Advent, and Lent, too, for that matter, are the two primary penitential seasons in the Church, which means extra work for her priests, as there are confessions to be heard. Most parishes schedule at least one communal penance service during these two seasons, with the result that extra priests are called in to assist in freeing parishioners from the traps of sin. While it is a joy to help out in parishes, it does eat up evenings as we travel the circuit from parish to parish.
The 'Hidden Joy' of the season is often connected with these penance services. It is a common expectation (but not universal) that the host pastor provide dinner for the priests who can make it, either before or after the penance service. As happened for me last night, there were mainly priests there whom I do not necessarily see too often. There was a flock of retired guys there, and the conversation over drinks and dinner about their history as priests, assignments they had as young priests, dealing with former Bishops and Archbishops, their rememberances of their time in the seminary and of their first pastors and old priests who were around as they began their service; it all made for a good connection with the past, as we also look to the glory of the future.
Please pray for your priests, as we get stretched thinner, it is not always easy to balance out our schedules. Please pray especially for an increase of vocations to the priesthood as well. It is a wonderful and joy-filled life, one which i wouldn't pass up for all the treasures in this world.