A warm welcome to all as we unofficially usher in the fall, such a beautiful time of the year. This weekend we also share with you information on our parish finances and make our annual appeal for our parish offertory. We know that these have not been easy days for the Catholic Church. The week before last, we hosted two prayer services and listening sessions on the abuse scandal l, both of which were well attended and as part of that service we all prayed a litany together.  Here are some portions of that litany:

– “Living Word, Light in our darkness, have mercy on us.”
– “In days of anger and unanswered questions, have mercy on us.”
– “In the pain of broken trust and shattered lives, have mercy on us.”
– “In our compassion for all who are suffering, have mercy on us.”
– “From the abuse of power and exploitation, Lord, deliver us.”
– “From the paralysis of denial and fear, Lord, deliver us.”
– “From reactiveness that seeks to lash out and blame, Lord,
deliver us.”
– “For those seeking courage and healing, Lord, hear our prayer.”
– “For all who are searching for healing and hope, Lord, hear our
– “For courage to resist demonizing and dehumanizing others,
Lord, hear our prayer.”
– “For wisdom in working for a future of justice and integrity,
Lord, hear our prayer.”

There was a deep beauty in our gatherings for prayer in the church. There was a power in ritual, in praying together these words, and other words from a psalm, a reading from Scripture, and shared song. After the prayer service, we listened as people expressed their concerns, their fears, their anger about the abuse scandal. Many from our staff were present. We took notes. We will continue to listen.

This weekend at all masses we hear good news about our parish finances. This past year our parish offertory increased by 6% over the previous year. Thank you to all for your generosity. We also hear this weekend about the importance of parish stewardship – our sense of belonging, of participation, in this beautiful church of St. Francis.

Thank you to all for being part of it and blessings on your week!

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