St. Francis’ American Heritage Girls are honored to partner with Wreaths Across America as our annual fundraiser. Please consider donating $15.00 for a wreath for a veteran’s grave. If you would like, you can dedicate a wreath in memory or in honor of a loved one who has served in the Armed Forces. The girls in AHG Troop 3145 will gather together in December at Fort Sam National Cemetery to place the donated wreaths on the graves. Our goal is 250 wreaths. AHG Troop 3145 will be in the gathering space after all Masses November 3-4. You can also send an email to email@example.com.
As part of Veterans’ Day, Matt Scherer, a St. Francis parishioner, will distribute his book, LinkedIn for Military: Your Interactive Transition Networking Guide, on Sunday, November 11 as part of Social Sunday. Matt has written this guide to help veterans make the transition to civilian life by utilizing LinkedIn as a powerful networking tool. The books are free, thanks to a grant by USAA insurance.
To Lead is to Serve
During the past few weeks, I have spent quite a bit of time going to funerals both in the parish and in my Sisters of Divine Providence community. Today we are burying the sixth Sister in the last month. Two more are on hospice care! In the parish, just this week we have had two large funerals.
As our parish community and my Sister community bury the dead, that very meaningful corporal work of mercy, we remember and we celebrate the ways in which our friends, our companions have led and served. We celebrate their discipleship. We name the ways that they have witnessed to living the faith, to modeling the capacity to “drink of the cup” that Jesus describes. In many ways, they urge us and lure us to greater service, to greater leadership.
One of the things I am most grateful for at St. Francis is the examples of servant leadership I see all around me, every day. I’ll share some examples: the coach who encourages the CYO player who only wants to quit, the liturgical ministers who make sure everything is ready for our Masses each weekend, the St. Vincent de Paul volunteers who give attention, love and assistance to our brothers and sisters in need, the Mobile Loaves & Fishes teams who joyfully prepare and serve meals, the ministers who regularly bring Communion and messages of love and care to our homebound parishioners, the festival volunteers who brought joy to all, the Habitat volunteers who weather the weather and will persist until the house is built, the catechists and Bible Study leaders who form parishioners of every age in the faith, the choir members and musicians, our priests and deacons, our marriage sponsor couples, our teen and adult retreat teams, the women and a few men who wash and iron altar linens and dust the statues, the parishioner who sees someone coming out of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and stops to talk and be present to someone needing comfort, the man who hands the young altar server a small gift in recognition of their service. I am sure you have countless examples as well.
And so we pray this weekend: Loving and merciful God, help us to follow your example of sacrificial love, by being servants who lead and leaders who serve! Help us to grow in our capacity to serve! Give us generous hearts.
October 27, 1969-October 13, 2018
On Saturday, October 13, 2018, Dina Marie Brown of San Antonio, Texas, loving wife, mother of five and grandmother, ended her journey at the age of 48. She wrote “Being a tool in the hands of God is my greatest desire.” And she was, touching so many lives with her faith, her love and beauty.
An amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, Dina was a beautiful light that shined on everyone she knew.
Dina, the third of four sisters, was born on October 27, 1969, in San Antonio, Texas, to Ernesto and Sylvia De Los Santos. From an early age, her spirit, huge smile and magnetism drew people to her, and she excelled as a leader in school both academically and socially. While attending John Marshall High School, she met the love of her life, Paul Edward Brown, Jr.
The two of them were wed on February 9, 1991, and were bound together by love and faith. She wrote “Paul was her motivator, her protector and her true love.” Together they were tools for God’s hands and were blessed with an amazing family of five; Hannah, Hayden, Hilton, Huntington, and Houston. Just 10 months ago she was blessed with her grandson, Guillermo Vazquez, son of Hannah and her husband Angel Vazquez who brought her such joy and happiness.
For Dina, motherhood came naturally and every day she displayed selflessness and love and used her special Momma flair by being there for her children in everything they did, nurturing and encouraging them and sharing her faith with each of them.
As a daughter, Dina was there for her mother, Sylvia, who also battled cancer, going to every appointment with her and being there for her father, Ernesto, every step of the way. She enjoyed spending time with and was close to her wonderful mother and father-in-law, Hortense Brown and Paul Edward Brown, Sr.
Dina understood the true meaning of sisterhood. No one could ask for a better sister. No matter what, she was always there for her three sisters, Lisa Conner, Tina Negri and Gina Murphy, bringing laughter and cheer, dancing and fun. She was an awesome aunt to her sixteen nieces and nephews, Taylor Holbrook, Payton Pereira, Jack Conner, Dane Negri, Ford Negri and Kenna Murphy, Nick, Joshua and Andrew Garza, Jessica Cash, Hunter, Cassidy, Trevor, Quinton, Justin and Jared Accord. She loved and encouraged them like one of her own children. She was also a great sister-in-law to her brother-in-laws Brian Conner, Steve Negri, Sean Murphy, Herb Garza and Jody Accord and sister-in-laws Brenda Garza and Melinda Accord.
A true friend in every sense of the word, Dina has hundreds of friends and it was easy to understand why. She shared her remarkable attitude and happiness with everyone she met by flashing that beautiful smile, telling funny stories and being there in times of need.
