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, June 20, 2021
B OT 12
Father Mark's Musings
Vol 6 No 50

            On this Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time, the scripture readings set us in the midst of a raging sea, a mighty force of nature that only the Word of God can restrain. Anyone who has witnessed the violent winds and lashing waves of a storm at sea understands the terror of the disciples and the fearful hearts of sailors described in today's Psalm. In biblical tradition, the sea, particularly its stormy side, symbolizes chaos, all that threatens peace and well-being. Such was the experience of Job and the disciples. Job’s whole life had become an uncontrollable storm having suddenly lost family and possessions. And the disciples, while attracted enough to Jesus to leave all and follow him, were still perplexed by his power and perhaps troubled by the negative reactions he sometimes received. God's power over the storm is revealed in the midst: “The Lord addressed Job out of the storm” (38:1). Jesus was in the boat with his disciples, during the storm. Like the sailors of Psalm 107, “they cried out to the Lord in their distress; from their straits he rescued them.” The Word of God hushes the storm and stills the sea. In the midst of the storm, Job, the sailors, and the disciples all receive at least a glimpse of who God is and experience God's “kindness and wondrous deeds.” What wisdom for us as we encounter the storms of our own lives! What seems to be chaos, to threaten our lives is but the setting with which the power of the Divine can be revealed. Let us not forget the teacher that the Teacher will not let us perish. The power of his Word can still our storms as well.

            Happy Father’s Day and Summer Solstice on Monday. A special welcome to all our guests and visitors who are worshipping with us this weekend. As your spiritual father and in celebration of Father’s Day, I found this description of        F.A.T.H.E.R.S.

                        “F”aithful.

                        “A”lways there.

                        “T”rustworthy.

                        “H”onoring.

                        “E”ver-loving.

                        “R”ighteous.

                        “S”upportive. - Author Unknown

            On Thursday, June 3, after much prayer, consultation, and discussion, the Catholic bishops and diocesan administrators of Minnesota together announced the return of the Sunday Obligation the weekend of July 3-4, 2021. The full text of the bishops’ statement, which may be found here. It includes the rationale for the decision, the importance of the return to the Mass, and possible exceptions to the Sunday obligation. Archbishop Hebda has written a letter thanking the faithful and all parish and school staff for their sacrifices during the pandemic, which may be found: https://www.archspm.org/letter-from-archbishop-hebda-regarding-the-reinstatement-of-the-sunday-mass-obligation/

            Our 2021 major capital improvement (new north/south curbing and repaving of our parking lot) is complete! And looks awesome!! I am very grateful to all who have contributed to St. Francis over the years, allowing us to build up our cash reserves allowing us to maintain our beautiful campus as needs arise. As you are aware, in the past couple of years, we have been able to repair the roof over the main church and install brighter and more energy efficient lighting in the church, chapel and parking lot and replace all of the large windows and frames in the main church. If you have not had the opportunity to contribute to our Building Fund, please prayerfully consider what you can afford to give for the continued maintenance of our spiritual home. Please mark your contribution accordingly, via collection basket or in the mail. For your convenience, we can also set-up a payment plan with you. We also welcome other forms of charitable giving.

            As we move into the summer months, I am reminded of a Swedish Proverb, “A life without love is like a year without summer.” The summer months are a wonderful opportunity to slow down from the school year schedule, for vacations, to catch up on work that did not get done during the fast pace of the year and enjoy the beauty of creation. And that is what I hope to accomplish this summer.

            Even though you may be on vacation this summer, we are not. Please remember your financial stewardship to St. Francis while you are away. 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. For more information, please call the parish office. 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.

            We are starting to put our liturgical ministries back into place. We’re beginning with the ministries of Lector and Eucharistic Minister and also going to use this as an opportunity to recommit yourself to the ministry if you we’re active and regularly scheduled before the pandemic. And so, we want you to resign up and if your new to the community or would like to get involved our liturgical ministries, including Hospitality Minister, Altar Server, Lector, or Eucharistic Minister, a listing and brief description of each ministry is available on the table in the back of church. I will be addressing the ministry of Hospitality or Usher in the coming weeks. Please return the attached sign-up form to the parish office and we will schedule some training and you will be incorporated into the ministry schedules. Any questions, please email frmark@stfrancislscbmn.org. In addition, Music Ministry is also recruiting for the ministry of cantor and choir. For more information, please contact Joe Reed or Lawrence Henry.

