May the blessing in today's reading from Numbers and used by Francis be yours Fr. Don and also your confreres and all the readers of your blog.
May the Lord bless you with much peace and joy this coming year.
Merry Christmas from the Franciscan Vocation Office, Saint John the Baptist Province.
The sanctuary and creche at Saint Anthony Friary.
Well, we survived the dinner and had a great time. Everyone was home for the festivities and we had two visiting friars as well. Three of the postulants and a number of the professed pitched in and it turned our very well. With everyone working together we ended up with a pleasant "feast."
Afterward we gathered in the recreation room to bless the Christmas Tree and the Creche, to receive our gift from Santa. On the left is Dan Helfrich relaxing in a recliner and on the right is Clifford Hennings looking very peaceful on the couch.
Since things will get busy tomorrow and I will be leaving for a visit to my sisters and their families after Mass on Christmas, let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very Blessed Christmas.
Tonight we are having our Christmas dinner since many of us will be traveling Christmas day right after Mass to visit our families. I'm playing chef with the help of a few of the guys. So if you never see another post on this blog you'll know I poisoned the whole community. :-) Hopefully, NOT.
I'll try to get some picture of the event and post them late tonight or tomorrow.
Last evening the community gathered for the annual tree trimming. Bro. Gene traditionally set the tree up and strings the lights prior to our gathering. We then get together and finish the decorating and Bro. Scott assembles the manger scene. On the left Fr. Dan Kroger in on the ladder with Dan Helfrich, Bro. Gabriel, Fr. Frank (mostly hidden), Fr. Kenan, and Josh van Cleef assist.
The depiction of the birth of Christ is a Franciscan tradition which dates back to Saint Francis himself when he set up a live nativity scene in Grecio. On the right the community pauses to "admire" their work. (There were appropriate OOOs and ahhhhs.) On the right Bro. Gabriel and Fr. Kenan are seated while Josh van Cleef, Roger Lopez, and Fr. Dan Kroger are standing. Tim Tran is seated in the foreground.
Ben sends another comment saying:
Oh wow, Medications, I didn't even notice that. Oh well. We know what you mean.
and "Freestoring" writes:
good project :)
I appreciate the comments and thank you for reading the blog.
Luis wrote the following comment--and pointed out a typo that I had made. I hope the booklet is "spiritual medication." :-)
Medication booklet? Do you mean meditation booklet? New to your blog - checking out some Franciscan sites for some vocational insight. Great info available here. May the Lord continue to bless your work.
Thanks for the advent reflections. I always look forward to them.
No, I haven't died, run away from home, or landed in the hospital. I apologize for not having posted more frequently the past few weeks, but things have been a bit hectic. Thanksgiving and a bunch of meetings seem to have eaten up a good deal of time--and energy.
But I do want to take this opportunity to wish everyone and Blessed and Peaceful Advent. This short season of "joyful expectation" is so often overwhelmed by Christmas preparations that we miss the beauty and the blessings of this season. Advent is a time to wait and to prepare not only for the celebration of Christmas, but also for the Second Coming of Jesus. God came once into human history to save us and to show us how to live a fully human and holy life. He will come again to bring this world to a close as his Kingdom reaches fulfillment and we share in his glory forever. The Scripture reading for this First Sunday of Advent make it very clear--we need to prepare to meet the Lord by putting on the mind and heart of Jesus so that we begin more and more to think, act, and behave like him. May this season prove to be a time of blessing and peace for all of you.
For those of you on the Vocation Office mailing list, you should have received (or will receive this week hopefully) a copy of the latest newsletter along with a daily medication booklet for each day of Advent and into the Christmas Season. I hope it is a good resource for your prayer and discernment.