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home : features : advent & christmas October 17, 2017

Advent 2016: Dominicans' Advent mission will focus on love in families

By EmmaLee Italia | Correspondent

During the busy preparations of the Advent season, it can be difficult to tear ourselves away to spend time with God. Offering a time to remember our connection with him and our families, St. Aloysius Parish, Jackson, will host a one-day Advent mission Dec. 3 with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation, Nashville, Tenn.

Two presentation times are available, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and from 1 to 2:30 p.m., in the church, 935 Bennetts Mills Road. Dominican Sister Mary Michael Fox will be the keynote presenter and will speak on “The Joy of Love! Living As An Icon of the Trinity.” Sister Mary Michael will delve into Chapter Four of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, which centers on “Love in Marriage.”

The Dominican sisters visited St. Aloysius parish last year for a workshop on family relationships – one that was well-received by parishioners.

“The sisters talked about building relationships in the family and really being present to one another,” said Jennifer Draeger, St. Aloysius Parish coordinator of religious education. “The families who came were really touched.”

Draeger initially reached out to the sisters to thank them for the time she spent in discernment with the congregation in 2013-2014. The sisters’ response included an offer to conduct workshops or talks on various subjects. Given the dates available, and after consulting with Father John Bambrick, parish pastor, they opted for an Advent-themed retreat.

“We wanted to give the people who attended the first talk something new, some different material,” Draeger explained. The talk will “offer enrichment for parents of children who are preparing for Sacraments this year … but the mission is open to all.” Sister Mary Michael’s talks will “go deeper in uncovering the love of God in our families,” she explained.

“Their message is powerful – their very witness to religious life and the joy of the Lord,” Draeger said of the Dominican Sisters of Nashville. “I hope that people will take the leap of faith, and make that little sacrifice of time to come and listen to them. It will be very edifying.”

Those interested in attending can R.S.V.P. to Draeger at 732-370-1515, ext. 311. For more information on the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation, visit

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