She was an entrepreneur, business owner, and manager running and owning her own businesses Texan Accent and The Mustard Seed and working as a District Manager for the Gap and managing various other retail businesses. An incredibly creative person Dina volunteered countless hours to her church and school communities, including ACTS where she directed Catholic women’s retreats. She even developed a logo for Wilderness Oaks Elementary School where her youngest son, Houston, attended.
If there is a team mom in heaven, it’s Dina. All of her children were very active in sports, and Dina made it her mission to support each of their teams with fanatical attendance and planned events that brought the entire team and their families together. Dina’s sons Hayden and Hilton both play baseball for the Northwestern State of Louisiana Demons. She was thrilled to know they would be going to college and playing together. Dina, the ultimate team mom, attended Houston’s October 8 baseball game—five days before she left this earth, and she still rocked that baseball hat.
Her scores of friends and family loved her for her grace, spirit, encouragement, inspiration, effervescence and crazy sense of humor. She saw the best in everyone. Throughout her illness, she wrote often about her faith and courage, comforting others through their pain in spite of hers. She will be missed but forever loved by all who knew her.
Just a short year ago Dina wrote these beautiful words when she was diagnosed with her illness. “I was praying, where I sit, light a candle and invoke the Holy Spirit, I was told that I was being prepared for a battle, and that I was going to have to fight, keep my faith and finish.” “One thing I do know is that you don’t go into a battle alone and that is where you all come in to play. I have been overwhelmed by the incredible texts and messages extending wishes of prayers and help in any way. Thank you all for your love and your kind words that keep us uplifted and encouraged.”
Friends and family are invited to a visitation and Mass to celebrate
Dina’s life. Both will be held at St. Francis of Asissi Catholic Church, 4201 De Zavala Rd., San Antonio, Texas.
Visitation is on Thursday, October 18 from 6-7pm. Rosary at 7 pm. Mass will be held on Friday, October 19, at 10 am, followed by a procession to Cordi Marian cemetery, located at 11624 Culebra Rd., San Antonio, Texas.
October 19 is Trunk or Treat. Learn more at http://sfasat.org/trunk-or-treat-at-st-francis/.
Thursday, October 25 at 7 pm and Friday, November 9 at 9:15 am are crafting meetings for all of the moms in our community. Please RSVP for this event so that enough craft items will be available. Bring empty bottles (wine or the like) if you have them available. Babysitting will be provided.
Sr. Rose is our guest speaker for our Thursday, November 15 meeting at 7 pm. Her discussion topic is 7 Themes of Catholic Social Teaching. The Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal and episcopal documents. The Moms Ministry is hosting this meeting, but it is open to everyone in the parish. Babysitting will be provided.
Our Common Home is a new parish organization designed to bring together those with an interest in environmental stewardship. Named after Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, our aim is to share spirituality, information, and practical actions to be better stewards of God’s great creation, as our patron, St. Francis, was. We hope you noticed an increased presence of recycling at the Parish Festival two weekends ago. Our first parish-wide meeting will be Wednesday, October 24 from 7-8:30 pm in the Martha Room on the first floor of the San Damiano Building. This will be a family-friendly organization, so children are welcome. Please bring your creativity and ideas!
On behalf of Fr. Tony and the St. Francis of Assisi staff, thank you so much to everyone who made this year’s festival such a joyous celebration of 38 years of parish life! Thank you to Irma and Tony Flores and the Festival Committee for their planning and preparation. Thank you to all of the volunteers who selflessly gave their time to ensure the festival ran smoothly. Thank you to the generous donors of our raffle, auctions, and booths. Thank you to our amazing parishioners who participated and brought their families and friends to enjoy the festivities. Thank you to all of our visitors who brought such great excitement to our festival. Our parish is so blessed by all of you!
All are invited to a Holy Hour of Adoration in the Day Chapel on Thursday, October 25 immediately following the 6 pm Mass. Adoration “exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil” (CCC 2628). Please join us.
Will We Too Go Away Sad?
“Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘You are lacking in one thing.’” The rich, young man was looking to Jesus to tell him what he needed to do to enter the kingdom of God. He was proud of himself for keeping the commandments and probably expected Jesus to acknowledge his goodness and to praise him for good work.
Jesus, however, challenges him with these words: “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” The response of the otherwise confident young man is described in this way. “…his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”
Wealth offered the young man access to so many things in life—health, reputation, respect, and fullness of life. What the young man was seeking was God, a relationship with God, a quest to ultimately be with God.
Imagine Jesus looking at you, loving you and saying to you, “You are lacking in one thing.” What is the one more thing lacking in your life? What is the “wealth” you need to sell or give away? What is Jesus asking of you when he says “Come, follow me?”
A HUGE heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to all who so generously supported our Cake Walk at the Parish Festival—with donations as well as by playing the game! The abundance of baked goods available as prizes for the games was breathtaking and all looked so delicious! Your willingness to help support this game was truly humbling and greatly appreciated. God bless you for helping make this year’s Cake Walk a rousing success. Please also thank the businesses that gave us generous donations: Broadway Daily Bread, Nothing Bundt Cakes – Bandera, Nothing Bundt Cakes – Stone Oak, Gigi’s Bakery, Bird Bakery, Chuy’s on IH 10, and Einstein Bros. Bagels.