Grapevine the St. Francis
Unveiling our New Parish Mission The purpose of a mission statement is to intently focus all the efforts of an organization on one objective or goal. Strong mission statements inspire and mobilize people into action. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy set the national goal and mission of "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." NASA worked tirelessly to figure out how to accomplish such a huge and inspiring goal. In many ways, this embodied the motivation of the nation until it was accomplished in 1969. Similarly, a strong mission statement helps when organizations need to make tough decisions, like what events or activities they should be focusing on. In those times, their leaders can ask the question, “Does this get us closer to achieving our mission and goal?”
Over the past few months, our staff has been brainstorming and praying about what our mission here at St. Francis really is. What is the most important thing that we are trying to accomplish? Why do we even exist as a parish? What is our place in God’s plan for Grapevine and Fort Worth, Texas? We’ve looked at Church teaching, the teaching of Jesus in the Scriptures, and Church documents on evangelization like Evangelii Nuntiandi and Evangelii Gaudium and have come up with our new mission. Ultimately, our goal is that every person within our parish boundaries would be Catholic, live holy lives, and make it to heaven. But what is our mission for achieving that? How are we trying to accomplish that?
Our mission is summarized in this statement:
WE ARE BUILDING A CHURCH OF MISSIONARY DISCIPLES BY PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST AND REACHING THE POOR. This is the mission of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Grapevine, TX. This mission goes beyond the goals of every Catholic Church and the Christian community, but it is a testament to our distinct charisms and strengths as a parish. St. Francis of Assisi, our patron, was specifically concerned with preaching the Gospel and reaching the poor. And in this way, St. Francis imitated Christ. We need your support and prayers as we continue to pray through God’s calling for our parish. We are so excited for the work God has in store for us. We ask that you would start praying with this mission and asking God to help us strengthen our primary aim and purpose as a parish, which ultimately is to bring people to the fullness of life in Jesus Christ.
FOR MORE ON OUR MISSION:
Next year, St. Francis will be offering opportunities to delve deeper into the meaning of the mission statement and the various ways our parish is living it out. Stay tuned for presentations on the mission's four pillars, open houses at our Outreach, ecumenical Taizè Prayer, testimonies of parishioners striving to live as missionary disciples, & more. A NEWSLETTER OF ST FRANCIS CATHOLIC CHURCH • 861 WILDWOOD LN, GRAPEVINE TX • SFATX.ORG
FROM THE PASTOR
OFFICE HOURS Monday - 9:15 am - 8:30 pm Thursday (closed for lunch from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm)
9:15 am - 12:00 pm 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
CHURCH HOURS Monday - Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00 am - 8:30 pm 8:00 am - 6:00 pm 8:00 am - 6:00 pm 7:00 am - 5:30 pm
MASS SCHEDULE WEEKENDS (nursery/guardería) Saturday Vigil 5:00 pm Sunday 8:00 am 10:00 am (en español) 1:00 pm 4:30 pm WEEKDAYS Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:30 am 8:30 am 6:00 pm 8:30 am 8:30 am
St. Francis of Assisi Church
861 Wildwood Lane Grapevine, Texas 76051 817.481.2685 // 817.488.3169 (f)
We have just finished up a very wonderful and busy summer. Supposedly, the summer is a time when things at the parish slow down and we get planning and preparation done for the coming catechetical year, but this summer we stayed very busy. We had a great turnout at Vacation Bible School and the children had a wonderful time learning more about Christ. The high school and junior high youth spent a week at camp experiencing God in an active and meaningful environment. This fall, we had another successful Parish Festival, where we raised funds for our St. Francis Outreach. We also celebrated All Saints Day in grand fashion by having our annual Trunk or Treat and children had an opportunity to have some fun and come to Mass in their costumes. It was a great reminder of our connectedness to all those holy men and women who built the foundation of faith that we stand on today. Now we are in full swing. Classes have begun, we are preparing for the Holy Seasons of Advent and Christmas, and we have many wonderful things happening at St. Francis. The preparation that happens during Advent is more than simply getting ready for Christmas Day…buying presents, decorating, and going to parties. This is a season of penance and spiritual preparation for the second coming of Jesus Christ. We have opportunities for confession and it is a good time to pray more frequently and more fervently. I hope you will take this special season to get closer to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We will also have the 32nd Annual Christmas Concert on December 11, where the 10am choir and a full orchestra will sing some beautiful songs to help us get into the spirit of Christmas. It has been a great summer, and I’m looking forward to another busy Fall and Winter. Please continue to pray for all of the hard working staff at St. Francis and make sure to keep fully informed by checking our website often (sfatx.org) and adding us on Twitter, Facebook and Instragram (@stfrancistx). In His Holy Name, Fr. Flynn Pastor
SFA Parish Podcasts
• Fr. Flynn’s and other Clergy Homilies • Presentations & Adult Catechesis • Music from the Choir & 4:30pm Band • and more!
