In appreciation for all of the wonderful gifts our parishioners bless us with each and every day, we have two great Christmas presents for you that will be available in the Gathering Space after the Masses this weekend.
Perfectly Yourself: Discovering God’s Dream for You by Matthew Kelly will help you grow spiritually, discover your God-given talents, and strengthen your faith so you can pursue God’s dream for your life.
Do you ever get the feeling that you are not enough? Not smart enough, not beautiful enough, not loved enough, not rich enough, not good enough . . . We all have these feelings from time to time, usually because we’re comparing ourselves to others. But God doesn’t compare you to anybody else. He wants to help you become the person he created you to be—perfectly yourself!
In this life-changing book, Matthew Kelly addresses the opportunities and obstacles we encounter when we decide to ask life’s BIG questions: who am I? and why am I here? Newly revised with an emphasis on spiritual growth and realizing God’s dream for your life, Perfectly Yourself is a book for anyone who has survived the collapse of a relationship, wondered if he or she would ever find a fulfilling career, or failed at a diet. Kelly teaches us how to find the balance between accepting ourselves and striving to become all God dreams for us to become. This is the guide you need if you long to be at peace with who you are, where you are, and what you are doing, not in some distant tomorrow, but here and now—today.
Our custom 2018 parish calendar provides snapshots of life in our parish community and celebrates the joy, friendship, passion, and commitment of so many.
We invite all men of the parish to join us for a life-changing weekend at our Men’s ACTS Retreat January 25-28 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 $50 deposit secure your place on the retreat. To pay online, please visit https://squareup.com/store/st-francis-of-assisi-catholic-church-3/item/macts-retreatant-fee. For more information, please contact John Knape at 830-931-5215 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, Carlos Contreras at 210-373-3353 or at Cjcontrerasiii@gmail.com, or Mike Hutzler at 210-336-6275 or at Mike.Hutzler@cmc.com.
What Makes a Family Holy?
Do you have a favorite image of the Holy Family? What makes it your favorite image? Do you think of your own family as a “holy family”? What is it about your family that is holy? Would you consider putting your family’s picture in this frame with the title “Holy Family”?
As you read and listen to the readings this weekend, you will hear countless examples of what makes a family holy. Abram and Sarai are uncertain and afraid as they ponder the loss of a future when they are childless and old. God promises them that their family will be as countless as the stars in the sky. Imagine it! Faith and an understanding that family is expansive and includes many who are not even related by blood makes God’s promise reality. Faith isn’t intended to be a personal achievement only; it is meant to be cultivated and grown to include others as brothers and sisters. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called into an unknown future. By faith, he received power to generate children. He found God to be trustworthy. Do we have a faith strong enough to believe that seemingly impossible things will come to be in our own families?
Simeon and Anna, at the presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple, highlight all that was promised by the birth of Jesus. Jesus brings peace. He fulfills God’s promises that a Messiah would come. He is one of us, human, and totally a part of the whole world, sent to the Gentiles as well as to Israel. Anna has been fasting and praying for 84 years and lives to see the coming of Jesus through waiting, learning and patience. In our holy families, we too are called to practice waiting, learning and patience.
In a sense, we “present” ourselves to the Lord each and every Sunday, each and every day! We offer ourselves to God, unfinished as we are, expecting to grow in faith and trust that God’s promises to each of us will be fulfilled in our own waiting, learning and patience. At times, we too are called to discern what God is calling us to, to obey something we don’t entirely understand.
This Christmas season gives us an opportunity to celebrate family in so many ways. May it be for us a time to rejoice in our own families. May our love and hope be as strong as that everyone felt for the infant Jesus at his birth.
And so we pray: Teach us, Holy Spirit, how to love as you and the Father and the Son love. Make each and everyone part of your holy family. Let our Nazareths be places of kind words, patience and compassion. Help us all work together for all that is good and pleasing to God who dwells in possibility.
Yes, Yes, and YES!
Mary’s YES changed everything! Can we, like Mary, say “May it be done to me according to your word”? If we really listen to God’s voice, if we are quiet and still enough to be receptive of that word, that voice, what might God be asking of each of us? We have been “living in watchfulness and waiting in wonder.” We have been faithful to those promises. What wonder awaits us this Christmas season?
Yes, we listen! Yes, we tell about what we are hearing! And yes, we like Mary can hardly wait to go visit our cousin, or our BFF or another family member to share the good news, even if we don’t fully understand the implications. We discern together, we explore together! And we say YES to all the wonders of new possibilities in our very real, very human lives! May our YES be strong!
August 6, 1945 — November 29, 2017
Maria Elena Rodriguez Gorham, 72, went to be with her Lord on November 29, 2017. Maria was born to Socorro and Benjamin Rodriguez in San Antonio Texas on August 6, 1945. She graduated from Fox Tech High School in 1963. She was awarded a scholarship to Michigan University and eventually completed her BA and Masters of Social Work at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX in 1963. She married Charles H. Gorham on January 14, 1972, and they remained married until her passing.
