All men of the parish are invited to join our monthly Men’s Spirituality group. The group meets on the last Saturday of the month from 7-9 am in the Emmaus Room on the first floor of the San Damiano Building. The group just finished Sacred Fire by Ron Rolheiser. As we move into our next phase, we would love for newcomers to join us and share thoughts on what direction or topic the group should focus on this year. We look forward to having many great discussions!
Moving from Darkness into Light
Isaiah speaks of a tremendous promise fulfilled, and “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” Most of us, from time to time, experience darkness, gloom, and heaviness from burdens we bear. How is the promise of “a great light” part of our experience? Who is that light in our lives? As followers of Jesus, do we recognize when we can be that light?
Paul’s writing mirrors much of what we are experiencing in life today. We experience factions and divisions in so many aspects of our lives—in families, in sporting events, in politics, in business practices, in beliefs about justice issues. Paul preaches with great urgency about the desire to “be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.” As hard as it may be, we are all urged to listen to each other, to respect each other, and to try to identify the values that we share—to find common ground.
At the heart of both darkness and divisions in our lives is the call to “come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus extends the invitation to teach, to proclaim the Gospel, and to heal. Those called dropped everything to teach, counsel, and heal. What do we need to drop today in order to follow? Are we able to drop our phones, football games, video games, Facebook, online shopping, or whatever it is that gets in the way of our following Jesus and attending to those God puts in our path as needing light in darkness, unity among factions and the attention Jesus gave to those who were most vulnerable?
To walk in light, to heal divisions, and to say YES to God’s calls in our lives, for this let us all work and pray.
Betty Gavora of San Antonio, TX, entered eternal rest on January 3, 2020, at the age of 84. She passed away peacefully with her family by her side at the hour of noon—when the sun is at its highest point and shadows are at their shortest; often viewed as the best part of the day. Betty always loved the best of things and she always saw the best in others.
Betty was born and raised in San Antonio, TX, where she graduated from Thomas A. Edison High School. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Trinity University and a Master’s degree in Organizational Communication from Lamar University. She met her husband in the Netherlands and moved with him to Canada where she had her son, Mark, in 1966.
She spent her impressive career working as a corporate communication specialist and had the distinguished honor of serving a Congressional Internship in Washington, D.C. for the late Congressman Henry B. Gonzales.
Betty was also an educator; a professor at Lamar and a teacher at a local prison. She spoke fondly of her work and had a particular passion for mentoring and inspiring prison students through her speech communications classes. Betty’s heartfelt respect for them was truly reciprocated. For instance, when she would walk through the prison to her classroom, her students would call out, “Step aside! Our teacher is coming through!” Instantly, the crowds of inmates would part to create a path for their highly-regarded teacher.
In 1999, Betty’s son, Mark, married Lizbeth in Guadalajara, MX. Liz rounded out Betty’s life by becoming her daughter-in-love.
In 2002, Betty retired from Entergy (formerly GSU) located in Beaumont, TX. She spent just shy of 20 years with the company and rose through the ranks to her pinnacle role as Communications Senior Lead Specialist.
After retirement, Betty moved back to her hometown of San Antonio to be closer to family. There, she continued her avid involvement in professional organizations. In 2016, she won the Toastmasters’ Great Oratory Performance Award for delivery of a speech called “Make the Most of Your Dash,” a tribute to her sister who strove to make the most of life while battling terminal cancer. Betty was also deemed a Lifelong Member of Executive Women International (EWI), an organization for women in business that focuses on professional growth and the community. She held her EWI sisters and the work of the group close to her heart for nearly 50 years.
Betty was professionally accomplished, but she was also skilled at enjoying the finer things in life such as world travel, gourmet cuisine, renowned musical performances, high fashion, and, of course, the finest of all basketball teams, 5-time NBA Champions, the San Antonio Spurs! Go Spurs go! Betty was a proud and active member of two Red Hat Society clubs, providing her with treasured friendships and fun for over a decade.
Betty joins her parents, Frank and Dorothy Steitle, her brother, Jimmy Steitle, and her sister, Gina Wilson, in Heaven. She is survived by her loving son, Mark Gavora, and devoted daughter-in-law, Lizbeth, both with whom she held a special bond. Their two children, Faith and Christopher, were the light of their Grandma Betty’s world.
Please join us in wearing colorful attire, such as electric blue or red, as we celebrate Betty’s beautiful life during three Catholic services:
Mass Saturday, January 25, 1:00 PM Saint Francis of Assisi 4201 De Zavala Rd., San Antonio, TX 78249
Vigil Sunday, January 26, 2:00 PM Sunset North Funeral Home 910 N Loop 1604 E, San Antonio, TX 78232
Burial Monday, January 27, 10:00 AM Resurrection Cemetery Cordi-Marian 11624 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78253 (Station 8, Nitch 63)
Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Baptism is our call to be holy. Do we consider ourselves holy persons? How would we know if we are holy? Our readings for this weekend suggest and encourage us to be just that—holy! In these readings we experience the call to be servants, to be a light to the nations, to give evidence of our attentiveness to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The prophet Isaiah promises Israel that they will become a “light to the nations.” That’s a pretty great calling, a huge commission. What does it mean to us to receive such a commission? How and where do we see our St. Francis faith community commissioned to be a “light”?
Let us pray this weekend that we will be servants, individually and collectively, who say with great integrity and firm resolve, “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.”
If you’re looking for some special time to reconnect and relax with your spouse, then the upcoming on-campus Beyond Cana retreat is for you!
