Our Christmas poinsettias need a new home. The plants are still beautiful and thriving. If you would like to take a plant home, they have been placed in our 32nd street entrance. Please feel free to drop in and take a plant or two.
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At Mass we remember people, living or deceased, in a special way when a someone offers a Mass intention for their loved one. The Mass intentions are now published online so you can see when your loved one will be remembered at Mass.
If you would like a loved one remembered with a Mass intention, please visit the front desk or call 212-736-8500 ext. 0
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Francis of Assisi Church,
May the Lord give you peace.
In light of the events of January 6th, I ask your prayers for the healing of our nation. The wrongful actions at our nation’s capital are reflective of the divisions we experience. We are overwhelmed by the pain and struggle that fear has engendered.
I ask your prayers for our nation. Perhaps, we could simply reflect on the judgment scene in Matthew 25 and praying the peace prayer. Perhaps, we could reflect on how we each participate in the divisiveness. What do our words, silence, and actions say about the compassion which marks us as disciples?
I give thanks for your good judgment and your commitment to the life of the Gospel. We pray for everyone involved in today’s activity. May the peace of Christ prevail, and may we discern how best we can be the “light of the world.”
Again, please take some time for prayer. This particular event may be over, but the wound will not quickly be healed.
The friars and staff are praying with you.
Peace and all good,
Fr. Tom, ofm
When you enter St. Francis this Sunday, or watch Mass on livestream, you’ll see that we will still have our Christmas trees up. Some people wonder, why are the Christmas decorations still up on January 10th?
Most of us know the song the 12 days of Christmas, with its list of strange Christmas gifts (who needs eight maids-a-milking???). The traditional 12 days of Christmas counted the days from Christmas to the Epiphany, which is traditionally celebrated on January 6th, even though in some countries, like the US, it is now celebrated on a Sunday. These 12 days were the days of the Christmas season when the mystery of the incarnation was reflected upon and celebrated by the Church.
Today the Christmas season has been expanded. It now extends from the evening of December 24th until the Sunday after the Epiphany. The Sunday after Epiphany is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This is why our Christmas decorations are still up and we are still celebrating Christmas on January 10th.
So what unifies the Christmas season? The liturgy during this season celebrates everything from the birth of Christ, to the visit of the Magi, to the presentation of the Lord in the temple 40 days after His birth. But it also celebrates the Baptism of Jesus when he was 30 years old. How do all of these episodes of Jesus life fit together?
While December 25th definitely celebrates the birth of Jesus, the Christmas season really celebrates the identity of Jesus. It celebrates who He is. Jesus is the incarnate Son of God. He is Emmanuel, God with us, in the flesh. All of the Christmas feasts point to this reality. The angels announced him as Lord, and Christ and shepherd at his birth. The Magi recognize this and offer him gifts honoring him as King, and God and sacrifice. Simeon and Anna recognize and proclaim who Jesus is at his Presentation in the Temple; and at His baptism, the voice of the Father reveals that Jesus is the Son of God. That is why this event from Jesus’ adult life is celebrated in the Christmas season.
Christmas is a season of revelation and epiphany. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on the great event of the incarnation of God in history. The many days of Christmas allow us to immerse ourselves in the great love God has for all of us. One day is no where near enough time to take in the reality of what Christ’s birth means. Maybe a lifetime is not enough time to take in just how much God loves us.
So Merry Christmas, again, yes, in January.
Director of Evangelization
We are still building a team of volunteers to help us with our livestream of the daily 12 noon and 5 PM masses and our Sunday 11:00am and 5 PM masses. In addition we have special celebrations throughout the year, like Christmas, Holy Week, Easter and other Masses, which we want to make available to everyone via livestream.
We are also available to livestream your wedding or a funeral.
We are looking for volunteers who want to help with our media ministry team. It is not difficult and we will train you if you are interested. You only need to have an average comfort with computers and a basic understanding of the order of the Mass. We will train you on how to livestream even if you never have before.
This is a great way to serve the Church and meet others who are interested in this ministry.
Please consider joining our team.
Christmas welcome from St. Francis of Assisi Church, New York
Blessed Christmas, everyone. During this holy Christmas season, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus. Thank you for joining us. At this blessed time and every day, St. Francis of Assisi Church welcomes the Christ who comes among us in you.
Come all ye faithful, joining us with family and friends come all who are alone. Come you have recently lost someone close to you. Come you who are with someone special. No matter where your life journey has led you, come to this celebration. Come… Christ is here, and you are welcome.
Come you who are treasured parishioners. Come most welcome guest. Come, you for whom it has been some time since you have entered a church. Come you who are of another faith tradition. Come you who are you seeking a faith tradition. Come… Christ is here, and you are welcome.
Come, all ye faithful, Single, Married, Divorced, or Widowed. Come you who are Gay or Straight. Young and old, rich or poor come, do not delay. Come… Christ is here, and you are welcome.
Come you who have experienced abuse or violence or natural disaster. Come all who have been hurt in the past and feel unable to move on. Come you who are struggling in life, financially, emotionally, or spiritually. Come you who have been away. Come you who have been living in darkness, be light with us. All are welcome to come in Christ. Come with shepherds, magi, angels, saints, and sinners. Together we walk in the joyful hope of our God’s welcome! Come… Christ is here, and you are welcome.
2020 has been a difficult journey for many of us. Yet, we are truly blessed and humbled to be sharing in this joyous moment together. We celebrate the birth of Christ, the Son of God, who was born long ago in Bethlehem and is still among us today. Let us, in the silence of our hearts, wish our family and friends those near or far away, the living and the deceased, a Blessed Christmas. (allow for some silence)
In a manger, in a town far away, among shepherds, and in the dark of night, Jesus was born. Our salvation dawned. We celebrate this great feast of God’s love: a love so great that God sent his Son to dwell among us. Let us again hear the song of the angels. Come… let us adore him together.
During the final weeks of Advent, we have listened to John the Baptist. Like some of those hearing him for the first time, perhaps we found ourselves asking a genuine listener’s question: “What must we do to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord?” On a personal level, we may find a way to pour oil on the troubled waters of a tense and fractured relationship; to ask pardon from someone hurt by a broken promise; to soften the hardheartedness that makes it so difficult for us to offer or receive forgiveness after a quarrel. Perhaps there are injustices on a larger scale, at home or further afield, on which we should take some action. Would now be a good time to take a stand for what is right? We live in an age of increasing ecological awareness, and we recognize that our planet has suffered serious damage, caused by human exploitation of the good things of Creation. Do we need to extend our concern for the oppressed and the vulnerable and include the Earth itself? In addition, what of the pandemic? Do we realize our obligation to stay safe by following protocols recommended by the CDC and the NIH? We are not alone during this crisis. These are thoughts for listening to the Word of the Lord through the prophetic voice of John the Baptist.
by David McBriar, O.F.M.
For Christmas this year, we have added doves to our Christmas trees in the sanctuary. Each dove is a symbol of our prayer, our hope, and our remembering.
Some doves bear the names of people who are suffering from this pandemic: Those who have died from the virus, those struggling with the virus right now, and those who are out of work due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
Other doves bear the names of the humble heroes who continue to put themselves in harms way to make sure the rest of us are OK during this difficult time: medical personnel, first responders and essential workers.
Here are the names submitted by members of our community to be remembered:
George W Hunkele
Teresa E Frees
Nurses of The Cleveland Clinic
Diane Deverau Long
Cherie La Pelusa
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