Saint Francis of Assisi
PROCLAIMING THE WORD OF GOD Lectors/Eucharistic Ministers
very Catholic parish offers a number of different ministries and volunteer opportunities for its parishioners. Some ministries are not very well known to the average churchgoer, while others are a familiar sight to anyone who attends Mass each Sunday. At St. Francis of Assisi, our parish lectors belong to the second category, standing in front of everyone to proclaim the Word, and many of them also serve as Eucharistic Ministers. “Our lectors do the welcome, the Prayers of the Faithful, and the readings at each Mass. Most of them also have the privilege of serving as Eucharistic Ministers, who assist our priests and deacons in giving out Holy Communion to the faithful,” says Pat Crow. Pat has served as a lector and Eucharistic Minister for seven years. “Giving out the weekly bulletins and worship aids and welcoming our parishioners and visitors before Mass is also a very important part of our ministry.” But how much attention do we pay to these volunteers who are not only present every Sunday, but also actively participate in the celebration of the Mass? It can be easy to take for granted these ministers of the Word and the important role they play in our liturgical celebrations.
There are about 60 volunteers who serve as lectors/Eucharistic Ministers at our parish, as well as three high school aged youths who serve as lectors. The basic duties of the lectors are well known among churchgoers. What many people may not realize, however, is that there is also the important aspect of preparation. Lectors are expected to prepare and practice the readings before scheduled Masses. This preparation gives continued on page 5
Pope Francis Cardinal Electors Surprise the World, Elect a Historic Pope
The Stewardship Story of Benedict XVI
St. Francis Welcomes the Newest Members of the Church on Easter
Celebrating the Easter Season
Hospitality Ministry Fosters Fellowship Within Parish Community
Saint Francis of Assisi Cardinal Electors Surprise the World, Elect a Historic Pope
s the white smoke billowed from the roof of the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday, March 13, the world looked on with the eager crowd in St. Peter’s Square to await the declaration: Habemus papam – We have a pope! What happened next was a tremendous surprise to many — likely including the new Holy Father, Pope Francis. According to a National Catholic Register article that ran on its website the day after the papal election, Pope Francis is being greeted by U.S. Church leaders with a wave of enthusiastic response. Catholic leaders around the nation are hailing Pope Francis as a man who will “advance the New Evangelization, inspire Latino Catholics, hold to the doctrinal pattern of his predecessors and be an efficient administrator, all while walking in humility and acting out of deep compassion and care for the poor.” At parishes across the U.S., the historic election of the first pope from the Americas and the first non-European in more than 1,000 years is indeed expected to have a tremendous impact. Prior to becoming Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, S.J. was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in his native Argentina. Hailing from our side of the world, our Holy Father strongly promotes the idea of North and South America as one American continent. The significance of this at the parish level in the U.S. is important, as we in America now have a pope with a similar frame of reference and one who understands the challenges of the Church in the Americas. Of course, there is tremendous enthusiasm about the new Pope among the U.S. Latino community. Latino Catholics make up approximately 40 percent of the Catholic population in the U.S. A man of deep humility, Pope Francis chose his name to pay homage to St. Francis of Assisi, a man who lived a life of simple poverty spreading the Gospel and serving the poor. Pope Francis’s humble lifestyle has already garnered a great deal of attention from the world media. As Cardinal
Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he eschewed the episcopal palace and limousine, choosing instead to live in a small apartment and ride the bus. A strong proponent of the new evangelization, it is likely that Pope Francis also chose his name to call to mind the great Jesuit St. Francis Xavier, who was one of the great missionary evangelists in the history of the Church. Pope Francis is our Church’s first Jesuit pope. The new Holy Father will surely seek to bring the legacies of both of these great saints — humility and evangelization — to the fore during his pontificate. In fact, during his appearance from the window of St. Peter’s Basilica on the night of his election, these features were already on display. “You all know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome — it seems that my brother cardinals have come almost to the ends of the earth to get him,” the new Holy Father said, with a laugh. At 76 years old, no one expected the cardinal electors would turn to Cardinal Bergoglio, who had received the second most votes to Cardinal Ratzinger in 2005. Nevertheless, given his reputation as a highly intelligent, deeply moral, and above all profoundly humble and holy man, perhaps Pope Francis is perfectly suited to guide the barque of St. Peter through the difficult waters the Church must presently navigate. Please keep Pope Francis in your prayers as he takes up the heavy burden of leading the more than 1 billion Catholics on earth.
