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

The 2018 March for Life in Washington, D.C., the world’s largest prolife event, will take place on Friday, January 19. The location is the National Mall, and events begin at 11:30 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 youth rally, the Expo Hall, a law conference, Capitol Hill 101, and the Culture of Life seminar. It is scheduled for Thursday, January 18, 9:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m. 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 2018 event:

  • An “express bus”, offered by the Knights of Columbus, will leave St. Francis at 7:45 a.m. on Friday, January 19 (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 18-19. 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.