Dear Friends of St. Anne's Shrine,
The darker days are a sign that the liturgical season of Advent is upon us. Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of God’s light into the world through the child born of Mary. The Sunday readings of Advent are especially appropriate for us as we continue to adjust to living our daily lives amidst the adverse ramifications of COVID-19.
God instructs Isaiah to “give comfort to my people.” These are words we need to hear today. There is a promise that God will be with us in all our difficulties providing comfort. There is a sense of great anticipation in preparing the way of the Lord, making straight the wasteland, hills and mountains made low so that the glory of the Lord will be revealed. There is hope in the words of Isaiah for the Lord will heal the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and release to prisoners. For all of us who feel imprisoned or captive by the pandemic, light and freedom awaits us.
St. Paul reminds us to “pray without ceasing in all circumstances.” The circumstances that we are in now calls for greater prayer and reflection. The words of the angel Gabriel to Mary are also spoken to us: “Do not be afraid for you have found favor with God.” Do you believe that God has found favor with you? That God will bring you out of darkness into light? This is our hope this Advent.
The primary mission of St. Anne’s Shrine is to bring people closer to God through the Sacraments and retreat experiences. Friends like you help us fulfill this mission because you make the Shrine possible. There are many ways to help the Shrine financially especially at the end of the calendar year. Our Planned Giving page suggests ways you can donate funds through IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions, gifts of stock, bequests in your Will, Living Trust, or as a beneficiary on your IRA, and through other financial instruments.
You can also respond to this appeal by making a generous Christmas donation during these troubling times as we continue to face financial challenges due to COVID-19. Please submit your intentions so that we in the Edmundite Community can remember them in our prayers and Masses during the Advent and Christmas seasons. Joy awaits us as we prepare for the coming of Christ into the world, darkness will be overcome by light. This is our hope. God’s comfort will be ours and we will prevail over this pandemic. God bless you and thank you for your continued support of St. Anne’s Shrine.
Have a blessed and merry Christmas!
Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E.
P.S. We have also updated our Planned Giving page on our website which provides information on using other financial instruments to help the Shrine.