Seek Justice This Advent Season

Seek Justice This Advent Season

Seek Justice This Advent Season

This Advent, commit to simplicity. In a season that can mistakenly be focused on consumption, it’s a good chance to explore ways to live simply as we prepare for the coming of Jesus and the restoration of the earth.

Here are some ideas shared by our Social Justice and Peace Commission to live a more simple and intentional life, perhaps starting now, during Advent.

______ Take some breaks from my cell phone/smart phone, computer, and other devices so that you can be really present to the people around you.

______ Establish priorities and learn to say “no” to things that are not important to you and “yes” to things that are important.

______ Keep a gratitude journal by recording the big and small blessings that come my way.

______ Get rid of junk mail by
• throwing it into a recycling bin as soon as it arrives
• stopping it from being delivered by asking to be removed from mailing lists
• going paperless for bills, opting for digital bills instead

______ Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and less meat and dairy to lower my impact on the environment.

______ Reduce use of single-use plastics.

______ If you use a cut Christmas tree, plan ahead for helpful ways for disposing of it. Ecomaine is a great resource for statewide options.  Their information on recycling gift wrapping is something to consider before purchasing. “if you can rip it, you can recycle it,” they say!

Thanks to the Ignatian Solidarity Network for their leadership on this initiative. You can also sign up for the Ignatian Solidarity Network Advent calendar online here. It has daily suggestions for living more simply and in ways that help restore the earth.

Silent Auction and Festival of Trees Event

Silent Auction and Festival of Trees Event

Silent Auction and Festival of Trees Event

When we think about our upcoming fund raising event, we’re reminded of what Saint Mother Teresa is known to have said, “...We can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”

A group of parishioners are working together to put on the Thanks4Giving Silent Auction and Festival of Christmas Trees event, having set a goal of contributing $20,000 to the bottom line for Our Lady of Hope’s mission. Held on Saturday, November 5th, this day-long festival and silent auction event features a dozen decorated Christmas trees, including gifts, and items selected and donated by parishioners for the silent auction in the evening.

Always popular, the Christmas trees are raffled off (you’d put your purchased raffle tickets in the containers of the ones that you’d like to take home). Tickets are $1 each or 25 for $20! The Festival of Trees is open for viewing and raffle ticket purchases from 10 – 4 that day; reopening at 7 during the auction. Winners will be drawn at 9 pm.

Admission to the evening portion of the event, from 7-9, is $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Tickets include two complimentary beverage tickets, thanks to Maria’s Ristorante. During the silent auction portion of the event, there will be delicious hors d’oeuvres passed, beverages, jazz music, 50/50 raffle and even some fun with Lucky 7s. There’ll be interesting conversation, plenty of laughter, and reconnecting with each other – or welcoming and connecting for the first time.

So many parishioners have made sure there’s a lot planned for a nice Saturday night out. Together.

If you’d like to take a sneak peek, visit our Bidding Owl online auctionOnline Auction Opens for pre-bidding at noon on October 28th and closes at Noon on November 4th.  Highest bids online will be opening bids in-person at the event!

Together – that may be the most fun – being together as a parish community, working together to create a fun evening, and pitching in together to raise funds critical to our mission of living out the Gospel message.

Want an quick link to make your reservations?  Here it is, just click here.

A Delightful Blessing of the Animals

A Delightful Blessing of the Animals

A Delightful Blessing of the Animals

Even the skies brightened a bit when the animals showed up.

When we think of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order, many of us think of icons or illustrations or statues of him surrounded by animals or birds. It is written that he loved all God’s creation and even preached to the birds. With his feast day on October 4th, the first weekend of October is often the time when Blessings of the Pets or Farm Animals is held. That was certainly the case here at Our Lady of Hope as we gathered on the lawn next to St. Joseph’s Church on Saturday afternoon. Frs. Jack, Brian and Paul all reminded us through prayer of the connection of our care for our pets, who depend on us, to our care and concern for our vulnerable neighbors, which was especially part of St. Francis’ message 800 years ago.

