A Week of Prayer to Mary, Untier of Knots will be held from Monday to Friday, February 10-14, after the 11:30 and 4:30 Masses.
The Anointing of the Sick
On Saturday, February 15, we will celebrate the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick during the 11:00 AM Mass.
Uncork your creativity with a little paint, a little wine and a whole lot of fun!
No experience necessary
Friday, February 21
6:30pm to 8:30pm
San Damiano Hall (129 West 31st Street)
$25 per person
Cost includes painting supplies and wine
RSVP and Cash Payment due by Friday, February 7
Space Is Limited – Reservations Are Required
Carla (718-503-4637) | Princess (917-208-5370)
Come and join us!
It is rare that the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (also known as Candlemas) falls on a Sunday. This feast is celebrated each year on February 2nd, the 40th day after Christmas. This is the day that Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple and presented him to God with a sacrifice of two turtle doves (Lk 2:22-40). In the temple Mary and Joseph are met by two prophets: Simeon and Anna. Both are eagerly waiting for the Messiah and when Jesus appears in the temple they recognize him. The proclamation of the identity of the child Jesus as God’s Messiah is what makes this feast essentially a Christmas feast.
This year, because the feast falls on a Sunday, we will have the opportunity to celebrate this great mystery together. Join us for Mass where we will begin the celebration with the traditional blessing and distribution of candles in honor of the One who is the light of the world.
The Presentation of the Lord
Today’s feast is both magnificent and mysterious: magnificent because the very first contemporaries of Jesus begin to recognize him as Christ, the anointed Savior of the world; mysterious, because this King is still a child, an obscure boy obedient to his earthly parents. The prophet Malachi—living and dying before the coming of Christ—points toward the arrival of the Messiah and encourages God’s people to prepare themselves by living generous, holy lives. The Letter to the Hebrews—written after Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection—renews the prophetic call to holiness, reminding us that the Lord will always help us: “Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.” The Gospel reading overflows with examples of joyful men and women living God’s call to holiness. Mary, Joseph, Simeon, and Anna show us, in their own ways, how to love Christ.
The List Goes On
Today’s readings reflect on something close to the heart of every human person: the fulfillment of our deepest desires. Without exception, each of us feels unfulfilled in some way.
Despite advances in law, technology, and medicine, every person experiences the frustration of “not yet” or “not enough.” Our hearts always want more. God plants this desire in our hearts. God knows how we ache. What most of us fail to believe, deep down, is that God alone satisfies all our longing. We know, theoretically, that the Creator of the universe provides everything we need, but we could all use more quality time with God to consider the question, “What exactly do I need to be happy, Lord?” Perhaps we can spend more time in prayer and service, asking the Lord to show us what is truly important in life.
Always Ready for Jesus
We often think, “Once I get this, or once that happens, then I will be happy.” But the Gospel shows a better way. All four adults in today’s Gospel long deeply for the Messiah and “the consolation
of Israel” he will bring. Human temptation might obsess over the promise of future peace and prosperity, leaving only anxiety and resentment for present suffering. But Mary, Joseph, Simeon, and
Anna leave the saving of the world to God; for their part, they focus on Jesus. Each of them keeps busy with daily details of the various lifestyles they have chosen. Mary and Joseph concern themselves with raising a family, while Simeon and Anna dedicate their lives to prayer in the temple. They find peace enough in fulfilling the obligations of their stations in life, maintaining a lively prayer life to be attentive to God’s action in the world. In today’s Gospel, their focus is literally and spiritually on Jesus. They model for us how to be happy and holy: performing their daily duties peacefully, always ready to recognize Jesus as he reveals himself.
© J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.
The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is offering a
WINTER RETREAT FOR MINISTERS & VOLUNTEERS
Join committed members of our St. Francis of Assisi Community for a weekend away at the beautiful Loyola Jesuit Center in Morristown, New Jersey. This is a great opportunity to get away to refresh your spirit with a weekend full of prayer, reflections, and sharing of our faith. And it is a great way to get to know others in your church community better.
The weekend is structured around the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours: Night prayer on Friday, Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer on Saturday, and Morning Prayer and Mass on Sunday. Between the times of prayer are 5 reflections on different aspects of our faith and we leave free time for individual reflection and prayer as well as time on Saturday evening for a social.
The weekend costs $225.00 which includes everything but your transportation to Morristown. (NJ transit goes directly from Penn Station to Morristown)
Sign up will open immediately after the Holidays. Space is limited to only 35 people.
Here is some more information about the weekend:
The 2019 Winter Retreat is open to all Church of St. Francis of Assisi ministers and volunteers of all ages.
This retreat is a chance for members of our community to escape the city for a couple of days to connect with one another and reconnect with God. There will be time to pray, hear talks, discuss the faith, and enjoy quiet time on the beautiful property of the Loyola Jesuit Center.
The Retreat Team will make arrangements for transportation to and from the train station and the retreat center for anyone arriving between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM. If you must take a later train you will need to take your own cab to the center.
