Those observing Spiritual Literacy Month may not agree, but Advelent is a season for Catholics who see their lives as a never ending penance, a perpetual swath of purple. They fail to experience the hope of Advent and Lent, and thereby miss the glories of Christmas and Easter, respectively. As a recovering Advelenter, I assure you that the hope one embraces during Advent is genuine. It’s not without its stumbles and doubts, but it is real. The more I’ve come to realize that, the more I’ve enjoyed Christmas.

No songs of the season: Something that will keep you cemented in Advelent is listening to Milwaukee’s alleged “Christmas music station,” WRIT, 95.7 FM. New year, same awful music service. Curious to know why the station wouldn’t use the music service it runs on Christmas Eve and through Christmas Day. Really, do we need Barbra Streisand singing “Jingle Bells” and Cyndi Lauper singing “Santa Baby” multiple times each day?

Although not religious, here’s something that could jar you out of Advelent:

It depends on how you look at it: The Cudahy post office had no religious Christmas stamps on Dec. 3. “We only have the Santa Claus stamps,” the clerk said. Either it’s an indication that more people are keeping Christ in Christmas and buying the religious stamps or the postal service is in such bad shape they only printed a limited number of religious stamps. I’m guessing it’s the latter.

More of the story: Overlooked or ignored in what has been locally written about Rick Majerus is what Dana O’Neil of mentioned in her Dec. 2 column about the late coach: “Raised a devout Catholic, he nevertheless had no problem challenging his own religion by supporting stem cell research and pro-abortion rights.” O’Neil was praising him for such stands, but, for the record, “his own religion” doesn’t oppose stem cell research; it does oppose embryonic stem cell research. As for his pro-abortion stance, which he made known in Jan. 2008, that’s not praiseworthy in “a devout Catholic” coaching at a Catholic university. May he rest in peace.

Now, that was a celebration: I said it last year, but it’s worth repeating: The Thanksgiving Eve Mass at St. Matthias, Milwaukee, has to be one of the best celebrations one can experience. If we are, in fact, going to evangelize, it is celebrations like this that will keep people in the pews and inspire them to invite others to participate.

Could the first American pope be…: The elevation of Milwaukee’s own Cardinal James M. Harvey to the College of Cardinals on Nov. 24 prompted a visit to to see if it had updated its names and odds on who would be the next pope. The new cardinal isn’t listed, but the site is still listing Cardinals Raymond Burke and Timothy Dolan at 25-1.

Given all the people — some of whom were probably cardinals — with whom he had contact as prefect of the papal household for 14 years, who’s to say Cardinal Harvey couldn’t garner a few votes in the next conclave?

Man in the Red Suit Day: This Thursday, Dec. 6, is the Feast of St. Nicholas — a true Christmas person. No one else even comes close to being what and who he was. No one.