Peace and all Good!
Outside Phoenix, about 30 miles west on Hwy. I-10, you pass a half-built and empty stadium which has never been finished and just sits there empty and crumbling down little by little. I am reminded of the Gospel verse today: “You began to build what you could not finish.” The city must have run out of money, or momentum. You know, that happens to me too. I have projects piled up here and there that I never get to complete. I have promises I did not keep piled up in my heart. It is easy for us to get baptized and receive Communion and not follow through on the obligations we have assumed with those actions. Isn’t it true that often our faith sits on jacks with weeds growing all around? In the original painting of “Jesus, the Light of the World” by Henry Hunt, Jesus stands at a door overgrown with weeds and unopened for a very long time! This reminds us to “open the door to Christ”, as St. John Paul II proclaimed. Our discipleship cannot be just another project that we mean to get to, later. Like the unfinished stadium in the middle of the desert, if our discipleship sits there abandoned too long, it is all going to come tumbling down!
Please mark your calendars for our wonderful celebration of St. Francis Days! On October 3rd, we commemorate the “Transitus” or “Passing” of St. Francis. Then, October 4th, we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Francis of Assisi with a beautiful and festive Mass in Serra Center followed by a lovely Serra Garden reception. On October 5th, the Mission will host the traditional Blessing of the Animals and many other delightful events during the day for the whole family. Please see the bulletin for more details and plan to enjoy these special Franciscan days for our community.
This last Friday, 44 of us took off for a memorable pilgrimage to many of the holy places of Europe. We begin in Lisbon at the Church of St. Anthony built over the house of the saint. Then on to Fatima to celebrate Mass in the Chapel of the Apparitions. Next a pretty long bus ride (sleep time?) to Madrid for a tour of the famous Prado Museum and the church of San Francisco el Grande. We fly to Toulouse and bus to Lourdes to enjoy the beautiful candlelight Rosary procession. On to Carcassonne the amazing mediaeval walled city and continue to Barcelona, to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Sagrada Familia, designed by the famous architect, Antonio Gaudi. After our Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat, we will fly to Rome and Assisi and pray for you at many sanctuaries including the Tomb of St. Francis and St. Clare. Please pray for us as we will pray for you.
Love, Fr. Vince