The St. Francis Bereavement Ministry offers an opportunity for the bereaved to connect with others who grieve, and to seek a path of healing as they come to terms with their loss.
A Bereavement Support Group will meet on six Tuesdays from
Tuesday, October 27th to December 15
from 6 to 7:30 pm in the lower church
Social distancing measures in effect: Please wear a mask
Please call Fr. Brian Smail, O.F.M. at 212-736-8500, Ext. 204 to inquire.
Interested persons should be at least three months into the grieving process. Pre-registration is required.
Supporting You When Your Employment Status Changes
We here at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi recognize that many people have encountered significant changes in their job status, and that those changes may be temporary or perhaps permanent.
To accompany them during this time, SFA is hosting online (Zoom) Unemployed Together small groups, which are support groups led by two co-facilitators over a period of six (6) weeks. For parishioners who have faced significant changes to their work status, these groups can provide the opportunity to gather in small groups of 6-8, and process these changes and feelings of uncertainty in a safe, comfortable, and faith-filled environment.
Our small groups will begin in the fall of 2020. Our facilitators are Meredith Augustin, who holds a MS degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Edward Trochimczuk, who has done extensive work in Human Resources. As a framework for our sessions, we’ll be using the Unemployed Together workbook, published by The Pastoral Center. An initial Orientation session will last for about 1 hour. Each of the subsequent six sessions will last 1.5 hours, and group members are asked to commit to attending all sessions. All are welcome.
If you are interested in joining this small group opportunity, please register here online:
“Racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and it corrupts the souls of those who harbor racist or prejudicial thoughts.”
– United States Council of Catholic Bishops
Join parishioners from Franciscan parishes in Boston, New York, and New Jersey in a six-week long Zoom conference to educate ourselves and discuss ways to recognize our privilege, confront racism, and enact change in our society as faithful Catholics in the world.
This program is open to anyone 18 years and up.
This is a free event.
Pre-registration is required.
The group meets on
Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m.
from Oct. 15 to Nov. 19.
Please email Maria Hayes at email@example.com to join this free program.
Are we preparing people for Baptism and Confirmation during the Coronavirus pandemic?
Yes we are and it’s not too late to join.
The pandemic has caused so many problems in our nation and around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have died. Many more are mourning the loss of their loved ones. People are out of work. Kids and young adults are out of school. People are distanced from people they love. Life is not easy right now.
The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic is part of our life’s journey whether we like it or not.
But God is not taking the pandemic off.
God is not quarantining far away
God is not keeping socially distant from us.
God is always with us, even in a pandemic, and God might even use this difficult time to call us to something new.
How do we prepare adults for Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion?
God calls people all the time, even in a pandemic. When God calls people to the Church, it is the Church’s responsibility to welcome them and prepare them to be disciples of Jesus. The main way we do this, is through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. You will often see this referred to simply as the “RCIA.”
Why do people ask about our RCIA program?
People give all different reasons for exploring Catholicism. Some people come to the Church because they fall in love with someone Catholic and they are interested in exploring their partner’s faith. Some people come from a nominally Catholic family but were raised by their parents to have no religious affiliation and they are looking to reconnect with a lost family tradition. Some people move to the US from a country where religious practices are surpressed and they want to learn about spirituality. People give all kinds of reasons for expressing interest.
But why do people decide to convert to Catholicism?
This is a different question than why people call or email about a program. People actually decide to convert because they feel closer to God in the Church. That is it. That is why they join and why they stay.
What is it that makes them feel closer to God here? The anwer to that is probably the same given 2000 years ago in the Acts of the Apostles:
They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.
(Acts 2: 42)
They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles – in other words to the Gospel. They learned about Jesus and Jesus’ teachings directly from the people who knew him, who listened to him and who ate with him, the people who were there when Jesus died. They heard the witness of the people who first experienced Jesus’ resurrection. They felt close to God in the message.
They devoted themselves to the communal life – in other words they joined the community of people who gather to live out Jesus’ commandment to love one another. Community is an integral part of the Catholic experience of spirituality. During this pandemic we were all given a painful reminder of how important community is to all of us when we were been forced to socially distance ourselves to stop the spread of the virus. Ancient Christians felt closer to God in the community.
To the breaking of bread – this is an ancient reference to the ritual celebrations of the church (what we call the “sacraments”) and specifically to the Eucharist. In other words, they felt closer to God in the Church’s rituals.
…and to the prayers. So many people who ask about the RCIA express that they do not know how to talk to God. In other words, they don’t know how to pray. That is OK. It’s part of what we teach. Ancient Christians felt closer to God in their personal prayer life and in the communal prayers of the Church.
These reasons reaons for becoming Catholic, which were given by the first generation of Christians, are the same reasons given today by people who convert.
Are you interested in exploring Catholicism or completing your Confirmation?
- If you or someone you know is not Catholic but is interested in learning about our believes and practices, feel free to contact us. There is no pressure whatsoever to join. You are welcome to ask questions, learn, investigate and then choose to either stay or go.
- If you are already Christian but raised in another Christian community and are interested in possibly becoming Catholic, call us.
- If you are an adult Catholic who never received Confirmation or First Communion and are thinking about completing your sacraments, we can prepare you for that.
If any of these apply to you, feel free to contact us.
How will the Program work in 2020 with the pandemic?
First: we will absolutely have our program this year. It is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA for short). We will work as best we can to keep people safe. We will observe all recommendations from the medical and scientific communities.
Right now, we are planning on holding our classes in person, with appropriate social distancing and safety measures in place. If the recommendations change and we can not to hold the classes in person, we will hold them on zoom.
