As the Year Draws to a Close

Advent and Christmas always mean a busy time where I work—both here at Franciscan Media and in my nearby inner-city parish. Before I sat down to write these reflections, for example, I had already made several trips back and forth across the street that separates my two jobs, as I attend to the busy agendas in each ministry!

Over in the “friary,” the residence adjoining the church, a “Franciscan Christmas” is in advanced preparation stages. I’ve done my part, setting up displays that carry on the tradition encouraged by our founder, St. Francis, nearly 800 years ago. Francis understood that the mystery of Jesus—God become human—was best conveyed to the senses, and thus to our hearts, by imagery. And so, the live nativity he created for people in a mountaintop village was an “instant hit.” People “got it,” and from there it has spread to wherever Franciscan hearts celebrate Christmas.

Here on the “media” side of the street, our thoughts are already turning to 2011, as we wrap up our Advent and Christmas programs (see below) and prepare for the new year ahead. We’ve launched our new “Franciscan Media” Web site (http://www.franciscanmedia.org/) and are working to fill it with audio and video offerings each day.

There, you’ll find links to all we do—not just our “flagship program,” American Catholic Radio. In the months ahead, we’ll be working to transform this newsletter as well, to help it better reflect our wide range of offerings, and the “look” of the new Web site. Please let us know how you like it, and what we can do to make it better.

We have many surprises planned for 2011: new video projects, a new line of audiobooks, new ways to deliver our video resources to our audience, and of course, the best in Catholic radio, through ACR, Sharing the Word and the rest of our audio resources.

A merry and blessed Christmas in the spirit of St. Francis! And a new year devoted to the encounter with Jesus Christ, through the new media!