Though not quite as hectic as the Lenten season, Advent is a time for missions.
Several friars from the Province’s Ministry of the Word based in St. Petersburg, Fla., recently announced their schedule for the 2010-2011 season.
“After helping in various parishes during the summer,” said John Anglin, OFM, “the fall schedule has taken us for parish missions in Arkansas, North and South Carolina, New York and here in Florida.”
John said one of the hallmarks of the ministry he shares with Martin Bednar, OFM, and Roderic Petrie, OFM, is its bilingual aspect.
“Rod and Marty began giving bilingual and even all-Spanish missions in Miami shortly after opening a house in Belleair Bluffs, Fla., in 1989,” said John, who was then living up north and would sometimes join them. “Of course,” he added, “we continue to preach in English as well.”
John is also working hard to keep the MOW current with use of the latest hi-tech means of communication. He says he has been getting good feedback about his blog, as well as looking into how Facebook and other social communication tools may be helpful. Recent posts on John’s blog, “The Wandering Friar,” include reflections on Advent, the Immaculate Conception and the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Another blogging MOW friar, William DeBiase, OFM, of Philadelphia, has begun a new outreach in the Appalachian area. After expressing interest in conducting parish missions in Wheeling and Charleston, W.V., Bill said, “within a very short time, I received three requests.”
Bill added that he is looking forward to seeing how this develops.
On his blog, “Franciscan,” Bill recently began posting video reflections. For each Sunday of Advent, he has created a video, which includes the Gospel reading and a brief homily. The blog also includes links to the Holy Name Province website and other videos Bill finds inspiring during the season of Advent.
Kevin Cronin, OFM, of Butler, N.J., jumped into Advent, leading an Advent day of recollection at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Bayside, N.Y., which he described as “well-received.”
Last week, Kevin preached a parish mission at Our Lady of Victory on Long Island, which included preaching at all nine of the parish’s weekend Masses. “For this very busy season and very cold week, we still averaged 200 at the noon Masses and about 250 at the evening services,” Kevin said. “One man told me that in his 42 years at the parish, this was the absolute best mission ever! God is good!”
At his missions, Kevin makes available books as well as audiotapes and CDs. They include Kenosis: Emptying Self and the Path of Christian Service and Friar’s Joy, which has sold more than 20,000 copies since its publication in 1996.
“We are looking forward to the Provincial Chapter in Maryland, where we will hold our annual Ministry of the Word meeting with our brothers from the North at Holy Name College the week after the chapter,” John said.
Information about the three regions of the Province’s MOW appears in the recently-published 2010 edition of The Provincial Annals. The reports were written by John, Kevin and Raphael Bonanno, OFM, of Boston.
— Rebecca Doel is communication coordinator of Holy Name Province.