Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In autumn the pastoral council met with ministry leaders of the parish and learned that issues of formation, training, and tools for ministry are foremost in their thoughts for us to address. Therefore we’ve created a conference designed for ministry leaders and volunteers/future leaders, and all parishioners:

Bringing Passion and Purpose to Ministry

Saturday, May 4
Clare Fellowship Hall
8:30 am to 2:00 pm

Bro. Loughlan Sofield, S.T., a distinguished author and international speaker will open the day focusing on engaging your passions and gifts while growing in Christ. Following the keynote address, there will be a variety of breakout sessions.  Please plan on joining us on Saturday, May 4 as we learn together how best to engage our passions and gifts and those of others in our ministries at St. Francis of Assisi.  Click here to register and choose breakout sessions.

Throughout the year there are many retreat opportunities to experience God’s love and peace in our lives – retreats for youth, women and men as well as on special topics like last month’s “dancing in the crack.”  If you’ve never taken the opportunity to experience a retreat, I encourage you to consider it.  One such special offering sponsored by the diocese is for women and men who have experienced abortion in their lives.  “Project Rachel” weekend retreats are opportunities to hear Jesus’ words of peace and experience God’s love, forgiveness, and compassion in a supportive and confidential environment.  If you are suffering from an abortion, this retreat is an opportunity to experience the love of Jesus Christ.  Each retreat combines discussions, spiritual exercises, the sacrament of reconciliation, a memorial service and a Mass of the Resurrection. Participation is strictly confidential.  The next retreat will begin at 6:00 pm on Friday, May 31, and end at 2:00 pm on Sunday, June 2, in Smithfield, NC. The cost is $125 for lodging, meals, and all retreat materials (financial      assistance is available). Our culture and media would have us believe that abortion is a woman’s right as well as a solution to a problem. The truth is abortion hurts women and men.  For more information: www.projectrachelnc.org or 919 852-1021.

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark