Little Christmas: Prepare the Way

 

 

Preparing the way. Are we not always preparing the way for something or someone? I think it is in our DNA!

June 24 is the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist. The herald of the good news, the forerunner of Christ, who called not only the people awaiting the Messiah some 2000 years ago but also us today as we continue to make known the gift of the Messiah. It’s not an easy thing to do to prepare the way. When we consider preparing for anything from summer vacation to a wedding to hosting guests to homework to Christmas; it takes time, effort, energy and desire.

The Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist is known as Little Christmas. That got me thinking about Christmas – not the gift lists, or plans or decorations, rather it got me thinking about the gifts we have received. There are so many… have we been thankful, even in the times when gratitude seems like a hard word? Can we today pause and give thanks for one, two, ten, twenty or more gifts we have received since last Christmas?

I also began to ponder the hopes we hold on to or realize at Christmas. Maybe promises we make, resolutions we aim for, moments we want to capture, dreams we speak aloud. Have we revisited these since they came to light amid the glow of the Christmas tree? Which ones have we had to let go of? Which ones have become reality? Which ones do we need to embrace more for they call to us again and again?

I also ponder how we live out being Children of Light. How do we live out the blessings of Christmas? Peace, joy, hope, community, generosity and comfort all seem to be blessings we hold dear at Christmas time. How do we continue to share them throughout the year? Little Christmas is our halfway reminder that these blessings are still ours and we are called to share them with others.

As we move into summer time (and summer vacation for some) let us consider how we can share these blessings?

This summer:

Peace – can we offer a prayer for peace in our homes, community and world every day? Who do we need to forgive so peace can flourish? Is it ourselves?

Joy – can we bring joy to someone who is hurting or suffering? Can we brighten someone’s day with a note left for a neighbor, a hug shared with someone? A game played with children? A patio party with friends we don’t see often?

Hope – can we spend time looking at what hope is to us and where we find it in the journey? How does it empower us? Who can we bring hope to? How?

Community – can we give back to our community? In what concrete ways? From picking up litter, to helping with an event, to welcoming new neighbors, to greeting each other at Mass we are called to build up the kingdom. Can we make our communities stronger and more welcoming?

Generosity – seems to abound in December. Can we recharge those generosity skills? Food banks struggle the most during summer time to provide food, can be generous here? What about that elderly neighbour whose grass just never seems to get cut? What about the young mom who would appreciate a coffee date or maybe even just someone to visit her as she takes her child to the park? What about that charity that we never got in December? There are so many options… and we so often let false fears hold us back… let generosity abound.

Comfort – can we offer this gift of being present to someone in a world that is instant everything? Can we take the time to bear the burden for someone and help raise them up? Can we assist in some way someone who is mourning

I like this idea of Little Christmas… it is a good reminder that like the John the Baptist we are always called to prepare the way of the Lord for you just never know where or when Jesus will appear. Let us bravely and enthusiastically walk with our God as we give thanks for our gifts, water the roots of our hopes that we planted and live out the blessings which our God so generously shares with us.

May the sun shine bright on the path ahead and God Bless Us… Everyone!

 

Facebook
Twitter
Email

About the author

Friar Michael Perras, OFM was born and raised in Saskatchewan, the oldest of four. In a small rural community with plenty of extended family nearby he learned about service and community while growing up in his parent’s grocery store. Friar Michael appreciates quiet moments of prayer to begin the day. He also enjoys tinkering in the chapel, Christmas, learning from the lives of the saints, being creative in the kitchen, a good run, a good song, setting a good table for celebrations, and lingering meals with conversation. One of his greatest joys is being an uncle and a godfather. Prior to joining the Franciscans, he served in several communities as a Youth Minister and Pastoral Assistant. Friar Michael holds certificates in youth ministry, lay ministry, liturgical studies, and spiritual direction along with a Bachelor of Theology degree. Solemnly professed friar since August 2019. He is a non-ordained Franciscan brother currently ministering as part of the retreat team at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre.

Last updated: November 22, 2021

This Privacy Policy describes Our policies and procedures on the collection, use and disclosure of Your information when You use the Service and tells You about Your privacy rights and how the law protects You.