A LETTER FROM OUR PASTOR The Stewardship Story of Benedict XVI Dear Parishioners,
s Catholics the world over rejoice on the recent election of Pope Francis, we can look to his predecessor for a great lesson in stewardship. In both his life and his resignation, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI taught us the joy of returning our gifts to God and doing His will. This is a monumental time in the life of our Church. Like most of you, the news of the pope’s resignation in February came as quite a surprise and shock. But as I read more about His Holiness and prayed for him and for our Church, his sense of stewardship and his love for the Church and for all of us became very evident to me. Sometimes as we promote and practice stewardship here in our parish, we may think that Rome has a different idea — a separate perspective. Pope Benedict XVI, from the beginning of his papacy, has spoken in stewardship terms. His first papal Encyclical, issued on Christmas Day 2005, was titled Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love). As his first sentence in that book, Benedict XVI cited Holy Scripture from 1 John 4:16, “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” Stewardship is an act of love. Benedict’s choice to cease being our Holy Father is an act of love, an act of stewardship. In one of his recent Lenten messages,
the Pope proclaimed, “According to the teaching of the Gospel, we are not owners but rather administrators of the goods we possess: these, then, are not to be considered as our exclusive possession, but means through which the Lord calls each one of us to act as a steward of His providence for our neighbor.” We, too, need to explore the ways we can love one another, just as Benedict has done. We thank him for his example of stewardship, and he remains in our daily prayers. On the day I write this, we have just welcomed a new Holy Father, Pope Francis. May he be loving, courageous, caring, and set a good example of stewardship for all of us. This exciting and monumental time in the Catholic Church coincides with the glorious Easter season we will celebrate during the month of April. I am reminded each day of the many examples of stewardship in action within our parish community. There are so many who give generously and sacrificially of themselves — models of stewardship who are an inspiration to me. Sometimes we may think that our celebration ends on Easter, but that is not true in our Catholic tradition. Easter begins what we call the Easter Season, which was originally called Eastertide. We are now in
the midst of that glorious time — a 50-day period that began at sundown (the Vigil Mass) on Holy Saturday, and culminates on Pentecost Sunday. Blessed John Paul II opened one of his Easter messages by saying, “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” Yes, it is time to continue to proclaim “Hallelujah.” Yes, we are an Easter people — not just on Easter Sunday but also throughout the Easter season, and throughout our earthly lives. We must strive to convert our happiness into joy for others. Easter people share their hope outwardly and lift up those around them who need it. Christ is risen! Let us rejoice and be glad. Love one another! Hallelujah! Sincerely yours in Christ, Fr. Bill Nadeau Pastor
Saint Francis of Assisi
St. Francis Welcomes of the Churc
ver the last several months, nine members of the Spanish-speaking community have been preparing to fully enter the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults — or RCIA — process. Through RCIA, adults are able to discern and begin their initiation into the Church. RCIA is open not only to those who are not baptized — referred to in the process as catechumens — but also to those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition, or those who were baptized in the Catholic Church but did not receive catechesis or other sacraments afterwards — known in the process as candidates. This past Easter Sunday, during the 5 p.m. Spanish Easter Mass, four candidates received the Sacrament of Confirmation, and three candidates were confirmed and also received their First Communion. Two catechumens received all three
Sacraments of Initiation — Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. As a parish community, we congratulate and welcome all of them into the Church, and pray that they continue to grow in faith here at St. Francis!
