Our Ministries
1 Jul

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

DkruppaWhat does it mean to be “sent on mission?” When have you experienced being sent?  What was the mission?  What resources did you have made available to you? With what attitude did you approach your mission?

If we pay attention to Luke’s Gospel this weekend, we have some clues about  what it means to be like one of the 72 missionaries Jesus sent. He sent them in pairs; no one was sent alone. They took along no resources, except their belief in the message, their faith and the companionship of each other. The power to heal and restore relationships came not of their own doing, but always through God’s  power. It was a power given to them “on loan.”

Think of all the ways we do things in pairs at St. Francis. We prepare for sacraments in pairs—we have marriage couples forming themselves, with the assistance of sponsor couples, for life-long commitments. We have sponsors or godparents for the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. We frequently enter a relationship of prayer partners at retreats and in between gatherings. Our Small Church Community gatherings end with actionable “being sent” rituals. We are co-mission-ed and sent to be missionaries to others when we dig wells to provide water in remote areas of Guatemala, when we help build affordable housing or provide needed repairs for our neighbors in need, when we serve on ACTS teams to witness to the power of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness in our lives.

Jesus asks those sent to be single-minded, to be completely focused on leading others to a relationship with God that promises eternal life! We gather together this weekend to focus on being sent on mission!

06 Jul

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Anne Louise Bernhard

Anne Louise BernhardANNE LOUISE (CHAPATY) BERNHARD  (1927-2016)
For her, family and faith in God are everything.
In her passing from this life to the next, Anne Louise Bernhard continues to teach all of us about the power of faith and unceasing strength even in life’s worst challenges.
Mother of five, grandmother of 18, servant and friend, Anne Louise Bernhard left this earth to be with the Lord on July 1, 2016, after a long battle with the physical suffering and pain caused by arthritis and a stroke. She was 89 years old.
Through it all, her smile reflected her unrelenting trust in God. Her determined blue eyes inspired her loving doctors and nurses and touched the hearts of caregivers who worked tirelessly to bring her comfort.
Her tenacious energy and fortitude were born on a farm in Loire, Texas, where she was ushered into life April 21, 1927, to parents Annie Kolonko and Alphonse Chapaty.
The fourth of five girls, Anne and her sisters have shared stories about their Czech heritage, working with their mother and father in the country just south of San Antonio, and their struggles to maintain their farm during the Great Depression, all grounded in a powerful faith in God.
She had recalled spending her younger days picking cotton, growing grapes and vegetables, and caring for horses, cows and chickens while living in a house often lit with lanterns. She and her sisters have told stories about walking several miles to a one-room school house, going to Mass and Sunday picnics at St. Luke Catholic Church, playing in the fields and swimming in the livestock tank.
She once recalled watching fighter planes roar above her farm on World War II training missions. One of her lasting memories includes climbing a windmill to kickstart the blades for pumping water in the heat of long dry, windless summers.
She credited God for pulling her through the high fevers of diphtheria she endured as a young girl. Her deep spirituality and dedication to God was portrayed in stories she told about how she prayed every day, even when a scorpion bit her foot as she knelt in prayer one night.
Anne was 16 years old and in 10th grade when her father died. To make ends meet she quit school, leaving the farm life behind to work at a bank in San Antonio but returning often to visit the cemetery where her father was buried along with two infant brothers she never knew.
On Nov, 8, 1952, at the age of 25, Anne Chapaty married Eugene Anthony Bernhard of San Antonio, a man who had just finished a stint with the U.S. Army during World War II. They met and fell in love while attending supper club socials. They had five children.
Anne stayed home to care for her family as her husband worked two jobs often at night as a machinist for the San Antonio Express-News and a telegraph operator for Western Union to help pay Catholic school tuition for their children.
Shepherded in strong faith, the family of seven could often be found sitting in the front row for Mass each Sundayat Mission San Jose, where Anne served with the Altar Society. She sang in the church choir, joined by all seven members of her family.
A talented seamstress, she often made dresses for her two daughters. Her recipes graced the dining room table with delicious meals. Cakes she designed in the shape of animals were centerpieces for her children’s birthday parties. Even into her 80s, she remembered the birthday of each of her children and grandchildren with a card.
She helped care for her mother as she aged. In 1975, her husband died of a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 52.
Anne, who didn’t have a high school diploma, checked out books to study and received her G.E.D. She went back to work as a dressing room attendant at  Montgomery Ward and a bookkeeper for Steve’s & Sons Lumber Yard and Gruen & Miller Flasher Equipment Co.
She was honored with a medal from the Archdiocese of San Antonio for her service to the Catholic Church. She was among those selected from various parishes to serve as an usher at the outdoor Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II during his visit to San Antonio in 1987.
Screenshot_2016-07-01-11-32-25In her 60s, she journeyed to Italy for a trip with parishioners from her church. It was one of the few times she had ever traveled on an airplane.
Remaining a widow for about 40 years after her husband died, she drove her own car and mowed her own grass at the house on San Antonio’s southside where she surrounded herself with her children and grandchildren. Even to the end, she reveled in the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren, attending high school graduations, college commencements and weddings or celebrating through photos.
Finding strength in God, she attended Mass daily until limits of age restricted her mobility. Close to the Blessed Virgin Mary, even in sickness she was seldom found without a rosary in her hand, which she prayed with reverence.
After suffering a stroke at her home, she lost the ability to speak and eat and was confined to a wheelchair then a bed for most of the year and four months she spent at Westover Hills Rehabilitation Center, where she finally succumbed to her long illness and died in her sleep.
She is free from pain now, finding her independence once again as she continues to pray for us in peaceful reunion with her loving husband, parents and two sisters, Clara Koch and Regina Boullt, who preceded her in death.
She is survived by two sisters, Adele Robinson of Houston and Eulalia Harris of New Orleans; five children, Paul Bernhard and his wife, Barbara, of Boerne; Annette Nevins and her husband, John, of Plano; Louise Raab and her husband, Ronnie, of San Antonio; Thomas Bernhard and his wife, Theresa, of Round Rock; and Don Bernhard and his wife, Tracy, of San Antonio. She has 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Services

