Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is an integral part of the spiritual life of St. Francis Parish. A eucharistic procession winds through the streets of Staunton on the feast of Corpus Christi. An active adult education program in the parish offers speakers on liturgical, spiritual, and theological topics. Every year in January a substantial number of St. Francis parishioners travel to Washington to witness for life. Icons located in the Blessed Sacrament chapel remind visitors of the company of heaven surrounding them. On the left, the steeple of the church undergoing renovation in 2015-2016; on the right, the completed project Each January members of Youth for Life travel to Washington to witness in the March for Life. The St. Francis Choir leads the congregation in praise at the Saturday vigil Mass and the Sunday liturgies. CCD catechists offer their time and talents to educate the children of the parish in the Catholic faith. In 2007 the Respect Life Committee built a prayer garden in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn. At left, a view of St. Francis sometime between the 1920s and the 1960s; at right, the church since the 1988-89 renovation Each summer vacation church school offers St. Francis youngsters opportunities to learn about the faith, pray, and play together. Monsignor Mark Lane administers the sacrament of confirmation for youth of St. Francis and neighboring parishes. St. Francis Church decorated for the celebration of Christmas Msgr. Andrew Cassin and Fr. Joseph Wamala greet parishioners at the front door of St. Francis Church. The choir and musicians offer special music on the occasion of the completion of church renovation in 2016. The Catholic Daughters (with Fr. Joseph Wamala) celebrate the 80th anniversary of the chapter's founding. Francis DiLorenzo, Bishop of Richmond, reconsecrates St. Francis church after the exterior renovation in 2015-2016. The convocation of diocesan deacons was held in Staunton in 2014, with a special Mass and reception at St. Francis. Members of the Haiti Outreach greet parishioners of Our Lady of Pointe-à-Raquette, the twin parish of St. Francis in Staunton. Pilgrims from the Diocese of Richmond join a vigil before the closing Mass of World Youth Day 2016 in Poland. Music Director Chris Bono oversaw the repainting of the organ pipes in 2017. The Most Rev. Barry Knestout, named Bishop of Richmond in 2017, visited St. Francis in 2014 to celebrate Monsignor Cassin’s ordination anniversary. Members of St. Francis Youth for Life participated in 2017 in the 40 Days for Life witness outside an abortion clinic.
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MARCH FOR LIFE 2019

March for Life

The 2019 March for Life in Washington, D.C., the world’s largest prolife event, will take place on Friday, January 18. The location is the National Mall, and events begin at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m. the march up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court and the Capitol Building begins. Official events conclude around 3 p.m.

The March for Life began in Washington in 1974 as a small demonstration protesting the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the Unied States. The peaceful demonstration that has followed on or near the somber anniversary of Roe v. Wade every year is a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time, legalized abortion on demand.

The March for Life Conference, held the day before the March for Life, includes a keynote address, a panel discussion, and Capitol Hill 101. It is scheduled for Thursday, January 17, 9:00 a.m. — 12 noon in the Renaissance downtown hotel. The conference is designed to provide marchers with in-depth education on the yearly theme. The speakers and training sessions will provide information and training tools for marchers to go back to their communities equipped to make a difference for life in their communities.

St. Francis of Assisi parishioners have two opportunities to take part in the 2019 event:

  • A bus, offered by the Knights of Columbus, will leave St. Francis at 8 a.m. on Friday, January 18 (with a special Mass in the church at 7 a.m.). The cost for the trip is $10, and signup sheets are available in the church vestibule.
  • For middle and high school youth, campus ministry students, and young adults, there is an overnight March for Life pilgrimage, taking place January 17-18. More details are available from the diocese. For all questions or support, contact the Office for Evangelization directly via email or phone 804-622-5159.

 

LIFE IN NAZARETH

Holy Family

During the greater part of his life Jesus shared the condition of the vast majority of human beings: a daily life spent without evident greatness, a life of manual labor. His religious life was that of a Jew obedient to the law of God, a life in the community. From this whole period it is revealed to us that Jesus was “obedient” to his parents and that he “increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.”

Jesus’ obedience to his mother and legal father fulfills the fourth commandment perfectly and was the temporal image of his filial obedience to his Father in heaven. The everyday obedience of Jesus to Joseph and Mary both announced and anticipated the obedience of Holy Thursday: “Not my will....” The obedience of Christ in the daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugurating his work of restoring what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed.

The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life:

The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus—the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us... A lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character... A lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the “Carpenter’s Son,” in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work.... To conclude, I want to greet all the workers of the world, holding up to them their great pattern, their brother who is God. (Pope Paul VI)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church