Our Ministries
22 Jul

To Celebrate a Life of Love: James Orville Soat

June 13, 1934 – July 19, 2017

James Orville Soat was born in Milford, Iowa, on June 13, 1934, to Lawrence Soat and Gertrude Mathisen Soat. He passed away on July 19, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas.

He graduated from Terril High School, and enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving in the 29th RSM in various locations, including Clark AFB in the Philippines, and Kelly AFB in San Antonio. After his discharge, he attended St. Mary’s University where he earned a BBA degree, which was followed by nearly 30 years in banking at Broadway Bank and Alamo Heights Bank. He was also a realtor.

Jim married Diana Belle Lich at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Comfort on November 24, 1956. She and their two sons, Kevin and Richard (Ruth), survive him, along with grandchildren, Cason (Corinne), Richelle, Darin and Jalen; great-granddaughter, Addisyn Belle; step-grandchildren, Christopher (Francesca), Melissa and Matthew; step-great-grandchildren, Jameson, Emerson and Keira.

Jim was a member of the Alamo Heights Optimist Club for 53 years. He served as a Shavano Park alderman and was active in the formative years of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. He loved basketball, hunting, fishing, and spending leisure time at Canyon Lake. The family thanks the wonderful staff at Fresenius Dialysis Center in Stone Oak and Kindred Hospice for their care.


The family will receive friends at Porter Loring North Chapel at 6 pm on Friday, July 21, 2017, followed by Rosary at 7 pm. The Mass will be held at 12 pm at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on Saturday, July 22, 2017. Interment will be in Comfort Cemetery in Comfort, Texas.

22 Jul

To Celebrate a Life of Love: David James Tse

July 15, 1994 – July 18, 2017

David James Tse, Jr. passed into eternal life unexpectedly on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. We are devastated, heartbroken, and grieving for the beautiful spirit and precious being that he was. Kind. Gentle. Generous. Loving. Honest. Funny. Curious. Athletic. Intelligent. We love you more than you will ever know.

David was born July 15, 1994, in San Antonio to James Tse, Sr. and Melissa Hurtubise Tucker who survive him. He was a graduate of Tom C. Clark High School in 2012 and attended the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was the founder, owner, and CEO of Vesuvian Interactive, a video game design and virtual reality company. David’s vision for his company was that Vesuvian was built upon three core pillars: Passion, Polish, and Precision. He believed that every truly great creation is built upon these three core principals, and he wanted them to be the foundation for everything he did.

In addition to his parents, David is survived by his brothers, Trent Thomas and Jason Tse; his parents’ spouses, Ramona Tse and Bryan Tucker; step siblings, Ashley and Zoe Tucker and Isabel Gillenwater; paternal grandparents, David and Lydia Tse; maternal grandparents, Robert and Linda Hurtubise; aunts and uncles, Dhyana Carole Tse, Debbie and Mike Mollicone, Daphne Tse, DeeDee and Mike Silver, Joey and Nicci Tse, Jason Hurtubise, Gino Hurtubise and Jenny Hurtubise; cousins, Michael and Meghan Mollicone, Jared, Jr. and Jacob Phelps, Nathan, Hannah and Sarah Tse, and Kai Tse Hashemiyoon; step grandparents, Richard and Betty Rangel, and Cary and Niska Tucker; step aunts and uncles, Ricky and Alma Rangel and Keith and Helle Tucker and Melisa Tucker; and numerous other family members.

Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a Rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2017 at Mission Park Funeral Chapels North, 3401 Cherry Ridge Drive. The Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 4201 De Zavala Road. A reception will follow at the church. The graveside service will begin at 1:00 p.m. at Mission Burial Park Dominion North. For personal acknowledgment, you may sign the online guestbook at www.missionparks.com in the Tributes section.

14 Jul

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Tilling the Soil of My Heart

My first 18 years of life were spent on a farm. I learned at an early age what it means to plow and prepare the land, to plant the seed and then to wait for God to provide the rain to help the seed to grow. Sometimes we had to get rid of the weeds that choked the plants. Sometimes the rain didn’t come. And sometimes, insects took over. And sometimes we had the most abundant harvest imaginable.

