These are days of all kinds of transitions as the friars begin to pack things up and get ready to move, and as we prepare the way for our new pastor Msgr. Michael Clay and his new associate Fr. Jairo Maldonado. There are boxes everywhere around the office and our house. Msgr. Clay will begin here as pastor on September 1st, not far off now. As you  know, Fr. Jim Sabak will continue to live in the house (“in residence”) and will move to full-time status at the Diocese of Raleigh, so you will see him around. Fr. Steve Kluge and I continue to await news on our new assignments and we expect to find out soon where we are going.

Here on campus we continue to adapt to these new COVID times and that of course has meant a major shift in preparation and planning for just about everything. Our governor stated this past week that North Carolina will continue in Phase 2 until September 11th, a sign that the virus is still very much with us and that we must continue to be cautious and careful in planning any events.

Here at St. Francis, we are taking a step toward re-opening by adding a Sunday 5:30 mass for this Sunday, August 9th: there has been much planning that has gone into this, and we will evaluate how this Sunday goes to see about continuing it further into August. Please note that there is a signup for this mass on our parish website and that we are limiting attendance to no more than 100 people, which includes liturgical ministers. A lot of work also has gone into re-opening plans for both of our schools. Grades K-8 begin on Wednesday, August 19th with a combination of on and off campus instruction; our preschool begins on Monday, August 24th with on-site instruction. As you can imagine, an enormous amount of planning has gone into preparing our schools for re-opening. Because our focus in these days is primarily on parish liturgies and schools, we have cancelled all other parish events through September 15th, and will evaluate after that date. As we are finding, everything is new and different in these days, and we are adapting as we go.

We are grateful, in these days, of your continued support of St. Francis: by your faithful viewing, your supportive comments, and your continued financial support of the parish and schools. All of this is vitally important for the parish. Options for giving include Faith Direct, and you can sign up for that directly by calling 866-507-8757 and giving our parish ID# NC674. Or you can always send in your contributions to: St. Francis of Assisi Church, 11401 Leesville Road, Raleigh NC 27613.

Blessings on your week!

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