            Archbishop Hebda needs your help! How can we as a Church pass on our beautiful Catholic faith whether in our homes or the broader world? The Archdiocesan Synod kicks into high gear this fall and your help is needed to help the Archbishop chart the course for the Archdiocese. Join a small group for six weeks, September 19 – November 14 to discuss and give feedback on priorities within Synod focus areas. For more information, please the display Berg Hall. Cindy Buckland and Mike Warner will also be available to answer your questions.


Plans are underway for a Summer of Intergenerational fun! Back by popular demand is a FOOD PACKING for Haiti on Wednesday, July 14 following the 9:00am Mass in Berg Hall. Our goal is to pack 5,000 meals. We need 40 people to make this happen. RSVP to Cindy to confirm that you can make this event! This experience will be very similar to FMSC. Registration information on “Rocky Railway” Vacation Bible School, August 2-4, is available on the display table in Berg Hall. Our local FOOD HARVEST of the St. Croix Valley is on every third Saturday of each month at the now back at Afton Lakeland School. Lots of hands are needed to unload the truck, pack the bags and load into waiting cars from 7:00 to 9:00am. This is a simple 2-hour commitment on Saturdays, July 17 & August 21. Families looking to stretch their food budget are welcome for a donation of $10 to receive a shopping cart of fresh fruit & veggies, bread and some meat. Distribution time is from 8 - 9am. Interested in any of these Summer opportunities give Cindy a shout in the parish office. 651-436-7817 or cindyb@stfrancislscbmn.org.

 

American Red Cross logo and symbol, meaning, history, PNGSt. Francis will again host the American Red Cross Blood Drive on Wednesday, June 23 from 1:00 to 7:00 pm. To schedule an appointment, go to  ww.redcrossblood.org or kpiscitello@comcast.net. “Together, we can save a life.”

 

            Next weekend, we will take up the annual Peter’s Pence Collection which is a way to support the Universal Church, and the work of the Holy See, including Pope Francis with the funds to carry out his charitable works. These works benefit our brothers and sisters on the margins of society, including victims of war, oppression, and disasters. Take this opportunity to to join with Pope Francis and be sign of mercy to our suffering brothers and sisters. For more information, visit www.peterspence.va/en/html. 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.

            In honor of Father’s Day, the Women’s Group will be collecting for the Franciscan Brothers of Peace in St. Paul. An acrylic donation box is located Berg Hall.

            Save the date for this year’s St. Francis Celebration Sunday, September 26 from 10:30-2:00 pm. This year we will celebrate everyone’s “Welcome Back” and Fr. Mark’s 25th Anniversary of Ordination. If you would like to be a part of the planning of this year’s celebration, please let me know. I will be scheduling the first planning meeting in early July.

            Remember the nursery rhyme, “Mary, Mary, quite contrary … How does your garden grow?” Thankfully, our summer gardens and planters are again beautifully growing thanks to Mary James who plants and cares for them religiously. If you would like to assist in the watering, garden care or sharing your summer flowers with us, please give us a call in the parish office.

            As a community of faith, we offer our prayers and sympathy to the family and friends of Tom Cole who died on June 12. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in the peace of Christ.

            PAX ET BONUM

                   Fr. Mark

 

Weekly Schedule

Sunday, June 20                      9:30 am Mass/Blessing of Men (Church)
Mass Intention                        + Marilyn Johnson and + Jerry Mealey
                                                10:30 am Sundaes on Sunday (West lawn)

Tuesday, June 22                    10:00 am Youth Service Mission at the
                                                Association Retreat Center, Osceola, WI
                                                11:00 am Memorial Mass for Tom Cole (Church)

Wednesday, June 22               9:00 am Mass (Church)
Mass Intention                        + Irene Müller and + Gustav Müller
                                                9:30 am Hospitality (Berg Hall)

Thursday, June 24                   7:00 pm AA Group (Berg Hall)

Friday, June 25                        9:00 am Mass (Church)
Mass Intention                        + Albert Kalka

Saturday, June 26                   4:00 pm Confessions (Vestry)
                                                5:00 pm Mass (Church)
Mass Intentions                      + Albert Kalka

Sunday, June 27                      9:30 am Mass (Church)
Mass Intention                        + Elizabeth Underdahl