By Wynn Touney
“O come, O come Emmanuel.” As you read this column, you’ll recognize the “O” Antiphons in this beautiful hymn to focus on Wisdom, the Lord, Flower of Jesse’s stem, Key of David, Radiant Dawn, King of All Nations and Emmanuel, God is with us.
This time of Advent is truly the beautiful way in which our church guides our anticipation of the coming of our Lord. Our liturgy helps us to wait, to be patient, to be silent with an open heart to hear God’s Word.
Our diocese was blessed this past October with the 21-day special tour of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. We wish to certainly thank Mary Ann Reuther, past president and now province director of Iowa, for her completing this challenging task and all who assisted and participated in this special event.
“The task would have been a very daunting undertaking without the willingness of a number of pastors and parishioners who consented to be a host for the statue,” Mary Ann stated.
On behalf of the SCDCW, sincere appreciation is extended to one and all who in any way were involved with hosting the statue. The efforts that were put forth offered the environment and a time for the faithful to experience a prayerful visit in the company of Our Lady of Fatima.
“While coordinating the statue’s visit proved to be both a challenge and a joy, it was a venture of faith and love that proved to be a meaningful success,” Mary Ann added. “Through my conversations with the statue’s custodians and several individuals at host sites, there was a solid consensus that the statue was warmly welcomed, received and honored. Hopefully the fruits of Mary’s visit will be quite noticeable in our diocese and parishes until she comes to visit us once again.”
On a final note, Mary Ann shared that the Blessed Virgin Mary made her presence known the last night of her visit, “when at the time of her arrival at the parish in Remsen, there were two severe thunderstorms going on with each one headed in the same direction at the same speed with Remsen right in between the storms where nothing in the nature of a storm was happening.”
This Jubilee Year of Mercy, beginning on Dec. 8, also presents to us many ways to grow in our faith. Many resources are available to assist. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) site suggests “5 Ways to Spiritually Prepare”: 1) Pray for awareness of God in your life. 2) Pray the Gospels. 3) Encounter and sincerely seek to help or aid those who are denied their dignity. 4) Prepare to be merciful. 5) Plan to work at it together.
Upcoming events for your 2016 calendar:
Jan. 16, Midwest March for Life in Des Moines
March 5, Diocese of Sioux City Women’s Conference at Holy Spirit Church, Carroll
April 8, CWDSC Convention Business Meeting and Social at Sacred Heart Church, Ida Grove
April 9, Breakfast with the Bishop and all women of the diocese at Sacred Heart Church, Ida Grove
Sept. 24/25, Christ Our Life Catholic Regional Conference at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines.
May Christ shine His Light into the darkness of our world and be the Light of Love for you and your family this blessed Christmas into the Holy New Year.
Wynn Touney of Fort Dodge is a member of Catholic Women of the Diocese of Sioux City.