Parish happenings PARISH HAPPENINGS
Advent & Christmas:
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS SCHEDULE
A Time of Expectant Waiting & Celebration
After the long season of Ordinary Time, culminating in the feast of Christ the King, the Church begins a new liturgical cycle starting with the season of Advent. Advent is a time of expectant waiting for the Nativity of our Lord on Dec. 25. Then we spend two weeks in the Christmas season celebrating our Lord’s birth! New this Advent, our parish begins monthly Taizè Prayer. Taizé Prayer is an hour long meditative candle-lit service that centers around music, prayer, simple chants, and periods of silence, to quiet the mind, open the heart and feed the soul. It creates an environment for encountering the mystery of God. It is ecumenical, and so we open our doors to other Christians who would like to pray with us. I invite you to experience the peace of this contemplative prayer, especially during the chaos of December. The music ministry has been preparing since August for our 32nd Annual Christmas Concert on Sunday, Dec. 11. The Choir, accompanied by full orchestra, and the Spanish Ensemble, work hard to present a concert of beautiful, inspiring and joyful music of the season. Come enjoy a very special evening of music with us! Christmas is on a Sunday this year, but our mass schedule will be the “typical” Christmas schedule (see the calendar this page). We will have music at all masses, but new this year, we will have a Christmas Children’s Choir to participate in the candlelight processional and lead singing for the Children’s 4:00pm Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve. For those kids who can’t be part of the choir, be a BIG part of the assembly by learning the music at home. Bring a gift for the poor and the ushers will give you a candle to be used during mass. See our website (sfatx.org/childrens-christmas) for complete information on both. Christmas Midnight Mass, so rich in solemnity, will feature the choir, brass and woodwinds, and begins with a Carol Service at 11:30pm. The Christmas Day Spanish Mass at 11am, featuring Mariachi, will be a joyful celebration!
Advent Mission Santa Breakfast Reconciliation Service Feast of the Immaculate Conception Vigil Mass Feast of the Immaculate Conception Masses
6:30 pm 8:30 am 7 pm 6 pm
01 03 05 07 08 11 12 15 18 24
32nd Annual St. Francis Christmas Concert Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration Taizè Prayer Las Posadas Christmas Vigil Masses
8:30 am 12:15 pm 7 pm 7:30 pm 7 pm 7 pm 2:30 pm
(Children’s Mass) 4 pm (Overflow - FLC) 4:15 pm
(Carol Service @ 11:30 pm) Midnight
Christmas Day Masses
(Spanish with Mariachi) 11 am
Solemnity of Mary
normal weekend mass schedule
2016 TRUNK OR TREAT
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MARY & ELIZABETH: OUR MODELS FOR ADVENT A Reflection by Fr. Raul Martinez Lopez, Parochial Vicar
My dear brothers and sisters, the community of Saint Francis of Assisi, it has been for me an enormous privilege to be part of this faith community since August 2016. Thanks for your support and prayers. We are coming to the end of this liturgical year (Cycle C). During our “Year of Mercy” we have been blessed by our merciful and loving Father in many ways. In a couple weeks we will begin Advent, the preparation for Christmas. Our new “Cycle A” begins with Advent. Our evening Mass on Nov. 26 will be opening a new year of grace. The colors, the scriptures, and the signs will help us to prepare the way of the Lord. The official color for the season of Advent is violet. Advent is a time of hope. My favorite Advent picture is Mary in front of her cousin Elizabeth, as this is the best Advent time representation. Without the Virgin Mary, this time is a wasted time. The Virgin Mary has brought us our Salvation. Saint Mary and Saint Elizabeth, they were face to face, shaking their hands, both filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary was pregnant; our hope, our Messiah, Jesus was in her womb. Saint Elizabeth was pregnant, too. The prophet John the Baptist was in her womb. They lived their Advent with hope. The Lord was with them. Only when the Lord is in our midst can we live a real Advent. As Mark Seale in the 'Spirit of Advent' reminds us, “Humans beings cannot live without hope. So essential is this to human life… To be without hope, to have nothing to live for, is to surrender to death in despair. Mary and Elizabeth recognized the new situation; they served as models for the Church in discerning the presence of our Savior in the world.” Let us invite the Lord to be with us this Advent. When we walk beside him, he makes our way and our life stress-free. May this Advent season help us to stay in touch with our faith in God’s love and alert to God’s intervention in our daily lives. Advent helps us to be watchful for Christ’s future return. Advent recalls the past acts of God, to help us look to the future with hope. Advent is a time of hope. Maranatha! “Come, Lord Jesus, come!” Bless this faith community and their families. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