Visitation will be from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by readings and a recitation of the rosary from 7 to 8:30 Thursday, July 7 at Brookehill Funeral Home, 711 S.E. Military Drive in San Antonio. Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, July 8, at Mission San Jose Parish at 701 E. Pyron Ave. followed by a procession to the cemetery at 17501 Nacogdoches Road in San Antonio.
23 Jun

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

DkruppaWas Jesus homeless? What does Pope Francis name as Jesus’ house? In their total giving, the Pope mentions that both God the Father and Jesus step outside themselves. How does “coming out of ourselves” relate to “loving our neighbor” from the Second Reading? Anne Osdieck offers these questions for our reflection this weekend.

Jesus lived the daily realities of most ordinary people… He cried in front of the suffering of Martha and Mary on the death of their brother Lazarus; he called a tax collector to be his disciple and also suffered the betrayal of a friend. In Christ, God has given us the assurance that he is with us, in our midst. “Foxes,” Jesus said, “have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head” (Mt 8:20). Jesus did not have a home because his house is the people—that is, us; his mission is to open all God’s doors, to be the loving presence of God… He gives himself totally.

What does this mean for us? … following Jesus means learning how to come out of ourselves—to reach out to others… to go to the outskirts of existence…

Remember well: stepping outside of ourselves, like Jesus, like God has stepped outside of himself in Jesus and Jesus stepped outside of himself for all of us.

Pope Francis, “Step Outside Yourself and Bring Faith to Others,”
General Audience 3/ 27/2013

24 Jun

Want to Become Catholic? Need Sacraments? Join RCIA

Photo Mar 26, 10 23 33 PMEnrollment for our RCIA program has started. If you or someone you know is an adult (17+ years) who seeks baptism in the Catholic Church, or needs to complete sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation, please contact Sr. Rose Kruppa in the parish office.

What About Older Children?

Do you have a child 7 or older who would like to be baptized into the Catholic Church? We offer Catechumenate for Children programs to meet the needs of these age groups. For information on Catechumenate for Children, please contact Larry Perry in the office or at lperry@sfasat.org.

20 Jun

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Chad David Simmons

Simmons_ChadMarch 13, 1982 – June 15, 2016
Chad David Simmons, 34 of San Antonio, Texas went to be with the Lord on June 15, 2016. He was born March 13, 1982 in Reno, Nevada to David and Sally Simmons. Chad was surrounded by family and friends that he had touched throughout his memorable life. His one-of-a-kind, unique laugh along with his quick wit will remain in our hearts forever.
He attended Holy Spirit Catholic School; a 2000 graduate of Winston Churchill High School; and a 2004 graduate of The University of Tampa with a Bachelor’s Degree. His professional career began as Marketing Director with Open Sided MRI.

Chad was born with a passion for swimming. He began competing at age 5, excelled throughout high school and gained a swim scholarship to Tampa. His accomplishments included: District & Regional Qualifier, Swimmer of the Year, All American, Athlete of the Year San Antonio Express News, Churchill High School State Championship 2000.

He is survived by his parents, younger brothers Clay Simmons and Cody Simmons, paternal Aunt Dawn Gwin of Santa Fe. Maternal relatives of Cheshire, England and the United Kingdom: Grandmother Judith Swindells, Grandfather Harry Tomlinson (Margaret); Uncle David Tomlinson (Deborah), Uncle Martin Swindells (Clare), Uncle Ian Swindells, Uncle Paul Tomlinson (Anne), Uncle Nicholas Swindells (Melanie) and numerous cousins; as well as many cherished friends.

