The Vulnerable Sheep
Why is Jesus walking around with a sheep cradled between his neck and back? I’ve always been curious about this depiction. I am more used to Jesus cradling a small sheep in his lap, a very loving, cuddly kind of cradling a baby lamb. Most of us probably prefer that image. Meanwhile, I am stuck on this image and my neck hurts just thinking about that sheep making me uncomfortable. I can barely stand a collar around my neck!
And then there are Pope Francis’ words reminding us that any good shepherd should “smell like the sheep.” Another discomfort! I know what cows and pigs smell like. I must admit sheep smells have not been in my experience!
And then I remember a reflection once offered by a wise Sister companion of mine. She said that a shepherd often can spot the sheep that is going to be the “ring leader for mischief” or the recalcitrant one. This is the sheep that will start a revolt, or at least cause great consternation and suffering for the shepherd and the rest of the sheep.
That same shepherd who can identify the one needing attention, also knows from experience what the sheep needs in order to “hear the voice” of the shepherd. Sometimes we have a hard time recognizing the voice of someone who wishes us well, while challenging us to be all that God wants us to be.
In order to recognize the voice, the sheep must be close, must be carried, must become dependent on the shepherd. In order to accomplish that the shepherd breaks a leg of the sheep and begins to carry it. The sheep becomes vulnerable.
Perhaps we also need the Good Shepherd to carry us in our vulnerability. All of us experience some kind of “brokenness.” Some heals readily. Others need God’s attention. Jesus reminds us of God’s love and care for us, even when the suffering is intolerable. And for us, following Jesus means that we must stand with, we must act for the good of all, especially those in most need, the most vulnerable among us.
Who are the shepherds in your life? Who is leading, guiding, protecting and nurturing you? How do hurt and suffering contribute to our capacity to hear God’s voice in the midst of it?
Our sacrament preparation students will be receiving their First Communion during the Masses on April 21-22 and April 28-29. Please keep them in your prayers as they receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the first time.
The Miracle and Magic of Relationship: Making Love Matter
Back by popular demand! Drs. David and Margie McKeon are dynamic presenters who will leave you with a whole new understanding of relationship. Come to this one-day retreat to acquire skills that enable the development of a viable, vibrant, and life-giving relationship. David and Margie will show us how the most powerful place to heal and grow is in a committed love relationship.
All couples—those married, engaged, or considering marriage—are invited to participate.
This day retreat will take place in Henke Hall on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 9 am-4:45 pm. There is no more availability for childcare at this time. The cost for this day retreat is $35 per couple and includes lunch for the couple and childcare if needed. If you will be using our childcare, please pack a lunch and snacks for your children. Registration forms will be available in the Gathering Space, or you can register online using the form below. You can make your payment in the parish office or pay online at https://squareup.com/store/st-francis-of-assisi-catholic-church-3/item/marriage-enrichment.
We invite all women of the parish to join us for a life-changing weekend at our Women’s ACTS Retreat April 26-29 at the beautiful Moye Retreat Center in Castroville, Texas. It will be an opportunity for spiritual renewal and the making of many wonderful friends. You can download the registration form by clicking here, or you can fill out the form below to register online. A completed registration form and a $75 deposit secure your place on the retreat. To pay online, please visit https://squareup.com/store/st-francis-of-assisi-catholic-church-3/item/wacts-retreatant-fee. For more information, please contact Emily Marshall at 210-862-2961, Adeline Facundo at 254-289-9367, or Sandy Cervantes at 210-367-8840.
Thank you to everyone who purchased an Easter lily in memory or in honor of a loved one. If you purchased a lily, please take one home with you after Mass from the Gathering Space. In the spirit of Earth Day, we encourage you to plant it at your home.
We proudly congratulate St. Francis parishioner Jim Stewart for being recognized as an Outstanding Leader in Catholic Education. This award honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, commitment and excellence in the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Thank you for the blessing you have been to so many students, Jim!
Deaf Faith & Fellowship (DFF) provides a place and the space for the deaf community to come together to deepen their relationships with God and one another. Because of your support in the past, and thanks to Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, this year we are able to gather every month instead of every 2-3 months! We have also, in collaboration with folks from Pilgrim Center of Hope, been able to participate in conferences that have allowed for wonderful encounters with the Lord and our brothers and sisters in Christ.
As we did last year, we are selling Fiesta medals again this year in order to raise funds to keep our mission alive. This year’s medal is a static representation of the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for “celebrate!” Indeed, there is much to celebrate: God’s love, a new year and new opportunities for DFF, and of course, you! For $10, you can “Celebrate!” Fiesta in style and “Celebrate!” DFF with us! DFF medals and T-shirts will be sold after the 11:15 am Mass on April 15 and 22.
October 7, 1938-April 13, 2018
SMSgt Gehri served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force then later retired from Southwest Research Institute after 20 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Pat, Terry and Glen. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; children, Kelly Tagliaferro and her husband, Robert, Christine Scrivner and her husband, Eric; grandchildren, Christopher and Robert, II Tagliaferro, Michael and Megan Scrivner; sisters, Jane Miller and her husband, Ron and Linda Berryman; numerous nieces and nephews.
A Rosary will be recited at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 4201 De Zavala. The Funeral Mass will be at 12:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the church. A Graveside Service with Full Military Honors will be at 10:15 A.M. on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery 1520 Harry Wurzbach Road.
July 23, 1921-April 11, 2018
Nicholas Anthony Messina, age 96, passed away on April 11, 2018 in San Antonio. He was born on July 23, 1921 in New York City, New York to Frank and Emma Messina. Nicholas was part of the greatest generation. He served his country honorably in the United States Army during WWII. Nicholas was a long-time resident of North Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy; and son, Keith Francis Messina. Nicholas is survived by daughter, Patricia Chisolm and husband Joseph; grandchildren, Jason Messina (Carrie), Nicole Ogle (Jamie), Colleen King (Shawn) and Nicholas Messina; great-grandchildren, Nicholas and Troy Messina, Jackson Ogle, Brody King, and Harper King. The family would like to give a special thank you to Dr. David N. Lopez and Heart-to-Heart Hospice.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2018 10:00 am
ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI
4201 DE ZAVALA RD
SAN ANTONIO, TX 78249
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Deacon Frank invites everyone to attend his ordination Mass at St. Rose of Lima on Saturday, June 2 at 10:00 am. Deacon Frank has done great work in his ministry at St. Francis, and he is very excited to be ordained to the priesthood. He greatly appreciates your support.
We will hold a despedida for Deacon Frank on Tuesday, May 22 at 6:30 pm in Henke Hall. More details to come soon.