MINISTERIO HISPANO ACTIVIDADES SEMANALES (6:30–8:30 pm)
LUNES: Familias Católicas, Grupo de Oración MARTES: Jóvenes para Cristo. Bases Católicas MIERCOLES: Catequesis para Adultos. “Los ciegos del Evangelio”
La Navidad nos trae alegría, cantos y grandes deseos de preparar el corazón para recibir a Jesús una manera son las posadas. Preparamos la Fiesta de la Encarnación de Jesús. posada parroquial domingo 18 de diciembre despues de misa de 1:00 pm. No faltes.
12 DE DICIEMBRE A LAS 7PM: VEN A CELEBRAR A LA MORENITA DEL TEPEYAC
Misa, Oración, Danzantes y Bailes Folklóricos, Comida, No te lo pierdas. Ven a ofrecer las rosas de amor a nuestra madre Maria Santísima. El objetivo principal de que LA VIRGEN PEREGRINA visita las casas de algunas familias es promover el rezo del Santo Rosario en familia para pedir por la Iglesia, el Papa, la familia y las vocaciones a la vida sacerdotal y consagrada. Tenemos 20 familias que reciben a la Virgen Peregrina. ¡Gracias a todos los que estan participando! (Los participantes "Familia que reza unida, principales son las familias que semanalmente permanece unida." asisten a las pláticas para Padres de los niños - Juan Pablo II que recibirán la primera comunión.)
LOS MINISTROS DE LA EUCARISTÍA Y LECTORES estarán reuniéndose en Enero para estudiar la exhortación apostólica post-sinodal Christifideles Laici de su santidad Juan Pablo II sobre vocación y misión de los laicos en la Iglesia y en el mundo.
Sr. Rosy Rodríguez Treviño, MCSH firstname.lastname@example.org 817-481-2685 ext. 239
Ministry spotlight This past spring, a new parish ministry specifically for men 18 and older was started. The group, called Kapaun’s Men, is a prayer and fellowship group of men who desire to live their life in the model of Fr. Emil Kapaun, a priest from Kansas and Korean War hero. The group gathers on Saturday mornings at 7 am to join in prayer, formation and discussion. Through this time together, they seek to foster five essential characteristics exhibited by Father Kapaun which are important in any man's life: fellowship, conversion, faith, leadership and accountability. As Jared Zimmerer, director of adult catechesis and evangelization here at St. Francis, states, “A community that prays and grows as disciples together is profoundly important in the life of a Catholic man. At Kapaun’s Men we share our own struggles and experiences and pray for one another as brothers in Christ.” Jared continues, “This ministry contributes to the parish by building faithful men who have a community to build up one another. Fr. Kapaun led an extraordinary life and is on the road to sainthood. He is a great model for the modern man.” More info: sfatx.org/ministries/kapaun the St. Francis
OUTREACH IN ACTION Outreach Volunteer Spotlight:
Tell us about yourself, your family, and your background. I have been married to my husband, Bob, and have been a member of St. Francis for 33 years. We have one son, Michael, who graduated from St. Mary's University in San Antonio. Bob and I grew up in PA and met at American Airlines, where we both worked for 30 years. We retired in 2008. Bob was a pilot and I was a flight attendant. We love retirement and enjoy traveling! What do you do for Outreach? I have volunteered at St. Francis Outreach for 9 years, where I serve as a caseworker. I assist people who need financial assistance with things such as rent or utilities. What is your favorite part about working at Outreach? It's an honor to be able to help others in need. It makes me extremely grateful for what I have and it makes me realize I don't have to look far to see how many people need help. Outreach is blessed with an amazing group of people, starting with Mary Molini and all of her volunteers. I look forward to seeing everyone every Tuesday! We all pull together to get the job done and we all wear several hats! Is there a time you felt God working through your work at Outreach? I really do feel that every time I'm able to help a client, whether financially, with groceries, pointing them in the right direction for other assistance, or just being a listener, God has blessed me and is working through me. What are some ways God has touched your life through the people you have met? We see people from all walks of life at Outreach. I remember interviewing a lady one day who said she used to come to St. Francis but fell away. Now she was taking care of her grandchildren and was thinking of returning. We talked about this for awhile and I encouraged her to really think about coming back. I saw her that Saturday night at Mass with the kids and my heart soared! I felt like maybe I'd made a difference. Anything you would want our parishioners to know about Outreach? I would like our parishioners to know that SFO is a wonderful ministry and we'd love to serve more of our parishioners. It's not just a place to come for financial assistance. Our store is great! We sell everything from clothes, shoes and jewelry to dishes, home items and sometimes furniture. Also, SFO is blessed to have so many parishioners supporting us! We would never be able to accomplish all we do without their generosity.