I loved the smell of newly plowed soil. That rich black soil had some of the finest, juiciest worms that we used for fishing. And the fishing we did sometimes yielded enough fish to feed our large family.  When I was in 4-H, I remember giving talks about soil conservation—we had to be good to the earth and to the soil if we wanted it to produce a rich harvest. Our care had to be coupled with God’s gifts of rain and good weather. These were the lessons learned from the earth, from nature!

Our Scripture readings this weekend are filled with the images of the sower, seed, and soil. And the music chosen to accompany our celebration of Eucharist at Mass reinforces the messages. The Gospel reminds us that the fruitfulness of the earth and our own lives should not be taken for granted. We have to be engaged in the process. We have “work” to do if we want to be the “good” soil. Our hearts are the soil. And here are some suggested reflections for some serious “heart work.”

Preparing our hearts for reception of God’s word invites us to examine the condition of our hearts. What might have hardened them? What could soften them? What are the thorns of anxiety that might occupy our hearts? What experiences in church life would help us with “weeding”? What is the source of rain for our hearts? What will continue to make our hearts rich and pliable so that the seed of God’s will can sow mercy, biblical justice, and reconciliation in us and in our world?

Take time to reflect on the kind of soil that you are. What will it take for God’s word to take root in you so that you remain as faithful in difficult times as in easy ones? What thorns of anxiety choke you and keep you from trusting God’s promise to be with you at all times? What will it take to make the soil of your life rich and pliable rather than hard and unyielding? Open your eyes and ears to the world around and within you. Invite God’s grace to build on nature by raining into the soil that you are and letting God’s presence bear fruit beyond imagining.

22 Aug

Centering Prayer and Community

You’re invited to join either (or both!) of the two Centering Prayer groups that meet at St. Francis. The Wednesday group is continuing to read Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating, and the Thursday group is beginning a new book titled The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation by Richard Rohr. For more information, please contact Karen Jones at kbarj@hotmail.com or call 210. 854. 7818.

•     Wednesdays | 6:30-7:30 pm | Day Chapel

•     Thursdays | 10:00-11:00 am | Good Shepherd

7 July

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Yoked to Jesus

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.” Most people don’t know what a yoke is. In agriculture, the yoke is used to have animals work together, to pull together, to distribute the load and thus to have a discipline that makes for more productive work. The image gives us something to think about. What in our world would function as a “yoke” for us? And what would we learn from taking on a “yoke”?

In my mind and heart, to take on the yoke of Jesus would mean to take on the mind and heart of Jesus. It would mean pulling together, helping each other out, not letting anyone be left behind because we are all connected, all related to each other. It would be the yoke of love of all!

To take on the yoke of Jesus would be to act to relieve suffering, whether it’s from a natural disaster, from the ravages of disease and addictions, from the effects of poverty and the results of war, or from human actions that disregard the human dignity of others.

The yoke of Jesus is about heart and mind. How do we imitate Jesus in meekness and gentleness?

Putting on a yoke is probably something we wouldn’t choose to do. But what yoke do we use to develop a discipline of becoming more like Jesus? For me, it is about becoming less of an expert and more of a learner. Jesus never liked the “know it all’s.” He preferred those who were “the least.”

The yoke of Jesus aligns us to God’s perspective on what is important and on what is insignificant. It helps us to see more clearly the needs of others (whose burdens we can make lighter). It gives us hearts to embrace those who are different from us; it inspires us to pull together for the common good of all. And it helps us to know what we need to do to build the kingdom of God on earth as we believe it to be in heaven.

 Give us yokes, oh God! We need them so we can learn from you!

30 Jun

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our Personal Reception Rooms and Hospitality

“All guests…are to be welcomed as Christ.” When I lived in community with my Benedictine aunts while studying in Illinois, I saw this sign everywhere! It was in the entrance to the monastery in plain view of everyone who walked through the door. It was in the dining room, hanging above the food service line. It was on a plaque in the elevator. Who could forget?

