Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Francis of Assisi,

May the Lord give you peace.

I thank you for your participation in our celebrations of the Feast of St. Francis last weekend. They were wonderful opportunities for us to remember our Holy Father St. Francis and to recommit ourselves to living the Gospel in love. Your presence, in person or via live stream, was a gift for all. We thank our friars, lectors, servers, musicians, camera persons, and ministers of hospitality for the ministry that made the celebrations joyful and enriching. We are indeed blessed in so many ways.

While there is a new normal coming to life during this pandemic, there are many opportunities for us to connect as we deepen our life in Christ. We have Scripture Sharing Groups available via Zoom with some new opportunities in the planning stages. Our RCIA, the process for becoming a member of the Catholic Church or completing initiation sacraments, is active and welcomes interested people. Our Bereavement Ministry Support group is scheduled and encourages anyone who has experienced loss to participate.  We are also starting a new support group for people who are recently unemployed. (See links for RCIA, Bereavement and Unemployed Together for more details.) We will also soon resume our devotional prayers at the end of the masses. We cannot pass out copies of the prayers at this time but will make a link available for you to print from home and your participation through live stream.

We are just weeks away from our national elections. Please be sure that you are registered and prepared to cast your vote based on the love of God, which we have come to know through the Spirit in Jesus. On October 3rd, 2020, Pope Francis signed an encyclical entitled Tutti Fratelli. In this document, the Holy Father invites us to a broad world view that embraces each person as sister or brother. This encyclical speaks of love. Rooted in the realization that God is love and all who love live in God and God in them, he calls us to be bridge builders recognizing the inalienable rights of human dignity inherent in all children, women, and men. He challenges us to move from a culture of walls built in fear to a life-giving transformation for all. Pope Francis speaks of a politics of charity, not as a handout but as one would nurture a sister or brother, respecting their dignity, engaging their gifts, and delighting in their success. As we prepare to vote, not on just a single issue, but the broad spectrum of life issues, homelessness, unemployment, children, migration, refugees, education, human sexuality, care of the sick and elderly, those suffering or grieving during this pandemic, and the death penalty, pray for guidance. I suggest consideration St. Francis’ Prayer before the Crucifix (1205/1206).

Most High,
glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me right faith,
certain hope and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge Lord,
that I may carry out Your holy and true will.

Peace and all good,

Fr. Tom