Since 1986 a Boy Scout, typically from Upper Austria (the birth place of Silent Night) travels to Bethlehem to light a lantern from a flame burning at the Star of Nativity Church, in the grotto that marks the place of birth of Jesus of Nazareth. That flame, in a special lantern, then travels to Vienna and during a holy Mass the flame is shared with children delegates throughout Austria and Europe who then transport the flame across Europe. Canadian Scouts brought this tradition to North America in 2001.
Since 2016 Boy Scouts from the Southcoast area have obtained and distributed the Peace Light throughout the region. In 2017 it was brought to the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro where it was taken in procession to the Manger Scene where it burns 24 hours a day.
At La Salette for 2018, all Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls and their families are again invited to the Bethlehem Peace Light distribution which will take place after the 5:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday, November 24.
In the New Bedford area a distribution will take place at the conclusion of a 7:00 p.m. Advent Service at St. Mary’s Parish, 343 Tarkiln Hill Road, New Bedford on Friday, November 30.
Individuals, churches or organizations who wish to obtain the Light on November 30 should bring a small kerosene lantern (which may be safely transported). Seven Day candles may often be purchased at many area supermarkets plus candles will also be available at the November 30 Advent Service. The candles, even after being extinguished, are “suffused” with the Peace Light and may later be relighted at home. The Bethlehem Peace Light provides a powerful message of Peace when displayed at home or presented as a gift of love to family and friends.
Organizations and churches who wish to obtain their own Peace Light should contact SLT member Michael McCormack at MikeMcCormack@ Comcast.net or Director Barbara Bonville at BBonville@StMarysNB.com.
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