Nativity scenes have been a popular Advent and Christmas decoration for centuries. Many people are not aware that it originated with St. Francis. In 1223, in the town of Greccio, Italy, Francis invited the townspeople to join the friars for Midnight Mass. He asked them to bring a few animals, hay and a manger to mimic the scene of that first Christmas in Bethlehem. According to legend, the baby Jesus appeared in the arms of St. Francis as he preached about God’s great love for us expressed in the birth of His Son, Jesus.
During this time of political and social upheaval, Christmas is a reminder of what God intends: that all His children throughout the world live in peace. It may seem a daunting challenge, but if we take seriously our discipleship in Jesus, the Prince of Peace, then changing the heart of one person through respect, kindness, and forgiveness begins a rippling effect that changes other hearts and attitudes.
Our friars, especially our elderly brothers who are ministers of prayer and contemplation, will be offering their prayers and daily Mass intentions for you and your loved ones during this special time of year.
May I humbly ask your help during this Christmas Season with a financial gift to our community? The main part of the contributions we receive this time of year helps defer the increasing medical costs of our elderly friars, who have dedicated their lives serving God and His holy people, such as you.
We sincerely count your friendship, prayers and continued support as a true blessing and gift to our Franciscan way of life. May this Christmas Season and New Year be filled with good health, inner peace and the joy of the Lord who loves you so much. Peace and all good,
Any questions or special requests, please contact us at: 414-525-9253 x238.
Wishing you and your family a blessed and holy Christmas!
Peace and all good!
Fr. Jim Gannon, OFM