Prayer ShawlSo many things going on at St. Francis – one day last week I walked into a room for a “blessing of the prayer shawls.” Making prayer shawls is one of the ministries here and I learned that this group since November has made more than 1300 shawls, hats, mittens, and scarves, which are sent off to places as local as Catholic Parish Outreach and as far as St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia. The women who are part of that ministry enjoy each other’s company as they knit together and the results of their work go a long way toward helping people in these winter months.

Also going on during February is the production of “The Mountaintop” by the Justice Theater Project. “The Mountaintop” is a play based on the night before Martin Luther King Jr. died, April 3, 1968 at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis. From what I hear, tickets are going fast. For the weekends that JTP is here, the space where the play is performed is transformed into an intimate theater. Our parish is one of the sponsors for JTP which has the mission of illuminating issues of justice and peace through the arts. Very worthwhile to see if you get the chance.

We welcome this weekend a seminarian from the Diocese of Raleigh, James Magee. James will be speaking at all the masses this weekend. We are, of course, in the midst of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. You should have received a letter in the mail from the bishop asking for your support for the BAA. The BAA supports the education of seminarians such as James and also several important projects throughout the diocese including Catholic Parish Outreach. Many of us have seen how critical the work of CPO is to supporting people who may not have enough to eat. Our parish goal for the BAA is once again high – over $488,000 – and we ask you to please consider making a generous donation to this important appeal. Many thanks once again to Marc and Theresa Graham for being co-chairs of the BAA and for speaking at all the masses last weekend.

Hard to believe, but Ash Wednesday is soon upon us, coming up this Wednesday. Please check the bulletin or the parish website for our Ash Wednesday services.

Jesus is your shadowThis past week, I visited one of the preschool classrooms. Taped to the door of the room was a quote from a student named Andy. I am convinced that children have a kind of intuitive sense of who God is in their lives and a receptivity to the holy. What Andy said, which his teacher wrote on a piece of paper and taped to the door, was “Your shadow is Jesus so you are not lonely.” There is a depth to those words beyond young Andy’s years. And what a treasure our preschool is.

Blessings on your week!

Fr. Steve