The Gospel today is about Jesus curing ten lepers. What a horrible disease and what a horrible life for those who had it. You have to admire these lepers for encountering Jesus and for Jesus paying attention to them and eventually curing them. Lepers were not allowed to make contact with people outside the leper colony. They must have been shocked when they realized they were cured, so shocked that all but one went back to thank Jesus. Even in our day to day life, we take things for granted and may not pause to give thanks to God for minor or major miracles. They do happen. What was the last miracle that you experienced?

This week we begin a series of excerpts from the United States Bishops’ Letter: Open Wide Our Hearts on racism. Racism is a destructive and powerful force, and their Pastoral Letter has much to say about this evil. There is some racism in each person and to recognize it gives a person the opportunity to chose a different course in life and to embrace more strongly and fervently the val- ues of Jesus. As a church we need to stress that we are all “children of God” and that we are “sisters and brothers in Christ” and temples of the Holy Spirit. I hope that the weekly excerpts will help us lessen the power of this evil.

Our 175th Commemorative Journal is a great testament to the long history of St. Francis Church. The Journal contains history and photographs and much to enjoy. Copies are available at the reception desk of the Parish House.

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.