Our Ministries
1 Jul

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

By Two’s

In Luke’s Gospel for this weekend, the disciples of Jesus are given their instructions for ministry. Imagine that you are one of the disciples Jesus sent out. What directives do you think Jesus would give to you today? What do you say and do? What challenges do you meet? What further help do you need from the Lord?

Jesus sent them out by two’s—a companion is always good to have for back-up! Who is the person you would choose to accompany you?

I am reminded of all the ways that we provide companionship on our faith journeys at St. Francis. We choose godparents and sponsors for Baptism, Confirmation, and RCIA. We have sponsor couples who accompany those in formation for the sacrament of Marriage. We visit the homebound to bring Eucharist and to bring our assurance that we accompany even those who cannot be with us physically.

During our listening sessions, we heard the experiences of so many who are ”left out”, invisible, or excluded from participation and communion in Church life. Living as a synodal church requires more than listening. Who are some of the persons we know who need accompaniment? Who are the new people we can share Christ’s love with this weekend? What healing and what peace can we bring into the lives of others?

To help us to be disciples of Jesus, we invoke the wisdom of the Holy Spirit:

Come to me, Holy Spirit, and kindle in me the wisdom I need to follow in the path of Jesus Christ.

Come to me, Holy Spirit, and give me the strength to face challenges in my daily life.

Come to me, Holy Spirit, and grant me the fortitude to make the right decisions.

Come to me, Holy Spirit, and help me believe that God knows all and walks beside me every moment of my life. Amen.

24 Jun

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Without Delay

Imagine this: Pope Francis personally contacts you and requests an audience with you. The Vatican will take care of the expenses and logistics for the trip. You would excitedly drop everything to accept Pope Francis’ invitation, right?

Jesus extends the same invitation to us every day, and we should meet his call to “follow me” with the same enthusiasm. However, we often allow our busy lives to get in the way of dropping everything to be with our Lord. Some days, at best, we will give a conditional acceptance to Jesus’ call. If I check off everything on my to-do list and am not too exhausted by the end of the day, then I will spend some time in prayer.

Nowadays, unfortunately, it seems more and more common and even acceptable or expected to avoid commitments or postpone promises. We like to keep our options open, so we wait until the last minute for a lot of things to see if something better comes along.

As disciples of Jesus, we cannot “wait for it” (shoutout to the Hamilton fans). In both Luke’s Gospel for this Sunday and the First Reading about Elijah following God’s instructions to recruit Elisha as his successor as a great prophet, there is no time for delay.

Pope Francis said, “Jesus pointed out to us, his disciples, that our mission in the world cannot be static, but is itinerant. The Christian is itinerant. The Church by her very nature is in motion; she does not stay sedentary and calm within her enclosure. She is open to the broadest horizons, sent forth—the Church is sent forth—to bring the Gospel through the streets and to reach the human and existential peripheries” (Angelus message on June 30, 2019).

We hesitate to make commitments because we value our freedom, but St. Paul tells us in the Second Reading in his letter to the Galatians not to use this freedom selfishly; “rather, serve one another through love” (Gal 5:13). Let us embrace our baptismal call to live as priest, prophet, and king as we journey without delay toward our Christian mission to know, love, and serve Christ.

21 Apr

Volunteer at the San Antonio Food Bank

Since its inception in 1980, the San Antonio Food Bank has been a major force in the fight against hunger in the San Antonio community. As a member of the Feeding America national coalition of food banks, the San Antonio Food Bank serves as a regional hub for food distribution to 200 partner food pantries scattered throughout Bexar and 15 surrounding counties in Southwest Texas. In 2020 alone, it collected and distributed 80 million pounds of food, providing meals to 120,000 individuals each week. To provide such a large degree of food assistance, the Food Bank requires the help of more than 100 volunteers each day to sort, package, and distribute the donated food items. Many of these volunteers participate as organized church groups who regularly assist the work of the Food Bank.

ACTS Core of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church is currently reviewing ways to better advance the Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service missions of the ACTS movement within the St. Francis community. As part of the Service mission, ACTS Core is organizing groups of St. Francis volunteers to assist in the vital work provided by the San Antonio Food Bank.

In 2021, St. Francis parishioners participated in a total of 36 San Antonio Food Bank volunteer sessions. Working with other volunteers present during those sessions, we created over 100,000 meals for the San Antonio community.

We are happy to announce that we will continue this program in 2022. Please find a listing of sessions below. Please email acts@sfasat.org if you are interested in participating in one of these sessions.

