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Gatherings

 St. Anthony's Corner
    Christmas (Sermon)
"Would not a person who is close to death or in dire straits rejoice if he
were told that someone is coming to help him out? Certainly! Let us
therefore rejoice that a Saviour has been born who will deliver us from
the power of evil and the gates of hell."
 

Like a Light to the World

Apostolic Commissions:  "Formation"

Task: To encourage spiritual growth through Formation and to have a uniform plan for Formation at all stages. Chairpersons: Rena Xuereb and Joanne Elfers
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  The formation committee met Oct. 31. Members: Rena, Joanne, Connie Jo, Louise and Christina.
  We have one Inquirer, Carol Lovato,  who is near completion of her Inquiry Phase.
  Candidates in Formation: Brigit McCoy, Martha Lopez and Adelia Encinias. They are also near completion of their formation with retreat and profession in February 1999.
  Ongoing Formation: Louise continues to have class monthly before the fraternity meeting. Series on the Holy Spirit will be ending in December and the series on God the Father will begin in January in preparation for the Jubilee, the third and final year of preparation. This pilgrimage takes place in the heart of each one of us and extends to our church community. It is the desire of the Church that this year become a great act of praise to the Father.
All professed members are encouraged to participate in this journey. The Newsletter will have excerpts from Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter.
  Each year our fraternity reaches out to the churches in Albuquerque to recruit vocations. This coming year we are asking our members to get involved in this effort by inviting a friend to the
monthly meeting starting in January. We will also include information in “The Communicator” and “People of God” newsletters. Any ideas are welcomed.
       Rena Xuereb
 

Miscellaneous
 
Together in Power
  There are a few things you may try in order to find some holy space in the midst of the holiday activities:
*Set aside time for prayer and reflection. Block out some time on your calendar as mini retreats and treat yourself to a quiet time with the Lord. Don’t let the pressing demands cause you to give these times up. Treat time with God as a sense of priority.
 

*Talk to your family and friends about how special this time of year is to you, on a spiritual basis.See if you could come up with some ways to make this Christmas a little simpler, a little more focused.
 

*Use Christmas conversations as an opportunity to talk about Jesus. Share your beliefs about Christ and help them make the connections.
 

*Give generously to the poor.
 

*Find an elderly person or someone without a family..and make them part of yours for the holidays.

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Remember When:
Arthur and Erma Lente (and sons):
 
ARTHUR: I was born in Gallup, NM and grew up there among Franciscans. During the depression my father moved us to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation, where he was from. We lived there for five years in harsh poverty, yet God always provided for our basic needs. While on the reservation I was exposed to Franciscanism-missionary priests and nuns- and I naively thought that the whole world’s religious was composed of ONLY Franciscans. Also I was very impressed with the great missionary zeal and love for God and humankind of one, Fr. Conradine Stark, and because of him I felt a calling to the Franciscan priesthood.
 
  In 1944 I went to the Franciscan seminary in Santa Barbara, California and it was there that I learned that there were hundreds of religious communities other than Franciscan. I still preferred to be a “son of St. Francis.” In 1944 our class of 48 seminarians began our Third Order novitiate and we were professed on October 4, 1945. Including novitiate I have been a Third Order Franciscan for 54 years.
   As a St. Anthony Fraternity member I taught formation classes and am trying to visit our sick and elderly now. I volunteer my time to the Vincentian (St. Vincent de Paul) cause in our parish and serve mass 3 times a week.
 
ERMA: I was born in Gallup of immigrant Italian stock and I also knew what harsh poverty was. I attended the public school system in Gallup but after the 10th grade I had this strong calling to finish my education in a Catholic environment and so transferred to Cathedral High School. After moving to Albuquerque I felt a call to the Third Order and was professed on March 20, 1970. I am a 28 year tertiary. Today I belong to the Blue Army and Our Lady’s Prayer and various intercessory prayer groups and serve as a Eucharistic Minister to the sick at Lovelace Hospital. In the past I served as a Fraternity formation instructor and served 3 years in the Regional Council and in the Fraternity Council.
 
SONS: Two of our sons, Michael and Gregory, are also Franciscan tertiaries. Michael was introduced to the Third Order at the same Santa Barbara seminary and currently serves our Fraternity Council. Gregory began his Third Order studies while stationed with the Navy in Charleston, SC, and finished and was professed on October 19, 1996 in Silverdale, WA-Servants of the Lord Fraternity. We feel that Michael and Gregory followed St. Francis in their own calling rather than on any parental influence.
 

In Order to Serve

    "May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment."
(From the Rite of Ordination of Deacons).
 
