The response to the rst reading today is: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.” This ts in well with today’s Gospel about forgiveness and dealing with difficult situations. Forgiveness is not easy and from hearing confessions, I can tell you that many people confess this frequently. Many times were are victims of someone’s thoughtless behavior or someone’s loose tongue. You can’t take back what slips out of your mouth and this tends to hurt. If you have been a victim of this or something similar, it is not easy to move on. The hurt possesses you. It is at this time that you need to try to listen to the Lord’s voice. Forgiving does not mean the other person was correct or what they did or said was okay, forgiveness helps us move on; otherwise, we are letting the other person continue to possess us – our thoughts, our dreams, our conversation. All of this takes time and happens slowly, but it is worth listening to His voice.
Get ready for the Ministry Fair next Sunday! Make it a point to stop over at San Damiano Hall after the 11:00, 12:30, 5:00 or 6:15 Masses and see the various displays of the ministries here at St. Francis. Information will be given out at the various booths and you might nd a way to get more involved here at St. Francis. Refreshments will be served and it is a good way to meet people that you might see here at St. Francis, but don’t know their names. Mark the date on your calendar!
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M
Let us ask the Lord to help us understand the law of love. How good it is to have this law! How much good it does us to love one another, in spite of everything. Yes, in spite of everything! Saint Paul’s exhortation is directed to each of us: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” And again: “Let us not grow weary in doing what is right.”
We all have our likes and dislikes, and perhaps at this very moment we are angry with someone. At least let us say to the Lord: “Lord, I am angry with this person, with that person, I pray to you for him and for her.” To pray for a person with whom I am irritated is a beautiful step forward in love, and an act of evangelization. Let us do it today! Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the ideal of fraternal love.
Did you know that the Adult Education Center is one of the largest ministry provided by the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The Center hosts a number of courses in adult faith formation and cultural interests. These courses are open to all adults and are taught by Franciscan friars, clergy, religious and laity.
The goal of the Adult Education center is to deepen one’s understanding of faith through the study of Scripture, church history, theology, literature, the arts and Franciscan spiritual themes.
If you haven’t taken advantage of the great, inexpensive opportunities to learn more about our faith, then think about it this fall. Pick up a brochure in the main lobby of the St. Francis House and check out the large list of courses offered this fall. You can also see and sign up for all of the courses being offered online by clicking HERE.
Fall courses all begin after the Feast of St. Francis on October 4th.
Why give online?
- Most of us don’t carry cash anymore
- Most of us are not going to fill little envelopes each week and carry them to Mass
- We pay the rest of our bills online already
- Most importantly: The Church relies on our regular financial support to meet our budget.
The Church of St. Francis of Assisi, like all parishes, must rely on the financial contributions of the people who come here to Mass to make our annual budget which is just over three million dollars each year. That’s how much it costs to provide all of the ministries – liturgical ministries, pastoral care ministries, education and catechetical ministries, outreach to those in need, etc. as well as maintaining the Church building, office building and education center.
And while we ask our members to tithe, as all Christians are called to do, we are not asking for 10% but we ask our members to contribute 2.5% or ONE HOUR of our weekly salary. Our financial support of the Church should not be an after-thought but a part of our monthly expenses as a disciple of Christ and faithful member of the Church.
Putting a dollar in the basket as it goes by is not, for the vast majority of us, fulfilling our responsibility to support the community.
So… if you haven’t done so yet… please, sign up for online giving and bring your financial support of your church into the 21st century. You can do so right now, but clicking on the logo below
We need to learn to help others to realize that the only way is to learn.. to encounter others with the right attitude, which is to accept and esteem them as companions along the way… Better yet, it means learning to find Jesus in the faces of others, in their voices, in their pleas…There indeed we find true healing, since the way to relate to others which truly heals instead of debilitating us, is a mystical fraternity, a contemplative fraternity. It is a fraternal love capable of seeing the sacred grandeur of our neighbor, of finding God in every human being, of tolerating the nuisances of life in common by clinging to the love of God, of opening the heart to divine love and seeking the happiness of others just as their heavenly Father does. Here and now, especially where we are a ‘little flock’, the Lord’s disciples are called to live as a community which is the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are called to bear witness to a constantly new way of living together in fidelity to the Gospel. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of community.
In today’s Gospel Jesus asks: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” There are a number of responses until Simon Peter says: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This is a positive moment in Peter’s encounter with Jesus. There are other times when he is not so positive and affirming. Rather than be critical of Peter, we have to admit that sometimes we fluctuate in our living out of our faith commitment; sometimes we are strong and at other times we may vary. The challenges of our lives are what influence the strength of our commitment, but no matter what they may be, we still are committed to the Lord. What would we do without our faith!
