Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata

Stigmatine Fathers & Brothers

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A Blessed Advent!

from the Provincial's desk


Rev. Gregory Hoppough, CSS, Superior ProvincialDear Friends of the Stigmatines:

As you visit our website, we are all preparing for the Holy Season of Advent. I recently came across a wonderful book, Meditations for Advent, by Jacques-Benigne Bossuet (1627-1704), considered by many as "an eloquent preacher and a man of deep and weighty prayer". In the "foreword" of the book, we hear from Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P.(Senior Editor of Magnificat). Fr. Cessario offers this thought:

"Every year our holy mother the Church invites us to make our way back to Bethlehem. And when we arrive, what is it that we see there? Nothing but 'three poor people who love one another,' as the poet Claudel said, but three poor people who will 'change the face of the earth.' There is a great wisdom in the Church's setting aside as holy that month of expectation that is the liturgical season of Advent. For, like the Holy Family, we too are poor. Yet we are poor in the very way they were rich, and rich in the way that they were poor. And this is why we sorely need Advent as an annual occasion to listen to the prophet Isaiah, to marvel at the Annunciation, the Visitation, and the birth of Saint John the Baptist, to enter more deeply into the meaning of those two great songs of faith that frame the Church's daily prayer, the Benedictus and the Magnificat, and to join Saint Joseph and the Blessed Virgin in silent adoration of the incarnate Son of God."

Advent is indeed that special liturgical time in which we focus our prayerful attention on the Second Coming of Christ (First Two Weeks of Advent) and the Holy Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus (December 17th through Christmas). Advent is always a new beginning - for the Church and for each of us. It is a time of renewal, of growing in intimacy with Jesus at Christmas. The more and better we prepare, the more Christmas will mean to us. The best way to prepare is to reflect on the texts of the Advent Masses and to heed the summons of Saint John the Baptist: "reform your lives! The reign of God is at hand... Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths...Repent! Be converted!" (see: Emeric Lawrence, O.S.B., Jesus, Present and Coming, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1982, p. 8).

During this Holy Season of Advent, please be sure of our continued prayers for you and your loved ones. We remember you and your intentions at our Daily Mass and Divine Office. We ask your prayers, too, for an increase of vocations to the Stigmatine religious life and priesthood. 

Thank you for visiting us on our website.

Advent blessings,

The Stigmatine Fathers of Holy Spouses Province



Last Updated: November 20, 2014