Happy Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a liturgical solemnity in every parish in the world under his patronage (which puts it up there with Easter and Christmas). We’ve spruced up the weekend Masses as a way to appropriately honor this great human being, Church reformer, and servant of God. Although we cannot celebrate FrancisFest per our normal custom due to COVID-19, we will celebrate Francis BlessFest as an alternative way to keep the prayerfulness of the day alive. I hope many of you will drive by to have Fr. Jim bless your pets and/or to take an opportunity to meet and greet both Fr. Jairo and me from the safety of your vehicles. As I mentioned last week, we plan to return to FrancisFest in 2021 and to invite all the friars who have served here to join us for an appropriate “thank you” for their decades of service to the parish and beyond.
Fr. Jairo and I marked our one-month anniversary at St. Francis on October 1 and what a month it has been. Moving in, setting up our living quarters and offices, increasing attendance at Sunday Masses, restarting daily Masses, commending to the Lord six members of our parish who have gone to their eternal rest, officiating over a wedding, celebrating First Communion with 13 children, celebrating R.C.I.A. rites for three adults, baptizing 2 infants and a 5-year-old, visiting the sick, hearing a few confessions, attending many meetings, and learning staff members names and ministries have been our personal highlights. October is promising to be as epic with the parish feast day, four Confirmation Masses, two more First Communion Masses, nine baptisms, three more weddings, at least two funeral services, my installation as pastor by Bishop Zarama (9:30am Mass on October 18), resuming regular Saturday time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (October 17), and adding back a weekly Saturday evening Mass (October 10) being just the liturgical highlights.
The solar panel project is nearing its start date. Begun under the leadership of the Franciscans and true to the spirit of the parish’s vision, this ecological milestone will prevent around 1,500 metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere and save the parish around $200,000 over the next 25 years. Thanks to Trevor Thompson and all who worked with him to make this dream come true. St. Francis is proud of us!