Dear Friends,

How is your time of "holy impatience" evolving this Advent? Our growth in "holy impatience" has been deepened by our mindfulness of Occupy Boston, and the invitation to preside at liturgy for the movement this Sunday. While the "official Occupation" is no longer present in Dewey Square, we will be there tomorrow (at 11:00AM) to honor their efforts and celebrate that the Spirit is very much present in our City. We've been impressed with the insightfulness of the organizers of this movement, and while many have criticized their "lack of a clear agenda", their model of inclusive leadership is one which, while differing from corporate America and surely differing from the institutional church's (or Magisterium's) model offers the possibility of finding 'common ground' using a 'cooperation vs. competition' model of organization. A novel imagining! Part of our "holy impatience" is reflected well in this excerpt from a letter written to Mayor Menino, the Boston City Council and the Police Department by faith leaders in the Boston area: "We find ourselves, by nature of our work and our vocation, very much in accord with the Occupy cause. They are drawing much-needed attention to the ever-widening disparity between wealthy elites and the majority of citizens. At the last census, nearly 1 in 5 Bostonians were found to be living in poverty[1], with vastly higher poverty rates among people of color[2].Our experience confirms these statistics. In our food programs, in our shelters, among our parishioners and congregations, we see sharply increased hunger and unemployment. We daily watch as people fall into poverty and become disenfranchised.... The poverty, homelessness, and increasing desperation of our neighbors present a challenge to us all. While these struggles are not easy problems to address, two things are clear: we will only find positive solutions if we work together, and violence against the protesters is no solution. As leaders of faith, we urge you to seek a course that furthers justice and wholeness for all people. In this, we stand as one.

If your schedule allows, we hope that you will join us in downtown at Dewey Square (11:00AM) for this time of prayer of solidarity. (We will, of course, also be celebrating with the Community at 4:00PM as usual, including a Communal Penance Service.) As we have been doing throughout Advent, during our liturgies, we continue sharing excerpts from the Advent homilies of El Salvadoran bishop and martyr, Oscar Romero. Romero's richness of thought and motivation for action, his understanding of the plight of those who are poor and suffer injustice, offer us both hope and guidance as we work for justice in our own land and in our world. This Sunday, we share the words Romero spoke on December 17, 1978.

Advent Homily of Oscar Romero:

I invite you this week, in this hour when our country seems to have no place for joy, to listen to St. Paul repeat to us: "Be always joyful. Be constant in prayer. In every circumstance give thanks. This is God's plan for you in Christ Jesus." ( I Thess. 5:16-17). The Christian, the Christian community must not despair. If someone dies in the family, we must not weep like people without hope. If the skies have darkened in our nation's history, let us not lose hope. We are a community of hope, and like the Israelites in Babylon, let hope for the hour of liberation. It will come. It will come because God is faithful, says St. Paul. This joy must be like a prayer. God who called you is faithful," and God will keep what God has promised. (December 17, 1978)

We pray that this sacred season is bringing you more deeply into a place of rejuvenation of faith, and an awareness that Jesus is "Present" in every aspect of our lives, longing for us to seek and find the Light within.

Reminder: Our liturgy will be held at 4:00PM during the remainder of Fall and Winter months.

Advent Blessings,

Jean & Ron