Chapter 3: In the Light of the Master
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus himself warns us that the path he proposes goes against the flow, even making us challenge society by the way we live and, as a result, becoming a nuisance. He reminds us how many people have been and still are, persecuted simply because they struggle for justice, because they take seriously their commitment to God and to others. Unless we wish to sink into an obscure mediocrity, let us not long for an easy life, for “whoever would save his life will lose it.”
In living the Gospel, we cannot expect everything will be easy, for the thirst for power and worldly interests often stands in our way. In such a society, politics, mass communication and economic, cultural and even religious institutions become so entangled as to become an obstacle to authentic human and so- cial development. As a result, the beatitudes are not easy to live out; any attempt to do so will be viewed negatively, regarded with suspicion and met with ridicule. Whatever weariness and pain we may experience in living the commandment of love
and following the way of justice, the cross remains the source of growth and sanctification.
Although neither the weather nor the calendar indicate that Spring is in the air, Spring 2019 Adult Education courses begin this week at the St. Francis Adult Education Center.
You will find brochures at the entrances of the church that describe the 18 different programs the Center will offer between February and April. Course and registration information is also available online here. Online registration is now open.
Please note that ‘Saints, Mystics and Martyrs: 20th Century Carmelite Women,’ a course offered by Mary Gennuso, Ph.D. and listed in the brochure as a three-hour class beginning at 1:00 PM,
is actually a six-hour class beginning at 9:00 AM on March 22.
Jesus deals with blindness in the Gospels. He deals with physical blindness and he is able to cure it. In today’s Gospel, he confronts spiritual or moral blindness, and this proves to be more difficult to deal with. This blindness comes from the heart. He uses examples from things that the people of his time would see daily: fig trees, thornbushes, brambles, grapes. They know that good fruit comes from a healthy source. He is urging conversion to those in his audience, but unfortunately, many do not “see” the need to make a change. This is some of the rejection that Jesus experiences as he moves around. One sentence in the Gospel says much: “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good…” This is what Jesus urges people to grow into over time.
This weekend we announce the 2019 Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal. Many of you have already received a letter from Cardinal Dolan with information about the Appeal and how the money that is raised will be used. The $20 million goal for the Archdiocese will direct half of this to churches that are poor and cannot afford major repairs. Buildings are old and many churches in the Archdiocese are located in poor neighborhoods. Those Pastors have to turn to the Archdiocese when their roofs need replacing, boilers break, windows leak, plumbing breaks down. Their weekly collections don’t cover these costly repairs. The funds also support administrative and pastoral programs, Catholic schools, and retirement facilities for diocesan priests.
While 230 individuals or families gave to Renew and Rebuild, with a parish of over 2,000 members, now is the time for those who did not give to Renew and Rebuild to help reach our $113,500 goal set by the Archdiocese. Envelopes are available at the doors of the church for your donation.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
Winter Session 40 Hour Immigration Course
- Based on the Immigrant Legal Resource Center curriculum using
the 21st edition of A Guide for Immigration Advocates
- For those who work or volunteer for nonprofit organizations and for lawyers desiring to practice immigration law
- Non-lawyer participants who successfully complete the course
will receive ILRC certificates
- 42 CLE credits (including 4 ethics credits) for New York attorneys
approved by the New York Continuing Legal Education Board
- Scholarship and tuition discounts are available especially for
staff and volunteers of nonprofit organizations
- Tuition assistance based on financial hardship is available for licensed attorneys
14 Tuesdays from February 26 to June 25, 2019, 6:00-9:00 PM
Place: San Damiano Hall, 129 West 31st Street
Tuition: $750.00 (includes the 2-volume 21st edition of A Guide for Immigration Advocates which normally costs $350)
For more information and to register, contact The Migrant Center at St. Francis of Assisi (212-736-8500, Ext. 305) or email Rhodora Ratera at email@example.com.
Join us for THEOLOGY ON TAP:
Seeking the Truth in the Age of #FakeNews
When: Thurs, Feb 21, 6:00 PM gathering, 6:45 PM talk
Where: O’Reilly’s Pub
54 W 31st St (off 6th Avenue)
Speaker: Fr. Kevin J. Mullen, O.F.M, Provincial Minister
How do we navigate this age of #FakeNews? What is our responsibility to seek the truth? Do we have a moral obligation to truthfulness? What challenges do we currently face in our society with honesty in the public sphere?
Join the Young Adult Ministry at St. Francis of Assisi for a lively discussion.
Fr. Kevin Mullen, Provincial Minister of Holy Name Province be speaking on the topic. Fr. Kevin holds a PdD in Moral Theology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. There will be time for discussion and questions.
Join us for a informative lecture on a timely issue and meet other interested young adults. There is time to enjoy food and drinks with friends during the talk.
*This is a Young Adult Ministry Event. It is open to all NYC young adults in their 20′s and 30′s!
Below is a table comparing December 2017 collections to our current December 2018 collections.
We are grateful that our collections are up from last year, but as you can see we still are not reaching our budgeted goal.
We need everyone to do their part to keep St. Francis on firm financial ground. The best way to use this is to make your offering using our online giving system.
We ask all of our members and visitors to offer the equivalent of ONE HOUR of their weekly salary per week to support the mission of the church.
Thank you to all of you who are already doing your part.
Chapter 3: In the Light of the Master
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
This beatitude makes us think of the many endless situations of war in our world. Yet we ourselves are often a cause of conflict or at least misunderstanding. For example, I may hear something about someone and I go off and repeat it. I may even embellish it the second time around and keep spreading it… The world of gossip…does not bring peace. Such people are really enemies of peace…
Peacemakers truly “make” peace; they build peace and friendship in society… The word of God exhorts every believer to work for peace… And if there are times in our community when we question what ought to be done, “let us pursue what makes for peace.”
It is not easy to “make” this evangelical peace… It is hard work: it calls for great openness of mind and heart…it must “face conflict head-on, resolve it and make it a link in the chain of a new process.”We need to be artisans of peace, for building peace is a craft that demands serenity, creativity, sensitivity and skill. Sowing peace all around us: That is holiness.[/tatsu_text][/tatsu_column][/tatsu_row][/tatsu_section]
Yes, Lent will soon be here. It is later than last year when Ash Wednesday was on Valentine’s Day. The book, God for Us, is a collection of writings by various contemporary spiritual authors arranged for each day of Lent. One of the writers says that “Lent…is not about becoming lost in feelings of brokenness, but about cleansing the palate so that we can taste life more fully. Lent and Easter reveal the God who is for us in all of life – forour liberation, for our healing, for our wholeness.”
The book begins with an Introduc- tion by the noted writer Ronald Rolheiser, a section on feasts and fasts of Lent, and an opening chapter on Shrove Tuesday. For each day of Lent, there is a commentary on the Scriptures and a prayer to fit the readings. This is a beautifully assembled source for anyone who wants to understand the season better and for inspiration for each day.
God for Us is available in the lobby of the Parish House.
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