The St. Francis of Assisi Music Ministry invites you to a reflective evening of scripture, song, and meditative silence at our Taizé Prayer Service on Friday, February 23 at 7 pm in the church. The blend of candlelight, chant, and silence create a contemplative atmosphere that enhances our Lenten journey. Check out video clips from our previous Taizé Prayer Services below.
For the season of Lent, we will have an additional Mass on Fridays at 12 pm followed by the Stations of the Cross for those who might be able to stay. (This excludes Good Friday.) We are offering this especially with working people in mind.
On Ash Wednesday, each Friday during Lent, and Good Friday, Catholics are required to abstain from eating meat beginning at age 14. The Knights of Columbus invite you to enjoy a delicious meal at their annual Lenten fish fry every Friday during Lent (except Good Friday) in Henke Hall from 5:30-8 pm. Dine-in or take-out orders will be available.
In Genesis, we read, “I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.” We all know how God put Abraham to multiple tests. The ultimate test was God asking Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. We can all imagine what it was like for Abraham to go through the horror of planning this sacrifice. And we can also sense the relief at God’s messenger’s last minute intervention.
It is Abraham’s “not withholding” that is total obedience of God’s command. The reward is God’s ultimate blessing of “descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore.”
What is it that God asks us not to withhold if we are to be faithful to God’s command? How am I using this time of Lent to “not withhold” but give freely of my time to pray, to fast and to give alms? How am I giving time and attention, love and respect to my family? Am I growing in generosity? Am I a witness of being so devoted to God that I would be willing to sacrifice?
This Lent we have two books available to you in the Gathering Space as we prayerfully journey through the season.
Perfectly Yourself: Discovering God’s Dream for You by Matthew Kelly will help you grow spiritually, discover your God-given talents, and strengthen your faith so you can pursue God’s dream for your life.
Do you ever get the feeling that you are not enough? Not smart enough, not beautiful enough, not loved enough, not rich enough, not good enough . . . We all have these feelings from time to time, usually because we’re comparing ourselves to others. But God doesn’t compare you to anybody else. He wants to help you become the person he created you to be—perfectly yourself!
In this life-changing book, Matthew Kelly addresses the opportunities and obstacles we encounter when we decide to ask life’s BIG questions: who am I? and why am I here? Newly revised with an emphasis on spiritual growth and realizing God’s dream for your life, Perfectly Yourself is a book for anyone who has survived the collapse of a relationship, wondered if he or she would ever find a fulfilling career, or failed at a diet. Kelly teaches us how to find the balance between accepting ourselves and striving to become all God dreams for us to become. This is the guide you need if you long to be at peace with who you are, where you are, and what you are doing, not in some distant tomorrow, but here and now—today.
Not by Bread Alone: Daily Reflections for Lent 2018 provides fresh and meaningful reflections on the daily Mass readings. In just minutes per day, the insightful meditations of Not by Bread Alone can deepen your experience of this solemn season of prayer and penance and prepare you to participate more fully in the joy of the great Easter mystery.
A Desert Survival Kit
Imagine yourself on such a journey into the desert. What temptations would you face? Who would be the angels, the helpers ministering to you?
The desert isn’t always the arid land depicted in this image. The desert can be any place where we are alone, isolated from those who might be accompanying us, guiding us, keeping us honest and accountable. What are some of the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that we indulge in that take us away from our path to God and that threaten our relationships with the people most important in our lives? When are we most vulnerable to such temptations?
Perhaps our temptations are addictions to viewing pornography, to accumulating more than we need of material possessions, to abusing power in relationships, to blaming others for things going wrong. Perhaps they are participating in some of the social sins like failure to recognize the dignity of persons who are gay, undocumented, poor, homeless, old, of a different race, creed or ideology, or political party.
Our journey in Lent is one of movement, of change, of conversion. Some would suggest that we create a “Desert Survival Kit.” What would be in yours? Do you have favorite prayers, Scriptures, people who are your spiritual guides, mentors or people who wish you well and you can trust, and activities that help you most when you are tempted?
And we pray always: “Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.” Help us too to remember daily the words we heard when we received our ashes: “Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
The Lepers Among Us
Then think of all the people in our city, in our country, and in our world who are the “exiles” of today. Exiles are those who experience discrimination, are the victims of stereotypes, are socially excluded, isolated, or bound by having to keep things secret. In Jesus’ day, these were the persons isolated by laws and customs, by culture and tradition. Today the “unclean” might be those who feel unwanted and unloved. They don’t “belong” here—in this group, in this school, in this country, in this family.
Don’t we all know those feelings?
Our hope is in the reassurance that Jesus notices, sees, cares and does something about it. He heals the lepers, and the healing is more than physical. Jesus told the leper to tell no one what had happened, but the newfound freedom results in incredible, unbounded JOY.
We too notice, see and if we care we can do something about the lepers among us.
For example, I can start with myself. I can pray that when I feel “unclean” or unloved, God will heal me. Sometimes I doubt my own capacity to be loved and be lovable. God can help there! In Genesis we read, “God looked at everything God had made and found it very good.”
I can stop being the person who makes others feel like an outcast. I can pray for all who are feeling isolation and social exclusion. I can name the discrimination or exclusion and, like the prophets, make it known to others. I can demand that it STOP.
I can also spend time with someone who is feeling unclean, unwanted, and unloved. I can learn new things about the persons who experience exclusion. I can come to understand some of the common reasons why the person is experiencing “exile.” I can communicate God’s love for the person by listening and learning about their situation. I might even have the strength to advocate and work for social change.
All young adults 18-25 are invited to join our College Life ministry. Our next gathering will be held on Monday, February 26 in the Good Shepherd Room from 7-9 pm. You do not need to be currently enrolled in college courses to attend. Come and join us for a night of fellowship and prayer. Please contact Monica Harness in the parish office or at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
January 9, 1923 – January 21, 2018
Lester Carl (Les) Jung of San Antonio, Texas, entered eternal rest, on January 21, 2018 at the age of 95. Les was born on January 9, 1923 in Malcolm, NE to George and Caroline (Heil) Jung. He is preceded in death by his parents, wives Phyllis Ann (Baumgart) and Nell Ruth (Kostohryz). He is survived by Jeff (Sally) Jung in San Antonio, TX; Sue McClain in Monticello, Il., Steven Jung in NYC, Greg (Teresa) Jung in Duluth, Minnesota, Pam (Greg) Jack in Omaha, Roger Jung in San Antonio, and Bill (Lisa) Jung in Wylie, Texas. He is also survived by fifteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren whom he loved dearly.
Lester graduated from Omaha Tech High School. During WWII, Les served in the U.S. Army Air Corp as a B-17 Pilot with the 15th Air Force, 463rd Bomb Group in Foggia, Italy. He completed 50 missions and received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the European Campaign Medal with five Bronze Stars. After the war, he worked for Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. before retiring.
A Memorial Service will be held on February 3, 2018 at Concordia Lutheran Church, 16801 Huebner, San Antonio, TX. Visitation at 10:00 am Memorial Service at 11:00 am A reception will follow. Funeral services and interment will be held on February 17, 2018 at Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery at 5701 Center St. Omaha, NE. Visitation will be at 10:00 am. Funeral services will be at 11:00 am. Interment will be at 12 noon. A reception will follow. The family wishes to graciously thank the staffs at Autumn Grove Memory Care and Heart to Heart Hospice for their love and care for Les. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Concordia Lutheran Church or Alzheimer’s Disease Research in his name.