From Deacon George …

Our Advent Book Group is Filling Fast…

We have facilitated a lot of book study groups at St. John’s Church, and while we always have good turnouts, none have filled as quickly as the one we are about to begin on the First Sunday in Advent, November 29.

Considering this terrific response, I wonder why: Is it the topic, Advent with Oscar Romero, the El Salvadoran archbishop martyred for his opposition to government corruption and inhumane treatment of its citizens?  Is it our interest in Romero’s 1977 Advent sermons and their relevance to our own 2020 context? Perhaps it’s the ease of participating in the at-home Zoom gathering format, and the chance to be together in this COVID time, when gatherings have become so restrictive. Or maybe it’s because the study materials come to us at no cost!

Whatever the reason(s), I look forward to sharing Romero’s story, excerpts from his sermons and the Lectionary tests on which they are based, with all our study group attendees. 

A few openings remain and we would love to have you join us. We will meet Sundays in Advent at 8:45 am (before our Sunday Zoom service). Email me at

Another Advent opportunity…

Our friend and parishioner Judy Rose has close ties with The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, on whose lovely campus we have enjoyed several spiritual and educational gatherings. Here is one I highly recommend, that we can attend from home. Advent 2020: Hope in a Time of Chaos, will be presented via Zoom and YouTube on Saturday, December 5, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

In this Advent Day of Reflection we will consider the virtue of hope and what we mean when we say: “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” We will look at our own lives, consider the challenges our faith offers us today and listen to the voice of prophets. We will see how Advent and Christmas offer us meaningful ways of reflecting on our dark and chaotic times.

Presenter, Sister Elise Saggau, OSF, has many years of experience in education and formation and served as assistant director of publications at the Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure, New York. Sister Elise now writes and gives talks, especially on Franciscan spirituality.

Registration is required for you to receive the Zoom link/YouTube information. There is no cost for the event, but donations are gratefully accepted. For more information or to register by November 23, contact the Franciscan Life Center by emailing Christi Hartwell at or calling (320) 632-0680. The Franciscan Life Center is a sponsored ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.

Have a Blessed Week!
Deacon George

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