St. Francis of Assisi Newsletter — January 2023

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Introducing Our New Parish Stewardship Newsletter

Iam so happy to present to you our new parish newsletter that we will be sharing every month! This news letter will help us learn how the stewardship way of life reflects our way to know, love, and follow Jesus like St. Francis of Assisi did.

In each issue, we will share stories that will help us better understand who we are as Catholics and individual members of our beautiful parish. The upcoming issues will feature activities and events happening within our community and how these help change hearts, minds, and lives as we grow closer to Je sus and to each other. In each article, we will see how Jesus is at work within us and our community as we more intentionally live a stewardship way of life. I hope this newsletter will be a meaningful way to continue learning more about our faith. As we learn more about our faith and how our fellow parishioners are living their faith in our community, it will bear much fruit and inspire you to consider how you can be more involved in the life of our parish — for some, perhaps this will be an opportunity to try new things!

Inside This Issue:
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3 What Does Stewardship Mean? 4 Mighty Wind Ministry: A Current of Grace in the Church 6 Hospitality Ministry: Fostering a Welcoming Connection with God, Faith and Grace 7 Knights of Columbus Auxiliary Bringing the Faith Alive in Service and Fraternity january 2023
a letter from our pastor Happy New Year everyone!

St. Francis of Assisi

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un a carta de nuestro párroco

Presentamos Nuestro

Nuevo

Boletín Parroquial de Corresponsabilidad

(el uso responsable de los dones que Dios nos ha dado)

¡Feliz Año Nuevo a todos!

¡ Me da mucho gusto presentarles nuestro nuevo boletín parroquial que compartiremos cada mes! Este boletín nos ayudará a aprender cómo la corresponsibilidad, como forma de vida en el manejo de lo que Dios nos ha dado, refleja nuestra forma de conocer, amar y seguir a Jesús como lo hizo San Francisco de Asís.

En cada edición compartiremos historias que nos ayudarán a comprender mejor quiénes somos como católicos y miembros de nuestra hermosa parroquia. Las próximas ediciones presentarán actividades y eventos que ocurren dentro de nuestra comunidad y cómo estos ayudan a transformar corazones, mentes y vidas a medida que nos acercamos más a Jesús y a los demás. En cada artículo veremos cómo Jesús está obrando dentro de nosotros y de nuestra comunidad a medida que vivimos más intencionalmente la corresponsibilidad como forma de vida.

Espero que este boletín sea un medio importante para continuar aprendiendo más acera de nuestra fe. El aprender más sobre nuestra fe y cómo nuestros feligreses están viviendo su fe en nuestra comunidad, dará mucho fruto y nos inspirará a considerar cómo podemos involucrarnos más en la vida de nuestra parroquia; para algunos, ¡tal vez esta sea una oportunidad para intentar cosas nuevas!

Este boletín también ayudará a mejorar la comunicación en nuestra parroquia a medida que presentemos eventos a ocurrir próximamente y compartamos esa información con ustedes. ¡Pero también quiero escuchar de ustedes! Esta primavera, llevaremos a cabo una encuesta parroquial exhaustiva. La encuesta se enviará por correo a cada hogar; les pido que se tomen el tiempo para completar y devolver esa encuesta. Sus comentarios son importantes para mí y nos ayudarán a mí y a nuestro consejo pastoral a comprender mejor sus pensamientos acerca de nuestra parroquia. Esta encuesta nos permitirá planear el camino a seguir

para nuestro futuro.

Otro paso importante en esta jornada hacia la corresponsibilidad será nuestra Renovación annual de corresponsibilidad que comenzará en otoño del 2023. La renovación anual es nuestra oportunidad para preguntarnos de qué manera ponemos al servicio de la Iglesia los dones que Dios nos ha dado. Haremos compromisos por escrito con nosotros mismos y con Dios con respecto a cómo usaremos de una manera más intencional nuestro TIEMPO (usando nuestro tiempo sabiamente; apartando tiempo para la oración personal, la oración familiar y el tiempo de calidad con amigos y seres queridos); TALENTO (usando los dones que Dios nos ha dado para fortalecer a la Iglesia a través de la participación en los ministerios parroquiales y otras actividades), y TESORO (el manejo sabio y justo de nuestros recursos financieros; donando una cantidad proporcional de nuestros ingresos a la parroquia).

A medida que nos esforzamos por desarrollar la corresponsibilidad como una forma de vida en San Francisco de Asís, el apoyo y la participación de cada feligrés es esencial para sostener la vida de nuestra parroquia. Todos ustedes tienen un lugar aquí, y todos ustedes tienen un papel que desempeñar en la vida de la parroquia mientras vivimos nuestras vidas como discípulos de Jesús.

