Christmas Wishes

Dear Friends of St. Anne's Shrine,

As we enter the most joyous season of the year, I want to wish you a blessed and merry Christmas! The Solemnity of Christmas reminds us once again that “God is with us” in Emmanuel, the Christ-child born of Mary clothed in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger. Like the shepherds and Wise Men, we too are drawn to the stable to celebrate the manifestation of God in the mystery of the Incarnation. Our imaginations are peaked in wonder as we contemplate the scene of baby Jesus surrounded by Mary and Joseph and all those who made pilgrimage to adore the new born Messiah.

Many believers make pilgrimage to celebrate our sacred mysteries of faith and your continued support help us spread the Good News as we offer a ministry of healing and reconciliation. If you have not already, please make a year-end gift to the Shrine so that we can continue this Edmundite apostolate in helping people realize the presence of God in their lives.

Thank you for your consideration.


May God bless you this Christmas and throughout the New Year! Merry Christmas!


​​Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E.

Spiritual Director

November 2019

Dear Friends of St. Anne's Shrine,

The liturgical readings for our closing Sunday Mass of the Shrine season this past October were perfect given our Harvest Dinner celebration and the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The Gospel proclaimed was the healing of the Ten Lepers which is one of the options for our own Thanksgiving Day Mass in the U.S. Only one healed leper returned to Jesus to say thanks.

I especially enjoy giving a homily which addresses the theme of gratitude. In my own experience I find that I am the most happy and joyful when I am in a grateful state of mind. When I am grateful, I am not complaining about the things I do not have or the opportunities I might be missing if I were not an Edmundite priest. I think all of us from time to time have a period of whining or self-pity. We might walk around moaning and groaning to ourselves or to others. People often see the “ideal life” on social media platforms and experience depression because their lives are not, supposedly, as fulfilling. Social media rarely publicizes the struggles and misfortunes of people or the hard challenges of life.

Contrary to feeling down about one’s life there can be a deep sense of gratitude for the gifts we have been given, an awareness of the blessedness of our lives. All of us have been given gifts by God in many forms. The first and most important gift is life. We are made in the image and likeness of God with free will to love and be loved by others. At the time of the closing Mass, my niece Katie was expecting her first baby in a matter of days. She texted me pictures from her latest ultrasound and I was struck by how there was clearly a person within her. The pictures gave me a new appreciation for the miracle of life and the possibilities such a life can have.

Advent is a time to prepare for the birth of a baby who was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Mary’s “yes” to the angel Gabriel set in motion our salvation with the birth of Jesus and thus began a new way of relating to God. Advent is a time to reflect on the blessings of our lives and to prepare for the coming of Christ yet again in a spirit of gratitude. This is what gives us true joy, not presents under a tree.

Each Christmas season we ask friends such as you to help us share the gift of Christ with others by making a contribution to our holiday appeal. Please consider making a donation so that we can lead people to a closer relationship with Christ. Thank you for your financial assistance for we cannot conduct this ministry without your help. May God grant you a peaceful Advent and a blessed Christmas.


​​Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E.

Spiritual Director

P.S. Katie had a healthy girl, Grace Patricia, on October 31st weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces. Thank God!

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