Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas at the White Dove of the Desert

Christmas 2013

I joined the Sisters and Friars at San Xavier Mission in Tucson for Christmas. We had a delicious meal that everyone helped to cook and bake. Even Fr. Manuel, ofm, a canon lawyer for the diocese, made a delicious chocolate bunt cake with flan topping.

After the dinner, Sister Carla and I took a walk for some fresh air. We went to see the band playing at the Feast House that I could hear as soon as I drove in. Lots of people were there listening and enjoying a Christmas Feast.

We stopped at the Feast House to see their beautiful Nativity Set.
 Jesus was in the baby hammock with ribbons hanging so Mary, His Mother, could sway Him to sleep.
It was the first time I saw a manger like this. It brought a smile to my face and I thought-YES! this is the perfect way for our newborn Savior to fall asleep.
This was my little friend who followed us all over. I just wanted to take him home and fatten him up so he wouldn't shiver so much. He is really a cutie!!
The reservation is full of dogs and so  much bigger than him he doesn't have a chance to get a good meal. St. Francis-come and help him,  please.

Sister Carla and I continued our walk around the reservation and ended up by the big church-The White Dove of the Desert!

This beautiful, very old church was decorated in reds and greens for Christmas.

 A very original Nativity Set-just right for San Xavier Church!
 These kings had real hair on their heads.

I was glad to see that the lions were even decorated with a Christmas coat! Look at his happy smile this Christmas!

Beautiful original wooden tabernacle
 The morning of the 26th three of us attended the 6:30am Mass at San Pedro Chapel which is part of San Xavier Church. I  had never been to this most beautiful and holy chapel in all the times I have visited San Xavier. It was the highlight of my visit.

I could just feel the early Franciscan missionaries praying here. I don't think any item in the chapel has been changed except a few lights were added.
The credence table for Mass with an Angel watching over it.

 The most appropriate Nativity Set for this tiny chapel.

I love the simple presider's chair.

St. Juan Diego

St. Kateri

Our Lady of Guadalupe

The original straight back wooden pews. Carpet square were thrown on the stone floor to cushion our prayerful knees.

Just think of all the holy people who have prayed in this chapel. I know I will be drawn back here some day to sit and pray for an hour or so; for this indeed is "holy ground".

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