Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Last week 46 parishioners and I returned from our Year of Faith Parish Pilgrimage to Franciscan Italy. We enjoyed the company of one another over many meals shared together and we prayed at the tombs of St. Anthony in Padua, St. Mark in Venice, Sts. Francis and Clare in Assisi and St. Peter in Rome. Among the many highlights was our audience with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square. On the day of prayer for peace on Sept. 7, while many of you joined with Bishop Burbidge in our portiuncula, St. Mary of the Angels Chapel – we gathered in Assisi at the Portiuncula, the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels. It was a deeply moving experience to be joined in solidarity with people of goodwill throughout the world to pray for peace, especially in Assisi. Assisi is always my favorite place to be, to remember and celebrate the spirit of our patron Francis.  In a few weeks we’ll be celebrating the feast of our patron beginning with the Transitus. On Thursday, Oct. 3 at 6:00 pm, the eve of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, we will celebrate the Transitus in St. Mary of the Angels Chapel. All are invited to celebrate Francis’ “transition” from earthly life to eternal life. It is a way in which we remember the spirit of our patron which inspires us to proclaim the reign of God and live as disciples of Jesus Christ.

This past week, the Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers gathered for a time of prayer and formation to reflect upon the important ministry of being the Body of Christ and distributing the Body of Christ to the Body of Christ. Jim Wahl, along with EM Coordinators Mike and Julie Ducatte and Jane Paris, provided wonderful leadership for the time together.

I am grateful to all our laity who serve as Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers.  I invite those of you who have a deep love for the Eucharist to consider serving in this important ministry. We are in need of more ministers at each of the liturgies. Ideally teams serve every three weeks at the Mass they regularly participate.

Training and formation will be provided. Please call Michael and Julie Ducatte at 919-528-5001 if you would like to consider serving. It’s a great way to deepen your faith journey.

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark