The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

it's been a while, as my mother reminded me today, but things have been busy:

advent has begun.

the wall has been knocked down - that's correct folks, the new high school is now open and the 43 year rent-free occupation of the parish buildings has ended. so, we took down part of the wall that separates the back yard from the buildings. we have all sorts of plans for the buildings, including a parish hall, offices, garage, storage buildings, and perhaps a carpentry shop/school. only time will tell how much we get done in the next couple of years, as the roofs and doors are all in bad shape. otherwise, a little spit and polish should get the buildings into presentable shape.

finally, saving the best for last, i have spent the last two sundays preaching on the angelus. on the first sunday of advent we revived the old tradition of saying the angelus three times a day and we now ring the bell (in addition to the morning Mass rings) at noon and 6 pm and the goal is to have everyone in town stop what they are doing and pray the angelus. so far the people have responded very positively and seem excited to say it whenever the bell rings. i have to say, it is something to see people halt their activities and say the angelus together. we are hoping it will have a lasting effect on the town. so far, so good.

that's it for now. we are prepping for a trip from la maria's father and brother and obviously have lots to do to properly prepare for the Christmas season.


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