Hospitality is one of the core values of the Benedictine rule of life. And this week we read several Scriptures that teach us about being a guest and about hospitality. In the first reading, the woman of influence (but without a name) pays attention and notices a passer-by who begins to dine at her place often. She is attracted by his holiness and decides to ask her husband to build a room for him to stay in—a guest room. Elisha, in turn, asks if she needs anything—“Can something be done for her?” Her servant reveals that she is older now and that she has no children. Elisha foretells that within a year, she will have a son.

A passer-by becomes a frequent diner and a recipient of generous hospitality. The giver of hospitality receives a surprise and answer to a human longing. Have we experienced anything of this sort? When does a stranger become a guest in our homes or our hearts or our churches? When have we been surprised by what we receive from a guest? Have we experienced anything like this at St. Francis?

Focusing on the last part of the Gospel, reflect on and pray about all that it entails to “receive” someone or something. How do we grow not only in giving but also in receiving? And as we recognize that receiving is not a one-time action, how do we stay alert to and patient with the parts of us that cannot yet open as we wish they could?

What does my personal reception room look like? Who are the people that I can welcome into my life? I don’t know them yet, but in offering welcome and hospitality, I may just discover that I receive so much more than what I gave. That is discipleship! Initiating the welcome and extending the hospitality—this is the cost of that discipleship.

28 Jun

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Jason Sedita

August 19, 1982 – June 19, 2017

Jason Sedita, born on August 19, 1982, entered into eternal life on June 19, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Martina, and his son, Giovanni. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi on Wednesday, June 28 at 6:30 pm followed by a reception in Henke Hall. The burial will be held at a later date.

26 Jun

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Jeffrey Dreesen

May 13, 1964 – June 19, 2017

Jeffrey Dreesen, born on May 13, 1964, went to be with the Lord on June 19, 2017. A funeral Mass officiated by Fr. Jim Henke with music by the St. Francis of Assisi Choir will be held at the AT&T Center on Monday, June 26 at 2 pm. All are invited to celebrate Jeffrey’s life. Please park in Lot 3 Gate C off of Houston Street and enter the building through the SE VIP Entrance.

23 Jun

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Have No Fear!

At my age, I know for sure that the hairs of my head are numbered. How I wish that I had this full head of hair! Every time I wash my hair, I worry that soon I won’t even need a comb!

Certainly the hairs on my head matter so much to me right now. My vanity is high! Even as the volume of my hair matters to me, I matter so much more to God. That is the message of the Gospel this weekend. God knows and loves me so much, so much more than the number of hairs or the value of sparrows.

Jesus tells us that we should fear nothing. Jesus knows that the last instructions he is giving to the Twelve Apostles before they are sent on a mission will leave them vulnerable to the scorn of civil authorities. He assures them that the Holy Spirit will give them words to speak. Even when the situation is dire, they should be full of hope because God knows even the number of hairs on their head.

This Sunday we have the opportunity to reflect on what it is that we fear. The loss of hair may be one. But seriously, whom or what do we fear? And then we recall that we are always in God’s presence. We can take a deep breath and give those fears to God as we release each breath. And when we take in a deep breath, we take in the immense presence and love of God.

Have no fear! Let no fear have power over you! Trust God’s promise to be with us to find a way to face whatever comes.

16 Jun

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Being the Body of Christ for Others

In every celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. How does reception of the Body and Blood of Christ transform us? How do we become the Body and Blood of Christ given to others? What is it that we give to others when we leave the Mass each Sunday?

Perhaps the answers to those questions require other questions? What is it that we hunger and thirst for each time we gather for Mass? What are the hungers of the world today? Who is available to feed those hungers if not us? St. Teresa of Avila reminds us:

Christ Has No Body

Christ has no body but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

Compassion on this world,

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,

Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,

Yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Christ has no body now but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.