The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

I know I am a week early, but the rest of the world seems to celebrating Christmas with great joy, I thought I would insist on Advent for a while. Until December 17th the season focuses on the second coming of Christ, and if anybody has been paying attention to the readings lately we have been focusing on the second coming for a while. The weather is a bit frosty and flurries are expected. You can always see what is going on in Chicago's weather by looking at the new weather pixie. That really is for my sister and Cris but other people may actually want to know what the weather is like in Chicago.

I set up the creche the other day. So far it is just a stable, a well, a shepherd's camp and a few trees. The only figurine is Flavius, a Roman soldier announcing a census. Oh, I did open up the package of farm animals and pull out the turkey. I figured that could last us through Christ the King and Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving the Turkey disappears and I will slowly add a few shepherds. Mary and Joseph will show up on December 24, and the Magi's pavillion will open up on Jan 6. The Creche will remain until the Baptism of the Lord. There is nothing quite like a concrete reminder that a specific time and place in history waited for the the advent of our God, and it is a constant reminder that we are to find him hidden in our own time and place, his advent is still unexpected and often missed.

Reading some of the depositions at the time of St Gaspar's canonization we read that one of his helpers testified that St. Gaspar had a creche, a gift that he treasured and had set up in his room. Well, most of this set is a gift from a wonderful friend, except for seven pieces I picked up inexpensively in Italy two years ago, and a few additions from Maria Stein OH last Winter.

Yes, with Christ the King upon us it is time to prepare for Advent. If we do not prepare it will pass very quickly with all the busyness and simply be missed. If you are looking for some Advent resources,
there are some daily Advent reflections on the Precious Blood Leadership Conference Website. Those are my contributions on Fridays even if they did mis-spell my name.

May this beautiful Winter season of grace be just that for you, beautiful and grace-filled.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 7:04 PM link
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No War

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

As elected leaders of seven communities of men and women religious dedicated to the spirituality of the Precious Blood, totaling 1350 members ministering in 27 states, we want to express our deep concern towards taking military action against Iraq. We acknowledge that Saddam Hussein has been responsible for much suffering and bloodshed upon the Iraqi people and has very little concern for the demands of other nations. However, to engage in a pre-emptive war without the support of the United Nations would be adding violence to violence.

We ask that you would approach this crisis by strengthening the relationship between the United States and the other nations of the United Nations. May our response to the violence caused by Saddam or others be one which will reduce the level of violence, especially against innocent citizens, whether these citizens be ours or those of other nations. As one of our great leaders of peace, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., has done, may we choose to engage in dialogue and promote a peaceful solution by joining voices of many peoples and nations to respond to the present conflict.

We encourage you to continue to work with the United Nations in arriving at a peaceful solution. Please identify the men and women of the international community who are skilled arbitrators to organize a strategy of negotiation so as to arrive at a suitable and non-violent solution. We appeal to you to stop the escalation of violence and to seek a response by building a coalition among the United Nations in response to the government and policies of Iraq.

Respectfully yours,

(The letter was signed by the seven Presidents, Superiors and Provincials of the Precious Blood Community in the Precious Blood Leadership Conference)

cc: Sen. Thomas Daschle; Rep. J. Dennis Hastert

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 11:04 AM link
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