With that in mind, we share the Peace Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
were there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
were there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Let each of us emulate St. Francis of Assisi in demonstrating our love and care for all God’s creation.

Talking about our Faith with Others…Hmmm

Talking about our Faith with Others…Hmmm

Talking about our Faith with Others…Hmmm

As Christians, we are called upon to witness to our faith; to share with others our encounters with the risen Christ and the experiences of grace that follow.  This invitation to share our faith with others seems to contradict the advice: “Don’t talk about religion and politics.” 

We’ve all witnessed (or participated in) contentious conversations that follow when we don’t follow it. 

Yet, without the ability to talk about these issues, we have little or no chance of understanding one another.  When we talk only with those who agree with us, misunderstanding and polarization are likely to grow. 

The first Easter Sunday found the disciples locked away in fear of the violence that they had witnessed imposed on Jesus.  Following their encounters with the Risen Christ between that first Easter and Pentecost, they found the courage to proclaim their faith – in a way that all who listened understood. 

On September 17th, Fr. Brian will present a morning of reflection, “Talking About Our Faith With Others.”  This morning of reflection will focus on creating a context where effective communication can occur across differences with a focus on intentional speaking and active listening skills introduced during our Synodal listening sessions.  This workshop will build on the content introduced in the “Our Easter Journey” morning of reflection presented at the end of April.  

Please contact the Parish Office to reserve your seat for this event on September 17th from 9-noon in the Parish Hall on Ocean Avenue.

Special Collection for Christo Rei Parish in Haiti

Special Collection for Christo Rei Parish in Haiti

Special Collection for Christo Rei Parish in Haiti

In keeping with Catholic social justice principles, we will be having a special collection for Christo Rei Parish – Christ the King – in Morne Rouge, Haiti at all Masses on the weekend of September 10 & 11.

Members of our Social Justice and Peace Commission will be at church entrances with more information, photos of the parish’s works, and to receive your generous offering. Every gift helps, no matter the size. Funds raised, from all sources, feed students in their parish school a morning bowl of rice and beans – food to soothe hunger with nutrients essential to concentrate at school. 50 % of what is raised covers teachers’ salaries. Then, remaining funds help pay for fuel, support catechist and sacristan needs, and a bit for the pastor. If you’d like to know more about this mission, please touch base with Ursula or Bill through the parish office, or directly.

Checks can be made out to OLH with Haiti Project in the memo. Thank you for your consideration and spirit of generosity and your faithful prayers for the concerns of Christo Rei Parish.

Welcome Back to Campus Reception

Welcome Back to Campus Reception

Welcome Back to Campus Reception

Welcome! As is often the case, the summer has flown by and here we are, looking at a new academic year – which often feels like a new year.

We’re celebrating the return of those dedicated humans studying in their chosen fields – sure to make the world a better place – also known as students! The 5:00pm Sunday Mass at St. Joseph on Stevens Avenue seems to be a popular option for students. So, the Welcoming Ministry here at Our Lady of Hope Parish is hosting an outdoor (weather permitting) reception after Mass on Sunday, September 11th. All are invited – and welcome – to join in conversation while enjoying some light fare from about 6-7 pm.

Of course, you’re always welcome at other Masses at Our Lady of Hope, too. Weekend Masses are at 7:30 on Sunday mornings at St. Joseph Church, as well at 4:30 pm Saturdays and 9:30 am Sundays at St Pius X Church on Ocean Avenue (across from Payson Park).

Our Lady of Hope is a Jesuit ministry and is part of the Ignatian Spirituality Partnership of Maine.

You may wish to check out an upcoming reflection that Fr. Brian Conley, S.J. is offering on September 17th, Talking with Others about our Faith – a topic that is always relevant. It will be held in the Parish Hall on Ocean Avenue.

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