Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

Happy Advent! I hope that you are enjoying the anticipation and that you are preparing your hearts to celebrate the coming of Light into the world. It is so easy to lose this season; don’t let that happen. The celebration is so much more meaningful when we spend time really preparing for it, and I don’t just mean Christmas shopping.
However, thinking of others and shopping for them is a part of how we prepare to celebrate the Love that broke into our dark world and gave Himself completely as a gift to us. He renews that gift daily in the Eucharist. As we ponder our gift giving this Christmas, I would like to recommend that we give the gift of faith. Now, we can’t give the gift of faith, but we can give a gift that may very well help someone encounter the Lord in a new and profound way. Can you imagine giving a gift that will not just last a few hours, or a few day, or even a few months. You can give a gift that may in fact endure to and throughout eternity! There are two specific possibilities I would like to suggest.
First, the men’s conference sponsored by the Archdiocese. This event is a single evening event that will happen on Wednesday, March 4 at St. Bede Parish in Montgomery and the same event will be offered at St. Pius X in Mobile the next night, Thursday, March 5. Fr. Patrick Driscoll will be the featured speaker and the event will include supper, Mass and music as well. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit www.mobarchconferences.org and select, “Called to Lead.” Consider getting a ticket for your husband (or yourself if you are “dad”) and your high-school-aged son. It is good for fathers and sons to share religious experiences.
Speaking of that, you may choose the Men of St. Joseph Outback retreat. This is a weekend retreat designed for people to go in pairs (husband-wife or parent-teen). It is a great retreat, and many conversions have occurred on the weekend. I have worked with teens for the vast majority of my life and I have seen many teens go on retreat and have an encounter. They left at the end of the retreat with a spark. Then they returned to a home where the parents did not share that spark and did not help it come to flame. The spark eventually died out. At the MOSJ Outback a spark will be lit, and the two people can support each other as this turns into a flame. Please consider signing up for this retreat, or signing others up. You can do so, and get more information at www.menofstjoseph.com; just look under events.
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life. Email him at parensberg@mobarch.org
For more information concerning the events of this office, visit us at mobilefaithformation.org.

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