The Advent season is upon us, and friars around the Province are busy helping their partners-in-ministry prepare their hearts and minds for the Christmas season.
One such event was a mission given by Francis Pompei, OFM, of Buffalo,offered from Nov. 26 to 28 at Assumption Parish in Wood-Ridge, N.J. “Don’t come to hear Fr. Pompei speak. Come to the mission because Jesus is knocking on the door and is asking to come into our hearts and into our parish community,” the parish bulletin read. Francis was also the guest speaker at the parish’s youth group meeting.
In Hartford, Conn., Cidouane Joseph, OFM, gave a presentation on Dec. 4 at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church. Alongside Sr. Ginny Sheehan, SND, and Trudi White, he gave an inspirational talk called “Advent Nourishment — Preparing a Dwelling Place for Christ This Advent.” For those who missed the presentation, it will be held again on Dec. 11 and 18.
A variety of other seasonal events are scheduled by friars and their ministries. They include the following:
- Parishioners in the Grow in Faith and Theology class at St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J., will have the opportunity to learn more about “the real meaning of Christmas as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.”Lawrence Anderson, OFM, and Steve Kass, director of the adult faith ministry, are leading the Dec. 5 and 12 lessons.
- Kevin Cronin, OFM, of Butler, N.J., is leading three programs scheduled this month to “prepare the way of the Lord,” he said. This week, he has been at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Forest Hills, N.Y. This weekend, from Dec, 8 to 13, he will be at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Wildwood, Fla., and from Dec. 15 to 19, Kevin will present a program at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Mountain Lakes, N.J.
- In keeping with its 50th anniversary, Thomas Gallagher, OFM, is focusing on the opening of Vatican II by addressing the document of the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council that invites all members to “full, active, and conscious participation” in remembering the Passover of the Lord on Dec. 10 at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church. “As we more fully participate in the liturgy, we realize that we embody what we celebrate. The Incarnation is our full participation in the embodiment of Christ’s presence among us,” read the parish bulletin.
- “Advent is God’s gift to us in our spiritual journey.” Thomas Hartle, OFM, will present an Advent weekend retreat from Dec. 7 to 9 at Sacred Heart Church in Tampa, Fla. It will be a good time to “stop, reflect, and listen as we await the greatest gift — that of the Incarnation of Jesus the Christ,” according to the parish bulletin.
- An Advent retreat will be held on Dec. 6 at St. Camillus Church, Silver Spring, Md., and Erick Lopez, OFM, will be the leader. The program will include a healing Mass. “The retreat provides us with an opportunity to thank God for blessings of the past and to reexamine our priorities for the New Year. Most importantly, the Advent season should awaken our hope for a new beginning and guide our hearts and minds as we search for the path we must follow for our journey home to the Father.”
- “In a time when violence and evil have visited our lives, how does the Gospel message of Jesus Christ call us to respond?” Daniel Lanahan, OFM, will conduct a parish mission titled “Awakening Our Faith in Challenging Times” from Dec. 10 to 12 at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Butler, N.J. Daniel, as well as Francis and Kevin, are members of the HNP Ministry of the Word.
- An Advent morning of prayer will take place at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City. Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, will lead a reflection titled “After Christmas Day… the Christmas Season” on Dec. 15 in San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street.
- In Boston, an Advent reflection is being offered Dec. 11 by the 20s/30s Boston group of St. Anthony Shrine to young adults. The Tuesday evening program will be led by Fr. Anthoni Selveraj, OFM, who lives at the shrine.
Next week, many ministries, especially those with large Hispanic communities, will commemorate the Dec. 12 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Festivities often begin early in the morning the day of the feast.
More information about seasonal events around the Province can be found on the Province’s Facebook and Twitter pages or contact your local parish.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.