Date Time Job
July 6 5:30-8 pm Warehouse Sorting
July 11 1:30-4 pm Community Kitchen
July 20 5:30-8 pm Warehouse Sorting

SAFB Community Kitchen:
This program prepares breakfast, lunch, and after-school snacks for schools and partner agencies. Volunteers will receive a briefing on the day’s meals to be prepared and assist with portion control and proper storage to be delivered to schools. Volunteers will also assist with general kitchen cleanup duties as requested by the Executive Chef.

Warehouse Sorting and Packing:
Groups and individuals work together to sort and/or pack produce, non-perishable foods, and household items, preparing them for distribution. Duties may include checking for expiration dates, opened packages and spoilage, labeling cans, and packing bags of food or household items. Other duties may include general cleaning of the area, breaking down boxes, etc.

Curbside Pickup:
This program loads carts of food into family vehicles. Duties include product sorting and building of carts, distribution of product builds into vehicles as families arrive, cleanup throughout the duration of shift.

Our inaugural curbside pickup team

23 Jun

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Virgil Joseph “Bud” Braden

November 10, 1928-June 17, 2022

Virgil Braden, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully on June 17, 2022. A 76-year resident of San Antonio, Bud was born to Paul and Hattie Braden on November 10, 1928. He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Barbara, his siblings Wilfred Braden, Fr. Eugene Braden, Sister Dorothy Braden, Helen Davis, and Dr. James Braden.

Bud is survived by his sister, Frances Murray, brother-in-law, Tommie Davis, sister-in-law, Marie Windlinger, children Paul (Julie), Michael (Donna) Elaine Hutzler (Michael), 10 grandchildren Kyle Braden (Audra), Sean Hutzler (Betsy), Derek Braden (Skye), Traci Doerre (Sean), Todd Braden (Shelbie), Kevin Hutzler, Phillip Braden (Lindsay), Jason Hutzler, Clayton Braden, Bryan Hutzler (Katelyn), 12 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved deeply.

Bud graduated from Rosebud High School in 1946 and immediately entered the U.S. Army. After the Army, Bud enrolled and graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio in 1951.

In June of 1956, Bud wed the love of his life, Barbara Windlinger from San Antonio, TX. They lived in San Antonio for the rest of their lives, raising their family and belonging to numerous church and civic organizations.

Bud retired as an Investment Manager for the U.S. Air Force in 1996. He enjoyed playing golf, traveling, and volunteering his time with various church organizations.

The family would like to thank the caregivers from Adante Assisted Living and Memory Care who have cared for Bud for the last few years.

A celebration of his life will begin with a Visitation at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 4201 De Zavala Rd., on July 6, 2022 at 10:00 am in Henke Hall. Rosary and Remembrance Services will begin at 10:30 am with the Memorial Mass to begin at 11:30 am in the church. Interment will be held as a family ceremony at Holy Cross Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church or the charity of your choice.

17 Jun

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Who’s Hungry?

And what is it that we hunger for?  Our 31 parish listening sessions, our process of learning to live as a Synodal Church, have given us evidence of some of our hungers. One of them is that we hunger for connections between the Scripture readings each week and their relevance for life today. How does what we hear in the readings, the music, our own personal reflection on the readings in SCC’s, the praying with Scripture that we continue to do, the presence we are to each other in the community gathered, and the preaching help us to be followers of Jesus?

I found the reflections from Catholic Women Preach especially meaningful and hopeful in the midst of all that we are experiencing in our city, our country, and our world. Listen here:

One of our liturgical music selections is a preview of our weekend experience. Listen to it here:

10 Jun

The Most Holy Trinity

Trinitarian Life Includes Us

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit! That’s the prayer many of us learned first, when we learned the “Sign of the Cross.” It’s the beginning of most of our prayers. Recently, I have found myself using expressions like, “In the name of our parish…” “In the name of our pastor and the staff at St. Francis…” “In the name of my family…” I realized today that “In the name of” always expresses a relationship, a kinship, a connectedness that implies a familiarity, a closeness, and definitely a fondness.

The relationship means something. When I think of the Holy Trinity, I think of relatedness. The Father sent the Son who sent the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us that he was sending the Holy Spirit to teach us everything we needed to know and SENT US to continue God’s creation—to build the kingdom of God on earth.

The life of the Trinity is ongoing. It is not self-contained or self-absorbed, but ever flowing outward, touching and embracing all of God’s creation, all of God’s creatures, and all of God’s people! All of life in unity and communion!

And therein is the challenge! How are we living in unity and communion? What words and actions bring about unity and communion?

As we gather this weekend to pray and worship together, how will we give witness to “undivided unity”? How will we go forth to do the same? Will my conversations and my deeds create unity and communion?