BOSTON — The first Sunday of Advent welcomed those who attend Mass at the St. Anthony Shrine to adecorated church and three projector screens. At each Sunday Mass during Advent, after Communion, a brief DVD presentation on a facet of the Advent journey is offered. One woman said, “I have celebrated many Advents in my lifetime, but today I learned something new and wonderful!”
On Monday morning, the friars who had prepared to travel to Miramar Retreat Center in Duxbury, Mass. for their Advent day of prayer, revised their plans due to inclement weather, and the decision was made to have the day of prayer at the shrine.
After an Advent morning prayer, the friars gathered for a brief meeting followed by a “take in lunch Quiet and reflective time followed until 3:30 P.M. when they gathered in the friars’ chapel for liturgy. Brian Smail was celebrant and homilist.
A bus was sent to the shrine to take the friar community to the George Parkman House , “The Mayor’s Mansion” near the statehouse where the friars were guests of Mayor and Mrs. Thomas Menino. The friars were greeted by Mrs. Menino and some of the staff assigned to the Parkman House.
“We were escorted into a front parlor where one of the staff gave a brief history of the Parkman House. The mayor arrived and we went upstairs to a large parlor and adjoining dining room. The mansion is beautifully decorated for Christmas. The evening ended with a “Limoncello” toast before the group returned to the shrine.
The mayor thanked the friars for their service to in the city of Boston. Mrs. Menino mentioned that “this house will be used almost every evening during the holiday season, but you are our first guests.”