The retreat will be held February 7-9, 2020 on our St. Francis of Assisi campus. The weekend retreat begins Friday at 5:15 pm with check-in and a light supper and ends with the Sunday 11:15 am Mass. Childcare is available throughout the retreat, but space is limited!
Beyond Cana® provides practical tools and private discussion time for busy couples in healthy marriages with an understanding of marriage as a sacrament. You’ll share plenty of “couple time” to talk and reconnect and you’ll meet other couples like yourselves striving to have a good marriage.
The retreat cost of $120 per couple for parishioners and $145 for non-parishioners includes Friday supper, Saturday lunch, snacks, and retreat materials. An additional cost of $25 per couple will cover childcare during the retreat. A deposit of $60 will hold your reservation, so check those calendars and make plans to attend. Brochures with the registration form are in the Gathering Space or you can register online at http://sfasat.org/beyond-cana-registration/. Space is limited to 12 couples, so reserve your spot today! Questions? Contact Kathy & Gerry Caron at 325-227-7570 or email@example.com.
We will begin Mass intentions for our Friday noon Mass on February 7, 2020. Mass intentions must be requested in the parish office during our normal business hours (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 am-5 pm and Tuesday and Thursday from 8 am-7 pm). We accept up to three intentions per Mass. Each Mass intention is a $5 donation, which can be paid with cash, check, or card.
This Sunday marks the end of the Christmas season! Are you surprised? The baptism of Jesus is the beginning of his public life of ministry. Jesus is baptized by John and in the depths of the Jordan River takes on the sins of all and begins the journey to the cross, the cross that brings all of us salvation. The will of the Father becomes his focus, even unto death.
At St. Francis, the community baptizes children and adults during the liturgy. The assembly, the community gathers to welcome this new “holy child of God.” We all renew our baptismal promises, we invoke the saints to help us lead a new life in Christ. We sing, “You have put on Christ” and “You have been baptized.” The newly baptized is given a candle, the light of Christ. We pledge to help the parents, to be the community that surrounds and uplifts them.
What happens to us then, when we witness and experience Baptism in the midst of the gathered community? What memory of our own baptism do we have? How and when do we reclaim deeply the meaning of our baptism?
Our baptism is the most important credential we own. How do we give witness to that? Recently, I framed my baptismal certificate as a reminder. How will we remember our baptism this week? How will we “begin again” our ministry of proclaiming Christ?
Are you interested in enriching your marriage while building community with other couples in the parish? Come join us on the fourth Friday of each month to foster a community of mutual support through monthly date nights that affirm spousal love, provide continual learning, and encourage spiritual growth. Gain inspirational insights from other couples from our parish on relevant topics that are common in our marriages. Continue to grow and learn about one another as you enjoy a date night with your spouse.
The cost is $25 and covers any and all dates you choose to attend. Childcare is provided with advanced notice. The dates are January 24, 2020; February 28, 2020; March 27, 2020; April 24, 2020; and May 22, 2020. We will begin at 6:30 pm each of these night in the Emmaus Room on the first floor of the San Damiano Building.
For more information please feel free to contact Jessica Kozak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-539-5396.
Estas interesado en enriquecer tu matrimonio y hacer comunidad con otras parejas de la parroquia? Acompañanos cada cuarto viernes de mes. Para fortalecer tu matrimonio se necesita tiempo y en esta sesiones se tocará brevemente una temática y después cada pareja se irá en su propia cita para ahondar en el tema. El costo es $25 por todas las sesiones. En. 24, Feb. 28, Marzo 27, Abr. 24 y Mayo 22. La guardería tiene lugar limitado y requiere reservación. Edificio San Damiano Salón Good Shepard a las 6:30 pm. Para mayor infomación contacta a Claudia y Manuel Naredo 210-487-0399 email@example.com o Monica y Jorge Bonilla al 210-323-2887 firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Francis is hosting Young Catholic Professionals of San Antonio’s February Executive Speaker Series in Henke Hall on Tuesday, February 4. All young professionals in their 20s and 30s are invited to attend this free event. Meet young Catholics committed to professional and spiritual growth striving to make an impact in our city. The event begins at 7 pm with networking with complimentary beer, wine, and appetizers followed by the speaker’s presentation and a Q & A at 7:30 pm. YCP encourages business professional attire. Speaker information to be announced. Come to St. Francis early for Reconciliation from 5:30-6 pm and daily Mass at 6 pm.
Paul’s letter to the Romans has been at the center of reflection, conversion, and controversy from the very beginning. In Romans: The Gospel of Salvation, theology professor Dr. Andrew Swafford and Jeff Cavins provide an authentically Catholic, comprehensive, and simple way to understand the overarching theme of Romans: salvation.
Dr. Swafford and Cavins provide historical context, highlight the connections to Jesus and Christianity Paul makes with the Old Testament, and explore the ways in which Jesus is the fulfillment of Israel’s prophecies, which leads to the universal, “Catholic” family of God.
In this 8-session program, Catholics learn…
- The Catholic teaching on salvation
- How to explain salvation to non-Christians
- What is required for salvation—faith or works
- What Paul really means by “works” not leading to salvation
- How Christ’s death changed our relationship with God
- The meaning of the difficult passages in Romans
- How we can enter more deeply into Christ
We are offering this Bible study on Tuesdays from 9:30-11 am in the Emmaus Room and on Wednesdays from 7-8:30 pm in the Good Shepherd Room. We begin Tuesday, February 11 and Wednesday, February 12. The cost is $30. Please register and pay online at this secure link. Questions? Contact Larry Perry in the parish office.