STAFF Q&A DEACON TOM BATES
Deacon Tom has been serving on the altar of our parish as a deacon for many years, but recently joined the staff in a more full-time capacity as the director of marriage and family life. A bit about him: Describe your role AT THE PARISH. As a deacon of the parish, I basically do anything Fr. Flynn asks me to do. I have worked in a number of positions while at the Church. Most recently, as the new Director of Marriage and Family Life. A position which I am still learning. Tell us a bit about your family AND BACKGROUND. My wife Diane has always been the glue that holds us together. She has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and is actively involved with Magnificat, a woman-to-woman ministry. I have a BS in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech, and three master's degrees: MBA and computer science from Texas A&M and theology from the Univeristy of Dallas. We have 3 sons: Brian, a VP at Fidelity Investments, Chris, a manager at TD Ameritrade, and Jonathan the light of our life who is special needs. We also have 1 granddaughter, Daelyn. What ARE 3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF? Loving, A Nerd, & Action-Oriented. FAVORITE FOOD? My wifeâ€™s cooking. She is Italian and a great cook. What is your favorite PLACE? I have been to a lot of interesting places outside the U.S. But my favorite place in the wholewide world is Orlando, watching my kids and my granddaughter have a great time. I love seeing it through their eyes. What is AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOU? I collect U.S. stamps, and I like stock market investing, although I am not very good at it. I think it appeals to my "science side." If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be? Jesus. I donâ€™t have any idea what we would talk about, as I hope he would do all the talking. What is your favorite part about working here? The people without a doubt. The kindness and patience they show.
CIS OF A AN
Our Parish Preschool is off to a great start this year! Our Director, Ms. Karen Bedore, is very excited about how well we are learning and growing through our prayers and our curriculum. We started the year off in September with a School Blessing in the Church by Fr. Flynn. The 3 and 4 year olds visit the Chapel each week and talk about the Saint we are studying each month, as well as our "I Am Special" curriculum about Jesus and Bible stories. Our Toddlers and Twos take walks through the Church as well to visit Jesus. Our Parents were excited to visit the school at our Open House/Parent Night. They were able to see all the activities, and the children were able to show off lots of arts and crafts. The Parents also had the chance to come to a Fall Coffee after drop off and meet with other parents from each classroom. Friendships began and play-dates were made! In October, we started out the month with our fabulous Pet Blessing! We had real pets as well as stuffed pets that were blessed by Fr. Flynn. This is also the month we learned about Community Helpers and had a visit from some of our local firefighters. We watched one fireman get dressed in all his gear, and we were able to watch as they extended the ladder that reached to the clouds. The Preschool had its first Pumpkin Patch. Then we ended the month by going Trick or Treating through the Church Offices, followed by a costume parade and party in the FLC. Please stop by and visit us to see the wonderful things that go on in our Preschool! MORE INFO: sfatx.org/preschool
Holy Trinity Highlights
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church avidly supports Catholic education and encourages parishioners to consider their parish school, Holy Trinity, for their children. Holy Trinity offers grades PK - 8th, on-site before and after care, and tuition assistance. Holy Trinity Catholic School strives to provide a superior education which produces life-long learners, faithful servants, and influential leaders. Motivated by the desire for continuous growth and improvement, and inspired and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, the faculty and staff of Holy Trinity Catholic School model and teach reverence, respect and responsibility (the 3 R’s). Holy Trinity students gain the tools, knowledge and discipline needed to advance in life and continue to learn, serve and lead in their communities and beyond. For more information go to www.holytcs.org
Catholic Schools Week: January 30 - February 3 Winter Open House: February 2, 6:30 - 8:00 pm For Prospective Students and Families • • • •
Tour the School Meet our Teachers Talk with our Principal and President Learn more about Athletics, Clubs, & School Activities
