The friars and staff place the utmost importance on keeping our members, visitors, volunteers and staff as safe as possible as we continue to navigate this terrible pandemic. We continue to have safety measures in place to maintain social distancing and other safety practices including requiring masks and having hand sanitizer available at the entrances to the church.
Mass attendance in person
In July 2020, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi resumed welcoming people to attend Mass in person again.
All of our Masses are open for people to attend in person without a reservation. We require everyone who enters to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth, communion is only given in the hand with the communicant keeping their mask up until they step a few feet to the side to consume the Eucharist. And we continue to ask people to participate in the prayers but not in singing.
Currently we limit in person Mass attendance to 140 to be able to preserve social distancing.
Masses are also available on Livestream for people who are not yet comfortable attending in person, and for the homebound and our members who are far away.
In July 2020 the Church of St. Francis of Assisi also resumed making available the sacrament of Reconciliation. Masks are required in the confessional. Confessions are heard in the confessionals in the lower church.
Church open for private prayer and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is open for private prayer Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, when Mass is not being held. The Church is also open Saturday 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Sunday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is also available in the lower church Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
St. Francis Bookstore and Hospitality Desk
The Hospitality desk and St. Francis Bookstore in the Francis House is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM and Sunday from 8 to 12 noon. Books, religious articles, Mass cards and other items are available in our store.
The Adult Education Center
The St. Francis Adult Education Center is closed during the pandemic. This has also allowed us to undertake a major renovation of the building which needed of some attention. At this time we are not hosting self-help groups due to the pandemic and our adult education classes have been held on zoom.
We expect to begin to offer in person attendance of adult education courses, for people who can prove that they have been vaccinated, this summer. Courses will also be offered on zoom.
We hope to begin to welcome back self help groups by the end of the summer at the latest.
Volunteers and Liturgical Ministers
We are still limiting the number of lectors, servers and eucharistic ministers who serve during the liturgy, however we hope to open this up further when the risk levels in New York City go down further. For more specific information about limits on liturgical ministers please contact Edward Trochimczuk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers in other ministries should contact their staff liaison for information about your specific ministry.
We are here for you
Even during the darkest days of this Coronavirus pandemic, when our church and our city was in lockdown, the friars and staff continued to reach out to our members and visitors on livestream and zoom with prayer, scripture sharing groups, liturgies and retreats. We will continue to offer these opportunities even as we open up more and more in the weeks and months to come.
If you have any questions about attending in person, our safety procedures, or what we offer remotely, please contact our Director of Evangelization, Joseph Nuzzi at email@example.com
Earth Day 2020 was overshadowed by the Coronavirus pandemic, but it was the 50th anniversary of the first Earth day which was established on April 22, 1970. Now, we are beginning the second half-century of celebrating Earth Day.
Earth Day is a secular celebration and call to action that we, as Catholic Christians in the Franciscan tradition resonate with strongly. Our faith reminds us that “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it” (Psalms 24) and that God has given human beings a particular responsibility to care for creation (Laudato Si’,. 49, 91).
Our faith calls us not only to support initiatives to support the care of the environment but in fact to take the lead as people who believe in the Creator and who respect God’s creation.
A brief history of Earth Day:
Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and other activists in the 60’s who worried about environmental degradation. Back then, cars ran on leaded gasoline, and had notoriously low gas mileage. Water pollution was rampant; in November 1969, an oil slick in the Cuyahoga river in Cleveland caught fire and burned several nearby boats and buildings, as well as the ship repair yard. By the mid 60’s, only 487 pairs of nesting bald eagles remained in this country, their populations decimated by habitat loss, shooting, and DDT poisoning.
Senator Nelson, with Congressman Pete McCloskey, decided to host nation-wide college teach-ins on April 22, 1970, to raise awareness about the threat of industrial development to people and planet. Their effort caught on, and diverse environmental groups joined forces for the defense of the earth. The country held huge rallies and demonstrations on the first Earth Day; about 20% of the US population at that time took part. That first glorious Earth Day led to a series of groundbreaking legislative victories. By the end of 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency had been created and the Clean Air Act passed. Soon after, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and other important environmental legislation became law.
Earth Day became a global movement in 1990, and reached 193 countries by 2010. It now includes a focus on climate change and clean energy, supported by the global organization EARTHDAY.ORG. More than a billion people take part each year, making it the largest secular celebration on earth.
How you can get involved outside of St. Francis
This year, the global pandemic limits large rallies and demonstrations, but we are connecting via the Internet and social media, as well as smaller outdoor events. EARTHDAY.ORG will feature three days of online activities from April 20-22, centered around the theme of “Restore the Earth,” and exploring topics like regenerative agriculture, reforestation and environmental justice. Learn more at earthday.org/earth-day-2021. Use toolkits from EARTHDAY.ORG to expand your knowledge of environmental issues like climate literacy, biodiversity loss, environmental justice, and agriculture and deforestation at earthday.org/teach-in- toolkit.
Local opportunities can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/d/ny–new-york/earth-day-events/
Continue to celebrate Earth Day throughout the year with these sustainable practices. Take the foodprint quiz at foodprint.org to see how your food habits impact the environment, people, and animals. Learn about alternate energy suppliers, and make the switch from conventional fossil fuel to wind or solar. Next time you trade in your car, look at hybrid or electric vehicles. Plant a native tree; native trees capture carbon, provide shade, and create habitat for birds and other wildlife. Donate to the environmental organization of your choice. Get informed about environmental issues and advocate for them at the local and national level.