Que el Espíritu Santo nos renueve y nos refresque a todos mientras trabajamos juntos para construir nuestra familia parroquial con nuestro tiempo, talento y tesoro.

¡Que el Señor les dé paz!

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The Old Testament is not the only place where we can find references to stewardship. Indeed, of the 36 parables in the New Testament, more than half of them deal with time, talent, possessions, or money. Therefore, if Jesus spoke of stewardship that much, it should be a very important part of our lives!

What Does S EWARDSHIP Mean?

What comes to mind when you hear the word “stewardship”?

Do you think of it as just another way to talk about money? Do you quickly dismiss it as a notion that has nothing to do with being Catholic?

Stewardship is actually a concept that is Scripturally-based and is vital to our life as Catholics. God tells us, in the very first book of the Old Testament, “Be fertile and multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and all the living things that move on the earth” (Gen 1:28).

What does that mean to us today? It simply means that God is telling us, “This is yours, so take care of it.” One of the first things God tells us to do is to be good stewards of the gifts He has entrusted to us!

The Old Testament is not the only place where we can find references to stewardship. Indeed, of the 36 parables in the New Testament, more than half of them deal with time, talent, possessions, or money. Therefore, if Jesus spoke of stewardship that much, it should be a very important part of our lives!

As Catholics, we refer to the

three facets of stewardship as “time, talent, and treasure.” Although these are three concrete ways to express and measure stewardship, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops tells us that stewardship is part of discipleship. Stewardship is a way of responding to God’s call in every aspect of our lives.

The Scriptures and Church traditions teach us one important point that cannot be overstated — that stewardship is primarily based on our need to give in gratitude, not on the Church’s need to receive. Of course, both the Catholic Church and our particular parish will always need money. However, we are not asked to give simply to defray costs and fund charitable programs. We are instead asked to remember our need to gratefully return a portion of our time, talent, and treasure to God, recognizing all that He has given to us.

It is important to remember that stewardship is a way of life, and not a program. True Catholic stewardship involves an ongoing call to live as followers of Christ. It takes time to find and define personal goals. You can begin by examining your

commitments to the parish. How do you live your faith in your daily life with your family and friends? How much time do you spend in daily prayer, going to Mass, or being involved in parish ministries and activities? What percentage of your income should you give back to God every week? What talents do you have that could be used to strengthen our parish family?

In the coming months, we will be increasing and intensifying our education and communication on stewardship. We will be developing a better understanding of how stewardship is a way of responding to God’s call to discipleship. And with God’s help, changes will occur in each of our hearts as we devote ourselves to a stewardship renewal within our parish. Examine how you are currently responding to God’s call to stewardship. If God called you home tomorrow, would He proclaim, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”?

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MIGHTY WIND MINISTRY:

The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity.

Arguably, He is the least studied and understood of the Three. This can sometimes be attributed to the fact that He is often referred to as a spirit or a force moving within us. That makes a relationship with Him feel a lot less personal than the relationship we have with the person of God the Father or God the Son. But Catholic doctrine is clear that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. We picture Him as a dove as we see Him portrayed at the Baptism of Jesus in the Bible, or as flames descending upon the apostles at Pentecost. But other than knowing that He brings the seven gifts at Confirmation, how can we relate to this person who Jesus calls the “Paraclete” or “helper”?

The Mighty Wind Ministry seeks to bring more people to know Christ personally and more intimately. They understand that the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son. And by growing in understanding and relationship with the Holy Spirit, they learn the depth of the love of the Father and the Son.

“We seek to bring people not just the knowledge, but the experience of the Holy Spirit, like the apostles at Pentecost,” says Mary Carmen Lopez Mota. “He is Love and He transforms hearts and lives. We receive

the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. We allow the Holy Spirit to ignite those gifts and in turn, He ignites our faith.”

Mary Carmen has been a part of the Charismatic Renewal for about 15 years. The parish she attended after moving from Mexico to Denver had a Charismatic group. After responding to an invite from the deacon, she attended one of their prayer groups.

“It was my first exposure to this type of prayer,” Mary Carmen says. “And honestly, at the time, it was a little intimidating. However, I saw how they prayed and deeply expressed their love for Jesus. Something happened in my heart and I longed for the faith they had, so I kept going and learning more. It was an opening in my heart and now I can see how the Holy Spirit really works in us. I saw and could recognize that was what I really wanted — God’s love.”

At each prayer group, they spend time in praise of God and who He is. There is prayer and teaching about the person of the Holy Spirit. Group members learn and experience the Charisms of the Holy Spirit.

“We begin with prayer and sing a few praise songs,” Mary Carmen says. “We have time for testimonies of how the Lord has moved in our lives in the last week. These

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A Current of Grace in the Church

testimonies encourage others to examine their lives and see how God is working in their everyday life. It encourages others to grow in faith. Testimonies are followed by a teaching that is about 20-25 minutes in length. We have more time for prayer and worship after that.”

The Mighty Wind Ministry is a result of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of those in our parish. There used to be a priest who would come to the parish once a month to hold prayer meetings. People would come from all over the deanery to attend these meetings. After he moved away, many people would call to find out if the group was continuing.

“I was praying in adoration when the Holy Spirit put it on my heart to start a prayer group here,” Mary Carmen. “At first, I dismissed it because I wasn’t sure if it was truly from the Lord or if it was just my heart desiring it. But the call happened several times. So I met with Deacon Chuck Matzker, who is Bishop Golka’s liaison to the Charismatic Renewal and Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services, an official ministry of our diocese. It is fully supported by our pastor, Fr. Mark Zacker as well as Bishop Golka. I presented it to the Parish Council and with all of that support, we began holding meetings in October.”

Already, the group is seeing fruitful testimony

from those who attend.

Charismatic prayer is a different type of prayer than most Catholics are used to. As a church, we are very good at memorized prayer and personal prayer. It can be intimidating to take part in prayer that is much more involved. But Mary Carmen encourages parishioners to come and see what Charismatic prayer is about.

“I really encourage others to come and just see,” she says. “It is really the love of Christ and that cannot be taught or given. This is how the apostles prayed. We see many Scriptures talking about praying and evangelizing this way. This truly brought people to know Jesus personally and His love for them. Come and be open to the Lord touching your heart. It is a place where you can freely express your love for God right from the heart. That is probably what makes it so special. We all know our learned prayers, but this is experiencing prayer from the heart. It is a prayer that ignites our hearts and it is contagious.”

A Life in the Spirit Seminar will be held during the first quarter of 2023 at St. Francis. This is an opportunity for anyone in the area to learn more about the Charismatic Renewal. Parishioners are encouraged to come and invite anyone outside of the parish to learn and experience this type of prayer as well.

Prayer meetings take place every Monday in Assisi Hall from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Please watch the bulletin for more details on our next Life in the Spirit Seminar.

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“Come and be open to the Lord touching your heart. It is a place where you can freely express your love for God right from the heart. That is probably what makes it so special.”
MARY CARMEN LOPEZ MOTA

St. Francis of Assisi

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Hospitality Ministry: Fostering a Welcoming Connection with God, Faith and Grace

While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our lives and affected ministries in churches across the world, some new opportunities also arose as a result of the pandemic. For Katie Biancalana, the pandemic was how she became involved in the Hospitality Ministry here at St. Francis of Assisi.

“I got involved during the registration period and process,” Katie says. “I was able to use my strong computer skills, customer service and communication skills, and decisive nature to support Masses when it was a confusing time.”

The Hospitality Ministry serves the parish community present in our church. The members coordinate the Mass from the back, as well as help out the other ministries within our community.

“We track all ministries serving the Mass and find backups for no-shows, or we complete their jobs if they aren’t present,” Katie says. “We conduct the collection, facilitate and observe Communion, greet upon arrivals and departures, and answer a lot of questions for new parishioners and visitors. We also tidy up, restock, and attend to emergencies, like water leaks, alarms, lighting, or candle fires — and that’s just a quick list.”

Because we have many visitors to our parish, we must have a welcoming atmosphere. Hospitality is, after all, one of the four pillars of stewardship. This ministry is devoted to this service in our parish community.

“We also help our community to feel comfortable and welcome and provide assistance to make Mass ful-

filling and as simple as possible for people to attend,” Katie says. “Whether you have children, need seating assistance, need special care, have a question, or just need a welcome smile, we are here to help.”

Approaching Mass may be challenging for those who’ve been away for some time, or who may be visiting our parish. The ministry hopes to help create a welcoming environment for everyone.

“Church can bring a lot of anxiety for people, and like in society, hospitality can make church more of a refuge — a place where you come to find God, restore faith, and feel grace,” Katie says. “I hope we support that and make it easy for people to come and be part of our community each week.”