The nine participants of this year’s RCIA process at St. Francis of Assisi.
the Newest Members ch on Easter
Proclaiming the Word of God
continued from front cover
new weight to the Liturgy of parishioners and visitors before the Word for the lectors. Mass by giving them the weekly “I find that the readings and bulletins and worship aids, it the Gospel stay with me during is one of our desires to make the weeks before and after the people realize that our church Masses at which I serve as is beautiful and welcoming to all both a Lector and Eucharistic who enter.” Minister,” Pat says. There are many benefits for For many people, public the members of this ministry speaking can be a daunting — it provides a great way for task. Indeed, it is common people of St. Francis of Assisi to to become at least a little get involved in our parish and nervous before standing up give back to the church. This and speaking to an audience, also leads to a stronger sense of even in church. Therefore, Pat community. “As our lectors/Eucharistic offers a few tips for those who “It certainly is a good way, as a would like to serve as a lector/ Ministers greet our parishioners and lot of time is not taken away from visitors before Mass by giving them Eucharistic Minister. the family or a person’s job,” Pat the weekly bulletins and worship “Ask the Holy Spirit for the says. “All of our volunteers attend aids, it is one of our desires to make grace to be able to do this, and Saturday and Sunday Mass with people realize that our church is then be prepared to read and their families, and I feel that the beautiful and welcoming to all who understand by studying the spouse and the children really enter.” — Pat Crow readings the week previous to feel the closeness to our Blessed the Mass,” Pat says. “If a microphone is available, Savior when a parent is present in the sanctuary.” For more information about serving as a lector it is important that it be adjusted before speaking so that everyone in the church can hear. Also, or Eucharistic Minister, or to get involved, please as our lectors/Eucharistic Ministers greet our call the parish office at 775-831-0490.
Saint Francis of Assisi Celebrating the Easter Season
ow that we have entered the month of April, Easter Sunday has come and gone. But Easter is not over. While Easter may have fallen this year on March 31, the celebration of the greatest feast day of the Church year continues. On Easter Sunday, we celebrated Christ rising from the dead, following His gruesome passion and death. On that glorious Sunday – three days after He died – Christ fulfilled His promise, “Destroy this temple and I will rebuild it in three days” (Jn. 2:19) and the promises of the Old Covenant, “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers. He will strike at your head while you strike at His heel” (Gen. 3:15). Through His resurrection, Jesus broke the chains of sin and death, opening for us the way to eternal life. Yet, His mission was not yet over. He was back with His disciples, showing them that what had been promised to their fathers had been fulfilled. Yet, again, there is still more. After all, Jesus is not still walking the earth, showing us Himself, is He? Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus Ascended to His Father’s right hand – the feast of which we celebrate
on May 9. Ten days later, the Father sent His Spirit, just as Christ promised He would. And with that (the feast we now celebrate as Pentecost), Christ’s salvific mission was accomplished, and it is with the celebration of that great feast that we conclude the Easter season – a season of joyful recognition of the salvation Christ won for us. Having been beaten and killed for our sins, Christ rose from the dead breaking the bonds of sin. Then, after He ascended to His rightful place in heavenly glory, the Lord sent the Spirit, and now,
armed with the power of the Spirit, the Church serves as the sacrament of salvation on Earth – offering us sanctifying grace (a share in the life of Christ Himself) through the sacraments. As you can see, the Easter season offers us a time to commemorate some of the most important events in the history of salvation. In fact, it can rightly be called the most important season of the Church year, for it is now – during these fifty days – that we celebrate the fruits of Christ’s sacrifice. Today, though Christ has won the victory over sin, we are all still living in a tainted world. We still feel the effects of sin, because we do not yet fully partake of the fruits of Christ’s victory. That we will only know when (and if) we, by the grace of God, enter eternal glory in the heavenly kingdom. Let us all take the time this Easter season to thank God for the gift of salvation. Spend time reflecting on how much we have opened our hearts to the grace He pours upon us. May we all be more aware of the glory Christ has won for us, and, in so doing, willingly detach ourselves from the fruits of this world so that we may be more receptive to the fruits of His grace.