   It’s a rather strange thing I’ve noticed. In the December issue of Priest Magazine there’s always an article written by or about a permanent deacon. In the December issue of St Anthony Messenger there are THREE articles about or by permanent deacons. All these articles are about each individual’s particular apostolate to the world. One is entitled “A Deacon’s Santa Ministry” and relates about one man’s visit each Christmas to the newborn “preemie” nursery and how he helps parents and staff cope with these tiny human beings. He shows all the appreciation and value for life, no matter how small we should all have.
  And that’s what it’s about-to find and serve where there exists a need. A quote from the Deacon Digest (Nov/Dec 1998) sums it up: “And it is Jesus who is the model of what a deacon is, and does. Jesus never hesitates to call himself ‘the one who came to serve.’ (Matt. 20:28 and Mk. 10:45)” We don’t have to be deacons to find and fill a need. As Franciscans we already have that charism.The question is, are we serving where we are needed?

 
 

Librarian

Remember, the library is open after the meetings!

BOOKS:
1. Praying with Therese of Lisieux. This breathes the spirit of Therese. It introduces us to an appealing saint and  puts us in touch with our own lives. We are invited to meet God.
 

2. A Handbook On...Guadalupe. While not on  our shelves, this easy to read and fascinating work on Guadalupe is  published by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in conjuction with  Secular Franciscans. It melds old and new material which is guaranteed to  inspire.

VIDEOS:
 “Padre Pio: The True Story”
 “Brother Sun, Sister Moon”
 “Scott Hahn: ‘The Lamb’s Supper’”
Do we have tapes? Yes! Tapes of the gathering were procured as well and are available at ths time. Check some out for your continuing Franciscan education. The learning never stops. The library remains an untapped resource for further growth in Franciscan reading! (And don’t forget to return your books!)
 

Preparing for the Jubilee 2000

(Tertio Millennio Adveniente)

  AS THE YEAR 2000 becomes increasingly visible on the horizon, we are called to prepare for the Great Jubilee proposed by Pope John Paul II to celebrate two millennia since the birth of Jesus. The celebration will be a time of praise and thanksgiving for God’s gift of His Son as our Savior.
  Earlier in this decade, the Pope extended an invitation to use the years leading up to the year 2000 as a time for reflection and preparation- including prayer, penance, study, and charitable acts. In his apostolic letter, “As the Third Millennium Draws Near (Tertio Millennio Adveniente), the Holy Father assigned a specific theme for each of the three years immediately preceding the Great Jubilee:
 1997 FAITH: Focus on Jesus Christ
 1998 HOPE:  Focus on the Holy Spirit
 1999 LOVE:  Focus on the Father
 
  In 1999, the third and final year of preparation, will be aimed at broadening the horizons of believers, so that they will see things in the perspective of Christ: in the perspective of the “Father who is in heaven” (cf. Mt. 5:45), from whom the Lord was sent and to whom he has returned (cf. Jn 16:28).

MEANING OF THE JUBILEE 2000 LOGO
  The Greek cross is inscribed in a circular blue field that symbolizes the universe and the need for
solidarity. The cross sustains and upholds humanity gathered in the continents represented by the five doves. The cross is the same color as the doves, signifying the incarnation whereby God enters into
human history and redeems it. The light that comes from the center of the design represents Christ,
who is the light of the world. The colors of the logo remind us that joy and peace are an integral part of the Jubilee celebration.
 
 

More on Family and the Holy Family

“FAMILY”
  “In their family, they should cultivate the Franciscan spirit of peace, fidelity, and
respect for life, striving to make of it a sign of a world already renewed in Christ.”
(Rule of SFO, par. 17)
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 “So...How’s the Family?”
 by Richard Encinias,M.A.,Ph.D(c)

   When was the last time someone asked you, “How’s your family doing?” What was your response? If you’re like most, your answer was probably a pat answer. Manydon’t think about how well (or not) they are doing in or with their families until there is a crisis. Is it because we just take it for granted that everything will simply “fall” into place, or is it because we just don’t know how to assess the condition our family is in?
   How long has it been since you considered the condition of your family, its strengths and its weaknesses? Many things determine the strength of the family. The question is: how are we to know exactly what the “many things” are? Who determines what a family is to look like? Today many “experts” inundate us with a tremendous amount of information and theories of “function” or “dysfunction.” What information and theory are we to believe? Often we are left with more questions than answers, unless we look to the only source, the originator of the family, God Himself and His revealed Word. It is God that brought the family into existence. He has a plan, a blueprint, of what and how the family is to look and function. We CAN know how our families are doing by using God’s work as the standard of measure not only to build but also maintain strong and growing family relationships. How is your family doing?

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 The Holy Family
  The Communion of Saints, the Church in glory in Heaven and the Church in pilgrimage on earth are in a real sense a Holy Family. The feast of Christmas gives us the earthly pattern in the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph wherein the holiest was the least in authority. The harmony, peace, and love of the Holy Family foreshadows that of the Comunion of Saints. The child Jesus appeared to St. Anthony of Padua as a sign to us of the love of the infant Jesus for anyone who gives himself wholly to God.