Hospitality isn’t limited to Mass, however. Extending patience, greeting one another with a smile, and offering comfort to remove anxiety in situations are all ways we can each bring hospitality into our community, even outside of our church walls.

“People are still going through a lot, and every day we are faced with situations that evoke a lot of emotion — emotion that is still very close to the surface for a lot of people,” Katie says. “We can all show hospitality by de-escalating energy, taking a deep breath, helping to provide context, and a caring smile. Often we can just provide a pause for people in tense situations and I think that is hospitality so needed today.”

Serving in the Hospitality Ministry requires an introductory training. Ministry members may serve one Mass per month, or more frequently if they want. There is a need for new volunteers in this ministry. If someone wants to help, they may refer to upcoming bulletins for the next training, or call/text Katie Biancalana at 720-339-9538 or email her at ksbiancalana@gmail.com .

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Katie Biancalana assists with the Hospitality Ministry here at St. Francis of Assisi.

Knights of Columbus Auxiliary Bringing the Faith Alive in Service and Fraternity

Charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism — these are the four guiding principles of the Knights of Columbus. And the Knights of Columbus Auxiliary is meant to serve alongside the Knights in their endeavors. The Auxiliary chapter here at St. Francis of Assisi is just getting started. Carol Ballez looks forward to seeing where this ministry will go.

Carol is among nearly 30 women in the Auxiliary. She’s a great candidate because she has helped with the Knights of Columbus breakfasts for many years. Her husband, Ken, is in the Knights. This group is open to any woman — not just for spouses of the Knights. However, only spouses can hold a board position in the group.

“This group exists to support the Knights and to support the parish,” Carol says.

The Auxiliary meets on the first Wednesday of the month and will plan other fundraiser activities. They have also been tasked with managing the gift shop after Mass. This will rotate with a few other ministries.

The current members range in age from 26 to 90 and all ages in between. Carol is excited to help the Knights with their activities and develop new fund-

raisers and other events.

“I am excited to help the parish, make new friends, enjoy fellowship, and just be together with other women,” she says. “It’s important to be able to give back to the community and have ideas for the church. We want women to know we are there for them and build a community.”

Ken and Carol enjoy being involved at St. Francis of Assisi. Carol also serves with the Hospitality Ministry and as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. In addition, she teaches kindergarten Faith Formation, and is currently a sponsor for RCIA. She loves all of the ministries in which she is involved.

“We used to just sit in the back at Mass and keep the pew warm,” Carol says. “God started telling me I needed to serve, and since then, we have gotten more and more involved.”

She is so glad that she responded to that call. Carol has met many great people and has learned more about the faith.

“You never know what God might be calling you to do,” she says. “Pray about it, and see what happens.”

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If
you would like to get involved in the Knights of Columbus Auxiliary, please contact Carol Ballez at 303-626-1629.
“I am excited to help the parish, make new friends, enjoy fellowship, and just be together with other women. It’s important to be able to give back to the community and have ideas for the church. We want women to know we are there for them and build a community.”
CAROL BALLEZ

St. Francis of Assisi

2746 Fifth Street Castle Rock, CO 80104 303-688-3025 www.stfranciscr.org

Our New Parish Stewardship Newsletter

This newsletter will also help improve our parish’s communication efforts as we feature events that are coming up and share that information with you. But I also want to hear from you! This spring, we will be conducting a comprehensive parish survey. The survey will be mailed to each home — I ask you to take the time to complete and return that survey. Your feedback is important to me and will help me and our Pastoral Council better understand your thoughts about our parish. This survey will enable us to pave the way for our future.

Another important step in our stewardship journey will be our Annual Stewardship Renewal, which will start in the fall. The renewal is our annual chance to ask ourselves how we prioritize the way we use God’s gifts in the Church. We will make written commitments to ourselves and to God concerning how we will be more intentional with our use of TIME (using our time on earth wisely; making time for personal prayer, family prayer, and quality time with friends and loved ones);

continued from front cover

TALENT (using our God-given gifts to strengthen the Church through service to parish ministries and other activities), and TREASURE (the wise and just management of our financial resources; giving a proportionate amount of our income to the parish).

As we strive to develop stewardship as a way of life at St. Francis of Assisi, the support and involvement of each individual parishioner is necessary to sustain the life of our parish. All of you have a place here, and all of you have a role to serve in the life of the parish as we live our lives as disciples of Jesus.

May the Holy Spirit renew and refresh all of us as we work together to build our parish family with our time, talent, and treasure.

May the Lord give you peace!

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