“…Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but not the soul.”Throughout this Gospel for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the phrase “do not be afraid” is repeated several times. Jesus affirms our worth and value in this Gospel, but he is also aware of the dangers that exist. While some are dangers to our bodies, Jesus emphasizes that those which can destroy the soul are more dangerous. This is God’s world and God has given us freedom, but many times this freedom has been abused and evil exists. As Christians, even though we have “put on Christ”, we must be aware of those things that can “kill that spirit” that has been given to us.
Last Sunday, we had hospitality after six Masses. During the summer months, our monthly hospitality becomes “Sundae Sunday” with ice cream sundaes and all the toppings. The ice cream is provided by generous donations from a number of our parishioners. More people who come to Sundae Sundays than any other time that we have hospitality. I want to thank our generous benefactors for this treat and I also want to thank all the volun- teers who work each time we have hospitality.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
Seven Franciscan Friars will celebrate their Jubilees of Profession of Vows this week on Thursday, June 22, at 5:30 PM. Fr. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M., our Franciscan Provincial Minister, will lead the friars in the renewal of their vows. All are welcome to participate in the Mass.
Several Jubilarians have served at
the Church of St. Francis of Assisi:
Fr. Russell Becker, O.F.M.,
Fr. Eric Carpine, O.F.M.,
and Brother Anthony LoGalbo, O.F.M.
The other Jubilarians are:
Br. John Capozzi, O.F.M.,
Fr. William McConville, O.F.M.,
Fr. Robert Menard, O.F.M.,
and Fr. Jacques LaPointe, O.F.M.
“The individualism of our postmodern and globalized era favors a lifestyle which weakens the development and stability of personal relationships and distorts family bonds. Pastoral activity needs to bring out more clearly the fact that our relationship with the Father demands and encourages a communion which heals, promotes and reinforces interpersonal bonds. In our world, especially in some countries, different forms of war and conflict are re-emerging, yet we Christians remain steadfast in our intention to respect others, to heal wounds, to build bridges, to strengthen relationships and to ‘bear one another’s burdens.’ Today too, various associations for the deference of rights and the pursuit of noble goals are being founded. This is a sign of the desire of many people to contribute to social and cultural progress.”
A Blessed and Happy Father’s Day!
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ: Corpus Christi. Our celebration brings back memories of Holy Thursday when we participated in the Lord’s Supper, the Washing of the Feet and the Procession to the Altar of Repose. What we celebrate each Sunday is the highlight of our week – the most important event of the week. Think for a moment: how many years have you been receiving Jesus, the Bread of Life. I’m sure some of those memories are of times when you were at a happy event – First Communion, a wedding, a graduation, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter. At other times you may have received Jesus at a sad occasion – a funeral, with someone who was ill, after a divorce, during your own illness. Jesus is there for us at various moments and events in our lives as well as each Sunday. He is “food for the journey.” Whether it is a smooth, direct journey or a bumpy, frustrating journey – he is there for us. Take time today to thank Jesus for being our faithful companion.
Special thanks to all those who worked so hard to make the Feast of St. Anthony a success: to our sta , our volunteers, and to all who came. It was a hot New York day, but it didn’t keep anyone away. Our love for St. Anthony is certainly obvious ; he is a great friend to so many people.
Later this week on Thursday, we will be celebrating the Silver and Golden Jubilees of a number of our Friars who have lived the vowed Franciscan life for 25 and 50 years. Congratulations and our prayerful wishes go to our Brothers!
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
“The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children.
Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensable contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. As the French bishops have taught, it is not born ‘of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of love.’”
This is just a friendly reminder that we are all called to pitch in to support the mission of the Church. Our protestant brothers and sisters generally follow the biblical rule to give 10% of our income to the church. Many Catholic churches ask 5%. Here at St. Francis we know that living in New York is expensive and that 10% or even 5% might be very difficult. So we ask our members and visitors to contribute the equivalent of ONE HOUR of work each week to support St. Francis. This comes to 2.5 % of our weekly income.
Have you committed to your ONE HOUR yet?
We need to be talking about this for two reasons:
1) Our support for the mission of the church is part of being a faithful Christian
2) The reality is that our collections are falling far short of what it costs to keep St. Francis of Assisi running. In fact, many people still only give $1.00 at Mass… which is not sacrificial giving and does little to help us pay our bills.
If you want to make a one-time donation to support all that we do at St. Francis you can do so here.
or you can now text your donation to the church!
Just text our text giving number: 917-983-3911.
Simply put the amount of your donation in body of the text.
Note: the first time you use the text system you will have to fill out some information, but after that you’re in!
It is with sadnes that we say farewell to Fr. Xavier Seubert who will be moving to Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, NY. If you attended any of Fr. Xavier’s Masses or classes, you know that he is a teacher, rst and foremost.
We thank him for all that he has done for the parish and the Friars – he was the Director of Adult Education well as the Guardian of the Friar community.
Our prayers and best wishes go with him.
We celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity at Mass this weekend. This is essentially a celebration of God’s presence and how we understand this reality. It is not always easy to talk about who God is for us, but when we look at experiences that we have had – the beauty of nature and art and music, the friendships that we have, the miracle of birth, the promise of eternal life – these help us understand the greatness of God and how God wants to be with us. We all know that we have messed up our world, but this is why Jesus came – to save us. And to God, we are worth saving.
Although we don’t have a starting date, over the summer months we will be working to improve the operation of the church elevator. Unfortunately, the elevator will be out of service during that time; however, we will let you know the starting date. The elevator is over 20 years old and breaks down frequently. It is time to have it upgraded. A reputable elevator company has been chosen to do the work. We already have over $20,000 given for the work that will cost $115,000. We’d appreciate your help with this expense.
Please join us on Tuesday to celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua – a great friend to so many people. St. Anthony Bread, Oil and Candles will be available throughout the day. The Friars from Padua, Italy will be bringing relics from the Basilica of St. Anthony that will be available for veneration throughout the day.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection and we celebrate the Holy Spirit who dwells in the hearts of all believers. It is also celebrated as the birthday of the Church.
We rejoice greatly that God has chosen to dwell among us and within us. It is His Holy Spirit that enlivens us and inspires us to follow Jesus and to fulfill our role as members of the Body of Christ.
Recently at a Confirmation Mass in New Jersey, the auxiliary bishop of Bergen county said this during the homily:
“The devil has a one word job description: divide.
The Holy Spirit also has a one word job description: unite!”
How right the bishop is! May we all be filled with the Holy Spirit and may the Spirit strengthen us to be people that unite, so that nothing can devide God’s children – neither race, nor language, nor creed, nor economic status, nor gender, nor sexual orientation. As Christ himself prayed at the last supper: may we all be one. Just as we hear in the second reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians from the Mass on Pentecost:
Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
Have a blessed Pentecost!
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