Here it is, the second Sunday in Ordinary Time. This is a 'skinny' season between Christmas and Lent. Ash Wednesday comes on the 22nd of February this year. Seems just a bit of a breather. But it really can be process time, opportunity to process, to sit with, to fully take in the deep, deep mystery of the Incarnation. There are no cards to write, no presents to buy, no trees to decorate. There is just an in between time, a time to 'be with'. Things even seem to slow down on the social scene in these months. Why not take advantage of it and and carve out a bit of retreat time - an hour, a day, a weekend. An opportunity is being offered. It is like the call to Samuel in today's first reading. Why not respond, "Speak Lord, your servant is listening."
These days we have been watching the dismantling of Mount St. Alphonsus. It is a 400 acre property dominated by a massive former seminary built in 1911. For three generations it has been a constant presence in the Hudson River Valley. For years the students taught Religious Education classes in local parishes. For years the professors fanned out every Sunday to celebrated Masses throughtout the county, bringing their particular Redemptorist approach to preaching and liturgy. Since 1987, it has been a retreat center drawing New Yorkers as well as folks from New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. This week does truly mark the end of an era.
|Stained glass dome in chapel|