Our Ministries
18 Apr

COPS/Metro Accountability Session

COPS/Metro will hold the largest Election season event with candidates running for San Antonio Mayor, City Council, and SAISD School Board, on Sunday, April 18 at 3 pm via Zoom. Candidates will be asked about their commitments to the COPS/Metro agenda on police reform, affordable housing, workforce development, the digital divide, and utility preparedness for major storm events.

Register now!

Sign up at https://www.copsmetro.com/accountability_20210418.

Here are the priorities identified that we are asking support for: http://sfasat.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/COPSMetro-Issues-Agenda.pdf

22 Apr

“Bee Aware”

During the Easter Vigil, we hear the wondrous story of creation when God brought forth this magnificent world we live in, this blue, green and brown, cloud-blanketed planet we call home in this life. My favorite part of that story in Chapter 1 is verses 11-13 and 20-26 where we hear about water, seed-bearing plants, lots of vegetation to shade and produce fruit, and all the little critters God created to live with us. The waters came alive with a swarm of living creatures, then came all the animals and winged birds and creatures that crawl on the earth. When evening came and morning dawned, He blessed them all and said that they were good. After resting, God started the work of creating us.

The earth today, unfortunately, is not always seen by humankind as good, nor are we blessing it. The ocean is filled with plastic debris, every square mile of it. The forests are being torn down by greed, the air is filled with particulates that can destroy our lungs, and we take what we want from the soil and fail to give back nourishment that sustains the very critters that we depend on for food. Take the bee, for example. Have you ever watched the bees flit from flower to flower, gathering pollen on their little legs to take back to the hive to make honey?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 75% of flowering plants depend on animal pollinators for their reproduction, including 35% of food crops that humans rely on for survival. That’s a good reason to support these animals and help them thrive. While we commonly think about honeybees as plant pollinators, solitary wild bees, butterflies, moths, birds, bats, beetles, and other insects also contribute to the ecosystem through cross-pollination.

There are many ways to help support these vital animals. Plant native species in your garden. Perennials (don’t need replanting yearly) include lantana, sunflowers, mistflowers, and Turk’s cap. Annuals include wildflowers such as Indian blanket, Mexican hat, and milkweed. Some will reseed on their own. See https://efotg.sc.egov.usda.gov/references/public/TX/Native_Pollinator_Plants_of_South_Texas.pdf for more details. And those little yellow dandelions we are in such a hurry to get rid of in the spring—the bees need them. Don’t use pesticides on your lawn or in your garden!

The earth needs us to care for it, and we need it to survive. Take time this summer to be good to the small space of earth that you occupy. Be generous with planting your flowers! God saw the earth was good, so let’s treat it like the precious gift that it is.

-Written by Valerie Arcement and Jacquelyn Scherer, Ph.D.; photo by Kenneth Caruthers

16 Apr

Third Sunday of Easter

Recognizing the Lord

After the Resurrection, Jesus has a hard time being recognized. Mary Magdalene thinks he is a gardener. The disciples on the road to Emmaus think he is a stranger who didn’t know anything about the week of events. And in this week’s Scripture, the men and women followers think he is a ghost. Until he eats real food with them.

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to eat real food with others who are considered gardeners, strangers, and ghosts. In many ways, these are often people I just don’t know, or I don’t know them YET! John in the Epistle for this weekend says we can’t say “I know him” referring to Jesus without keeping the commandments. Knowing people and actions that do not hurt people go hand in hand. If we know Jesus, or claim to know Jesus, we are treating people the way Jesus would. What would Jesus do, the famous rubber bracelet expression of some time ago, becomes a measure of both our knowledge of Jesus and the actions that follow.

For weeks now, I and a growing number of St. Francis parishioners, have been putting our faith into action. We, like Jesus, have been recognizing some of the same sufferings of our brothers and sisters in SA and Bexar County that Jesus confronted. With love, compassion, and mercy, Jesus recognized the ways in which those who had power exercised it was convenient to their way of thinking, their idea of economics, and their view of who should succeed. Jesus challenges and confronts; Jesus creates tension with those who have power and authority. Jesus acts to change the policies that kept people outside, separated from access to the fullness of life.

What was the disciples’ task, having recognized the risen Lord, and having seen that he “opened their minds to understand the scripture,”? Is our task now to preach the good news of God’s mercy and goodness to all? Is it our task to act on those teachings?

This Sunday from 3-4:30, citizens of all faiths, from all over the city will hold candidates for public office accountable for priorities that I feel confident Jesus would support. COPS/Metro leaders have spent many hours during this past year advocating for gardeners, and strangers, and “ghosts.” Ghosts can simply be the people we “don’t see” because we never go to their part of town.

In this past year, during this time of isolation, I realize that I have come to know my brothers and sisters on all sides of town through action with them. Now that I know them, I cannot turn away. I have “recognized them” in “breaking open the word” of Scripture.

I may not need or benefit from what they are asking for; but because we are the “community that holds all things in common” from Acts of the Apostles and the “beloved community”—our relationship to each other that activists (people who act on values, priorities, and love for each other) ACT on. To know them is to advocate for them—to live God’s commands of love of neighbor.

Putting the Gospel into action this week means that I will be at that Accountability Session on Sunday afternoon. I invite you to join me and others from our parish.

