Dear Friends of St. Anne's Shrine,
During the holy season of Advent, we hear the story of the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary in the marvelous scene of the Annunciation in Luke’s Gospel (1:26-38). Mary is “greatly troubled” by Gabriel’s greeting but the angel reassures her saying: “Do not be afraid” and announces God’s invitation to play a critical role in salvation history by giving birth to Jesus.
This time of year, we might receive various invitations to attend gatherings with family members, friends, and co-workers. Such events warm the heart and can strengthen relationships with the people we care about. Yet in Advent we also receive a particular invitation from God like Mary did. We are invited to reflect on the deepest mysteries of our faith as we prepare once again to celebrate the Incarnation, God entering our human condition as one like us. During these pandemic times we might also face various fears and challenges in our daily lives. The words spoken to Mary are also spoken to us: “Do not be afraid. The Lord is with you.”
The primary mission of St. Anne’s Shrine is to help people hear this invitation of 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 assist the Shrine in response to this appeal by making a generous Christmas donation. Recognizing the financial needs of this ministry, the Dion Family Foundation has pledged a $50,000 matching gift initiative. Each dollar you contribute for the programming and upkeep of St. Anne’s Shrine will be matched, up to a combined total of $100,000. Your donation will go twice as far. Please use the enclosed form to submit your intentions so that we Edmundites can remember them in our prayers in the Advent and Christmas seasons.
In the Mass for the Second Sunday of Advent we hear these words of St. Paul: “I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now.” Your steadfast support of the Shrine forms a partnership with us in proclaiming the Good News and I will always pray for you in gratitude. 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.