Our Ministries
3 Feb

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Letting My Light Shine

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”

It’s hard to read this Sunday’s Gospel, Matthew 5:13-16, without thinking of this old Bible School song. I can’t tell you when I first learned these lyrics; I feel like I’ve known this song forever, and I’m guessing that you are familiar with it, too. In fact, I’m willing to bet that some of you didn’t just read that line, but sang it to yourself.

I must be honest and say that I never thought very deeply about the scriptural reference of this song. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” As a child, this was a pretty simple concept that we have a light and we are to let it shine. What more do you need to know? I imagined myself walking through dark spaces with a candle or a flashlight. My “little light” would be just enough to guide me in the darkness, to get me safely through my nighttime adventure.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”

As with most Bible songs that we learn as children, the song did a good job of helping me to learn a snippet of scripture, but maybe it left out the most important part. At the end of the Gospel, we read “your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Letting my light shine is not some means by which I guide myself. It also is not meant to serve as a way to attract attention to me. Our light must shine for others so that they can glorify God.

In baptism we receive the Light of Christ, and as baptized people we are commissioned to go out into the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). This task can seem overwhelming and, at times, insurmountable, but how encouraging is to know that we can accomplish this mission simply by letting our lights shine? The best part is that we’re not alone; Jesus promises to be with us (Matthew 28:20)!

We are met daily with opportunities to let our light shine, to point others toward Christ through our good deeds. Little by little, day by day we can help others to glorify our heavenly Father. I can’t think of any better reason to sing and to let my light shine!

27 Jan

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Jesus spoke to the crowds many times throughout his public ministry. At times, there were conversations that happened one on one while breaking bread together. Sometimes He spoke to twelve of His closest friends. Other times He spoke to a crowd that was as far as the eye could see.

The one thing all these moments had in common is that He always spoke truth to the people. This Sunday, we get to hear and focus on the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew when He spoke to the multitudes.

Many people are familiar with the Beatitudes. You can find artwork of them that you can hang in your house and prayer cards that can be passed out to people. Some may also know all of them by heart, but the question we should ask ourselves is, “What do they mean, and am I living them out?”

Do we understand what it means to be poor in spirit? Is it something we look at through a positive lens, or is it something we tell ourselves is for other people?

I have wondered at times if I live out the Beatitudes in my life. At times, I can say yes. Other times the answer is no, but I always try.

I desire to be poor in spirit and recognize my need for God. I desire to be a voice for righteousness and justice. I desire to show mercy and forgiveness to all. I desire to love others unconditionally even when I am being persecuted. I desire to be more like Jesus.

John 3:30 says it best, “He must increase; I must decrease”. That is what the Beatitudes is about. They are all characteristics of Jesus and how He lived. The Beatitudes are giving us a road map to becoming more like Him.

I encourage you to sit with the Beatitudes this weekend. With Lent approaching in less than a month, this is a good time to begin to focus on what we would like our Lenten journey to look like.

Instead of waiting until Ash Wednesday to begin praying more, begin that today. Pick one of the Beatitudes below and live it out with joy. It’s never too soon to commit to diving deeper into our beautiful Catholic faith.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.

19 Jan

MLF Condiment Team Help Needed

Our Mobile Loaves & Fishes condiment assembly team needs additional volunteers. This is a great option for families, seniors, or students as the packets are made at home on a flexible time frame, totaling about two hours each month. If interested, please email volunteermlf@gmail.com. Thank you for assisting MLF in this way!

20 Jan

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Thinking about Repentance

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Our readings since Advent often focus on darkness and light. This is especially true again this weekend. For me, light is about opening my eyes to see and feel, and then to recognize what darkness exists in both my life and the lives of our brothers and sisters everywhere. Everything I say and do reflects my understanding of what Jesus calls me to be and to do. Sometimes, I am “in the dark” not seeing the connectedness of all of life. Jesus spent his entire ministry on earth being a “light” to the nations, offering hope for all. You and I have that same call.

Two significant experiences for me regarding repentance and building the kingdom of heaven on earth are a reflection guide and a video webinar. I share those with you.

In Living the Word: Scripture Reflections and Commentaries for Sundays and Holy Days, Thomas F. Ryan and Deborah L. Wilhelm offered these ideas for consideration and discussion:

We often imagine repentance as sorrow for personal wrongs we’ve committed, like lying or missing Mass. But truly, every sin affects others somehow, and some of our sin affects others profoundly. To repent, then, is also to see what causes violence, to pray for those in its grip—and to work for a world in which no one need fear it. To repent is to see what’s causing the pain in our economies, our jobs, our relationships—and to be a force for healing restoration. Where do you see this kind of repentance taking place? Where is it needed? (p. 51)

The video comes from Georgetown University, a Jesuit-sponsored and staffed institution that has a strong emphasis on Catholic initiatives around social thought. The online public dialogue/panel discussion focuses on “The Consistent Ethic of Life in 2023: Solidarity with Those Who are Poor and Vulnerable.” It connected so many aspects of what Jesus named and lived as a call to build the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. The link to the YouTube video is here. It is one hour in length, but it is definitely worth it.

For me, both are powerful experiences of the call to be a force for repentance and healing restoration. Jesus said, “I have come to bring the fullness of life to all.” For this let us all work and pray!

23 Jan

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Dr. Anthony Thomas Mendicino, Jr.

