St. John the Evangelist, more than any other of the eleven Apostles, was wonderfully fascinated by the amazing, marvelous event of God becoming man and living among us. His writings are filled to the brim with this fascination, which is one reason why they play such a central role in the liturgy throughout the Christmas season. St. John is so fascinated with the Incarnation, in fact, that there are very good reasons to simply call him the Apostle whose favorite holiday was Christmas. And those reasons are what this Advent Retreat Guide, The Christmas Apostle, will explore.
In the First Meditation, we will dig into the core of St. John’s Christmas message.
In the Second Meditation, we will meditate on St. John’s own life experience when it comes to living out this message.
And in the Conference, we will reflect on some common obstacles to living Advent well, and how to overcome them.
May God bless you and keep you this Advent season!
Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. After college, he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. He then spent a year as a professional actor in Chicago before entering the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller, “Inside the Passion”–the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. Fr. John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on NBC, CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican’s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. His most widely known book is called: “The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer”. His most recent books are “Spring Meditations”, “Seeking First the Kingdom: 30 Meditations on How to Love God with All Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength”, and “Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions”. Fr. John currently splits his time between Michigan (where he continues his writing apostolate and serves as a confessor and spiritual director at the Queen of the Family Retreat Center) and Rome, where he teaches theology at Regina Apostolorum. His online, do-it-yourself retreats are available at RCSpirituality.org, and he answers questions about the spiritual life at SpiritualDirection.com.