Friday February 7th
check-in from 5 to 8 PM
to Sunday, February 9th, 1:00 PM
Cost: $ 225
This includes room and board Fri—Sun, retreat materials, music, snacks, etc. Travel expenses not included.
Space is limited and spots are only reserved when payment is received
Make check payable to: Church of St. Francis of Assisi (submit with retreat form available HERE)
DEADLINE TO REGISTER: January 29, 2020
or while space is available
Because sometimes it’s good to get away and pray. Jesus went up to the mountains to pray often… and so shall we.
For more information contact Edward Trochimczuk at -736-8500 x361
Monday, February 3rd, is the Feast of St. Blaise, the 4th-century bishop and martyr who is the patron saint against illnesses of the throat because he is said to have instantly cured a young boy who was choking on a fish bone.
The traditional blessing of throats will take place after all Masses: 7:00, 7:45, 8:30, and 11:30 AM, 12:30, 4:30, 5:30 PM
In an apostolic letter released September 30, 2019, Pope Francis declared that the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time will be devoted to the celebration and study of the Word of God. (September 30 is the feast day of St. Jerome, who is known especially for his translation of Scriptures into Latin.)
The document is called Aperuit illis, from its opening words, taken from St. Luke’s Gospel, where the Evangelist describes how the Risen Jesus appeared to His disciples, and how “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”
Recalling the importance given by the Second Vatican Council to rediscovering Sacred Scripture for the life of the Church, Pope Francis says he wrote this Apostolic Letter in response to requests from the faithful around the world to celebrate a Sunday of the Word of God.
A Certain Solemnity
Pope Francis invites local communities to find ways to “mark this Sunday with a certain solemnity.” He suggests that the sacred text be enthroned “in order to focus the attention of the assembly on the normative value of God’s Word.” In highlighting the proclamation of the Word of the Lord, it would be appropriate “to emphasize in the homily the honor that it is due,” writes the pope.
“Pastors can also find ways of giving a Bible, or one of its books, to the entire assembly as a way of showing the importance of learning how to read, appreciate and pray daily with Sacred Scripture.”
The Bible is for all
The Bible is not meant for a privileged few, continues Pope Francis. It belongs “to those called to hear its message and to recognize themselves in its words.” The Bible cannot be monopolized or restricted to select groups either, he writes, because it is “the book of the Lord’s people, who, in listening to it, move from dispersion and division towards unity.”
“Pastors are primarily responsible for explaining Sacred Scripture and helping everyone to understand it,” writes Pope Francis. Which is why the homily possesses “a quasi-sacramental character.” The pope warns against improvising or giving “long, pedantic homilies or wandering off into unrelated topics.”
Rather, he suggests using simple and suitable language. For many of the faithful, he writes, “this is the only opportunity they have to grasp the beauty of God’s Word and to see it applied to their daily lives.”
The pope uses the scene of the Risen Lord appearing to the disciples at Emmaus to demonstrate what he calls “the unbreakable bond between Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist.” Since the Scriptures everywhere speak of Christ, he writes, “they enable us to believe that His death and resurrection are not myth but history, and are central to the faith of His disciples.”
When the sacraments are introduced and illumined by God’s Word, explains the pope, “they become ever more clearly the goal of a process whereby Christ opens our minds and hearts to acknowledge His saving work.”
“The role of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures is primordial,” writes Pope Francis. “Without the work of the Spirit, there would always be a risk of remaining limited to the written text alone.”
The pope continues: “This would open the way to a fundamentalist reading, which needs to be avoided, lest we betray the inspired, dynamic and spiritual character of the sacred text.” It is the Holy Spirit who “makes Sacred Scripture the living word of God, experienced and handed down in the faith of His holy people.”
Pope Francis invites us never to take God’s Word for granted, “but instead to let ourselves be nourished by it, in order to acknowledge and live fully our relationship with Him and with our brothers and sisters.”
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
dates, Oct. 29-Dec. 9
Tuesday, October 29th to December 9
from 6 to 7:30 pm in the 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.
Join the Young Adults of St. Francis of Assisi for a screening of Netflix’s “The Two Popes.” Come meet others in their 20’s and 30’s to share in film, food, and fellowship. We look forward to meeting you!
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Existing members of SFA Young Adults, we encourage you to invite any friends who might enjoy learning more about us.
Pizza will be provided. We invite attendees to help us defray the cost of it with a voluntary donation. BYOB
At a key turning point for the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI forms a surprising friendship with the future Pope Francis. Inspired by true events. Starring:Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Juan Minujín. 2019. PG-13. 2h 5m.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend or with any questions.
Sanctuary is a series of hour-long, interactive concerts offering a musical respite from the constant barrage of media and the pressures of daily life in the modern world.
Inspiration and connection are to be found in the music itself and through the stories behind the creation of the artworks, the lives of the composers, and in the experience of the performers on stage.
Sanctuary is a way to experience the beauty of the human spirit through music new, old, and traditional.
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