Peace and all good.
O tidings of comfort and joy is the refrain from a popular Christmas hymn. Certainly, throughout the Christmas season and until the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, we celebrate the great event of the birth of Jesus, God with us. Jesus is still manifest to us – in the sacraments and in and with all our relationships with one another.
Over these last weeks I have been very comforted by all your care which was expressed by your financial gift which helps to support the Companions of St. Anthony. As I continue in my ministry at the Shrine, I realize more and more the impact that this place of worship has for those who come here. It is truly a sanctuary – a place of safety and where those who visit find welcome and peace. I am often amazed with the reaction of those who stumble upon us and visit for the first time. We become for them a treasure that is found which becomes then a pearl of great price. For those of you who watch our daily live-streamed mass or participate whenever we offer novenas you become part of our Shrine ministry.
I am very happy that you have found us. As we begin the new year, I offer you the promise of our prayers and best wishes. Sadly, we still find ourselves with the scourge of the pandemic. Please continue to stay safe and find comfort that we will get through this together. God Most High, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
In Christ and St. Anthony,
Fr. Richard-Jacob Forcier, OFM Conv.
Spiritual Guardian, Companions of St. Anthony
Director and Rector of the Shrine of St. Anthony