December 8, 2016
Dear Friends,
Advent greetings of hope and peace on this feast of the Immaculate Conception! God’s question to Adam and Eve in today’s reading from Genesis, “Where are you?” is a good one to ask ourselves as we journey in faith. Where are we? Here are a few happenings in the province and a few events to mark on your calendars for 2017.
Future Task Force
As you know, the Future Task Force has worked diligently this past year to organize several opportunities for members to gather and dialogue about our future together. We are very grateful to the members of the task force for their dedication and creativity in deepening our conversation in the bond of charity. In our effort to expand the membership of the Future Task Force as we prepare to widen our conversation to include the Companions in the coming year, and also to engage more members in the planning and implementation of the process leading up to next year’s Assembly in June and the Community Life Symposium in Rome in July, the Provincial Council is pleased to announce the appointments of Fathers Bill Hubmann and Timothy Armbruster, and Companion Vicky Otto to the Future Task Force. We thank Fathers Al Ebach, Lac Pham, and Mark Yates for their service on the task force. We are also grateful to Fathers John Wolf (chair) and Alan Hartway for their willingness to continue to serve on the task force.
Provincial Assembly: June 5-8, 2017
As previously announced, we are grateful to Companions Patty and Chuck Hayes for accepting the responsibility to serve as co-chairs of the 2017 Provincial Assembly that will be held June 5-8, 2017. After several years of holding our Assembly at the Church of the Annunciation in Kearney, we have decided to move the 2017 Assembly to a new venue. Our Assembly will be held at the Hilton Hotel near Kansas City International Airport.
We are most grateful for the tremendous hospitality parishioners and staff of Annunciation Parish has extended to us through the years. But we felt having our prayer and worship, our listening and learning, our food and lodging under one roof will allow for and encourage more interaction among the Assembly participants. The proximity to KCI will be convenient for those who will be flying to the Assembly. And because the hotel is located on I-29 near the airport, it is very accessible for all those who will be driving.
The focus of the 2017 Assembly will be Community Life. The Future Task Force in collaboration with the Provincial Council will coordinate the content of the Assembly. As always, we will celebrate Companion covenants and members will renew their promises made at incorporation. We will also honor those who will be celebrating significant anniversaries in 2017. Our honorees are:
Father Larry Cyr
80 Years of Incorporation
Father Bill Miller
Father Bill Delaney
60 Years of Incorporation
Father Tom Albers
Bishop Joe Charron
50 Years of Ordination
Father Joe Miller
40 Years of Ordination
Father Joe Bathke
40 Years of Incorporation
You will note that the Assembly will extend to Thursday, June 8, because all are invited to celebrate the ordination to the priesthood of Rev. Mr. Peter Tam Hoang, C.PP.S. The ordination will take place at 10:00 A.M. at St. Francis Xavier Church in St. Joseph, MO. Our brother, Bishop Joe Charron, will once again be the principal celebrant and ordain Peter Tam. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for the Assembly and for Peter Tam’s ordination.
Precious Blood Renewal Center
Companion Kathy Keary who resigned as co-director of Companions earlier this year because of her health is feeling better. She has been helping at Precious Blood Renewal Center (PBRC) with various programs and will be giving an Advent day of prayer at the Center on December 17. Leadership is pleased to announce that Kathy will serve part-time as interim program director for PBRC.
This Saturday, December 10, our Justice and Peace Coordinator, Companion Gabino Zavala, will facilitate the second of our three Advent days of prayer at the Center. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so today!
You are also welcome to join us at PBRC on Wednesday evening, December 21, from 4:00-8:00 PM for a Winter Solstice Celebration of Light. The evening will include prayer, reflection and a guided labyrinth walk, and of course, some of Lucia Ferrara’s delicious homemade soup. If you haven’t been able to visit our labyrinth yet, this would be a wonderful opportunity to prepare our hearts more deeply for the coming celebration of Christmas.
As our Advent journey continues, may we meet in prayer often along the way, trusting in the promise the angel Gabriel made to Mary, “The Lord is with you,” belongs to all of us. Led by this promise we believe “nothing will be impossible for God.”
With hope and peace,
Joe Nassal, C.PP.S.
Provincial Director
and the Leadership Team