Many thanks to Deb Mizerk for her reflection on stewardship last weekend. Deb is our new Director of Stewardship and comes to us from many years as director of the Justice Theater Project. Deb’s words last week built upon the words of our Finance Council chair, David Nerz, from July – St. Francis is an important parish within our diocese and we rely on the talent, time, and generosity of our people in order to be the vital parish that we are.
Deb’s reflection last weekend is part of our annual Offertory Appeal. We rely on our annual offertory to support the ongoing ministries of our parish. If you have already been giving to St. Francis, we thank you, and we ask you to please consider increasing your annual pledge this year. If you have not been giving, we ask you to please consider making a pledge to our offertory. As both Deb and David said, we need you! As always, thank you!
A few things that have been happening over the past few weeks here….a couple of weeks ago I attended a wall-raising ceremony as part of Habitat for Humanity. Several members of our parish were present that morning as we listened to the story of the grateful family that is moving into the new house, and prayed together. One prayer went this way: “Merciful God, we ask your guidance as we cross boundaries and work side by side with our neighbors. Help us to be open to possibilities for healing and reconciliation.” Such a beautiful prayer!
The following week I went to a migrant camp located off Route 401 on the way to Louisburg. St. Francis has a ministry to migrant workers, and on this Sunday afternoon several members of our parish met under an old oak tree, near some trailers that housed migrant workers from Mexico and hosted a fiesta. It included tamales, rice and beans, watermelon, apples, bananas – a feast! The migrant workers emerged from their trailers and gathered among us and we all broke bread together. The person who coordinates the ministry for St. Francis said he was drawn to it after reading about the experience of those who cross borders into the U.S. looking for work and that he wanted to help.
As Franciscans we are called to go beyond the walls that our culture so often puts up and to look for ways of encountering others in a fractured and frightened world. I saw examples of that over the past few weeks here and both the Habitat ministry and the migrant ministry are examples of how vibrant and vital a parish we are here at St. Francis.
A few other notes: both our preschool and school currently have openings for new students. Both are very fine schools, and if you are interested, contact them directly to find out about enrollment information. And finally, we received word a week or so ago that a third friar will be joining us sometime in September. His name is Fr. Jim Sabak, O.F.M. and we look forward to his arrival soon. Happy Labor Day weekend to all, and blessings on your week!