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Oriens: A Pilgrimage Through Advent and Christmas 2020

Make a life-changing pilgrimage, beginning this Advent.

While the world rushes, you'll slow down. While others are distracted, you'll find focus. When everything seems dark, you'll see light.

Oriens: a Latin word meaning "rising" and "dawn."

Your Oriens journey begins on the First Sunday of Advent and continues until the feast of the Presentation on February 2. Every day, you'll take a step closer to "the dawn from on high." Father Joel Alexander Sember is your guide on an entirely new pilgrimage, one in which you will learn what God is revealing to you, uniquely, through Scripture and prayer. In Oriens: A Pilgrimage Through Advent and Christmas, you'll learn how to pray, or to pray more deeply. Each day you'll read a Scripture passage, receive Father Joel's guidance on how to pray with that passage, and find questions for reflection and journaling.

If in years past you have found yourself reaching Christmas only to wonder how you missed Advent, this book will speak to you. If other Advent reflection books have seemed shallow or unfulfilling, this book will open your heart to hearing the voice of God.

Welcome, Oriens pilgrim.

"Fr. Joel has written a warm and practical guide for our pilgrimage through the liturgical seasons of Advent and Christmas. Derived from his experiences as a pastor, spiritual director, and pilgrim himself, this book will guide all who read it into a deeper friendship with Jesus Christ. During this time of uncertainty and spiritual hunger, this simple yet profound book reminds all of us that God has come to save us and to give us hope." — Bishop David L. Ricken, Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconin

"Fr. Joel Sember's Advent resource, Oriens: A Pilgrimage through Advent and Christmas, provides an accessible and practical guide for personal prayer as the Church prepares for and celebrates the birth of Christ. By design, Fr. Sember avoids writing meditations based on the season's Scriptures. Instead, he shares daily encouragement for people who want to encounter the Lord for themselves through the beautiful biblical passages drawn from the Church's liturgy in these weeks. Using the analogy of a walking pilgrimage to describe the annual journey though Advent and Christmas, Fr. Sember fosters the journey of the heart of the Christian, who desires to enter into a deeper personal relationship with the Lord. Fr. Sember's approach in helping people to notice how the Lord is addressing them uniquely will help many people to experience the Lord's presence more deeply in their own lives."—Fr. Jim Rafferty, director of spiritual formation at the Institute for Priestly Formation

"A delight to read, Fr. Joel Sember provides an opportunity for our Advent journey to be one grounded in the rhythm of prayer and pilgrimage. With great joy and humility, Fr. Joel combines wisdom from the Scriptures with impactful lessons from his own life. A gem of a book!"—Julianne Stanz, Director of Parish Life and Evangelization, Diocese of Green Bay

"The Catholic faithful want to know how to enter into the depths of prayer. They want to go beyond just mealtime, bedtime, and scripted prayers. Fr. Joel Sember teaches methods of prayer for the seasons of Advent and Christmas, allowing all the faithful to take their communication to and with God to the next level." — Fr. Edward Looney, author of A Rosary Litany