Save the Date: Denim & Diamonds Gala 2017 Saturday, April 22, 2017 Marriott Solana
For More information email email@example.com or visit www.holytcs.org
Private Tours Available Year Round To schedule a tour call 817-421-8000 x 121 email firstname.lastname@example.org
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St. Francis Families
WaltersFamily Tell us a bit about your family. We (Bob & Angela) have been married for 15 years and we live in Keller. We were married at St. Michael’s because the main sanctuary at St. Francis was under renovation at the time. After completing his Ph.D. in aerospace & mechanical engineering from the University of Oklahoma, Bob worked mainly in research, development and marketing to use solar energy for terrestrial and space power applications and skylighting applications. He retired this past January after working for over 50 years. Among other things, Bob now stays busy with consulting, volunteer work, and our residential rental properties that we maintain ourselves. Also, Bob is the Diocesan Respect Life Coordinator for the Knights of Columbus. Angela works for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth as the Gabriel Project Coordinator where she has about 150 volunteers who assist women through a crisis pregnancy with spiritual & emotional support. Bob has three children who are married and living in the Denver area and we have a total of seven grandchildren, 6 to 21 years of age. Bob has four brothers in Oklahoma and Oregon, and Angela has five sisters in Texas. What is a favorite scripture passage for your family? Angela loves Psalm 23 which she has remembered since childhood, since it gives her comfort and peace. Bob’s favorite passages are Matthew 22: 37-39: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ because Jesus told us these were the first and second greatest commandments and in a few words they sum up our mission as a Christian.
What is an interesting fact about your family that people may not suspect or know? We have an RV and like to travel around with it and our 4 wheel drive car, bicycles and canoe. We love fishing, boating, water skiing and being in nature. We are vegetarians although we do eat fish, and Fr. Flynn and others love to tease us about it. We are also cofounders of the Respect Life Ministry in the Diocese of Fort Worth as a separate nonprofit organization which included six respect life programs and ministries and is now under the Diocese. Angela founded the Life Chain in the Grapevine area and the Respect Life Ministry at our parish. What is one way your family prays together? Each morning we try to pray the Morning Offering in the Divine Will and offer the intentions of our friends and families as we pray the rosary for the glory of God. What parish ministries are your family involved in? We are both extraordinary ministers of communion, readers, daily mass attendees, Respect Life Ministry coordinators, Gabriel Angels, sidewalk prayer ministers at Planned Parenthood, leaders of weekly Adoration for Life, and we also participate in the Divine Will prayer group, REACH, choir, CHRP, Knights of Columbus, and the Padre Pio prayer group. What do you love most about the parish? We feel like we are at home when we come to mass each day and Sunday and when we return from trips. We like seeing all of the parishioners’ faces from the choir risers each Sunday at 10 am mass. We love the special feeling of unity with all of the parishioners when we receive the Holy Eucharist and all the people striving to grow in their faith and being as Christ. How would you describe our parish if you were to explain it to an outsider or fallen away Catholic? We often do talk about our parish to outsiders and fallen away Catholics and we invite them to come back to the church where they will be welcomed by Fr. Flynn and others, and to come and enjoy the choir at 10 am mass. We ask them to visit with Fr. Flynn first so that they can receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament when they come back. At St. Francis we feel a true sense of community, part of which is due to our participation in several ministries and most especially as a community of believers receiving our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.
What is an interesting fact about your family that people may not suspect or know? On Friday nights when we are all together, we usually watch movies and sing karaoke together. What is one way your family prays together? We gather around together and usually sing praise and worship songs together before allowing each member of the family to pray.
