We are giving out our Christmas gift a little early this year! Pick up a free copy of Matthew Kelly’s book The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity: How Modern Culture is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness in the gathering space after Mass this weekend. This book provides the practical tools necessary to help you regain your fervor and leave your mark on the world—and experience more happiness than you thought possible. Together we can change the course of history—with humility, generosity, kindness, and joy, one Holy Moment at a time.
Our St. Vincent de Paul members and Knights of Columbus thank our parishioners for your generous donations during our Thanksgiving Food Drive. We collected 6,821 pounds of food and $1,000 in monetary donations. These goods enable us to help approximately 180 families throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. Special thanks go out to our Kids Day Out program and our Music Ministry for their special collections. They contributed 337 pounds/$200 and 592 pounds/$275, respectively.
Our annual concert of Advent and Christmas music will be on Friday, December 14 at 7 pm in the church. Join us and listen to our outstanding choirs and our talented instrumentalists as we celebrate the season. All are invited to a reception in Henke Hall following the concert.
All are invited to La Gran Posada on Sunday, December 16 immediately following the 5 pm Mass. This is a traditional Advent candlelight procession and celebration reenacting Mary and Joseph’s long, frustrating search for a place where Jesus could be born (Luke 2:1-7), but with a twist: a happy ending with the “innkeeper” welcoming Mary and Joseph. La Gran Posada teaches us that by welcoming the poor and the needy, we are welcoming Jesus into our midst. (See Matthew 25:40). There will be a reception in Henke Hall following La Gran Posada with food and piñatas for the children.
Invitamos a todos a la Gran Posada, el domingo 16 de diciembre, inmediatamente después de la misa de las 5 pm. Habrá una recepción en Henke Hall después de la Posada con comida y piñatas para los niños. Interesado en ser voluntario, comunícate con Nina Morales 210.475.2535.
We proudly congratulate St. Francis parishioner Johnny Flores on his installation as an acolyte. We asked Johnny what the role of an acolyte is. “The acolyte serves at the altar, assisting the deacon and the priest. It can include the duties of the altar server and some of the duties of the deacon when there is no deacon present. The acolyte does not have the authority to proclaim the Gospel nor perform sacraments. As acolyte, I am an ‘extraordinary’ minister for the Eucharist. I have also been instituted as lector, so I will sometimes be serving in that capacity from time to time. God willing, I will complete my studies in May of 2020. If the Archbishop accepts my petition, I will be ordained a deacon soon after, probably May or June that year,” Johnny said. Please keep Johnny in your prayers as he continues his studies.
Two years ago on November 27, 2016, Fr. Tony and Dcn. Gene celebrated St. Francis of Assisi’s first-ever Sunday Spanish Mass. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has made this Mass possible. Our weekend Spanish Mass continues every Sunday at 1:30 pm. Help us spread the word and invite your friends and family!
Hace un año el 27 de noviembre de 2016, el Padre Tony y el Diacono Gene celebraron la primera misa de español de San Francisco de Asís. Estamos muy agradecidos con todos los que han hecho posible esta misa. Nuestra misa de fin de semana en español continúa todos los domingos a la 1:30 pm. ¡Ayúdennos a correr la voz e inviten a sus amigos y familiares!
Our Mass times for Christmas are as follows (All Masses are in English unless otherwise noted.):
4 pm Mass in the church and Henke Hall (Children’s Christmas Choir will sing at the Mass in the church)
6 pm Mass in the church
10 pm Caroling in the church
11 pm Mass in the church
10 am Mass in the church
11:30 am Spanish Mass in the church
Please arrive early and make room for visitors in the pews. Please note that we will not have a 6:30 am Liturgy of the Word and Communion Service on Monday, December 24 or Tuesday, December 25.
Save the date for our first annual Father Daughter Dance on Saturday, January 19. Proceeds from the dance will benefit St. Francis of Assisi youth programs. More details to come soon. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Mandi-bre Watson at 603-647-9896 or email@example.com.
I am living the Mary and Elizabeth story of the relationship between holy women of different generations, exploring the mysteries of life, filled with gratitude and new awarenesses. It is a story of mutual love and deep respect. It is a story of “visitations.”
Advent is about waiting, anticipation, and preparation! Advent is a time of growth in hope, peace, joy, and love! And on this Second Sunday of Advent, we also do a second collection for the Retired Religious Sisters, Brothers, and Priests. This year, I am grateful to the Sisters in my life in new and profound ways.
Last month, several family members went to visit my Benedictine aunts in Lisle, Illinois. Of the five, three are alive and well at the ages of 92, 94, and 96. We visited, told stories, laughed and cried. I know that I cried all the way to the airport thinking that this may be the last face-to-face visit with at least one of them. I felt my mother’s presence with us (from heaven).
People are always curious about why I didn’t join the Benedictines; after all, I love their charism of hospitality and welcome, of respect for all, and their prayer lives. It’s just that I only came to know them as an adult. They all entered the convent before my mother was married. My mother thought she had a vocation too, but when the Texas family was reduced from 12 to 7 to 3, my mother stayed home to help on the farm.
Almost all of my high school teachers, Sisters of Divine Providence, are in the communion of saints in heaven, except for Sister Rose Marie, my senior English teacher, who will be 90 soon. I recently wrote a reflection on our 55 years of shared life. She taught me to love literature and to write. She told me when we last visited that as a 17-year-old, my high school compositions made her think! Imagine my surprise! I was thinking of myself like people thought of Jesus—what good can come from Nazareth or from Hostyn! I was young and had no idea that I could influence an elder, my teacher.
Mary, the very young mother-to-be, needed Elizabeth, the much older, also unexpected mother-to-be. We all know the story of their visitation—the need to companion, to accompany, to share mystery and to share joy. I can only imagine the story-telling, the tears of joy and the tears of wondering about all the unknowns. Theirs was a story of birth. Theirs was also a story of the “birthing” of much that was new, and profoundly counter-cultural. Both John the Baptist and Jesus would change structures, laws, and ways of thinking about the relationships of people. Their lives and their deaths led to profound change—voices crying out for an end to injustice, new commandments of love that are inclusive of all, mercy and compassion for those considered unworthy of attention or rights.
I continue to be profoundly grateful for the wise women, the elders in our Sisterhood, who have shown me the way to follow Jesus. This is why I joyfully speak on behalf of all who have given their lives in service, in visitation to all the places they have ministered, and in loving us into “births” we never expected.
The costs of healthcare, the realities of an aging membership, the maintenance of buildings that we have outgrown, and our great desire to choose mission over maintenance motivate us to ask for assistance through this appeal.
Thank you for contributing generously. Call or visit a Sister you know. Pray for vocations. Lord, hear our prayers and move us to action.