Greetings of Advent Peace.

Maximum efficiency is often the goal in the worlds of business and technology.  Many people make a living tinkering with electronic and other processes to help them go faster.  Certain kinds of changes are almost always viewed as positive.  Can we do this in fewer steps?  Can we do this step faster?  Can this step be done with fewer people, or eliminated altogether?

While that formula typically leads to success in the world of business and technology, it’s important to remind ourselves not to mindlessly carry that same formula into other parts of our life.  In the world of Christian Spirituality, often the goal is precisely the opposite. We improve our spiritual life by slowing down.  We grow by being attentive to and helping people who move slowly and perhaps even inefficiently: those advanced in years, children, the sick, the poor.  Jesus speaks profoundly to us in quiet moments when “nothing” is getting accomplished.

And so, we are at the beginning of another Advent… the time of waiting for the baby Jesus.  May this holy season become a growth-filled time of great inefficiency for you.

The Franciscan Food Center at the Shrine recently had our distribution of food to the poor prior to Thanksgiving.  Here are some facts and figures about that one-day distribution to our Food Center members:


Turkeys                  7218
Potatoes                2400
Onions                   1400
Stuffing Mix              252
Cranberry sauce      486
Milk                          900
Yams                       896
Gravy                      400
Apple Cider           2100
Butternut Squash  1210
Mixed Veg               582
Lindt Chocolate     1000

TOTAL               18,844lbs

We served about 500 members that day.

Finally, thank you everyone who participated in the Giving Tuesday event on November 28.  You helped to raise $150,475 in that one-day event.  Thank you for your generosity.

Fr. Thomas Conway, OFM
Executive Director