Nwiloh Family Tell us a bit about your family. Our family is from Nigeria and my husband and I (Victor & Mariagorety) moved here about 18 years ago, and have five kids. Our eldest kids are twins, Anita and Abigail, and they are seniors at Colleyville Heritage High School. My last three sons are David, Daniel and Andrew-Jaden and they are 8, 6, and 4, respectively. David and Daniel attend Heritage Elementary School and AJ attends Pride Academy. I am a nurse practitioner and my husband is a physician. We recently started a clinic together out in Mansfield, and that is where we currently work. An interesting fact is that we have lived in 6 states in the US. What is a favorite scripture passage for your family? Jeremiah 29:11. This because it reminds each and every one of us to remain faithful in whatever we do and in God because the plans He wants for us is significantly better than what we intended for ourselves. It help us to stick next to each other through trials and tribulations.
What drew you to St. Francis of Assisi Parish? After learning about the church through Holy Trinity, where David used to attend, we attended a mass and enjoyed the liveliness of the congregation and the Fr. Flynn. We are glad to be a part of this growing family. What parish ministries are your family involved in? My daughters sing in the band at the 4:30 pm mass, and they are currently a part of Young Church. Daniel is currently taking the Catechism classes. What do you love most about the parish? We love how involved people are in the church and the various amount of activities available to the members. How would you describe our parish if you were to explain it to an outsider or fallen away Catholic? The St. Francis Catholic Church is a welcoming environment and spiritual guiding meant for all brothers and sisters; it is truly a second home. In every issue, we will feature 1-2 families from our parish. Each of these families contributes to what makes St. Francis a thriving community. We are honored they call us home. To nominate a family to be featured, contact email@example.com.
Youth MINISTRY This fall has been full of youth nights, prayer, retreats, discipleship groups, bible studies, and more. See some crazy videos and stay updated with our youth activites by following Young Church on social media (@SFAYoungChurch)!
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Staff Blog Samplings
What's the deal with Mary? Jospeh Barringhaus Youth Events Coordinator & Social Media Assistant
Yeah, you know who I’m talking about… Mary, Mary the Mother of God, Mom, The Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and so on. But what’s the big deal with Mary; she was just another random woman, right? Actually, the Catholic Church teaches us that Mary is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) when it comes to mothers, women, saints, etc. But why is she such a big deal? Because of her yes, her constant faith, and the fact that she’s the mother of Jesus. First off, Mary said yes. When we talk about Mary’s yes, or "fiat," people often get confused by the phrase, especially non-Catholics. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would become pregnant with Jesus, the Son of God. While Mary was initially caught off guard, as I’m sure we all would have been, and asked “how can this be?," she responded with openness to the will of the Lord in the Gospel of Luke saying, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” This is such an impactful moment where Mary gives herself willingly to the Father. As we all know, this can be a very difficult thing for us to do. Even in our daily life we like to do things our way, not listening to or letting God in. Here is Mary, a young and recently engaged woman, who knows she will get in trouble even though she’s fully trusting the Lord. So why is Mary the GOAT? She let the Lord work in Her life and said yes to the life of Christ. What’s next? Mary had an incredibly strong and constant faith. I don’t just say that because she said yes. But she continued to listen. If you weren’t aware, the traveling Mary did shortly after giving birth was long and difficult. Mary and Joseph had to travel a long way to remain safe, had to constantly listen to the Lord’s will, and constantly rely on God’s plan. They had no clue why they were traveling to Egypt; they just knew that God told them to. Now put yourself in Mary’s shoes. This amazing woman had to watch her Son die right in front of her. Her Son, whom she knows is the Son of God. Instead of being angry or resenting God, she trusts fully in His plan and gives Him yet again, everything. I’m not saying our problems aren’t
problems. We definitely have things that affect our lives, but if we put our trust fully in God’s hands like Mary did, we will receive greater strength and help during those times of trial. You know the saying… leave the best for last — she’s the Mother of Jesus Christ; the Mother of God. All Christian faiths believe in this truth. While it may just be that we forget about this or don’t put it into perspective, we all acknowledge that she is the Mother of Jesus Christ. Since we all know and affirm that Jesus is “true God and true man,” she is, then, the Mother of God. As Catholics, we hold this firm truth and even take this understanding one step further. What is the fifth commandment? Exodus 20:12 says “Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” So listen to your parents. If yours are anything like mine you heard that a lot growing up. But the point is, you listen to what you’re told by your parents. Well Jesus, being perfect in every way, would have to listen to His mother and father, right? Want proof? Look in John 2. In Cana, Mary tells Jesus that the wedding is out of wine and Jesus goes, ok so what, Mom, it’s not my time. Does she stop there? No. Mary tells the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do. And then, what happens? Jesus listens to his Mother and performs His first miracle— the turning of water into wine. So if Jesus listens to His Mother then, wouldn’t he still listen to her now? That’s exactly why we pray for Mary’s intercession. We don’t pray to Mary as if she’s God. We ask her, and other saints, to pray for us! A book I read called 33 Days to Morning Glory (check it out), describes it this way. In the old days, when a servant would want to give something to the King, he would go to the Queen first (let’s use an apple for the example). He would give her the apple and then she might put it on something like a gold tray with beautiful flowers around it and would then present it to the King. The same thing happens when you ask Mary to pray for you. You simply ask her to perfect your prayers and make them beautiful before presenting them to the King. My challenge for you is to find time in each day to pray just one Hail Mary. Find a way to devote your life to the Mother of God and by doing so, bringing yourself closer to Christ himself. That, ultimately, is her entire goal – to bring your closer to her son! This post is from 10/11/16 on josephbarringhaus.com.
