St. Francis of Assisi is a church community of people from all over the world. Whether we come from other countries or other parts of the United States, many of us are in New York far from family and friends. Often we face the reality of grieving for lost loved ones from afar.
On Friday, November 2nd
at a special 7:00 PM Mass
we will remember our dead at a special Mass of Remembrance for all those who carry the burden of grief and loss.
If you have a family member or loved one who died since November 2, 2017 and you wish to have their names announced at this Mass please stop by the reception desk in the lobby of the Parish House and fill out the All Souls Day Remembrance form and return it by Monday, October 29.
We invite everyone who attends to bring a photo or memento of someone you have recently lost which will be placed in the sanctuary during the Mass.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Saturday, November 3, at 5 PM
in the Clare Room here at St. Francis.
A lawyer will be present to talk about issues involved when making a will and will answer any questions from those participating.
This is an important topic and many people neglect doing this.
All are invited and…it is FREE!
Fr. Zachary Kunz, the first pastor of St. Francis of Assisi, was succeeded by an equally energetic missionary friar, Fr. Alexander Martin of the Province of Saint Leopold in Tyrol, Austria. At the time of his ordination, he had desired to be sent to America as a missionary, but his superiors sent him to the Holy Land as a German-speaking confessor. Eventually he received permission to go to Cincinnati as a missionary to work among the German immigrants. He arrived in Cincinnati in 1846, but due to a conflict between his superior and the local bishop, Fr. Alexander went to serve as pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Boston for two years. In a letter to his provincial minister, Fr. Alexander explained that he left Boston for New York because of the problems inflicted upon him by the Freemasons of Boston.
Fr. Alexander heard about the parish left vacant by Fr. Zachary’s death and that church authorities were considering entrust- ing the parish to the Franciscans. Fr. Alexander thought it was ideal for a Franciscan mission church, and that if it were given over to the friars, he would contact his superiors about the details of the transaction In his letter, he added, “If the transaction does not come to pass, which is possible because of the fickle and peculiar mentality of this country, I have another offer from a bishop in the northwestern missions.”
Fr. Alexander was assigned as pastor of Saint Francis Church and he served the people for ten years. It is evident that he had a great deal of trouble with his Tyrolian superiors but none of his contemporaries ever doubted his dedication to the people and his work ethic. During a fierce epidemic of cholera, Fr. Alexander worked night and day caring for the sick, and it almost cost him his life. On one occasion, Father James R. Bayley, later Archbishop of Baltimore, called on him and found him collapsed with exhaustion because of his work among the cholera victims.
In 1853 Fr. Alexander enlarged and renovated the church and built a small rectory next door. Archbishop Hughes rededicated the renovated St. Francis Church in the spring of 1853, and preached the sermon. His final words were truly prophetic:
“Let this day be the commencement of a long period in which religion will prosper in this church – in which piety will be extended – in which the old and the young will al blend together harmoniously their voices of gratitude and their voices of prayer towards God who has favored their undertaking and this day crowned with success.”
This is the third in a series of articles on the history of our parish which will be published throughout our 175th anniversary year. They are adapted from the writings of Fr. Flavian Walsh, O.F.M., Pastor from 1985-87.
Who lives in Holy Name Province?
There are 325 Franciscan Friars in Holy Name Province serving the people of God in a wide variety of settings – colleges, parishes, urban ministry centers and diverse social ministries along the East Coast. Today we continue the mission of Saint Francis to make the Gospel message come alive in our contemporary world. We live in cities, suburbs and rural areas. Our backgrounds are diverse and our ministries are varied; most of us serve in pastoral roles, while others work in education, social ministry, administration and manual trades.
What is the mission of the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province?
The core of the Franciscan charism is in the living out of the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the Church according to the rule of life proposed and observed by Saint Francis of Assisi to preach this message to every creature. This is our purpose and mission.
Our message is very simple: God loves each of us totally and unconditionally.
What makes the Franciscan Friars different?
The Franciscan Friars have always been thought of as “of
the people and with the people”. Living in community is a core value and often helps the Friars to put things in a more “down to earth” perspective. The Friars never see themselves as better than anyone, and therefore they are not usually judgmental and are very accepting of everyone, those who are in the faith community and those who are not.
All Are Welcome is the core of Franciscan hospitality.
I [Pope Francis] like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the church militant.
Very often it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbor, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence. We might call them ‘the middle class of holiness.”
Let us be spurred on by the signs of holiness that the Lord shows us through the humblest members of (God’s) people… Holiness is the most attractive face of the church. But even out- side the Catholic Church, and in very different contexts, the Holy Spirit raises up “signs of his presence that help Christ’s followers.”
Every Jewish person would know the answer to the question that the scribes asked Jesus in today’s Gospel from St. Mark. They had reminders of the importance of the commandments every day; they prayed it every day; they taught it to their children every day. It was so important to them that repeating it reinforced its importance. We too know how important is love of God, love of neighbor and love of self. This is a lifelong task, but a loving one because God is good and we are all created in God’s image and likeness.
It takes us a while to understand God and it takes even longer to understand ourselves and our relationships with our neighbors. We want to have a strong love for God. It is not that easy when it comes to human beings, but the challenge is there. One fact that is important and helpful to us is that we cannot love every person the same – we are closer to some people than to others and it is easier to love some individuals than others. As we struggle to fulfill this commandment, Jesus says, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
This Monday, November 5, I will be departing on our annual pilgrimage with 44 people. We will fly to London and then on to Warsaw, Poland. We will also visit Czestochowa, Wadowice, Krakow, and Auschwitz. We then travel to Budapest, Hungary and then Vienna, and finally Prague. I will particularly enjoy Austria and the Czech Republic where my mother’s parents came from. This will be my first time in Poland. Please pray for a safe pilgrim- age for us!
Tuesday, November 6: Don’t forget to vote! I already cast my absentee ballot. It is a privilege and a duty for each us.
– Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.