Earth Day shows people can bring about change in the face of huge problems. Our planet is our one and only common home, our life-giving spaceship in the vastness of the universe. Earth Day reminds us that we must take care of Earth’s air, water, and diverse plants and animals as if our lives depended on it; in truth, our welfare is deeply intertwined with the welfare of the planet.
The Easter Season is a 50 day celebration of the Lord’s resurrection and the beautiful flowers in the sanctuary raise our minds and our spirits during this joyous season. They also remind us of the beauty and fragility of creation which is ours to care for.
We thank Fr. Michael Reyes, OFM, for offering his talent and hard work create the environment in our church this year.
We also thank all of you who donated towards the flowers and made this possible. We continue to remember and pray for all of those in whose memory these donations were made:
They have been donated in memory of:
James Edward Ahearn
Jun C. Ancheta
Geronima C. Ancheta
Claude & Rene August
Bernadette Jean Augustin
Jerome Abellard Augustin
Raymond & Marie Therese Lake Barrau
Helen & Philip Castellano
Marie & Bill Cipriani
Danilo, Amelia & Anthony Diaz
Bertha & Charles Degnan
Thomas & Theresa Dolan
Members of the Dorcillione
Frank & Lina Eisel
Rob & Kay Gillooly
Thomas Patrick Gillooly
J. Lloyd Grant
John & Eleanor Guay
Brother Emmanuel Guay OFM
Edward & Cecelia Harlan
John & Elizabeth Huston
Jane R. & Charles Janiak
Members of Kiss family
Prospera F. Lake
Members of Lake family
Rica A. Licuanan
Charles & Lorraine Mamarella
Michael & Assunta Mamarella
Eida Ortiz My Mommy
Steve & Janet Oryzysyn
Father George P. Reilly OFM
Derek May & Karla Paola Richmond
Eugenio L. Rios
Elizabeth H. & Richard G. Segers
Jessie Q. Sotto
Jane Clare Speckin
John & Faith Staub
Jim & Marie Tierney
Neil & Mary Helen Torpey
Davis & Keogh & Towe Familes
Regina & Edward Trochimczuk
And for healing prayers for:
The Paschal Candle and Easter flowers
have been donated for the special intentions of
Despite the pandemic and despite lockdowns and difficulties, six men and women heard God’s call and dedicated themselves to a year of learning the Catholic faith and being formed in our catholic life.
In the dark of Holy Saturday night, in the glow of our new Easter fire and beneath the flame of the Paschal candle they received the Sacraments and they took their place in the Body of Christ.
The Church is stronger because of their faith and witness.
We continue to congratulate: William and Jason who were baptized, Mary Lou who was received into Full Communion in the Catholic Church, and Erin, Kathleen and Xavier who received Confirmation.
Congratulations also to our RCIA Ministry team members who are extremely dedicated to welcoming and accompanying our candidates. They give generously of their time throughout the year to bring new people into the Church.
A special thank you also goes out to them: Carlos Arguelles, Janice Deyoung, Keith Kemp, Monika Mitchell, Maria Sirico, Mary Tarud, and Jenn Wiler.
The flowers and plants that 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. This helps offset the cost of our Easter decor.
You can make your donation online using the form below.
You can also mail a donation to:
Church of St. Francis of Assisi
Attn: Easter Flower Donation
135 W. 31st Street
New York, NY 10001
Or you can make a donation in person at the front desk.
The names of those received by Tuesday, March 30 will be posted on the Church website for Easter.
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Francis of Assisi Church,
May the Lord give you peace.
St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City is greatly blessed by our LGBTQ members. Your gifts are a great blessing that helps to form and nurture the Body of Christ. I am deeply saddened by the recent statement by the Vatican. We are wounded by this statement and feel a new depth of rejection. In view of it all, I call to mind that we are the Church. We, all together, in all of the richness of our diversity are the Body of Christ. Everyone is needed, everyone is essential. The body is incomplete without each person’s gift.
As I reflect on my few months here and my many years of ministry, I know that the LGBTQ community brings the Church several remarkable gifts. What immediately comes to mind is resilience. Despite years of struggle and pain, we together continue to live the Gospel, to break the bread of the Eucharist, and to care for the poor. This resilience is a great strength and a prophetic proclamation.
There is strength in the continued affirmation of the power of the Spirit to be life-giving. The strength is seen in the companioning of those who were dying during the AIDS pandemic, the care for LGBTQ youth, and the ministries of healing, teaching, the arts, and service. Within our community we have ministers who are lectors, musicians, servers, teachers, and ministers of the Eucharist. There is a witness to prophetic life in “coming out”- being the person God has created us to be. With Paul, we can say, “by the grace of God-I am what I am … his grace is not in vain.”
It is this prophetic proclamation that understands Paul’s words, “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” There is no statement, no prohibition, no theological construct that transcends the love of God. We are all radically loved by God.
It is of this same love that the Letter of John notes, “where there is love, there is God, for God is love.” I have seen the love of LGBTQ couples who heal one another, nurture children, and endure the failure of love from those unable to see the manifest ways of God’s presence in diversity.
We remember Jesus’ parting words to his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, have faith in God and faith in me…. I am the way, truth, and life.” We put our trust in him and pray that the all will one day realize the depth and wonder of the diversity of God’s gifts in the lives of all God’s daughters and sons.
Ultimately, we are all blessed by God, and we know loving unions reflect the presence of God. We cannot limit God. God is free and has called us to share in that freedom.
We, St. Francis of Assisi Church, again affirm the incredible gifts of the LGBTQ members of our community and the larger Church. We are blessed in the graces of resilience, prophetic proclamation, love, and God’s presence.
Blessings and Peace,
Thomas M. Gallagher, ofm
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