We use Your Personal data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, You agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Interpretation and Definitions

Interpretation

The words of which the initial letter is capitalized have meanings defined under the following conditions. The following definitions shall have the same meaning regardless of whether they appear in singular or in plural.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Privacy Policy:

  • Account means a unique account created for You to access our Service or parts of our Service.
  • Company (referred to as either “the Company”, “We”, “Us” or “Our” in this Agreement) refers to Franciscans of Canada, 5870 Boulevard Rosemont.
  • Cookies are small files that are placed on Your computer, mobile device or any other device by a website, containing the details of Your browsing history on that website among its many uses.
  • Country refers to: Quebec, Canada
  • Device means any device that can access the Service such as a computer, a cellphone or a digital tablet.
  • Personal Data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual.
  • Service refers to the Website.
  • Service Provider means any natural or legal person who processes the data on behalf of the Company. It refers to third-party companies or individuals employed by the Company to facilitate the Service, to provide the Service on behalf of the Company, to perform services related to the Service or to assist the Company in analyzing how the Service is used.
  • Usage Data refers to data collected automatically, either generated by the use of the Service or from the Service infrastructure itself (for example, the duration of a page visit).
  • Website refers to Franciscans of Canada, accessible from https://www.franciscanfriars.ca/
  • You means the individual accessing or using the Service, or the company, or other legal entity on behalf of which such individual is accessing or using the Service, as applicable.

Collecting and Using Your Personal Data

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using Our Service, We may ask You to provide Us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify You. Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

  • Email address
  • First name and last name
  • Phone number
  • Address, State, Province, ZIP/Postal code, City
  • Usage Data

Usage Data

Usage Data is collected automatically when using the Service.

Usage Data may include information such as Your Device’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that You visit, the time and date of Your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

When You access the Service by or through a mobile device, We may collect certain information automatically, including, but not limited to, the type of mobile device You use, Your mobile device unique ID, the IP address of Your mobile device, Your mobile operating system, the type of mobile Internet browser You use, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

We may also collect information that Your browser sends whenever You visit our Service or when You access the Service by or through a mobile device.

Tracking Technologies and Cookies

We use Cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on Our Service and store certain information. Tracking technologies used are beacons, tags, and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyze Our Service. The technologies We use may include:

  • Cookies or Browser Cookies. A cookie is a small file placed on Your Device. You can instruct Your browser to refuse all Cookies or to indicate when a Cookie is being sent. However, if You do not accept Cookies, You may not be able to use some parts of our Service. Unless you have adjusted Your browser setting so that it will refuse Cookies, our Service may use Cookies.
  • Flash Cookies. Certain features of our Service may use local stored objects (or Flash Cookies) to collect and store information about Your preferences or Your activity on our Service. Flash Cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as those used for Browser Cookies. For more information on how You can delete Flash Cookies, please read “Where can I change the settings for disabling, or deleting local shared objects?” available at https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/disable-local-shared-objects-flash.html#main_Where_can_I_change_the_settings_for_disabling__or_deleting_local_shared_objects_
  • Web Beacons. Certain sections of our Service and our emails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs, pixel tags, and single-pixel gifs) that permit the Company, for example, to count users who have visited those pages or opened an email and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of a certain section and verifying system and server integrity).

Cookies can be “Persistent” or “Session” Cookies. Persistent Cookies remain on Your personal computer or mobile device when You go offline, while Session Cookies are deleted as soon as You close Your web browser. You can learn more about cookies here: Cookies by TermsFeed Generator.

We use both Session and Persistent Cookies for the purposes set out below:

  • Necessary / Essential Cookies

    Type: Session Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies are essential to provide You with services available through the Website and to enable You to use some of its features. They help to authenticate users and prevent fraudulent use of user accounts. Without these Cookies, the services that You have asked for cannot be provided, and We only use these Cookies to provide You with those services.

  • Cookies Policy / Notice Acceptance Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies identify if users have accepted the use of cookies on the Website.

  • Functionality Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies allow us to remember choices You make when You use the Website, such as remembering your login details or language preference. The purpose of these Cookies is to provide You with a more personal experience and to avoid You having to re-enter your preferences every time You use the Website.

  • Tracking and Performance Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Third-Parties

    Purpose: These Cookies are used to track information about traffic to the Website and how users use the Website. The information gathered via these Cookies may directly or indirectly identify you as an individual visitor. This is because the information collected is typically linked to a pseudonymous identifier associated with the device you use to access the Website. We may also use these Cookies to test new pages, features or new functionality of the Website to see how our users react to them.

For more information about the cookies we use and your choices regarding cookies, please visit our Cookies Policy or the Cookies section of our Privacy Policy.

Use of Your Personal Data

The Company may use Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • To provide and maintain our Service, including to monitor the usage of our Service.
  • To manage Your Account: to manage Your registration as a user of the Service. The Personal Data You provide can give You access to different functionalities of the Service that are available to You as a registered user.
  • For the performance of a contract: the development, compliance and undertaking of the purchase contract for the products, items or services You have purchased or of any other contract with Us through the Service.
  • To contact You: To contact You by email, telephone calls, SMS, or other equivalent forms of electronic communication, such as a mobile application’s push notifications regarding updates or informative communications related to the functionalities, products or contracted services, including the security updates, when necessary or reasonable for their implementation.
  • To provide You with news, special offers and general information about other goods, services and events which we offer that are similar to those that you have already purchased or enquired about unless You have opted not to receive such information.
  • To manage Your requests: To attend and manage Your requests to Us.
  • For business transfers: We may use Your information to evaluate or conduct a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or other sale or transfer of some or all of Our assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation, or similar proceeding, in which Personal Data held by Us about our Service users is among the assets transferred.
  • For other purposes: We may use Your information for other purposes, such as data analysis, identifying usage trends, determining the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns and to evaluate and improve our Service, products, services, marketing and your experience.

