January 1st was the start of the new calendar year, although the new liturgical year began on the first Sunday of Advent, November 28, 2021. On January 1st, 2022, the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and the World Day of Prayer for Peace. There are three celebrations in one day! Also, the celebrations continue as we celebrate the Epiphany on January 6.

We honor Mary on the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. This day is centered on Mary as the mother of Jesus, and the birth of Christ, Jesus as the Incarnate. The Gospel reading from Luke says, “when eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” Mary had Jesus circumcised on the eighth day, according to the Levitical Law. Christians see him as the Lord, the Son of God.

Christmas is December 25th for Catholics and January 1st was, and still is, the Octave or eighth day of Christmas so, we continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and celebrate Mary, his mother.

In the past, this day was also celebrated by the church as the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus and the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. The name Jesus, or Joshua, means God of salvation, and Jesus continues to save us and the world.

It was in 1969 that the church designated this day as the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. This title recognizes and celebrates her title as mother, although ever a virgin, and Jesus as God. God with us. Yesterday, today, and always.

January 1st was also the 55th World Day of Prayer for Peace, a commodity much needed in today’s world. Pope Francis, in his message for this day: Dialogue Between Generations, Education and Work names three key points”

1. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace” (Is 52:7).

2. Dialogue between generations to build peace

3. Teaching and education as drivers of peace

Now, how does this all tie together, and what does it mean for us?

Daylesford Abbey is an oasis of peace in Pennsylvania. The priests and brothers live a common life through contemplation on God’s Word, common prayer, and active service to the local Catholic community. Are we called to action or just to read? In this new year, many people make new resolutions, and we can find ideas for our own resolutions from the Norbertine priests at Daylesford Abbey.

Prayer: Saying a brief morning prayer when we wake up, stopping for a midday prayer, and taking time for prayer at night. The priests at Daylesford Abbey offer spiritual direction to help us begin or enhance our prayer life. The priests offer Individual Spiritual DirectionGroup Spiritual CompanionshipSpiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola and Professional Enrichment. ”

Their Spirituality Center offers a variety of faith-nurturing experiences and programs Their order founder St. Norbert, was known as a minister of peace & reconciliation, and the present day Norbertines strive to foster that same reconciliation — with God, self and others.” Reconciliation- an admirable goal, and a perfect new year resolution goal.

Builder of Peace: The Norbertine priests at Daylesford coordinate the Bethesda Project, a major ministry to the homeless of Philadelphia. This ministry was founded in 1979 by Norbertine Domenic Rossi and the Abbey prayer group that he was leading at the time. It has grown from one residence for women to fourteen facilities ranging from emergency shelters to permanent supportive residences. volunteer and to serve on its Board of Directors.

New Year resolutions: a next step, a new beginning? Consider volunteering at the Bethesda project. Other possibilities include bringing non-perishable food each Sunday at the Mass at Daylesford Abbey that is then delivered to St. Gabriel’s Food Cupboard. Monthly deliveries of non-perishable food also support Mission Santa Maria as it ministers to the migrant community in Chester County. This option encompasses bringing food to help support others and grow in your own prayer life by celebrating Mass with the priests at Daylesford Abbey.

 Teaching and Education as Drivers of Peace: Priests at Daylesford Abbey have been involved in the educational apostolate, at the grade school and college level but primarily in high school ministry. They have two men who work full time at Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware, a college preparatory school founded by the Norbertine Order in 1932 and currently sponsored by Daylesford Abbey. One of our men is also the chaplain at Villa Maria Lower School in Immaculata

God may be calling you to join the Norbertine priests and brothers. Daylesford Abbey is seeking men who are committed to loving and serving Jesus Christ completely, who will support their brothers in Christ through common life and common prayer, and who will dedicate themselves to be ministers of peace and reconciliation. Visit https://daylesford.org/vocations/ to read more and watch a video.

New Year- New Beginnings- A New Vocation- The choices are many, and your new year resolution might include making one of these choices. The journey begins with a step. #CTA #service #peace #NewYear #resolution #Norbertine #Daylesford