Dear Community and Friends of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi,

May the Lord give you peace.

We had a wonderful gathering to Contemplate the Passion. With nearly 70 people present: we shared the reading of Matthew’s Passion account, reflected on images or ideas that touched us from the text, listened to one another, and engaged in lively discussions. Thanks to all who participated in the experience. Special thanks to the Converge ministry that hosted this event.

This week we hear the story of the raising of Lazarus from John’s Gospel. We are invited to enter into the experience, to feel the sorrow of Martha, Mary, and Jesus. The call to Jesus from Martha and Mary is: “the one whom you love is sick.” Jesus declares to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus calls Lazarus forth from the tomb and entrusts the mission of unbinding him to those gathered. As we have journeyed together these days of Lent, we realize we are loved as Lazarus was loved. We have been called forth from our places of darkness and death to light and life. We need one another to free us from what binds us. Our pilgrimage is into ever greater love.

On Thursday, the 30th, please join us for our Pardon and Peace reconciliation service. This is a graced opportunity to come forth and be unbound. The gracious gift of God’s healing forgiveness is ever-present. We can celebrate it together as a community of faith. This is an excellent preparation for our experience of Holy Week.

This year during our Celebration of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, we invite anyone who wishes to come forward to have their feet washed. The foot washing of the disciples was their call to mission. Jesus tells them, “As I have done for you, so must you do for one another.” We are all called to share in the mission of the Gospel.

Finally, we have begun our thirteen Tuesdays in honor of St. Anthony. Please join us each Tuesday. The Novena prayers are available on our website and hard copies in the church. You can come in person, participate online, or simply pray the novena alone. Some may want to gather with family or friends to pray this novena.

Blessings and peace,

Fr. Tom, ofm