175th Anniversary Gala Cocktail Party
September 20, 2019, 7:00 PM, San Damiano Hall
Enjoy time with friars, other parishioners and friends of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi with food, music, cocktails and dancing as we celebrate this momentous moment in the life of our beloved church.
Click here to purchase your ticket today. Tickets are limited.
All young adults in their 20’s and 30’s are welcome to join us for our annual Young Adult Retreat at the Mt. Alvernia Franciscan Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls, NY.
The retreat is from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon:
September 27-29, 2019
Join us for prayer, reflection, inspiration and sharing. This retreat is a great way to enter the fall season reconnecting with God and with other young adults in our community.
Click here for images from our 2018 retreat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1578791245561598&type=3
Space is limited.
Registration deadline: Monday, September 23, 2019
Cost includes retreat house cost, retreat materials, meals, Saturday evening social. Transportation not included. Transportation details will be provided.
Cost: $200.00 per person.
Are you interested in exploring Catholicism for yourself? Do you know someone who might be interested in finding out more about our faith? Were you baptized in another Christian church and are thinking about joining the Catholic Church? Are you Catholic but never received Confirmation or First Communion?
Our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) meets every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. We began this series on September 10, 2019, but it’s not too late to join.
These classes are designed for people who may or may not be sure that they want to join the Catholic church. We present a comprehensive overview of Catholic faith and traditions designed for adults. Anyone inquiring into the Catholic faith may attend these sessions with no obligations. The RCIA is free for anyone exploring Catholicism.
If you would like to find out more about our Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, please contact: Joseph Nuzzi, Director of Evangelization; 212-736-8500, Ext. 365 or email@example.com.
This Fall treat yourself to a St. Francis of Assisi Adult Education class or day of reflection. Topics range from faith and theology, spirituality, the Franciscan tradition, literature and the arts. Courses range from one day, to semester long series. These are reasonably priced and taught by talented instructors very knowledgeable in their field.
You will find brochures at the entrances of the church that describe the many different programs the Center will offer between October and December.
Course and registration information is also available online here.
Online registration is now open.
Our 175th Anniversary year will culminate this fall with the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4th. Please join us as we close our 175th Anniversary!
175th Anniversary Gala Cocktail Party
September 20, 2019, 7:00 PM
Enjoy time with friars, other parishioners and friends of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi with food, music and cocktails as we celebrate this momentous moment in the life of our beloved church.
Purchase your tickets online HERE, or at the Reception Desk in the Francis House.
175th Anniversary Commemorative Book Release
Capturing our history and vibrant spirit, Church of Saint Francis of Assisi: Welcome, Worship & Witness in the Heart of New York offers readers a colorful keepsake to commemorate our parish’s 175th anniversary.
This handsome limited edition book includes chapters on our history (“Humble Beginnings and a Hopeful Future”), parish life (“We Are St. Francis!”), and the liturgical year (“Times and Seasons”).
Our 175th Anniversary Commemorative Book will be released during the Gala on September 20. Anyone in attendance who contributed a memorial or donation will be able to pick up their complimentary book at the event. Books will also be available for purchase at $20.00 .
These commemorative books will also be available for sale at the reception desk in the Parish House after September 20th.
Or you may purchase your book online and have it shipped to you for $25.00.
Click HERE to order your book today.
175th Anniversary Raffle
$1,000 First Prize * $500 Second Prize * $250 Third Prize
Tickets are $5.00 each or 5 for $20.00 on sale at the reception desk in the lobby of St. Francis House. The drawing will be held at the Gala on September 20. You do not have to be present to win.
Blessing of Animals
Sunday, September 29, at 2:00 PM
Please gather with your pet in front of the church on W. 31st St.
Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi
October 3, 2019, 7:00 PM
Each year on the eve of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Franciscans around the world commemorate the passing of this beloved saint at a special prayer service called the Transitus. If you have never attended this moving commemoration of St. Francis’ final moments please consider joining us during our 175th anniversary celebrations.
175th Anniversary Festive Mass
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4, 2019, 5:30 PM
Our year will come to a close the best way we know how, with a festive celebration of the Eucharist on the feast of our Patron Saint.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, will be joining us and presiding at the Mass. He will be joined by Fr. Kevin Mullen, OFM, Provincial Minister of Holy Name Province, as well as our Pastor, Fr. Andrew Reitz, OFM, our friars in ministry at St. Francis and visiting friars from the Province.
Everyone is welcome to join us as we thank God for 175 years of ministry, grace and love in this sacred place.