Meet the St. Francis NET Team!
Thank you for your warm welcome into St. Francis! We are grateful for the love and generosity that we have received from so many members of the parish. We see Christ in each of you each day. Since we arrived in September, we have helped lead Young Church Middle School and High School youth nights. We host large and small group events at the NET House, such as fall crafts and discipleship groups. After school on weekdays, we meet one-on-one with students to talk about faith and their lives. We also see students at lunch at Grapevine High School, Colleyville Heritage High School, and Holy Trinity Middle School. Each week, we are at all of the weekend Masses and we host Open NET House Wednesday from 4-6pm and Open Team Prayer Saturday from 10-11am at the NET House. If we haven’t met you yet, come find us at these events! We would love to meet you and pray for you. Here is a bit about each of us: Grant Severt is an 18-year-old from Barneveld, Wisconsin. Before serving this year with NET, Grant completed his senior year in homeschool. After this year, Grant plans on building a career in Horticulture and farming. Grant enjoys living his life for Christ and sharing his faith with others, and is grateful for the opportunity to do so here at Saint Francis. Maggie Longsdorf is an 18-year-old from Forest Lake, Minnesota. This is Maggie’s first year serving with NET. She just graduated from Forest Lake High School and is planning on going to college after her year of serving with NET. Maggie is excited to spread the love of Christ to others and to find joy in the love He has for her. Edward Hueckel is a 22-year-old born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. This is Edward’s 2nd year serving with NET. His first year he predominately traveled all over the midwest, racing through 22 states while doing 126 retreats. Prior to that, Edward was in college in Columbus and worked as a supervisor in a greenhouse. He is so thrilled to be back on NET and to be serving the youth here at SFA.
Katelyn McKeen is a 20-year-old from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This is her 2nd year serving with NET, last year she was placed at a Catholic school in Plymouth, MN. Before NET, Katelyn finished one year of college. She is looking forward to sharing the joy of Christ to the youth here and grow closer to Christ, allowing Him to love her. Laura Knipp is a 26-year-old from Lake Zurich, IL, which is a Northwest suburb of Chicago. Laura graduated from Illinois State University with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education in 2012. Before coming to NET, she taught 1st and 2nd graders at a Catholic school and discerned Religious Life. Laura is excited to share her love for the Lord with the youth at St. Francis. Mark McKellar is a 20-year-old born in Abbotsford BC, Canada but has been living in Kansas City for 10 years. Prior to NET, Mark finished one year of College. This is Mark’s second year serving with NET Ministries; last year, Mark served on a school team in New Ulm, MN. Mark is looking forward to growing in his own faith this year as well as getting to minister to the youth at St Francis of Assisi Parish. Suness Jones is a 22 year old from San Clemente, CA. She graduated from Swarthmore College this past June with a B.A. in English Literature and World Religion. She enjoys being outdoors, especially in the Texas heat! She looks forward to walking with teens in their faith journey and hopes to show the love of Christ to St. Francis parishioners daily. Enrique Gutierrez is 19 years old from Olathe, Kansas. He is newly graduated from Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He avidly participated with his rugby football team and is joyously determined to always strive for greatness. He passionately hopes that he will touch hearts as he embarks on this fortunate journey in the Lord this year. the St. Francis
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The seventh edition of the St. Francis of Assisi parish newsletter, the Grapevine.