Here is the Zoom link to register: www.copsmetro.com/accountability_20210418

Here are the priorities identified that we are asking support for: http://sfasat.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/COPSMetro-Issues-Agenda.pdf

12 Apr

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Aliene Joyce Randol

September 28, 1939-April 6, 2021

Aliene Joyce Randol, 81, died Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in San Antonio, TX. She was born the middle child of three children on September 28, 1939 to Alvin and Rose Stanush. Aliene grew up in San Antonio. Both of her parents were Polish. She married the one and only love of her life, Ernest Randol, on February 15, 1958. They had four daughters and one son. They lived exciting lives of racing speedboats, summers at their lake house, water and snow skiing tournaments, building boats, creating inventions, dancing, shopping in Mexico, and always being the talk of the town. After the death of her beloved husband, Aliene made a courageous life change and moved to East Texas where she purchased acreage and cattle. She taught herself trades and provided for her children. She was resilient. She was strong, loving, wise, patient, playful, kind, faithful, petite but fierce, with a passion for family and the Lord.

Mrs. Randol is survived by her five children, Karen Bell of San Antonio, Texas, Michelle Heiser of Mansfield, Texas, Roxanne Trenkelbach of Charlotte, North Carolina, Ernest Randol, Jr., of Seguin, Texas, and Jennifer McCloud of San Antonio, Texas, and their significant others, Ray Bell, Brian Heiser, Curtis Trenkelbach, Mary Ford, and Pete McCloud. Grandchildren include Meredith Hughes, Shane Hughes, Samarie Goodman, Rebecca Delph, Shelby Trenkelbach, Colby Trenkelbach, Clint Trenkelbach, KarieAnn Randol, Macie Randol, Mattie Peach, and Colton Randol.

Great-grandchildren include Lukas Goodman, Christian Matthews, Ryleigh Goodman, TaylorRose Matthews, James Richter, Connor Goodman, Maven Matthews, Marshall Goodman, Isla Matthews, Olive Beeson, and Canon Beeson. Her sister is Rosemarie Esparza, and was preceded in death by her brother, Alvin (Buddy) Stanush. She was also loved by many in-laws, nieces, and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff of St. Francis Nursing Home for their exceptional and loving care of Mrs. Randol.

The funeral Mass will be at 1:30 pm on Friday, April 23 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

12 Apr

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Alfonso R. Chua, Jr.

January 27, 1947-April 8, 2021

Alfonso Riparip Chua, Jr., was called by God on April 8, 2021, in San Antonio, TX. He was born on January 27, 1947, in Tarlac, Philippines. He is survived by Myrna Chua, his loving wife of 43 years, and his children, Justin Chua and Courtney Chua Stevens.

Alfonso possessed an incredible work ethic. He worked tirelessly as a professional civil engineer and finished his career as a vice-president at Pape-Dawson Engineers. He also loved to care for his home, where he and his family have lived since 1985. He was an avid mountain bike rider and took long bike rides to the Texas Hill Country on weekends. Alfonso was a devout Catholic and attended weekly mass at St. Francis of Assisi since the church’s founding.

Alfonso possessed a fighting spirit and was above all a devoted husband and father. He will always be remembered for his tenacity, strength, and deeply loving nature.

9 Apr

Second Sunday of Easter

The Easter AWE!

“The community of believers was of one heart and one mind…” I know without a doubt that all of us learned something about ourselves during this past year. We learned it about ourselves as individuals, as couples, as families, as a parish community, as a compassionate city, as a country, and as world citizens, as explorers of the universe. Did we get closer to being of “one heart and one mind” as Jesus envisioned life after His resurrection?

Jesus was so present to his disciples. He showed them the way. To reinforce the witness He had given, the teaching He had done, the ways of being with them, He spent even more time with them. He had them experience the power that they had to heal, to show mercy, to care for all. The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles does just that. They held all things in common and everyone had all they needed.

This “holding all things in common” is a real struggle for us. Perhaps we have had inklings of what that is like as we shared during the ice storm in mid-February. Perhaps we get glimpses of that knowing that we can care for migrant children who come here with nothing. Perhaps those who have had COVID-19 are sharing their blood to provide antibodies for those who are fighting the virus.

As we enter the time of recognizing signs of “new life”—the meaning of resurrection—we are being given opportunities to name the ways that we can be of “one heart and one mind” and to “hold all things in common.” During this time of Jesus’ reinforcement of His teachings, the boosters that He gave His disciples, we too are entering into a new journey, a new way of being community.

We don’t know exactly what that looks like or feels like. All we know is that we have been waiting, we have been learning, God has been working in our lives. It is time as we journey to Pentecost to open our minds and our hearts to how we want to be with each other in the future. We can’t go back to the past, the way it was. It is a different time. We are different. We have the opportunity to re-connect, to renew relationships, and to form new ones. What are we willing to do, who are we willing to be when we too have the opportunity to live and to be as the community described in ACTS?

This is our call to be witnesses to the Resurrection of Jesus. Only then can we call ourselves disciples. Only then do we enter into the dance of discipleship: Accompany, Welcome, and Encourage—the very real AWE of Resurrection!

May we all be filled with AWE!