We may share Your personal information in the following situations:

  • With Service Providers: We may share Your personal information with Service Providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service, to contact You.
  • For business transfers: We may share or transfer Your personal information in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of Company assets, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of Our business to another company.
  • With Affiliates: We may share Your information with Our affiliates, in which case we will require those affiliates to honor this Privacy Policy. Affiliates include Our parent company and any other subsidiaries, joint venture partners or other companies that We control or that are under common control with Us.
  • With business partners: We may share Your information with Our business partners to offer You certain products, services or promotions.
  • With other users: when You share personal information or otherwise interact in the public areas with other users, such information may be viewed by all users and may be publicly distributed outside.
  • With Your consent: We may disclose Your personal information for any other purpose with Your consent.

Retention of Your Personal Data

The Company will retain Your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use Your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes, and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

The Company will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of Our Service, or We are legally obligated to retain this data for longer time periods.

Transfer of Your Personal Data

Your information, including Personal Data, is processed at the Company’s operating offices and in any other places where the parties involved in the processing are located. It means that this information may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of Your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ than those from Your jurisdiction.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by Your submission of such information represents Your agreement to that transfer.

The Company will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that Your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of Your Personal Data will take place to an organization or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of Your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Your Personal Data

Business Transactions

If the Company is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, Your Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before Your Personal Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

Law enforcement

Under certain circumstances, the Company may be required to disclose Your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

Other legal requirements

The Company may disclose Your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

  • Comply with a legal obligation
  • Protect and defend the rights or property of the Company
  • Prevent or investigate possible wrongdoing in connection with the Service
  • Protect the personal safety of Users of the Service or the public
  • Protect against legal liability

Security of Your Personal Data

The security of Your Personal Data is important to Us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While We strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect Your Personal Data, We cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Detailed Information on the Processing of Your Personal Data

The Service Providers We use may have access to Your Personal Data. These third-party vendors collect, store, use, process and transfer information about Your activity on Our Service in accordance with their Privacy Policies.

Analytics

We may use third-party Service providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service.

  • Google Analytics

    Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google uses the data collected to track and monitor the use of our Service. This data is shared with other Google services. Google may use the collected data to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network.

    You can opt-out of having made your activity on the Service available to Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. The add-on prevents the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js, analytics.js and dc.js) from sharing information with Google Analytics about visits activity.

    For more information on the privacy practices of Google, please visit the Google Privacy & Terms web page: https://policies.google.com/privacy

Email Marketing

We may use Your Personal Data to contact You with newsletters, marketing or promotional materials and other information that may be of interest to You. You may opt-out of receiving any, or all, of these communications from Us by following the unsubscribe link or instructions provided in any email We send or by contacting Us.

We may use Email Marketing Service Providers to manage and send emails to You.

  • Mailchimp

    Mailchimp is an email marketing sending service provided by The Rocket Science Group LLC.

    For more information on the privacy practices of Mailchimp, please visit their Privacy policy: https://mailchimp.com/legal/privacy/

Usage, Performance and Miscellaneous

We may use third-party Service Providers to provide better improvement of our Service.

  • Invisible reCAPTCHA

    We use an invisible captcha service named reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA is operated by Google.

    The reCAPTCHA service may collect information from You and from Your Device for security purposes.

    The information gathered by reCAPTCHA is held in accordance with the Privacy Policy of Google: https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/

Children’s Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 13. We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13. If You are a parent or guardian and You are aware that Your child has provided Us with Personal Data, please contact Us. If We become aware that We have collected Personal Data from anyone under the age of 13 without verification of parental consent, We take steps to remove that information from Our servers.

If We need to rely on consent as a legal basis for processing Your information and Your country requires consent from a parent, We may require Your parent’s consent before We collect and use that information.

Links to Other Websites

Our Service may contain links to other websites that are not operated by Us. If You click on a third party link, You will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise You to review the Privacy Policy of every site You visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may update Our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify You of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let You know via email and/or a prominent notice on Our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the “Last updated” date at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, You can contact us:

Contact Michael Perras, OFM

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to receive our newsletter (published up to four times a year).

* Required field
 

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.