As we begin a new year, a look ahead at the next few weeks….

Catholic Schools week begins on Monday, February 1. The St. Francis of Assisi Preschool and the Franciscan School are both treasures. We will have an Open House for both schools on Sunday, January 31, after the 11:30 Mass. Check the bulletin or the website for more information.

Also on Sunday January 31, as part of the Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, we will have a guest speaker, Fr. Greg Boyle, speaking on mercy at 7:30pm in the church. You need a ticket to get in. Tickets are free, and tickets are going fast, so check the website or the bulletin for more information.

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and on that morning a group from St. Francis will be serving breakfast at the Oak City Outreach Center in downtown Raleigh – another sign of how our parish lives out the Year of Mercy. Thank you to all who are involved. Next weekend we will have a guest speaker at all masses. His name is Chris Kuehn and he is a seminarian from the diocese of Raleigh. He will be speaking about the Bishop’s Annual Appeal which begins next week. Once again, we ask your generosity and support for this important annual appeal.

Finally, an invitation I received last week from the Institute of Islamic and Turkish Studies in Cary for a presentation to be given there on Saturday afternoon, January 23: “The rise of ISIS, violent attacks by some Muslims in the U.S., and backlash against Muslim Americans due to the attacks and vitriolic campaign rhetoric have presented challenges for Muslim Americans. Duke Professor David Schanzer will analyze these trends and suggest a path forward for those seeking a more peaceful and just society.” I’m not sure if I’ll be able to go, but the presentation feels very Franciscan in its looking forward to a way of peace.

Blessings on your week!

Fr. Steve