He is proceeded in death by paternal Grandparents Edwin and Janette Ryan, A.L. Simmons Jr., and maternal Grandfather Anthony Swindells.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the medical professionals at Methodist Metropolitan Hospital, who provided gracious loving care and support to Chad, his family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the Simmons Family appreciates donations made in memoriam of Chad Simmons to TracysDogs, Attn: Tracy Voss 11765 West Avenue, #141 San Antonio, Texas 78216.

Services

Services will be held Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 4201 De Zavala Rd. San Antonio, Texas 78249.

Reception will follow.

Published in Express-News on June 19, 2016

16 Jun

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

DkruppaCan you imagine sitting on a bench just like this with Jesus asking you, “Who do you say that I am?”  Have you recently told someone about your relationship with Jesus? This whole week, 141 Sisters of Divine Providence have been focused on our commitment of “furthering the mission of Jesus” wherever we are, whatever it is that we are doing in ministry. As we remember the mission that our founders began in Texas 150 years ago, we ask ourselves, “To what ‘new territories’ are we being called?”

Many of you have reflected on your reading of Matthew Kelly’s book, Rediscovering Jesus. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we know that every day Jesus is revealed to us, even rediscovered, if we pay attention to the calls that come to us in daily living our vocational call.  Happy Father’s Day, guys!  May God bless you with new insights about your role not only in providing, but also in loving your children into being the best they can be. And may the communion of saints in heaven, which includes many of our dads, today provide cherished memories and remembrances of wisdom and love shared bounteously.

10 Jun

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

DkruppaThe ultimate measure is love! And where there is generous love, mercy flows lavishly!

The un-named woman with the alabaster jar! The party crasher!  That’s how we see her.  We are filled with images of tears that wash the feet of Jesus,  her hair being used as a drying cloth and the kissing of Jesus’ feet.   Perhaps we can smell the expensive perfume poured on Jesus’ head.  What did Jesus do when this woman audaciously enters and begins her ritual of love and gratitude?  While others name her a sinner and shame her, Jesus reclines and accepts her as she is, without speaking.  Pope Francis shares this reflection:

The sinful woman teaches us the link between faith, love and gratitude. Her “many sins” were forgiven her and therefore she loves much, “but he who is forgiven little, loves little” (v. 47). Even Simon has to admit that the one who has been forgiven more, loves more. God has enclosed everyone in the mystery of mercy; and from this love, which always goes before us, all of us learn to love. As St. Paul reminds us: “In Christ, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he has lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:7-8). In this text, the word “grace” is practically synonymous with mercy, and is called “lavish,” that is, beyond our expectations, for it carries out God’s saving plan for each of us. Dear brothers and sisters, let us be grateful for the gift of faith. Let us thank the Lord for so great and unmerited a love. Let us allow Christ’s love to be poured out into us: the disciple draws from and is grounded in this love; and on this love everyone can be nourished and fed. In this way, in the grateful love that we, in turn, pour out on our brothers and sisters, in our home, on our family, and in society, we communicate the Lord’s mercy to everyone.

Read more of the Pope’s reflection here.

3 Jun

The 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Compassion Brings New Life

Dkruppa

Paying attention to what is going on in life can move us to compassion. Elijah and Jesus both paid attention to two widows whose only sons had died. What are you paying attention to that awakens compassion in you? And how does God visit other people through you?

By paying attention to God and to the other, we feel with the other, and God responds to us and through our words and deeds. Pay attention to what is going on around you, in your family life, in the community and in the world touches us and moves us. If Elijah or Jesus were here today to move us to compassion, who are the hurting people, who are the hurting communities that they would direct us to?

How would they ask us to restore those who are suffering to NEW life? Pope Francis names them for us all the time: the imprisoned, Syrian refugees, the poor, homeless persons and countless others.

If we turn to God in prayer like Paul, if we listen to our prayers of intercession on Sunday, we will know what groups need our attention. And through our attentive compassionate response, the Lord will visit his people again!

27 May

The Holy Body and Blood of Christ

“Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.

DkruppaWhy are meals, eaten in the company of others so important to us? There’s so much more that happens when food, conversation and care are shared. Most of the time we linger and long for the time when we can do this again. Meals seal our loves and our lives. We become that which we receive—family, friendship, companionship. We are bound together in new ways. Eucharist is like that too! It seals us to one another. It promises a future. It provides food for the journey of life, of faith, of conversion.

As you think about your lifetime, in what ways has sharing in the Eucharist made you that which you receive?

To what or to whom has Eucharist made you more committed, more covenanted?

18 May

In Our Sympathy and Prayers: Paula Gleason

Paula GleasonWe offer our sympathy and prayers to C.J. and Donna Fremin on the passing of Donna’s sister, Paula Gleason. Eternal rest grant unto her Oh Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.

To view Paula’s full obituary, please click here.