December 1, 2023
Dear Companion of St. Anthony:
Peace and all good. Just last week we celebrated the great holiday of Thanksgiving. For all you do for the Companions, the Shrine and the ministry of the friars, I do give great thanks. Your financial, emotional, and spiritual support are appreciated and integral to what the friars offer here at the Shrine.
As I write this letter, I am in the middle of filming the Immaculate Conception Novena. We are trying to film these videos in front of the many pictures and statues of Mary that we have at the Shrine, Friary, and ending at our Lourdes Grotto. I am moved by a prayer that is used on the second day of the Novena, which was written by St. Anthony of Padua:
Our Lady, we ask you that singular hope that our souls be illuminated by the brilliance of your grace, cleansed by the brightness of your purity, and warmed by the comfort of your visitation. With your help, may we be reconciled with your Son. And so come to share in His glory; He whom the angel announced to you, who assumed your glorious flesh, and who wished to live in you for nine months. To Him be honor and glory forever. Amen.
As we move into the great season of Advent let us all “prepare Him room” in our hearts and lives. Blessings on your days may they be merry and bright.
In Christ and St. Anthony,
Fr. Richard-Jacob Forcier, OFM Conv.
Director and Rector of the Shrine of St. Anthony
Spiritual Guardian, Companions of St. Anthony