Hope through the Holy Family: Dec. 13 event

This Advent, after a year of unprecedented trials and uncertainties, the Holy Family’s journey to Bethlehem is a reminder that Christ never forgets His people.

That is the theme of Advent Hope: A Journey with the Holy Family, a virtual event featuring Bishop David Zubik and Father Boniface Hicks, OSB. Father Hicks is the general manager and on-air host of We Are One Body Catholic radio (WAOB 106.7 FM), and speaks on the spiritual life at Catholic conferences, retreats and courses.  

The event will take place from 7- 8:30 p.m. on December 13, 2020, the third Sunday of Advent, or Gaudete Sunday, when Catholics reflect on the joy of Christ’s coming. It will be livestreamed from St. Anthony Chapel in Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill, home to the largest collection of Christian relics in the world outside of the Vatican.

The idea grew from the desire to create a communal faith experience this Advent, at a time when many in-person traditions are cancelled because of the pandemic.

“We realized that we needed to have a virtual event to help people keep their eyes on Jesus during this Advent season,” said Judene Indovina, diocesan director of Catholic Identity.

Father Hicks will reflect on what it means to travel the difficult road to Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph, confident that the joy of Christ’s coming is near.

The evening will also include Evening Prayer led by Bishop Zubik; adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; music; and a procession led by a girl dressed as St. Lucy, whose feast day is celebrated on that date.

St. Lucy, whose name means “light,” is a 4th century martyr and the patron saint of sight.

“Her burning desire was to see God,” Indovina said, pointing to St. Lucy’s life as an example of placing all one’s hope in Christ.

Worship aids and at-home family activities will be available closer to the event on the diocesan website here. The event is not open in-person to the public due to health precautions, but all are invited to join via the diocesan YouTube channel here.