This January on the 27th we are offering a book study called Raising Pure Teens by Jason Evert and Chris Stefanik published by Catholic Answers. Who is this book study for? Anyone who will one day be raising or guiding a teen. This ongoing process of teaching our children about chastity begins in early childhood and continues with age-appropriate steps through their adolescent and teenage years. This support group can give parents the tools and encouragement they need for this ongoing journey. This is an 8-week book study which will take place on Sunday evenings from 7-8:30 pm in the Emmaus Room. Meetings will include short video clips from the authors and discussion questions for each chapter. Books can be purchased online at www.chastityproject.com. Please contact English Miller at 210-313-0356 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Endow stands for Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women. Join women to read and learn together our Catholic faith and Church teachings in a casual and friendly environment. Study is done completely in class…no homework!
Our next class beginning on Wednesday, January 16 from 9:30-11:30 am is on Salvifici Doloris (On the Christian Meaning of Suffering). Having familiarized ourselves with the person of John Paul II, his thinking and writings, this apostolic letter invites women to approach the question of why God allows suffering and how we are to understand it and participate in it as a means to our sanctification.
Register online at https://endowgroups.org/groups/julie-mellin-s-group-3. The cost is $34.95. To learn more about Endow, please visit www.endowonline.org.
Babysitting is available with advance RSVP to Julie Mellin. You can contact her at 210-416-4536 or at email@example.com.
Attention all St. Francis Girl Scouts! We will have one designated weekend for Girl Scouts who are registered parishioners of St. Francis to sell Girl Scout cookies after all Masses. You must call the parish office if you wish to sell cookies during the designated weekend. If you are interested in selling, please call us at 210-492-4600 as soon as possible. Limited spaces are available.
May Christ Bless This House
The Magi trekked a long, long way riding camels, following only a star, one that shone brightly and was the guide to finding Jesus. What love and adoration we find in their presence to Jesus, his family, and all the creatures that surrounded them.
In our daily lives, we too search for Jesus. Like the magi, we can find him in the humblest of settings, our homes. One of my greatest memories of the Feast of the Three Kings was an activity that we religiously did after attending Mass. Some of you may recognize it as the “chalking of the door.”
This ritual of prayer and action asks for God’s blessing on the dwelling, including barns and “man caves,” and on all who live, work in them and visit them. Inviting Jesus to be present as a guest in our home kept us vigilant about monitoring our behavior in the house, or the dairy barn, or the garage.
We prayed that our dwellings would be filled with listening in our conversations, compassion and mercy in the midst of troubled times, and generous hospitality to all who came to visit us. We marked the doorpost, the entry to the house, with 20 C+M+B 19 remembering that 2019 years ago LOVE came to earth as a child, one of us. That love is present in each of us, in the ways that we choose to be love in the lives of others.
The use of chalk reminds us of teaching and learning, (Today it would have to be Dry Erase or Washable Markers or Smart Boards.) We remember that today we learn from others, our companions in the home. We remember that love is made present in humility and kindness, in mercy and compassion, in listening and instructing.
May Jesus find the warmth of a home in our hearts and in our habits. May we be blessed with health, kindness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of the commandments to love. Fill us with the light of Christ!
For more information, http://lituryg.co.nz/epiphany-cahalk-house-blessing-3.
Nola Ann Crow Dum, age 78, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on December 5, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas. Born on April 4, 1940, in Waco, Texas, to father, Carl Jesse Crow, and mother, Mattie Mae Brown Crow. Nola graduated from Richardson High School in 1958 and married Bill Dum on May 5, 1967. She worked for GMAC until 1968, at which point she took on the role of a full-time mother. Nola was a long-time member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, where she was a volunteer with the Mobile Loaves & Fishes. Nola was dedicated to her family, community, and church. She was also a devoted caregiver to her husband. Nola was preceded in death by her loving parents and many cherished aunts and uncles. Nola is survived by Bill Dum, her beloved husband of 51 years; son, Jeffery Dum; daughter, Amy Dum Scott and her husband, Daryl; her most treasured gifts her grandchildren, Davis and Kendall Scott; brothers, Joe Crow and his wife Pat, Carl Crow and wife Judy, and Marvin Crow; brother-in-law, Mike Dum; sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kennington and husband Ned; many loved nieces and nephews; and cherished cousins and friends.
A memorial service will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on January 18 at 10 am with a reception to follow in Henke Hall.
A Family Trip Gone Wrong
Let’s try to name some adjectives. Some might be biological, blended, growing, young, distant, adopted, loving, interracial, bi-cultural, broken, international, separated, dysfunctional. Did you discover others? As I did this exercise, I had to think intentionally of descriptive words that had a positive connotation. I wonder why that is? Was it the same for you?
The story of Jesus being “lost” to Mary and Joseph might have some differing meanings. There is always the physical reality of being lost, or not able to be located. The other is the idea of not sharing the same concept of what it means to be family. Jesus explains to his mother that he has a Sonship with the Father, as well as his sonship with her and Joseph.
In our own families, many of us suffer from anxiety about our children who in our minds are “lost” to the faith, or “lost” to drugs, or “lost” to unhealthy relationships. It’s hard to be family in these situations. Most of the time we cannot understand why this is happening or how it came to be.
Perhaps the lesson from the Gospel this weekend is this. Our responsibility is to focus less on ourselves and our anxiety, to love intensely and continuously, to teach our children to listen and obey, and then to let them go, and ultimately to believe that we like Jesus, will all be reunited in our Father’s house.
Part of this reflection was inspired by the reflection from Catholic Women Preach. You can find it at http://catholicwomenpreach.org/preaching/12302018.
Who Will I Visit?
If you could visit with anyone in the world, during any time period of life, who would it be? Why would you want to visit with them? What would it take to get there? And what would it be like to be in their presence after all? (Try these questions for a very interesting dinner conversation sometime soon. It’ll get you through the holidays!)
This Sunday’s Gospel of Mary going in haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth is filled with emotion. It is an example of what happens when we can’t wait to share something with someone else. It’s about incredible JOY at the surprises, the new births in life. When we think something is impossible, we are reminded that with God all things are possible.
Imagine all of the conversations between Mary and Elizabeth. What all did they talk about? When do you have spiritual conversations like theirs? With whom do you have them?
As we travel to visit in the next week or so, with whom will we seek to have conversations? Who will we invite? Will we intentionally spend some time with someone elderly? Will we recognize the miraculous life, the vibrant and joyous spirit within each individual we encounter in the next few days?
In this third week of Advent, we focus on JOY—on rejoicing. What would it be like to sing “Joy To the World” accompanied by spontaneous jumping for joy?
God rejoices in us! Do we really believe that? Each Sunday when we gather as community, our celebration of the Mass gives us opportunities galore to show that joy, that rejoicing in God’s goodness to us. Here are a few:
Sing with joy, using the voice God gave you!
Pray boldly and audibly—with joy!
Greet others with gladness to see them!
Spend some time after Mass visiting with others and getting to know them. Express gladness to have seen them.
Thank those who generously serve at our liturgies!
Talk about what brings you joy on the way home, at lunch, or sometime during this week.
Let’s look for reasons to “cry out with joy and gladness” all week long, all season long!
P.S. I am filled with joy at the very generous response from many of you to the Religious Retirement Fund appeal I did last weekend. Thank you for your monetary donations and your words of affirmation of my message.
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. Reflections for the book can be found at https://dynamiccatholic.com/the-biggest-lie-in-the-history-of-christianity/overcoming-the-lie/reflections.