St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church is a vibrant faith community of approximately 700 households located in the lower St. Croix River Valley that welcomes Catholics to worship and practice their faith with reverence and joy. We are rooted in tradition and growing in faith. Through our celebration of the sacraments, faith formation and outreach we offer opportunities for ministry and service.

Jesus I Trust In You!

Sunday, July 5, 2020
A OT 14
Father Mark's Musings
Vol 6 No 1

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Friday, July 3 has been cancelled due to the beginning of the Independence Day weekend.

                A special WELCOME to all you are visiting and worshipping with us this Independence holiday weekend.

                On this Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Jesus praises God who reveals his wisdom not to the usual suspects; the wise, the learned, the important but to those who no one would expect; the little ones, the childlike. The reading ends with a wonderful invitation, as Jesus call all who carry heavy burdens to come to him and find rest. Jesus is “meek and humble of heart,” the king of gentleness and power that Zechariah foretold.

                With this week’s celebration of the Fourth of July, summer is well underway. The season calls for relaxation and easy days. However, the work of the parish planning continue, even if at a slower pace. Even though you may be away or on vacation this summer, we are not. We still have many bills that need to be paid and historically the giving declines during the summer months. If you need to catch up on your financial support of the parish now is the time. Collection envelopes may be mailed to or dropped off at the office during business hours. There is also the Automatic Contribution Plan (ACH); this is a safe, easy, and convenient way to make your stewardship offering. Monthly amounts of your designation will be deducted from your checking or savings account on the first or fifteenth of each month. It can be started, changed or stopped for any reason at any time. Thankfully, several parishioners have switched their financial support to the ACH automatic contribution program. For more information on ACH, please email Julie in our parish office, (juliet@stfrancislscbmn.org). And of course, support the Church you are visiting while on vacation too. It is fun to worship while traveling because you are able to experience the universal Church. While the essence of the Mass is the same there are always the customs or traditions which make the Mass “home” for the locals. People will often share with me what they have experienced in other churches and will often save and share their church bulletins too. They are fun to look at.

                This past Wednesday, July 1, marked my fifth anniversary here at St. Francis of Assisi. It is hard to believe that it has been five years. This has been good year getting back into the groove after my stroke and as the scripture readings remind us it’s always not easy, especially now with the pandemic and the cancelation of so much what we know and love. St. Francis is a wonderful community and I can honestly say it has become my “home sweet home. I want you to know how much I enjoy being your pastor and am looking forward to some new opportunities this coming year. I am very grateful for our parish leadership: the staff, trustees, and the countless volunteers who give of themselves so freely and make my job much easier. I am also very thankful to all of you for your prayers and support.

                After 10 weeks of Sunday Mass alfresco, I think the time has come to finally move back into church. And so beginning next weekend of July 11 & 12, we will resume the 5:00 Saturday Mass and 9:30 Sunday Mass in church along with the 9:00 am Wednesday & Friday Masses. We hope to continue to be able to “livestream” the 9:30 Mass on Facebook inside as well. (You may find “St. Francis of Assisi Church” on Facebook.) The obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues to be suspended as long as the pandemic continues, per Archbishop Hebda, March 18, 2020. Persons over age 65 and those with preexisting health conditions are strongly encouraged and respectfully asked to continue to stay home during Phase II and avoid public gatherings in church. Everyone entering the building is strongly encouraged and respectfully asked to wear a face mask/covering. We also ask that everyone continue to follow prescribed hygienic practices by wash hands often, avoid touching the face, cover coughs and sneezes, etc. It’s also recommended to use the restroom at home before entering the building. The water to the drinking fountains is shut off and our restrooms are now labeled, “For Emergency Use Only.” The main church and Berg Hall will be sanitized and disinfected after each Mass by using an electric ULV Fogger with Hypoclorous Acid. And our custodians will clean and disinfect the restrooms, door handles/knobs & push plates three times a week. Even though Governor Waltz has now opened churches to 50%, were still at 64 careful to maintain social distancing with our pews roped off … every third pew is available for seating, making four pews available in each section with 4 people allowed in each pew, 4x4=16x4=64. (This does not take into account married couple, families or those living in the same household.)

                Remember the nursery rhyme, “Mary, Mary, quite contrary … How does your garden grow?” Thankfully our summer gardens and planters are again growing beautifully thanks to Mary James who plants and cares for them religiously and to Rodney Burt who donated the beautiful hanging petunia baskets in memory of his wife Donna. If you would like to assist in the watering or garden care, please give us a call in the parish office.

                I am happy to announce that our window project is complete. The work of replacing all of the exterior window frames and glass in the church and chapel hallway began on June 2 and was completed on June 23. Randy’s crew from Tri Commercial Glass did a very job for us. I’m glad we were able to get it done with very minimal disruption since our worship schedule has seen enough disruption with the pandemic.

                The parish office will be closed on Monday, July 6 for the Independence Day holiday. In case of a pastoral emergency (to request the sacrament of the anointing or to notify us of a death) when the office is closed, please call 651-436-1746 and I will be paged immediately.

                “Building peace, combating poverty and despair, and protecting freedom and human rights are not only moral imperatives; they are wise national priorities. Given its enormous power and influence in world affairs, the United States has a special responsibility to ensure that it is a force for justice and peace beyond its borders. ‘Liberty and justice for all’ is not only a profound national pledge; it is a worthy goal for our nation in its role as world leader.” - (USCCB Administrative Committee, Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility, p. 28)

                GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

                                Fr. Mark

 

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Sunday, July 5, 9:30 am Mass (Parking Lot)
Mass Intention  + Dave & Mary Quinn

Monday, July 6, OFFICE CLOSED for Independence Day

Wednesday, July 8, 9:00 am Mass (Main Church)
Mass Intention   + Terry Plante

Thursday, July 9, 7:00 pm AA Group (Berg Hall)

Friday, July 10, 9:00 am Mass (Main Church) 
Mass Intentions   + Almon Haney, + Eugene Underdahl

Saturday, July 11, 10:30 am Poechmann Baptism (Main Church)
4:00 pm Confessions (Vestry)
5:00 pm Mass (Main Church)
Mass Intention   + Tom Nau,  + Donna Burt

Sunday, July 12, 9:30 am Mass (Main Church) 
Mass Intention    + Dave & Mary Quinn