Throughout her life, Maria made it her mission to help others, and the contributions she made will never be forgotten. Maria is survived by her husband: Charles H. Gorham; daughter: Marisol Corbitt; and son: Charles H. Gorham Jr.
Visitation will be held at Funeraria del Angel Roy Akers, 515 N. Main Ave on Monday, December 18, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., with the Rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. On Tuesday, December 19, 2017 the Mass of Resurrection will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church 2623 Perez St., with Interment to follow at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.
September 23, 1924 — December 12, 2017
She resided in San Antonio, Texas until 2006 when she became a resident of Windsor Lakes.
Lucille married the late Captain Eddie H. Ochoa in Beaumont in 1961 during Hurricane Carla after which she began her married life in San Antonio.
She became active in the Ladies Auxiliary of the Texas State Firefighter’s Association and served as local, state and international president. She held the title of President Emeritus of the organization.
Lucille was a founding member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in The Woods of Shavano and served as president of the Silver Stars.
Lucille had a successful career in real estate until retiring in 2000. Upon moving to The Woodlands, she became active in the Windsor Lake’s Homeowners Association and the Montgomery County Republican Women’s Club.
Survivors include her brother; Carlos Maggio and his wife Dorothy of Kingwood, Texas, sisters; Genevieve Catanzaro and Marie Maggio of Beaumont, Texas, Pearl Maggio of The Woodlands, stepson; Ed Ochoa and wife Nina of Katy, Texas, nephew Louis Catanzaro and wife Reen of Houston, Texas, step grandsons; Eric and Mick Ochoa, sister-in- law Connie Valdez of San Antonio, Texas and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Lucille had an outstanding personality; she was a generous person and a friend to everyone.
Visitation will be held Friday, December 15, 2017 at Forest Park The Woodlands Funeral Home from 4-7pm with a Christian Vigil at 5 pm. Funeral services will take place on Monday, December 18, 2017, at Mission Park North, 3401 Cherry Ridge St., San Antonio, Texas. Visitation will be from 10 am to 1 pm in San Antonio with funeral Mass starting at 1 pm.
Lucille’s final resting place will be beside her husband in San Jose Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.
CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System, including Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, is in need of volunteers to serve as Eucharistic ministers for patients and family members who are hospitalized. Training, commissioning, and orientation to the distribution of the Eucharist in a healthcare setting will be provided. Please contact Margaret Jones at 210-704-3639 for more information.
We sincerely thank you for your contributions to our parish — those of time, talent, and treasure. If you wish to make any financial contributions to the parish for 2017, checks and mailed envelopes must be dated or postmarked by December 31, 2017. Any contributions received after December 31, 2017, or with a postmark after that date will be entered as a 2018 contribution.
Fr. Peter was born on March 14, 1980 in Sukoharjo, Indonesia. Bishop Ignatius Suharyo (now archbishop) ordained Fr. Peter to the priesthood on July 15, 2008 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. As a priest of the Missionaries of the Holy Family, Fr. Peter arrived in America in 2014.
Fr. Peter is the fourth of five children. He has two brothers and two sisters. All of his siblings are married.
After completing high school, Fr. Peter received a university scholarship. At the same time, he was also accepted by the seminary. After time in prayer, Fr. Peter decided to decline the opportunity to become a university student and joined the seminary. Fr. Peter was drawn to the priesthood thanks to a Holy Family priest he often met with when he was a kid. The priest was a Dutch missionary who served in his parish. Fr. Peter was moved by his spirit of service, love, kindness, and affection. He told his dad about his growing desire to join the priesthood, and he gladly guided him to his vocation.
Fr. Peter said that if God would grant him one wish, he would ask the Lord to open the hearts of all Catholics, especially young people in America, to actively practice their faith and to be involved in Church activities.
Fr. Peter is excited to join the community of St. Francis of Assisi, saying it feels like he has been blessed with an early Christmas present in being assigned here! Please welcome him with open arms when you see him around campus or at Mass.
Living in Joy
What does it mean for us to always live in joy? How is that possible when so much of life today is troubling? When so many are suffering? It seems that St. Paul gives us several ways to work at finding and maintaining hope. It is almost like a recipe in four parts. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all things. Do not quench the Spirit. Discern what is good and what is evil and refrain from the evil. WOW!
Our other readings for the day give us other hints. Isaiah presents us with a very urgent mission, a very concise job description for being followers of Jesus. We too are to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners.
Our psalm reminds us of Mary’s Magnificat. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Our joy is real when we can proclaim the greatness of the Lord in our own lives. How will we do that this week? Who will hear our proclamations? To whom will they be directed?
We continue our Living in Watchfulness—as a community and as individuals—searching for Jesus in our midst. He is already born and borne in us! And he is also yet to be found in unlikely places. We are Waiting in Wonder! May our wonder never cease! God fills us with awe!