a message from the shrine staff
Last week’s reading for the feast of Sts. Timothy and Titus gave us a hearty reminder to “bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.” … Titus 1:5
Here at our Shrine the Christmas season was busier than ever, beginning with an Advent full of new experiences and various avenues of faith formation. It was far from hardship and accomplished only through God’s grace.
The addition of Fr. Gerard Tang Choon, O.Carm. as Rector has certainly opened many new doors and added much flavor to our Shrine and we welcome him! He celebrated our first Italian Mass on the feast of St. Lucy and has added a monthly Spanish Healing Mass which was overwhelmingly received by the local Hispanic community. Our schedule now offers a more convenient experience of confessions with two priests scheduled, and a Saturday 12noon Mass in honor of our Lady, with enrollment in the brown scapular every First Saturday. The Filipino community once again celebrated their annual traditional Simbang Gabi Mass which was very well attended and enjoyed! As we move through the final year of the Eucharistic revival, our Shrine now also offers the addition of Friday morning and Thursday evening Eucharistic adoration, a wonderful way to nurture our prayer lives.
Those who were with us for daily Mass experienced the power and presence of the Jesse Tree, teaching us and guiding us towards the birth of Jesus. Our Sunday Masses moved us through Advent with beautiful scripture, song and fellowship. Our weekly Christmas Open Houses showed a spirit of hospitality that glowed and overflowed with music and stories that touched our hearts. Special thanks to Bro. Joseph Trung Do, Shrine Assistant, and to Anthony, Cheryl and Erin from our Gift Store for their help and support in these creative endeavors. The beauty and wonderful selection of items from our Gift Store were appreciated by all who visited, and sales were brisk! Christmas and New Year’s masses were well attended, and everyone enjoyed the enhanced decorations and festive appearance of our Shrine.
We have only just begun! As we move through this Year of Prayer just recently declared by Pope Francis, we hope to offer many more opportunities for spiritual renewal and growth. We appreciate your presence and support in all we do here at the Shrine! Your continued encouragement is what keeps us moving forward and gives us the energy to accomplish so much!
As we move into the season of Lent in just two weeks, and “take down” Christmas, our hearts are so grateful for the opportunity to serve you. Your continued encouragement and support keeps us going, and we thank you.
May God bless your journey and may Mary and all the Carmelite saints give you an example of faith and trust to move you through this new year with peace!