What is the Schedule?
Our RCIA will begin Tuesday, September 15th. We meet every Tuesday from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
The RCIA at St. Francis of Assisi is free of charge.
If you would like to find out more about our Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, please contact:
Director of Evangelization
Novena to St. Francis of Assisi
Join us daily on our Facebook page for a virtual novena to our patron saint.
Friday, September 25th to Saturday, October 3rd
Week of Prayer in honor of St. Francis
(in church and livestreamed at 12:00 Noon daily)
Monday, September 28, to Friday, October 2, at all of our daily Masses: 7:30 am, 12:00 noon, and 5:00 pm
In an era of doubt and uncertainty, let us pray for the grace to be instruments of peace in our world.
The commemoration of the Passing of St. Francis from earthly life to Eternal Life.
Blessing of Animals
Sunday, October 4, at 1:00 PM
Please gather with your pet near the entrance of the church on W. 31st Street.
Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi
(in church and virtual)
Festive Masses on Sunday, October 4, at 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM (in person and on livestream)
Do you love your pet? Well, God does too!
St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and it’s part of our Franciscan tradition to bless our furry or feathered friends on or near Francis’ feast day.
So bring your cat or dog, fish or frog, or any pet you have to get blessed.
Sunday, October 4, at 1:00 PM
Please gather with your pet near the entrance of the church on W. 31st Street.
Don’t forget your mask!
The St. Francis Adult Education Center will hold a very limited Fall Semester starting October 2020. Our center continues to be closed to in person groups, classes and meetings.
The following classes will be help remotely on Zoom:
Catholicism 101: The Sacraments – A Spirituality of Encounter
In this eight week course we will study the seven sacraments of the Church and what it means to be a sacramental people. We will investigate the history and development of each sacrament as well as how they are currently understood and celebrated in the church. In this difficult time of the pandemic, coupled with this tense time of division and strive, we will also explore how the sacraments are moments of real contact with God’s love, justice and mercy and, as such, are concrete encounters with the one who saves us.
Instructor: Joseph Nuzzi, M.A.
Wednesdays October 7 – December 2, 2020 (no class Nov. 25th)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM or 6:30 Pm – 7:30 PM
This is a zoom lecture series, the zoom code will be emailed to participants when they enroll
Instructor: Joseph Nuzzi
New York Friction and Factions: A Study of Three Novels by Edith Wharton
This year marks the centenary of the publication of Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence, the first Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by a woman. We will study three of Wharton’s New York novels in chronological order, beginning with The House of Mirth, the story of the animated and beautiful Lily Bart who was at once created and condemned by high society. A satirical view of society and personal relationships, The Custom of the Country follows the ambitions and self-centered Undine Spragg as she navigates relationships and American and French customs. We will conclude with The Age of Innocence, highlights the extravagances and the restrictions of New York’s Gilded Age as Newland Archer finds himself attracted to his fiancée’s cousin Ellen, who comes to America in the wake of her failed marriage to a Polish count.
Texts: Widely available, including several inexpensive eBooks from Amazon. If you choose to purchase an electronic book of Wharton’s collected work, I recommend Edith Wharton: The Complete Works [newly updated], 2019. $1.99 from Amazon.
Instructor: Sr. Fran McManus, RSM, MA
Thursdays 12:00-1:00 PM
Oct. 8- Nov 19
Pablo Neruda’s Poetic World
We will sample the works of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda whose work demonstrates a wide variety of styles and subjects that range from lyrical love poems to surrealistic works to political poetry. Appointed as consul to several Asian countries and then to Argentina and later Spain, Neruda wrote from a global perspective shaped by appreciation for various cultural traditions and sympathy for those suffering from poverty or political oppression. Our discussion will include the problematics of the style and subjects of political poetry. For the first hour and a half, we will discuss Neruda’s poetry. The last half hour will include an optional writing opportunity in which students will be given a prompt and will be invited to incorporate some of the themes or styles into their own writing. Students will have the option of revising their work during the week for comments by the instructor.
Text: The Poetry of Pablo Neruda. Ed. IIan Stevens. 2015 (available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon.)
Sr. Fran McManus, RSM, MA
Mondays 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM
Oct. 19-Nov. 30
The adult education center of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi is committed to providing quality adult education courses designed to deepen one’s understanding of faith through the study of Scripture, church history, theology, literature, the arts and Franciscan spiritual themes. The fees we charge are to cover the administrative costs of the program and to provide a modest stipend to our instructors. However, we never want financial difficulties preclude anyone from participating in our courses.
Therefore if financial constraints make paying the course fee difficult for anyone, please contact Joseph Nuzzi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-736-8500 x365 and arrangements will be made for anyone who needs it.
In August the Church of St. Francis of Assisi will be celebrating the Blessed Mother with a series of reflections, talks and a special liturgical celebration in honor of Mary, the Mother of God.
A Week of Prayer in Honor of Our Lady Untier of Knots
August 17-21, 2020 Devotion prayers will be prayed after each of our daily Masses in church and prayers with reflections by the friars of St. Francis of Assisi will be posted online here each day
We Sing of Mary Musical Meditations in honor of the blessed Mother with Meredith
August 17-21, 2020 Join us on our Facebook page and here on our website for a hymn to Mary each day by our own musical director, Meredith Augustin
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saturday, August 15, 2020 Feast day Mass Presider: Fr. Andrew Reitz, OFM, Pastor 11:00 AM in church and live online on our website and Facebook page.
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One.” (RV 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB)
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