Hospitality Ministry Fosters Fellowship Within Parish Community
Hospitality Ministry members have fun as they serve the community.
t was around seven years ago when Pat Lucas noticed a fellow parishioner offering cookies and a smile to those leaving Mass. Pat liked this idea very much, and offered to help. Little by little, this simple and friendly gesture has grown into the bustling St. Francis of Assisi Hospitality Ministry. “I moved around a lot, even as a child, and I saw a real need for fellowship in parishes,” Pat says. “When that need is not met, people can get pulled away from the Church.” Pat and her husband, Vern, recognized this need and have taken the steps to meet it. They started out in small ways, first offering packaged doughnuts on a monthly basis after the 9 a.m. Mass. Then, Pat and Vern partnered with the local Safeway supermarket, whose manager agreed to donate bakery items to the parish. This allowed the couple to begin offering refreshments in the parish hall, located in the basement of the church, after every 9 a.m. Mass. Other parishioners appreciated the Lucas’ efforts, and in turn began helping to make coffee and prepare the treat table. “We have found wonderful helpers!” Pat says, with great enthusiasm. In fact, as more parishioners have contributed their time and talents, the Hospitality Ministry
Hospitality Ministry members (from left) Vernon Lucas, Tom Schmenk, Pat Lucas and Dianne Schmenk.
has expanded its involvement to Saturday evening, as well. This time, wine and snacks were offered following the Saturday Vigil Mass. Once again, enough parishioners volunteered their service to this hospitality effort that the Saturday evening gathering became a weekly social event, as well. Pat is amazed at the positive and far-reaching results of these simple gestures of hospitality. “People have really enjoyed it,” she says. “We now have fellowship after Mass. People in the community could begin to enjoy each other’s company and each other’s faith. As a result of spending time together after Mass, they began inviting each other to their homes. Prayer groups have formed from this.” The spirit of friendship and fellowship has continued to grow at St. Francis of Assisi, and the Hospitality Ministry has added two annual events in order to continually foster this spirit. In September, the ministry now joins the Knights of Columbus in hosting the Parish Picnic. And in December, the Hospitality Ministry hosts a formal dinner and dance. Of course, these meals and social events are meant for more than just fun. Pat’s goal is for everyone to feel welcome and needed at St. Francis of Assisi — whether they are new faces or continued on back cover
Saint Francis of Assisi 701 Mount Rose Hwy | Incline Village, NV 89451 (775) 831-0490 | www.sftahoe.org
NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID MAILED FROM ZIP CODE 58040 PERMIT NO. 3
Address Service Requested
Hospitality Ministry continued from page 7
people who have been members of the parish for a long time. “We want to engage them and make them feel at home here.” Pat says, “The whole ministry ended up being very satisfying to my husband and me. It makes me feel closer to our church and our wonderful pastor who has become a real father figure to us.” The Hospitality Ministry operates on an informal basis. Pat and Vern would be delighted to have additional volunteers offer their time and assistance, even in small and simple ways. Those who would like to learn more are encouraged to speak with Pat or Vern Lucas in the parish hall on Sunday mornings, or contact them by phone at 530-400-3992.
June 30th~Save the date!
Renovation Anniversary Celebration Five years ago we moved into our renovated church. After nine months was it difficult to leave the high school trying to pray in the mini desks in the Theater? Really? We knew it was time to return home. Everyone's sacrifices during the renovation period contributed to this resounding success. Since we have moved into our expanded and updated building, our church ministries have grown remarkably. Now that's worth celebrating! In preparation for our celebration, we really would like your input. Please submit a one sentence statement of your "first impression" when you stepped into the renovated church... Your first glimpse impression. Send to Katie.Tahoe@gmail.com Please join our faith community for Mass at 11:00 a.m. on June 30, and then food and fellowship in the outside gathering area and upper parking lot.
LITURGY SCHEDULE Saturday Vigil: 5 p.m. | Sunday: 9 & 11 a.m., 6 p.m. (Spanish) | Weekdays: 9 a.m.