Fr. Capistran Petrie moved to Buffalo, NY where he served as pastor of St. Patrick’s Church, and later served as the Commissary Provincial of the Commissariat of St. John Capistran, headquartered in Roebling, NJ. Fr. Lucian Gallagher, former Commissary Provincial of the Third Order Franciscans, was named guardian and pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Friary and Church during the Provincial Chapter of 1943. Immediately he formulated a program for the celebration of the centenary of the church which would be observed in 1944.
Plans for the installation of a new main altar, new terrazzo floors, and a new confessional chapel were realized. The loft building adjoining the friary to the east, which was purchased in 1937, and partially converted to rooms for friars, was further renovated under Fr. Lucian’s direction. The parlor facilities were enlarged to include the ground floor of the former loft building, a new lobby was constructed at the entrance of the friary, a priests’ chapel and confessional were built, and the friary buildings were renovated as well.
During the month of October, 1944, St. Francis of Assisi celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding with a solemnity and color rarely seen in any American church. Fr. Lucian planned and executed a series of Masses which brought some of the most notable preachers in America to the little church on 31st Street.
In preparation for the Feast of St. Francis and the centenary, a solemn novena was conducted from September 26 to October 4. The centennial celebrations proper took place from October 4 to 8. On each evening of the novena, a distinguished guest preacher delivered the sermon. Fr. James M. Gillis, C.S.P., editor of The Catholic World, was the speaker on the opening day of the novena. His topic was “The Age of Saint Francis of Assisi.”
On September 27, Fr. Apollinaris Baumgartner, O.F.M., Cap., pastor of neighboring St. John the Baptist Church, spoke on the theme, “Everybody’s Saint Francis.” The next day, Fr. Albert H. Dolan, O.Carm., founder and director of the League of the Little Flower, and writer of several books on St. Therese, preached on the subject, “St. Francis, Lover of Nature and the God of Nature.” Fr. Cosmas Shaughnessy, C.P., Director of laymen’s retreats at the Passionist Monastery in Jamaica, NY, delivered a sermon on “St. Francis’ Love for the Crucified” on September 29. “ The Love of St. Francis for the Poor and Suffering” was the subject of a talk on September 30 by Fr. Edward M. Betowski, professor of homiletics at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, NY.
The sermons continued with “The Three Orders of St. Francis” by Msgr. James H. Griffiths, and “St. Francis, a Reformer of Society,” by Dom Gregory Borgstedt, O.S.B. from Portsmouth, RI. At the Solemn Transitus on October 3, Msgr. Joseph F. Flannelly, administrator of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, preached on “The Death of St. Francis.” Fr. George Rudrof, O.M.C., of Seaside Park, NJ, preached the concluding novena sermon on “The Franciscan Message to the World.”
A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring in a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor. Our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
Pope Francis: “The Joy of the Gospel: God’s word teaches that our brothers and sisters are the prolongation of the incarnation for each of us. ‘As you did for one of these my brethren, you did to me.’ The way we treat others has a transcendent dimension. ‘The measure you give will be the measure you get.’ It corresponds to the mercy which God has shown us. ‘Be merciful just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge and you will not be judged, do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you… For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.’ What these passages make clear is the absolute priority of ‘going forth from ourselves toward our brothers and sisters’ as one of the two great commandments which ground every moral norm and as the clearest sign for discerning spiritual growth in response to God’s completely free gift.”
Many people in the time of Jesus were surprised that he would give his attention and time to various individuals whom he met along the way. In today’s Gospel we hear the statement: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”We are all sinners and yet Jesus chooses to welcome us and eat with us frequently. To those critics who say that the church is too open and welcoming to certain individuals, we must remember that Jesus “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” And we must remember what Pope Francis once said: “Who am I to judge?” Today, Jesus speaks about the lost sheep, the prodigal son, and other situations where someone or something is lost and then found. When we enter into situations with the type of heart that Jesus shows us, we bring a great gift to others and to our world.
On September 17 we celebrate the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi. He loved to withdraw to an isolated cave or mountain after he had been preaching and caring for people. This is what gave him the ability to be the loving and approachable person that he was. Those who wrote about him would speak about him as being an “alter Christus”, another Christ and at times “il santo”, the saint. In 1214 while he was praying at Mount La Verna, a Seraph appeared in the sky and marked St. Francis with the marks of the crucified Christ. When you visit Assisi, you can travel to La Verna and visit the shrine dedicated to this event in St. Francis’ life.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
P.S. A Memorial Mass for 9/11 Workers will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 17 at 4:30 PM in the Upper Church.
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