A Note from Fr. Richard
Peace and all good. The times they are a changing. We are swiftly ending this liturgical year with the Feast of Christ the King. Soon we will be marking a very different sort of Thanksgiving celebration. At the end of the month we begin a new cycle in the life of the church as Advent commences. Every end is a new beginning. Every day is a day we are asked to be our best selves.
Being my best self lately has been daunting. I hear of so much fatigue in the lives of the people who write me or cross my path. This certainly has been a year that came to us unexpected and virulent. The recent Sunday Gospel parables from Matthew have touched me deeply – be prepared for at an hour, a day, the Lord may come. I read it and know that, but when I pray – they Kingdom come, they will be done; there is still a part of me that holds back and says: “Not yet, I need, I want some more time!” That is very human and real for all of us.
The next days will be difficult ones for us as we continue social distancing, watch Mass and devotions livestreamed. We will celebrate Thanksgiving differently, but we will and need to still celebrate. God is good and for that we give thanks. These are still days to be vigilant and to prepare ourselves, to still be our best selves for one another. That is the best gift and thanks we can offer.
This year we also mark the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock. Even in their harsh winter and in their new world these men and women gave thanks. They came to these lands seeking a new world, a world unknown. We are contemporary pilgrims on this journey of faith learning new things (masks, sanitizing wipes, being social distant when we want to be close). Together as Companions of St. Anthony, and through the prayers of St. Anthony we will find:
The health that we have lost.
The freedom to travel as we would like.
The ability to gather and pray in our churches as we had in the past.
Let us continue to pray for one another.
Fr. Richard-Jacob Forcier, OFM Conv.
Rector and Director of the Shrine of St. Anthony