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, May 31, 2020
A Pentecost
Father Mark's Musings
Vol 5 No 41

“Come Holy Spirit,

Fill the hearts of your faithful

And kindle in us the fire of your love.”

            Pentecost celebrates the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit to the Church to act as teacher, counselor, advocate, helper:  the one who will show us how to speak.  The image of the disciples locked in the upper room out of fear is well known and loved.  In that situation the Holy Spirit comes and touches the disciple so profoundly that they go out from their locked room into the world, to proclaim Jesus Christ with courage and strength.  The roots of Pentecost can be found in the Jewish Festival of Weeks, the 50-day celebration following Passover. It was a harvest festival in which the first fruits were offered in praise and thanksgiving to God.  The Acts of the Apostles records that the Holy Spirit came to the disciples when the festival of Pentecost was fulfilled.  The early Christians saw this image of the Church itself as a first fruit of Jesus’ Resurrection.  As we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, even in this midst of this pandemic situation we celebrate who we are as a faith community, gifted by the Holy Spirit.  The movement of the Spirit in our lives results in our awareness of the gifts and talents we have to proclaim Jesus Christ with courage and strength.  This movement does not reach its end in individuals.  Rather, it is to have a ripple effect so that our unique abilities promote goodness within the community.  Clearly, the Spirit builds and strengthens community, again even in the midst, of this pandemic.

            Statement Regarding the Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis from Archbishop Hebda “The video of George Floyd in police custody Monday evening is gut wrenching and deeply disturbing. The sadness and pain are intense. Let us pray for comfort for his grieving family and friends, peace for a hurting community and prudence while the process moves forward. We need a full investigation that results in rightful accountability and veritable justice. Particularly at this time when human fragility has been brought into focus by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are called to respect the worth and dignity of each individual, whether they be civilians in need of protection or law enforcement officers charged with providing that protection. All human life is sacred. Please join our Catholic community in praying for George Floyd and his family, and working for that day when “love and truth will meet [and] justice and peace will kiss” (Psalm 85).

            I am also very happy to announce the 9:00 am Wednesday & Friday Masses are now being celebrated in the main church. However, given my personal apprehension because I am considered at risk and the concerns expressed by the cantors about signing and being in an indoor space for an hour and after participating in an Archdiocesan zoom call with brother priests, I have decided NOT to bring back the 5:00 Saturday Mass until we need it to minimize the risk of exposure. The 9:30 Sunday Mass will stay alfresco until it gets too warm, maybe until the end of June or beyond. We will continue to “livestream” the 9:30 Mass on Facebook which is also available during week. (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 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. During Phase II, the maximum number of persons admitted into the main church is 64 (not including the presider, cantor and accompanist). Pews have been roped off.  So now 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.)

            This coming Friday, June 5 is our monthly day of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will conclude the 9:00 am Mass, the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy immediately follow and Adoration will now temporary continue until 4:00 pm with the simple reposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Adoration is open to everyone. You are welcome to sign up and commit to a regular hour of prayer or stop in for a few minutes as your schedule allows.

            Congratulation to all of our 2020 Graduates!!! We’re thinking of a creative way to acknowledge and celebrate our graduates, especially our high school seniors.  Most likely with a special blessings before they go off to college this fall and maybe a parking lot parade? If a senior parent would like to help organize something, please let me know.

            Thank you for your continued support of St. Francis during this time. Thankfully, several parishioners have switched their financial support to the ACH automatic contribution program and we receive an envelope or two in the mail every day. For more information on ACH, please email Julie in our parish office, (juliet@stfrancislscbmn.org).

            As you can imagine all of our summer programming (Stewardship & Service, Vacation Bible School and the Mission Trip to the Leech Lake Reservation) has been cancelled. In the meantime, Cindy and I are thinking and talking about our how to reschedule our First Communions and Confirmations. We hope to announce in the next couple of weeks. In addition, we’re also looking at what Faith Formation may look like beginning again in September. Obviously this pandemic situation is causing the world, society, the church and us here at St. Francis how we think about and go about doing things these days.

“Send forth your Spirit;

and we shall be created.

And You will renew the face of the earth.”

Fr. Mark

 

Weekly Schedule                                                                   Mass Intentions

Sunday, May 31          9:30 am Mass (Parking Lot)                + David Quinn

Wednesday, June 3     9:00 am Mass (Main Church)

Thursday, June 4         7:00 pm AA Group (Berg Hall)

Friday, June 5              9:00 am Mass (Main Church)

                                    9:30 am – 4:00 pm Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (Main Church)

                                    9:30 am Rosary & Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Sunday, June 7 9:30 am Mass (Parking Lot)                + William Elvin Hawkinson