On this First Sunday of Lent we are presented with the temptations of Jesus in the desert. We all know that Jesus wasn’t the only person to be tempted; we face temptations every day of our lives. They come at different times and in different forms. Many times they may appear to be “short cuts” and we can achieve a goal by taking some steps that might not be exactly moral or ethical, but they get us where we want to go. Other times temptations present an untruth as a real option. Or, we may look better if we act this way rather than another way. When we sit and consider seriously the consequences of giving in to a temptation, we know that in the long run, it affects our conscience and our way of handling ourselves and being responsible to ourselves… and to God!
So, what are you doing to make Lent a growth filled time in your life? Are you giving up something or are you taking on something this Lent? Remember, begin now; don’t wait until tomorrow or next week…or never.
Congratulations to our catechumens who are now “The Elect” after being enrolled in the Book of the Elect at the Cathedral of St. Patrick before Cardinal Dolan today. Please keep them in your prayers as they move through Lent in preparation for their baptism, confirmation and reception of holy communion at the Easter Vigil.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
Below is a table comparing January 2019 collections to our current January 2020 collections.
As you can see our collections have gone down and we are 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%
Brochures are available with descriptions of the courses being offered in the St. Francis Adult Education Spring 2020 semester.
On Wednesdays from February 12 to April 15, Joseph Nuzzi will present “Deuteronomy and the Conquest of the Land.” Noon-time and early evening sessions of this course will be available.
Fr. Brian Jordan, O.F.M. will offer a one-day presentation on “The Perils of Pornography” on Friday, April 24, 2020.
“Reading Ezekiel” will be taught by Fr. William Beaudin, O.F.M. on Wednesdays, from February 27 to March 19.
These courses, along with several others, plus several one-day workshops will be presented during the coming months.
COURSES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION.
As St. Paul proclaimed, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason, I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.”
St. Paul’s own conversion is a powerful reminder of how God’s grace can transform even the hardest hearts. Prayer and working toward conversion must be our first response in the face of evil actions… Therefore, we must never limit our understanding of God’s power to bring about the conversion of even those whose hearts appear completely frozen by the sin of racism. Our communities must never cease to invite and encourage them in love to abandon these sinful thoughts and destructive ways.
(to be continued)
In today’s Gospel we hear: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” In fact, when you look at all the readings for Mass, you will notice the same theme of how we should deal with our “neighbor.” The Gospel speaks about ways to deal with various situations and some of the ways of dealing with those who harm us go against our normal response of paying back or getting even. These may be challenges to any of us who try to live as Christians, but Jesus doesn’t want us to be like him as difficult aa it may be. After all, there is enough hatred in the world, why add more through our negative behavior?
Today, you will an encouraging message about everyone doing his/her share to support our mission here at St. Francis Church. Online Giving has had a great impact on our Sunday collections and it is an easy way to do your share. Many have joined in the One Hour way – giving what one earns in one hour at work. At times when I am taking up the collection, I notice that people are going through their pockets trying to find something for the collection; often it is a dollar or change or nothing. A conscientious decision on how much to support the church is important rather than hunting through one’s pockets whenever there is a collection. This is so important to the life and vitality and mission of our church and any church. Our collections have not been meeting the budget, as can be seen in January’s financial report for 2019 and 2020 (see the follow page). We bring this to your attention now, so that the trend can change and we can move into a better financial situation. Your participation is greatly appreciated.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
Of course, racism will not end overnight. Still, we pledge these actions and hope that more actions will follow. We ask [all] to fight the evil of racism by educating themselves, reflecting on personal thoughts and actions, listening to those who have been affected by racism, and by developing and supporting programs that help repair the damages caused by racial dis- crimination. We need to educate ourselves and our people about the great cultural diversity within the church…So many of our parishes are richly diverse, composed of people from various cultures and ethnic groups, such that they can be a model for the whole church and for the country.
The roots of racism have extended deeply into the soil of our society. Racism can only end if we contend with the policies and institutional barriers that perpetuate and preserve the inequality – economic and social – that we still see all around us. With renewed vigor, we call on the members of the Body of Christ to join others in advocating and promoting policies at all levels that will combat racism and its effects in our civic and social institutions.
(to be continued)
This is the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We hear about the commandments in the readings today and it is important for us to observe them. Day to day choices are so im- portant in our lives, and these choices either keep us on the right path or send us into confusion and darkness. Jesus sets before us several of the commandments and shows that each one is broader than just its wording. He adds the phrase: “But I say to you…” This illustrates the down-to-earth practicality of the commandment. Jesus is a good teacher and the examples he uses bring his teach- ing to a level that his followers can understand it easily.
Many of you have received a letter from the Cardinal’s Stewardship Appeal asking for your support. Those who gave to Renew and Rebuild are excused from this Appeal. The funds from the Cardinal’s Stewardship Appeal support some important causes in the Archdiocese of New York: aid to struggling and poor churches, aid to Catholic education, funds for seminarians and retired priests, assistance to Catholic Charities, and funds for support services of- fered to parishes. Our parish’s goal is $109,000. Our parish number is 068 which should be noted when making a pledge or giving a donation.
Here is where we stand as of this week:
St. Francis of Assisi Church Goal: $109,000
Donations/Pledges as of February 7: $4,800 Number of Gifts: 9
Average Gift: $533.33
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
This week the Archdiocese of New York will take up the Peter’s Pence Collection, which provides
the Holy Father with the funds he needs to carry out his most important charitable works. The proceeds benefit the most disadvantaged: victims of war, oppression, and natural disasters.
However, we will not take a second collection, but we ask that you be more generous in the ONE collection this weekend, a portion of which will be allocated for Peter’s Pence.
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