The coronavirus is not keeping our Elect and Candidates for Confirmation from preparing to receive the sacraments this year. The RCIA ministry is still going strong. To do our part for the common good we too are staying home.
Our RCIA community is physically apart but we are virtually together, and more importantly, together in spirit. Our candidates continue to meet at our regular time on Tuesday evenings with Joseph Nuzzi, our Director of Evangelization, and with the RCIA Ministry team. We follow the same format we would in class, with prayer, lecture, small group discussions and large group discussion.
On Sunday we continue to meet online for the Breaking Open of the Word where we study and discuss the Sunday scripture readings together. The ministry team and the candidates are committed to continuing their formation and preparation to celebrate the sacraments at Easter.
Please continue to pray for those preparing for Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist.
The Archdiocese of New York and other dioceses throughout the United States have implemented precautions in response to the spread of the Coronavirus, urging that we should prepare for its spread in communities across the country. These are the guidelines that are given by archdioceses and dioceses:
- Washing our hands thoroughly, not coughing near one another and not touching our mouth, nose or eyes without first washing them are the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease.
- We will not be offering the Blood of Christ from the cup until further notice.
- Parishioners are strongly encouraged to receive Communion in the hand to prevent saliva from possibly touching the minister’s fingers and being passed onto the next person. This happens very frequently.
- The sign of peace will be given by waving, bowing, a nod of the head. We recommend no physical touching.
- Those who have symptoms such as coughing, a runny nose or feeling unwell are asked to stay home from Mass. Missing Mass when you are sick is not a sin; coming to Mass when you are sick is a sin. You may be spreading your illness to others.
- Please sanitize your hands before coming to Mass. All priests and Eucharistic ministers already wash their hands before Mass.
We will observe these precautions during until further notice. We offer prayers for those have come down with this virus, for health care personnel, and for those working to find an antivirus.
Below is a table comparing February 2019 collections to our current February 2020 collections.
Our collections are up from last year, which is great, but as you can we are still not making our budget.
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 want to thank everyone who supports the Church of St. Francis throughout the year. Our income comes only from our members and visitors who financially support our community. Click here to read some FAQ’s about our finances.
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. This comes to a tithe of 2.5%
The flowers and plants that will decorate our church at Easter are a sign of our joy in the Resurrection of Christ and our hope in the resurrection of those who have gone before us.
We invite you to remember deceased members of your family and friends with a donation for our Easter decorations.
Please fill out this form and return it with your offering to the reception desk.
The names of those received by Friday, April 3 will be included in the Easter bulletin of April 12.
Please print clearly.
In Memory of: _______________________________________
Email (phone no. if no email) _______________________________________
Donation: ___$20 ___$50 ___$100. Other:_______
The following is from the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis following the recent synod on the Amazon. These are the Holy Father’s Four Dreams for the Amazon region.
• I dream of an Amazon region that fights for the rights of the poor, the original peoples and the least of our brothers and sisters, where their voices can be heard and their dignity advanced.
• I dream of an Amazon region that can preserve its distinctive cultural riches, where the beauty of our humanity shines forth in so many varied ways.
• I dream of an Amazon region that can jealously preserve its overwhelming natural beauty and the superabundant life teeming in its rivers and forests.
• I dream of Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the Amazon region, and giving the church new faces with Amazonian features.
On this Third Sunday of Lent we hear about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan. It is odd that he would meet this woman at the well at noon because the typical time to draw water was in the morning. Jesus acts in his usual manner by engaging the woman in conversation. She is shocked that he is talking to her– a woman, a Samaritan, and in public. Jesus discovers much about her and her broken life. The conversation seems to heal her and she ends up going back to town telling the people that she may have found “the Christ.” Jesus certainly shows us the way to deal with others – non-judgmental and accepting.
We have begun certain measures to protect ourselves from the spread of the coronavirus. While they may disturb our usual pattern of life in church, they are necessary. There is no holy water in the fonts. No handshake at the sign of peace. The Precious Blood is not given. Some are disturbed by taking Communion in the hand. This was the way that Christians received Communion for centuries. When Communion is given on the tongue, frequently it is difficult to put the Host on a person’s tongue and the minister ends up with saliva on the fingers which then is given to the next person when they receive Communion. We are called to protect ourselves and others. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
Almost 30 years ago, John Paul II reminded us just what is at stake. Each person “is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and the inestimable value of human life.”
We are all called to that great life, to the communion of heaven where “a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people and tongue [stand] before the throne and before the Lamb.” That Lamb, showed us that the very life of God is love, and love requires something of each of us. We pray that the reader will join us in striving for the end of racism in all its forms, that we may walk together humbly with God and with all of our brothers and sisters in a renewed unity.
For there is no place for racism in the hearts of any person; it is the perversion of the Lord’s will for men and women, all of whom were made in God’s image and likeness.
(to be continued)
The scene described in today’s Gospel is amazing. Not only is Jesus transfigured before Peter, James and John, but Moses and Elijah appear alongside Jesus. It is no wonder that they want to stay on the mountain. Ordinary, daily life is not that captivating, but sometimes you need moments such as these to carry you through days that might be challenging. The problem is that we don’t have that mountain and will probably never have an experience such as the one described; however, when we slow down and when we focus on God’s presence in our world, we may have something similar. Meditation and contemplation are two ways that any Christian can have a deeper experience of God. This may not be easy, but Lent presents the opportunity for us to be “transfigured.”
In response to the Coronavirus, please see the advice posted online and in the bulletin for steps we are taking at St. Francis of Assisi to help prevent the spread of this virus. We are concerned by what we hear and read, so we need to take some steps locally. We will try these practices for the time being and then evaluate the need to continue them. We ask for your cooperation in observing them. If you are sick, stay home – it is not a sin. Coming to Mass and spreading your illness is a sin. We don’t know what is going to happen here in the United States, but we must be cautious.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
Recent News & Events
- April 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- December 2019
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- August 2019
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017