Pastor’s Desk – April 2023
A Message from Father Peter
– April 30th: Fourth Sunday of Easter
Sacrament of Confirmation
The Great Sacrament of Confirmation is a highlight of every parish’s yearly schedule. One of our own Bishops is with us through the day and his presence confirms our part in the link to the larger and even worldwide church.
As far as the candidates are concerned, we accept their decision to strengthen the bond to the church that they enjoy stemming from their baptism and reception of the Eucharist. We all know they need to make deeper commitments but first, the Holy Spirit is guiding them. Kindly keep them in your prayers! Their faith journey continues step by step!
– April 24th: Third Sunday of Easter
This is the response from our parishioners when someone asks about The Society of Saint Vincent DePaul: “Indispensable, an integral part of the parish!” This week as a parish, we celebrate one of our most respected – and dare I say beloved – ministries, our St. Vincent DePaul Society. It is their 53rd Anniversary celebration in which we all rejoice. Our contributions come in the poor boxes, plus other fundraisers and donations. The 10am Mass today will focus on The Society. We welcome members of the diocesan central council who will be present with us.
Hospitality will be offered in the lower church to all immediately after the 10am Mass. The Society is not just about getting food to the needy. They live a special spirituality of solidarity with the poor and one-to-one attention to their needs. This is a happy day for the Conference, for all of us who have supported and endorsed their work through the years. A beautiful funeral pall (casket cover) is now available with a Saint Vincent DePaul emblem displayed. Members of The Society may use it if they so desire!
– April 16th: Divine Mercy Sunday (2nd Sunday of Easter)
Divine Mercy Sunday is a unique event in our modern church. Sr. Faustina’s revelations concerning the present time in the world and church are compelling. A time of mercy preparing us and all God’s people for trials to come.
The entire revelation has become very popular and even more so right here at St. Francis parish. In God’s mind, time and place can be significant factors. That is, certain Graces and opportunities for certain times. Once the time is over, it’s over! God is always merciful, but the abundance of his mercy is for us to experience at this time.
– April 9th: Easter Sunday
This is still the standard way of greeting one another on this glorious day in Christian circles. Nothing
wrong with it, of course, but it somehow lacks the depth of “Merry Christmas” which in staying with an
archaic word, evokes more readily cozy memories of Christmases “long long ago”!
Resurrection joy is a hard thing to capture in a short phrase; in fact, wishing “Joyful Easter” sounds a bit contrived or worse. However, there is some “elbow room” for each of us, to do Easter in our own way! The Disciples had to work their way through fear and danger on Good Friday. These days, Distraction may be our biggest obstacle to growing in deeper faith for Easter. He is Risen, Truly Risen as he said!
– April 2nd: Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord
Why exactly do we in our church (and in many others) incorporate processions into our liturgies? Most of us as children enjoyed them. It was something åto do, not just listen to – a big deal to a child!
Actually, every procession by way of varied social events is a victory march so to speak. There is something triumphant, not just commemorative about them. Palm Sunday’s march is the archetype – we celebrate Jesus entering the holy city of Jerusalem as its King! The deceptively short-lived enthusiasm of the people is a harbinger of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
Jesus wins by way of suffering and death, not military conquest. Christians always loved processions; faithful people travel the ‘narrow road’ – the way of the cross. Cherish the palms, symbol of victory, but keep your eyes on the cross! There we will find our salvation. There is spectacular victory but in the most mind-bending way. Jesus wins by dying a bitter death. The context is the death of a shameful criminal, not with a throne or crown, nothing military at all. Christ invited all of us to ‘follow’ Him, embrace the true victory – sharing in the pain so as to win the crown of the cross.
Pastor’s Desk – May 2023
With words of wisdom and compassion, The Pastor’s Desk archives the many Messages of the month of April 2023 starting with the most recent by our very own Fr. Peter.
St. Vincent de Paul – May 2023
St Vincent DePaul Society is a Catholic lay organization that leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering.
First Holy Communion 2023 at St. Francis of Assisi
What better month than May to celebrate First Holy Communion? Our Blessed Mother looks down with great love as our children receive her precious Son for the first time!