By Becky Aubut, Anchor Staff
ATTLEBORO, Mass. — As the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro hearkens in its 60th anniversary under the theme of “60 Years of Serving God’s People,” this year’s Festival of Lights will see the return of Father André “Pat” Patenaude and his Christmas concerts, Clopper “heehawing” every night next to the outdoor Nativity set, a new synchronized light display set to music — and for the first time, relics of saints will be on exhibit for the many faithful who make the shrine an annual visit during the Christmas season.
Collecting relics is a passion for La Salette Brother David Eubank, shrine publicist and young adult ministry coordinator, who says those who know of his collection of 102 first-, second- and third-class relics have jokingly referred to him as “Brother Relic.”
Some names of the blessed and the saints listed in his vast collection can be easily recognized: St. Bernadette Soubirous; St. Stanislaus Kostka; St. Vincent de Paul; St. Marguerite d’Youville; St. John Bosco; St. Dominic Savio; Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati; and Blessed John Paul II are just a few.
By Kenneth J. Souza, Anchor Staff
FALL RIVER, Mass. — Having just completed the third in a series of four leadership training sessions for parish pastoral council members, it’s clear to Diane Rinkacs, acting director of the Pastoral Planning Office for the Fall River Diocese, that the experience is already bearing much fruit.
“I’ve gotten a lot of positive response back from people through emails and an online survey,” Rinkacs told The Anchor. “People have responded very well and they say they understand now what a pastoral council should be doing.”
Created as an offshoot of the diocesan pastoral council that was formed in December 2012 and in response to the newly-promulgated statutes and guidelines for parish pastoral councils that Bishop George W. Coleman approved the previous September, the training sessions have been a year in the making and attempt to “get the parishes working together with pastoral councils under (those) new statutes and norms, so they’d be more in line with the pastoral sense rather than the traditional parish council, which is the old model,” Rinkacs said.
By Dave Jolivet, Anchor Editor
SOMERSET, Mass. — Just as the Year of Faith called by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI came to an end, a group of pilgrims from St. John of God Parish in Somerset, St. Louis de France Parish in Swansea, and St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Taunton, and their pastors, embarked on an 11-day spiritual journey to Italy.
The brochure promised the pilgrimage would “be a joyful journey designed to highlight our Christian faith.” Based on reactions from those who recently returned, they were not disappointed.
“My highlights were not what I expected,” Father Freddie Babiczuk, pastor of St. John of God Parish told The Anchor. “I expected that it would be seeing the pope at the general audience, which was meaningful. What impressed me even more was seeing the devotion of people as they prayed and touched the tombs of St. Anthony and St. Francis. This was a moving experience for me as I asked for the intercession of these two saints for people back in the States. The general audience was a high point as well, not just seeing the pope, but in seeing the response of people to this pope.” There was an estimated 200,000 people at the audience in which the local pilgrims attended.
EASTON, Mass. — With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be difficult keeping Christ in Christmas. However, thanks to a free mobile app from Family Rosary, it’s a lot easier.
Family Rosary created the Advent & Christmas mobile app to help people stay focused on keeping Christ in Christmas. Featuring meditative music with Scripture and reflections, this app, for iPhones, iPads, Androids, and all other Smartphones, is the perfect spiritual aid while standing in line to buy presents or trekking to stores in the wee hours for that midnight madness sale. When Advent begins on December 1, the mobile app will feature a new prayer each day to help keep the focus right where it needs to be.