Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online at www.sfacasino.com and in the parish office. Tickets will also be sold in the Gathering Space after Masses June 9-10, June 16-17, and June 23-24. Your ticket includes 1000 in chips, elevated chef attended cuisine options, a premium open bar, and access to great entertainment.
With everything from slot machines to roulette to blackjack and more, you will feel like you have been transported from Henke Hall to a Vegas casino! When you take a break from the tables or slots, you can also try your luck on our grab bags! Plus, we will have a raffle and a live auction with exciting prizes!
St. Francis of Assisi’s Casino Night benefits the parish’s Mobile Loaves & Fishes ministry, teen mission trip, and our sister parishes: St. Timothy’s, Immaculate Conception, and Christ the King.
The Living Water Mission Team needs your help. We have placed a PVC “Pipe Tree” in the Gathering Space with fliers containing needed items for our mission trip to El Salvador on July 22. Please take a flier and purchase the listed item and the return the item to the box next to the pipes by next Sunday, July 1. In addition to the items listed, the in-country staff of Living Water International has asked us to collect hotel/travel sized shampoo, soap, and lotions. Please add these additional items to your listed item from the tree. Thank you!
Advocating with Our Voices
Many of us use Lectio Divina when praying with Scripture. When we do that, we read the Scripture multiple times and identify words that stay with us, words that “find us,” words that catch our attention perhaps in ways they never have before. Upon further reflection or meditation, we often find that those words or phrases speak to our minds, hearts, and lives. They call us to change our minds, hearts and lives in some way. This is how we describe conversion. This is how we become followers of Jesus.
This Wednesday morning, the story of the Birth of John the Baptist spoke to me in several specific ways. The image above helps! “They rejoiced with her.” It is incredible, miraculous that a woman of Elizabeth’s age, an advanced age, gives birth to a child. The message: All things are possible with God, if it is God’s will, God’s intention. God dwells in possibilities; hope lives.
The second awareness I gained is that Elizabeth used her voice to name the child. The angel announcing her pregnancy told her that the child’s name would be John. Over the protests of those representing the custom of carrying on the family legacy, the culture of naming the child after the father, Elizabeth won’t have it and gives the name John. Suddenly Zechariah is cured of his inability to speak and repeats what Elizabeth had already said. (Sound familiar to anyone?) Definitively, his name was to be John.
What’s in a name and who does the naming? It matters, doesn’t it? Zechariah Jr.’s name would mean “God remembers.” John’s name means “God is gracious.” Birthing in advanced age for women is a bold action. Having a woman determine the name is a bold action. Both were God’s action in Elizabeth’s life.
From this rather revolutionary (turning things around, sometimes upside down) birth, we have John the Baptist. John was born to lead Jesus into a new future. He lived his life to prepare the way, a way of life that turns remembering into graciousness.
For me, there are connections to what we are experiencing in Texas right now. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus. Jesus always stood with the most vulnerable. What would Jesus say? What would Jesus do? Do we see Jesus in the children? Do we see Jesus in the mothers?
What conversion of mind, heart and life is Jesus asking of me? How do I name what is happening? How do I use my voice to advocate for those vulnerable ones, the ones Jesus called “the least among us?”
With tears in my eyes and a heart breaking with empathy, I have to believe that with God all things are possible. And I also know that like Elizabeth, others joined her in belief and joy. Others confirmed her naming and made radical change possible. May it be so for us!
Can we follow Jesus in his action for love above law?
Going Beyond Planting Seeds
In the creation story, we learn that God created abundant plants and trees. And God said that it was good. Today we have an opportunity to continue God’s creative work in caring for the earth and its abundance. Pope Francis has written an encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care of the Earth. Father James Martin summarizes that document with these top ten takeaways:
- The spiritual perspective is now part of the discussion on the environment.
- The poor are disproportionately affected by climate change.
- Less is more.
- Catholic social teaching now includes teaching on the environment.
- Discussions about ecology can be grounded in the Bible and Church tradition.
- Everything is connected—including the economy.
- Scientific research on the environment is to be praised and used.
- Widespread indifference and selfishness worsen environmental problems.
- Global dialogue and solidarity are needed.
- A change of heart is required.
(America Magazine, June 18, 2015)
In the ecological crisis that we face, Pope Francis reminds us that we can awaken our hearts and move towards action. We can be the voice that cries out for the earth. And if we want to act, Catholic Climate Covenant has resources galore to put our faith into action. With St. Francis as our patron, we can also pray the Canticle of the Sun often.
As you listen to the readings this weekend, notice the many references to nature. Praise and thank God for these gifts of beauty and goodness and pray for an awakening of our hearts to greater care for the earth, for ourselves, and for future generations.
October 29, 1930-June 3, 2018
Albert Robert Dutson passed away peacefully on June 3, 2018, at the age of 87. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Francis (Rubio) Dutson, and sister, Elizabeth “Betty” Canales. He is survived by his wife, Dolores C. Dutson; his former wife, Lillian D. Dutson, and their children, Albert T. and Dina D. Dutson; and numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and countless other family members and lifelong friends.
Al was raised in Laredo, TX, and known to all as “Titire.” He graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in 1949. Shortly thereafter, he gained admission to the Tecnologico de Monterrey in N.L., MX, on a football scholarship. In 1951, Al enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps serving in the U.S. Marine Corps serving in the Korean War and was honorably discharged. In 1957, he graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. Al remained in San Antonio following his passion for airplanes and negotiations and was employed in procurement as a government contractor for over 40 years with Kelly AFB, Alamo Aircraft, and Chromally Gas Turbine, respectfully. Al believed in God, the importance of family and friends, a strong work ethic, and he knew the meaning of sacrifice.