Next weekend we welcome members of the Blessed Sacrament Father and Brothers who will be here as part of the Archdiocese’s Missionary Cooperative Plan. The second collection at all Masses will be taken for the support of their ministries.
Finally, I want to share with you the statement from the U.S. Franciscan Friars on the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia:
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
As followers of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of peace, we, the Franciscans Friars of the United States join with the many public and religious leaders and fellow-citizens who have condemned the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA.
We hold that all forms of racism, white supremacy, neo-nazism, xenophobia and hatred are wrong.
Because we believe that every person is created by God in love, we also hold that disrespect or diminishment of—or violence against–anyone offends not only that person but also the One who created that person.
As Franciscans, we strive to be bridge-builders. To avoid future instances of the tragic violence that tore not only the community of Charlottesville but also the fabric of our nation, we call for a renewed commitment to respectful dialogue by all, whereby our opinions and differences can be shared in constructive and illuminating ways that lead to the possibility of growth and conversion for all. Such dialogue might lead us beyond the overt displays of violence and intolerance into an understanding of the subtler and even unconscious forms of discrimination and intolerance that may still inhabit our hearts as well as our society.
We commit ourselves to the responsibility of respect for and dialogue with all who seem “other” than ourselves. And we pray that all the citizens of our nation will join in striving to attain respect and peace in our communities.
(The following statement was posted on the Church of St. Francis of Assisi’s FaceBook page on Saturday, August 12, 2017:)
As the news and images of horrible events that are unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia continue to come to light, our hearts are troubled and weighed down with sadness. First and foremost the friars and staff at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi condemn any act of violence especially the cowardly and senseless attack with the car that took one person’s life and injured many more.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim, the victim’s family and friends, and with all of those who are injured.
But we are also horrified by the naked display of outright racism by the participants in the so-called “unite the right” rally. We condemn in the strongest terms this evil and sinful attitude that professes that one person or group of people is better than any other because of their race.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church rightfully condemns racism and racist attitudes in the strongest terms:
“The equality of human beings rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: ‘Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.” (CCC 1935)
Racism is a sin that must be eradicated. This begins with examining our own hearts and minds to search ourselves for any racist attitudes, it then moves outwards to our families, and friends where we must have the courage and love to confront this sin, and then it moves outward in ever growing circles to our community and our society where we must work for peace and justice based on the equal dignity of all of God’s children.
Every human being is created in the image and likeness of God. Any attitude, philosophy, or ideology that seeks to deny this fundamental truth is antithetical to the Gospel and the Christian faith.
We pray for the victims tonight, but we also pray for our nation and for all people of good will, that we will all work for justice and for peace for the good of all.
The Christian ideal will always be a summons to overcome suspicion, habitual mistrust, fear of losing our privacy, all the defensive attitudes which today’s world imposes on us. Many try to escape from others and take comfort in their privacy or in a small circle of close friends, renouncing the social aspect of the Gospel.
For just as some people want a purely spiritual Christ, without esh and without the cross, they also want their interpersonal relationships provided by sophisticated equipment, by screens and systems which can be turned on and o on command. Meanwhile, the Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self- giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness.
It’s amazing the number of people that approached Jesus during his time on earth. Today’s Gospel tells of a Canaanite woman who keeps following Jesus, pleading that he do something to help her daughter: “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David. My daughter is tormented by a demon.” Even though he tells her that his mission is to the lost sheep of the Israel, it doesn’t stop her. In today’s second reading, Paul speaks to the Gentiles as the apostle to the Gentiles. Thus, we see that the mission of Jesus is for all people. Many had been excluded up to this point; many did not think they were worthy to approach Jesus. The truth that Jesus shows so clearly is that God’s love and concern is offered to all people – not just one group. No one is excluded if they are willing to open their heart to what is offered.
Next Saturday, two of our Friars will make their solemn profession of vows here at St. Francis at 11 AM. Br. Ramon Razon, who is here at St. Francis, and Br. Casey Cole have completed their years in formation and now vow to live the Franciscan way of life for the rest of their lives. Congratulations to Ramon and Casey and thank you!
I would like to welcome Fr. David McBriar to St. Francis Church. Fr. David has been ministering at St. Francis Chapel in Loudonville, NY recently, but previously he has been Pastor of St. Francis Church in Raleigh, NC and Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, NC. He comes with much pastoral experience and we are happy to have him here at St. Francis.
Recent News & Events
- July 2020
- June 2020
- May 2020
- 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