July 18, 1929-January 6, 2023

Dr. Anthony “Tony” Thomas Mendicino Jr., age 93, passed away on January 6, 2023 in San Antonio. He was born to Rose Katherine Reich and Anthony Thomas Mendicino, Sr. on July 18, 1929 in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Mendicino graduated from Central Catholic High School and St. Mary’s University. While attending St. Mary’s, he was a co-founding member of Tau Delta Sigma fraternity and was elected Student Council president. His fraternity brothers became life-long friends. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. While stationed at Ellington AFB, he met his future wife. They married after he was honorably discharged. Dr. Mendicino graduated from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri before completing an internship in Carson City, Michigan. He returned to San Antonio with his growing family and started a career as a practicing physician that lasted nearly four decades. He is remembered by patients and staff for being a skilled and caring provider who treated everyone with the utmost respect.

Dr. Mendicino was thoroughly devoted to his family. He ensured that his children had excellent educational opportunities. He coached his daughters’ CYO softball teams, took his son to early weekday Masses when he was an altar server, and drove the entire family of seven to his wife’s parents’ farm in Michigan annually for vacation. In later years, the cross-country trips were supplanted by more localized treks to Six Flags, AstroWorld, the Battleship Texas, Rockport, and Monterrey, Mexico. One summer vacation was comprised of a series of day trips to local points of interest including the Alamo, the Spanish Governor’s Palace, various missions, and Aquarena Springs. The strength of the family bonds forged by these shared experiences cannot be overstated.

He will always be remembered for his kindness and generosity, as well as his wonderful sense of humor. Anthony loved life and will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved him.

He was preceded in death by his parents and infant daughter, Lenore Anne. Dr. Mendicino is survived by his wife of 69 years, Joan Mendicino; children Anthony T. Mendicino III (Nancy), Madeleine Matlock (Jeff Brymer), Jeanette Jackson (John Andrew), Marlene Sumner (Keith), Joan Frances Wanek (Timothy); thirteen grandchildren; and fifteen great-grandchildren.

The Funeral Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at noon on Monday, January 23 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas.

12 Jan

Synod Listening Sessions Report

We have published a summary of the 31 listening sessions conducted at St. Francis of Assisi (February-May 2022) as part of Pope Francis’ call to synodality. This report includes key learnings that address the 10 themes provided by the Archdiocese of San Antonio grouped by two questions posed at each listening session. While it is not a representative sample of what all parishioners might be thinking, it is the result of excellent sessions where we prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit and then listened to one another as we voiced our perspectives and lived experiences of the Church, Archdiocese, and parish.

Our parish feedback was sent to the Archdiocese; the Archdiocesan summary was then used as input to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Synthesis of the Diocesan Phase of the Synod and, ultimately, the Vatican Working Document for the Continental Phase of the Synod. We thank all of our parishioners who took the time to participate in this synodal process and look forward to other opportunities as we journey together as a Synodal Church.

Summary SynodSessionsReport10_31_22

Archdiocese of San Antonio Synthesis

USCCB Synthesis

Vatican Working Document

 

13 Jan

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Called to be Holy

Paul says that we have been “consecrated in Christ Jesus and called to be a holy people.” What does it mean to “be holy”? Who are the persons we consider to be holy? What is it that makes them holy? How is it that we experience “holiness”?

In Holy Moments, our Christmas gift book, Matthew Kelly provides this definition:

A Holy Moment is a single moment in which you open yourself to God. You make yourself available to Him. You set aside personal preference and self-interest, and for one moment you do what you prayerfully believe God is calling you to do.

Each of us has experienced the call to holiness in our Baptism. We remember that call often in our prayers and our rituals, in our reception of sacraments, in our reflection on Scripture readings, as well as in our study of the saints. Those saints might be the ones identified by the church and named as saints, as well as those we know to be “saintly” people. The Church may not recognize them as such; nevertheless, we know them to be saints, to be models of influence in our lives.

Although each of us has our own personal mission, our personal call to holiness, we also respond to that call in our families, in our workplaces, in the various communities we are a part of, and in the life of our parish. What call to holiness are you and your family experiencing in parish life today? What stories of holiness do you tell in your conversations? How are you using those stories to “remember forward”—to create a living legacy of holiness?

I would love to hear stories of “holiness” lived in the St. Francis of Assisi parish community!

3 Feb

Blessing of Throats

We will have the blessing of throats after all Masses February 3-5 to commemorate St. Blase, bishop and martyr. According to tradition, a mother came to Blase with her young son who had a fish bone lodged in his throat. At Blase’s command, the boy coughed up the bone and survived. On St. Blase’s feast day, we take two candles, cross them against the throat, and pray for his intercession.

28 Jan

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Eileen Wasetis Cross

October 16, 1924-November 25, 2022

Eileen H. Cross, 98, of San Antonio, Texas, passed away on November 25, 2022, at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, with her loving family by her side.

She was born in Minonk, the daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Tyrrell. Her parents preceded her in death. She lived in Kankakee for 40 years then moved to the San Bernardino and Cherry Valley area of California for 55 years.

Eileen worked several jobs over the years and retired from working for San Bernardino County in California. She was praised for her work wherever she was employed.

Eileen loved sports. She played basketball in high school, golfed until her late 80s, and was a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan.

Surviving are her children, Gary (Dene) Wasetis, Carol (Richard) Morales, James (Abby) Wasetis and Dr. Jeff (Marty) Wasetis; brothers, James (Judy) Tyrrell and Edward (Janet) Tyrrell; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; along with several nieces and nephews and their children.

Preceding her in death were her husbands, Victor Wasetis and Russell Cross; a son, Robert Wasetis; sisters, Rita Ortman and Mary Beth Deselm; and brother, Thomas Tyrrell.

The family wishes to thank the caring staff at “The Etta” senior citizens care facility in San Antonio, which had been her home for the last two years.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 am on Saturday, January 28 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas.