6 or above, with at least 1 GB RAM and several GB free disk space
Internet connection: a broadband Internet connection is recommended.
Complete and submit the form below. Then visit the AC Afford payment site immediately upon submitting this form to pay for the course: Tuition $50.00
1. Visit https://assumption.afford.com/
2. In the Make a One-Time Payment drop down menu, select Continuing and Career Education - Tuition & Workshops
3. Follow instructions to make your payment.
Questions? Phone Continuing & Career Education at Assumption College at 508-767-7364.