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.

This week's musings

Sunday, November 22, 2020
A Christ the King
Father Mark's Musings
Vol 6 No 21

            Today is the Thirty-Fourth or the Last Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. As the liturgical year ends, we are pointed toward the end of time itself and the return of Jesus Christ, King of the universe. The Feast was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and is a fitting celebration for the end of Ordinary Time and transitions nicely into the Advent call to prepare for the coming King. Christ’s kingship is eschatological, already present in the Church but to be fulfilled for all things at the end, and so cannot be entirely separated from the idea of the last things, for which harvest is an appropriate image. This feast gives us a preview of the coming fulfillment of the reign of Christ, which we will spent Advent being asked to prepare for. It serves as both the fulfillment of the story as told throughout the liturgical year and as a transition back into Advent.

            In today’s gospel, the Son of Man will separate the sheep from the goats when he comes in glory; the sheep he will put on his right and the goats on his left. Will our instructions from the King be to “Come” on his right or to “Depart” and go left?  We can answer this question by reflecting on how we have responded to the Lord. How have we responded to his hunger and thirst? Welcomed his? Provided him clothing? Cared for his in sickness and in prison? Throughout his lifetime of teaching that we have heard during the course of this liturgical year, Jesus has consistently linked the mission of his disciples with caring for those in need. On this feast of his kingship, his message is no different. When we see and respond to our brothers and sisters in need, we are seeing and responding to Christ.

            The season of Advent begins on Sunday, November 29. Please join me for Dynamic Catholic’s BEST ADVENT EVER: LET YOUR SOUL SHINE. Every day during Advent, you’ll receive an email with a short video from Matthew Kelly and the Dynamic Catholic team. All you have to do is go to www.BestAdventEver.com and enter your name and email address. Want to make 2021 the best year of your life? It begins with a great Advent. So, let’s all have an amazing Advent, together!

            Archdiocesan and Individual Consecration to St. Joseph  Archbishop Hebda will consecrate the Archdiocese to Saint Joseph on Tuesday, December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, at 7 pm at the Cathedral of Saint Paul. COVID-19 protocols will be observed for those in attendance, and the event will be livestreamed. The lay faithful are invited to join Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Cozzens in preparing for our Archdiocesan Year of St. Joseph, by making personal consecrations to St. Joseph through a 33-day preparation period during the year of St. Joseph. Learn how at https://www.archspm.org/synod/stjoseph/.

            The absolute deadline for the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Project is today Sunday, November22. They will be packed and shipped out tomorrow, Monday, November 23.

            This weekend is the annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). The national anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, working to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ ... “to bring glad tidings to the poor ... liberty to captives … sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free.”(Luke 4:18) The belief that those who are directly affected by unjust systems and structures have the best insight into knowing how to change them is central to CCHD. In the United States, one in six people lives in poverty. With this collection, you support programs that address the causes of poverty and provide a sustainable future for those struggling across the country. In addition, 25% of the funds we collect will remain in the Archdiocese to fund local antipoverty projects. Please prayerfully consider how you can support this collection and work on the margins. More information about the Catholic Campaign for Human Development can be found at www.usccb.org/cchd/collection. Please use the envelope provided in your packet of contribution envelopes, mark your contribution accordingly or smaller collection baskets are available. Thank you for your generous support. The CCHD offers a hand up, not a hand out.

            We are looking for someone to take the 2:00 pm hour during our First Friday Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Church requires at least one person to be present when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the Monstrance for adoration and it is always good two have two or three in case someone is unable to make their commitment. Adoration is open to everyone. If you are interested in signing up for an hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament on the First Friday of every month, please contact me frmark@stfrancislscmn.org. (If you are interested but the 2:00 hour doesn’t work for you, please me know because there is some flexibility in hour commitments.)

            ST. FRANCIS HOLIDAY HELPERS … During this crazy COVID year, St Francis will still be reaching out to help those in need in our area. With the help of our neighbors at Afton Lakeland School, we’ve been made aware of three area families who are in need of some assistance this year. Since COVID is determined to make everything different this year, our holiday collections will be a bit different this year too. Instead of collecting money and then going out shopping, wrapping and delivering gifts, we will be collecting GIFT CARDS. Gift cards for food (Cub, Aldi, Walmart, Target) and gift cards for gifts (Target, Walmart, Kohl's etc). Cards can be bought in increments of $25.00 or more if you would like. All cards will be collected, divided and distributed to our families in time for them to do their own Christmas shopping. One of the families is looking for a used Keurig machine or an electric tea kettle. If you can help us out with that, please contact Cindy in the parish office.

            We’ll also have our annual MITTEN TREE for Valley Outreach. NEW hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, even new packaged underwear and socks are all greatly needed. Our tree is in Berg Hall. When pulling out your winter wear, remember our less fortunate who might go without a warm coat or jacket this winter. A coat collection table is also set up in Berg Hall. Any questions please contact Cindy in the parish office.

            This year because of increasing COVID concerns, we will NOT gather for Mass on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26. Nor will there be Mass on Friday, November 27. This week, the parish office will also be closed on Thursday & Friday, November 26 & 27 because of the Thanksgiving 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.

            PAX ET BONUM

                    Fr. Mark

 

Weekly Schedule

Sunday, November 22             9:30 am Mass (Main Church)
Mass Intentions                     + Al Schneider and + Lawrence Styrbicki

Wednesday, November 25     9:00 am Mass (Main Church)
Mass Intention                       + Terence Plante
                                                NO Faith Formation

Thursday, November 26         Thanksgiving Day – Office is Closed
                                                NO Mass
                                                7:00 pm AA Group (Berg Hall)

Friday, November 27              NO Mass

Saturday, November 28          4:00 pm Confessions (Vestry)
                                                5:00 pm Mass (Main Church)
Mass Intention                       + Marion Ness

Sunday, November 29             9:30 am Mass (Main Church)
Mass Intentions                     + Edward & + Theresa Quinn