St. Mark Church To Host Advent Parish Mission
Published: December 10, 2009
CLARKESVILLE—St. Mark Church in Clarkesville welcomes Passionist Father Bernie Weber, returning to the parish for its annual Advent mission, Dec. 13-18. All are welcome to attend.
“Parish renewals are a wonderful opportunity for young and old alike to grow closer to God. Coming together in your community, spending a longer period of time together in spiritual reflection, can be extremely moving and meaningful,” said Father Weber, who has been a missionary priest for the past 14 years.
The Advent mission will begin with a potluck supper in the St. John Hall at the church on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m. At 7 p.m. each evening from Dec. 13 to Thursday, Dec. 17, Father Weber will give a different mission talk. Topics include: “Jesus, the Light of the World,” “Suffering Love,” “Call to Justice,” “Be Healed” and “The Paraclete.” At 10 a.m. each morning, beginning Monday, Dec. 14, through Dec. 17, Father Weber will celebrate Mass and then give another series of mission talks, on these topics: “God’s Mercy,” “Call to Humility,” “Holy Obedience” and “Blessed Authority.” Every day during the mission, Father Weber will be available to meet with individuals for confession or spiritual direction.
The mission will close on Friday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m., with a community reconciliation service and the opportunity for individual confession.
Born in 1942 in Chicago, Father Weber later moved with his family to southern California, where he earned a master’s degree in mathematics from UCLA. He began a career in teaching high school mathematics in southern California and later for five years in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was in Honolulu that he became involved as a layman in several ministries of the church and realized his call to the priesthood.
In 1981, he was ordained a priest in the Passionist Congregation, and the following year he was assigned as pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Fairfield, Ala., where he remained for seven years. In 1991, Father Weber traveled to Cochin in southern India, where he served as acting rector of the Passionist mission there. Since then, he has traveled all over the United States preaching and giving parish missions and retreats.
Father Weber gives missions and retreats focusing on a wide variety of topics. He brings his life experiences as teacher, lay minister, pastor and missionary into his preaching and teaching.
One of the highlights of Father Weber’s missions is a healing service held on one of the last days of each mission. Parishioner Duncan Whitney was present at the healing service during last year’s mission and said, “Father Weber brings with him a beautiful love of the Lord which he shares with us through his own reflections and through his love of Scripture. He also draws on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in word and in action: his healing services bring the participants into a profoundly intimate sense of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands.”
St. Mark’s pastor, Father Abel Guerrero-Orta, hopes to spread a message of hope and joy through this parish mission. “Advent is an excellent time for people of faith to renew their commitment to God and to living a life of love and service to others,” he said.
He continued, “We welcome everyone to join us during this special week in preparation for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. I invite especially those persons who have been away from the practice of the faith to take one step closer toward a new life in Christ, by joining us for this Advent mission focusing on God’s love, mercy and healing.”
St. Mark Church is located on Highway 197 South in Clarkesville, just past the post office. For more information about the mission, contact Mary Ruth Jones, the parish director of religious education, at (706) 754-4518 or firstname.lastname@example.org.