Step 1: Share!

The more, the merrier! So why don’t you invite someone to join us as we “Unwrap the Spirit” together?

Step 2: “Unwrap” Advent

Learn About Advent

What is advent all about? Busted Halo pulled together a short video called “Advent in 2 minutes” – quick, simple, to the point.

Click here to watch!

Get some tips for a Holy Advent

The Advent Issue of The Gulf Coast Catholic Magazine mailed to all registered parishioners of our Diocese.

If you didn’t receive your issue, click here to check it out online!

Step 3: Make your commitment!

Committing to prayer, penance and sacrifice can fill our hearts with joy, hope and anticipation for the birth of Christ.

Every commitment is personalized to each person, family or group wishing to join in. You can make a commitment to either prayer, penance or sacrifice today, and then add an additional commitment each week as you progressively enter into the solemnity of the liturgical season. Or, if you feel you are ready, make a commitment to each right now!

And don’t forget, as each commitment is fulfilled, come back to the site throughout Advent to “Unwrap the Spirit” and commit to more!

“When we pray, we reach out to God with our needs, our struggles, our joy, and our gratitude.”

Dynamic Catholic, About Catholic Prayer

Committing to prayer in Advent may be one of the most natural and simple commitments to make because prayer is ingrained into so many of our customs and practices during this season. For “Unwrap the Spirit!”, we hope that you will choose to increase your time spent in prayer (perhaps by praying for those who have submitted a prayer request – click here to view our Prayer Wall) or try something new or different from the ideas presented below to prepare for the coming of Christ.

All are invited to ask for prayers which will be posted on our Prayer Wall:

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

All are invited to “Unwrap the Spirit” by committing to prayer:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Advent Prayer Resources

Meditations for Advent

  • There are 6 Meditations: First is “A New King” to the “Visitation of the Mother and the Son of God”
  • Each have a format to use as meditation during for a Holy Hour.

The St. Andrew Novena Prayer

Starts on November 30th and pray until Christmas

Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Immaculate Conception

  • Traditionally prayed from November 29th-December 7th
  • Think link includes the Introductory Prayer for all nine days of the novena and the intercessory prayer for each day.

Advent Wreath Prayers

Prayers with scripture reflections for each week of Advent.

For more Advent resources including links to downloadable Advent Calendars, click here.

“And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25:40

Making a sacrifice this Advent calls for giving of oneself, answering our call to share Christ’s Mercy and Justice with our brothers and sisters in need. In giving time through volunteer services, or in making a financial contribution, we are receiving a gift as well.

All are invited to “Unwrap the Spirit!” by committing to sacrifice time, talent and treasure this Advent:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sacrifice Resources

Click here to help Bishop Parkes reach his “Rise to the Challenge” end-of-year giving goal!

The Giving Challenge is a one-time annual fundraising effort which offers grants to parishes, schools and ministries to enhance existing ministry and outreach, or support the launch of new efforts. Bishop Parkes has a goal of raising $400,000 for this effort by 11:59pm on December 31, 2023. 

Last year, this program provided:

  • $32,000 for food pantries and assistance programs in 7 parishes
  • $6,500 for after school programs at one school and the Salesian Youth Center
  • $1,500 for a young adult retreat being planned for 150+ in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, and $5,000 for the fall retreat at the USF Catholic Student Center
  • $4,800 to kick-off a virtual pilgrimage program at St. Rita in Dade City
  • $200,000 in tuition assistance to 365 students in 14 different Catholic schools

Click here to make a gift today!

Supplies for Centers | Foundations of Life

Consider helping our outreach centers restock their supplies for mothers, children and families. Click here for 3 ways to give. and wish lists

Christmas Toy Drive | Catholic Charities

We were all children and the excitement of receiving gifts (toys) on Christmas is palpable. While some of our children might receive gifts, typically, their Christmases are sparse and often times many go without gifts. Catholic Charities is holding a toy drive through December 11th for clients with drop off locations across the Diocese. Click here to learn more.

“What better gift can we give to Jesus on his Birthday than that of a clean heart and soul?”

Bishop Parkes, Advent/Christmas 2023 Issue, Gulf Coast Catholic Magazine

It may have been only a few days, or perhaps its been a few years, but with many scheduled Penance Services across the Diocese, this is a great time to commit to Penance. And, it is vital to remember that through the Sacrament of Reconciliation Christ offers His love, mercy and forgiveness.

All are invited to “Unwrap the Spirit!” by committing to penance this Advent:

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Penance Resources

Parish Advent Penance Services

Click the link below to download the current list of published Parish Advent Services by county, or check your parish’s bulletin for more information:

Preparing for Confession

If you haven’t visited Busted Halo or downloaded the Hallow app, you should give it a try – they make it so easy! Below are two resources for preparation.

How to Confess as a Catholic

Guide to Confession

Good to Know with Father Joe

Our online Gulf Coast Catholic featured a great article by Father Joseph Waters on preparing for confession.

Plenary Indulgences

“All one must do to qualify for a plenary indulgence is visit a Franciscan church and pray before the Nativity scene they have erected.”

Click here for the parish resource page.