A touch of light, peace, warmth at OLS

June 18th, 2015 10:24 am

First Posted: 2/5/2015

CLARKS SUMMIT — Our Lady of the Snows church will add a new dimension to the Annual Clarks Summit Festival of Ice this year with its event, “Illumination.” Scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, it is a time to step inside out of the cold, light a candle, say a prayer or simply sit and reflect while listening to the music.

The event is open to those of all faiths and backgrounds, with no obligation and no questions asked. Free hot chocolate will be available to guests on the way out the door.

Church parishioner and event chairperson Tracy Tully, of Factoryville, said the idea came to her when she heard of a similar activity, titled “Nightfever,” held at Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, Ill.

“Nightfever began in Germany after World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne,” states the Chicago event’s website, nightfeverchicago.org. “It began as an idea from two students and has spread to over 90 cities in Europe and North America. And on October 5th, we brought it for the first time to Chicago. The idea behind Nightfever is simple: Open the church, invite people in, and let Christ work. And the effect is remarkable.”

Tully said she thought of the festival as the perfect time for such an activity in Clarks Summit because of the amount of people wandering the downtown district during that time. She brought the idea to the pastoral staff for approval, and they agreed.

In describing the importance of taking time out to be silent and reflect, Tully quoted Pope Francis, who wrote recently on the social media website Twitter, “There is so much noise in the world! May we learn to be silent in our hearts and before God.”

“That is the thrust behind it,” Tully said. “With all our media, all our devices, ear buds, there is so much noise in the world. …This is a time to pray, sit and be at peace for as long or as short as they want and get a break from the noise of the world.”

Live musicians will provide contemplative background music throughout the evening, with the parish music ministry performing from 7 to 8 p.m. and Countless Wonders, a contemporary Christian band comprised of Marywood University students, from 8 to 9 p.m.