Visitation will begin on Thursday, June 14 at 9:30 am with a rosary to be recited at 11 am at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. The funeral Mass will be offered following the rosary at 11:30 am. Interment will follow in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in memory of Albert R. Dutson on behalf of Dolores C. Dutson. Donations may be mailed directly to the Alzheimer’s Association San Antonio & South Texas Chapter, MAC 37 Building, 10223 McAllister Freeway, Suite 100 in San Antonio, TX 78216 or donations may be sent online at https://www.alz.org/sanantonio.
May 3, 1932-June 6, 2018
Allen E. Swize of Helotes, Texas, born May 3, 1932, passed away June 6, 2018 at the age of 86 with his family by his side. He was called home by the Lord to join his beloved wife of 60 years Betty Swize, parents Emil and Susie Swize, son Christopher Allen Swize, and great-grandchild Addison Wente. Allen is survived by daughters Cheryl Wente (Tom) and Debra Marmor; grandchildren, Christopher Wente (Melissa), Suzy Villarreal (Michael), Eric Wente (Brittany), Matthew Marmor, and Emily Marmor; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Nikki, Hallie, Tommy, Bear, Kyle, Carson, Reagan, Eve, Allen, and Presley; 4 brothers, Daniel Swize, Myron Swize, James Swize, Emily Swize, Jr.; sister Darlene Moczygemba, his beloved dog Snickers, and a lifetime of friends and neighbors. Allen served with the United States Navy for four years during the Korean War. After he returned from the service, he devoted 40 years of his life to work with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.
Visitation will begin at 6 pm and the rosary will be recited at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. A funeral Mass will be celebrated the following day, Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 12 pm. Interment will follow at Mission Burial Park North.
Expanding the Notion of Family
Jesus’ disciples had a hard time accepting the fact that Jesus was attracting so many followers and had so much activity going on—miracles, healings, restored relationships—that they didn’t even have time to eat. They told Jesus that he was out of his mind. Imagine saying that to Jesus! In essence, they were saying, no begging Jesus to take a break!
The graphic used for this reflection suggests two things. The disciples had a hard time understanding why Jesus attracted such huge crowds. For them, it was still a mystery. Essentially they were asking, “Why do all these people flock to him? What do they want? How can we stop this?” Perhaps they were limited in their thinking of “how big” the community could become. Perhaps they were concerned about “right-sizing.” Perhaps they wanted to claim Jesus as their own.
When Jesus’ family comes looking for him, perhaps trying to provide him an escape route, Jesus instead expands their notion of who belongs. He uses the biological images of mother, sisters, and brothers and expands the relationship—the belonging to—“anyone who does the will of God.”
This weekend, we are invited to reflect then on how both our natural families and our faith families support each other in doing the will of God. The Holy Spirit gives us “new life” in both families. How is the Spirit inviting us to refine, to refresh the “why” of our following Jesus? Where is the invitation “follow me” leading me, my family, my community?
Apart from being his brothers and sisters, we are also, Jesus tells us, his mothers. What could Jesus mean by that? I am going to seriously reflect on that. I’d be happy to share with any of you.
Meal and Sacrifice
Each Sunday we are offered the meal that sustains our faith. Our participation at Mass through prayer, Scripture and song, our reception of the Eucharist and our being sent forth are all elements of the Eucharistic celebration. We remember God’s activity in our lives, we ask for forgiveness, and we resolve to act—to live the Gospel message in every aspect of our lives throughout the week.
Accustomed as we are to think of all the healing and miracles we read about in Scripture, the communal aspects of a meal shared, the satisfaction that comes from nourishment, we also know that the Eucharist is about sacrifice. We remember that Jesus emptied himself, even unto death, out of love for us.
In the Responsorial Psalm this weekend, we ask ourselves, “how shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me? …. to you will I offer sacrifice…” What is the sacrifice that love demands or asks of us? We often see and hear what sacrifices parents make for their children. We can see what sacrifices wives and husbands make for each other because of love. Where do you experience sacrifice in your life?
Sacrificial love is self-sacrifice with the pure motivation to alleviate the suffering of others. Sacrificial love says I love you even when you are not very lovable. Who are the suffering among us?
These are some of the images of suffering that come to my mind: images of children taken away from their parents at the border; images of families who have lost children to gun violence in schools or who are affected by that violence because they were there to experience it; images of persons who, because of skin color, gender, sexual orientation or anything that makes them “different” or “the other,” are to be feared, held suspect and become the object of others’ hate; images of women and children who become the objects of sexual desire; images of persons who work multiple jobs and still cannot find affordable housing; images of those living with diseases of addiction, mental illness.
Pope Francis offered this reflection on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi:
Let us ask ourselves, in adoring Christ who is really present in the Eucharist: do I let the Lord who gives himself to me, guide me to going out ever more from behind my little enclosure, in order to give, to share, to love him and others?
What is my response of love and sacrifice to those who are suffering? How does my understanding of Eucharist send me forth to act?
Go and Make Disciples
The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity celebrates the community—the intense love relationship that exists between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That same intense and enduring love is given and remains present in each of us from the time of our Baptism. Remember the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Remember!
That same love is not intended only to dwell within us. That love is meant to be shared in the same intricately connected way that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share as a community. The Trinity is always about relationship; it is always communitarian.
This Sunday we celebrate our being co-missioned by Jesus. We call it the Great Commission. We also celebrate the power and the presence of the Trinity in our lives. Jesus has given us the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations. To help us to do that, Jesus has promised to be with us always. In other words, we share in God’s own life. And we are to share that life with one another—everywhere, always, with everyone! Making disciples is now OUR mission!
Will we go? To whom will we go?