Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Mother’s Day to all our moms who are present here and to all who nurture and bring forth the life of Christ through the witness of your daily living and caring for others.

This weekend we welcome Bro. Casey Cole, O.F.M. who will speak at the Masses to request our prayers and support for the Formation ministry of Holy Name Province. After moving from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Casey graduated from Green Hope HS in Cary. He then went to Furman University graduating in 2011. While a student at Furman, he met Fr. Patrick Tuttle, O.F.M. (Old-timers may remember that Patrick did his internship here back in the early 1990’s. Patrick serves as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Greenville, South Carolina.) Casey is preparing for ordination at Catholic University in Washington, DC while living at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Maryland. Casey’s parents and two sisters are parishioners here at St. Francis. To learn more about the Franciscans, I encourage you to check out our vocation website.

Congratulations to all of our college graduates who celebrate this weekend and welcome to visitors who join us to celebrate in the accomplishments of loved ones. On Saturday evening at the baccalaureate service in Duke Chapel, I receive my doctoral hood and Sunday morning graduate from Duke University with a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership. The course work these past several years, though at times challenging has enriched my theological reflection upon ministry.

The weekend of May 30/31 and June 1, Project Rachel is offering a retreat weekend to provide a journey of post-abortion healing by experiencing God’s love, forgiveness, and compassion in a supportive and confidential environment. Through prayer, discussion, and scripture, participants are invited to experience healing. Although Catholic sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist are celebrated, women and men of any denomination are welcome. For more information call 919-852-1021 or visit the Project Rachel website. The retreat is a true blessing. I heartily endorse it.

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark