Public Masses resume at St. Francis Church

Mass for the solemnity of Pentecost will be celebrated at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, and at 8 and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 31. Masses on this weekend are for parishioners whose last names begin with L-Z, and signup is required because of the state's limitations on the number of people allowed at gatherings. If you have questions about attending Mass at St. Francis and you are a parishioner, please sign up for Flocknote or call the church office (540-886-2262). See “Reopening Diocesan Churches” below the slideshow on this page for requirements for those attending Mass (such as the wearing of masks).

For those unable to attend Mass in person the May 30-31 weekend, the liturgy from St. Francis will be livestreamed on the parish Facebook page at 8 a.m. The pastor’s homily will also be available.


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, former 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. The new paint and gold leaf on the organ pipes was designed and applied by Natalie Bono in 2015. 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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NEWS HIGHLIGHTS



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REOPENING DIOCESAN CHURCHES

Altar of St. Francis Church

The bishop of the Diocese of Richmond has decided that public Masses may once again be celebrated beginning the weekend of May 23-24, although with limited numbers of worshippers and with certain restrictions designed to keep everyone as safe as possible while still allowing public worship:

  • Masks are required for everyone age 3 and up.
  • There are no missals in the pew racks.
  • Communion will be under the form of bread only.
  • The exchange of the peace will not take place.
  • The diocese asks that people receive communion in the hand, although receiving on the tongue is permissible.

As long as restrictions continue, Mass will be livestreamed from St. Francis on the parish Facebook page.

On the weekend of May 30-31, parishioners with last names beginning with L-Z may attend Mass. The signup forms will be available as of Wednesday, May 27, and will be announced via Flocknote.

Weekday Masses will resume this week (no signup is required). The Wednesday Mass (at 12:05 p.m.) is restricted to “vulnerable populations.”


PENTECOST

Pentecost

When the Son completed the work with which the Father had entrusted him on earth, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost to sanctify the Church unceasingly, and thus enable believers to have access to the Father through Christ in the one Spirit. He is the Spirit of life, the fountain of water welling up to give eternal life. Through him the Father gives life to men, dead because of sin, until he raises up their mortal bodies in Christ.

The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful as in a temple. He prays in them and bears witness in them to their adoption as sons. He leads the Church into all truth and gives it unity in communion and in service. He endows it with different hierarchical and charismatic gifts, directs it by their means, and enriches it with his fruits.

By the power of the Gospel he enables the Church to grow young, perpetually renews it, and leads it to complete union with its Bridegroom. For the Spirit and the Bride say to the Lord Jesus: “Come!”

In this way the Church reveals itself as a people whose unity has its source in the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The whole company of the faithful, who have an anointing by the Holy Spirit, cannot err in faith. They manifest this distinctive characteristic of theirs in the supernatural instinct of faith (sensus fidei) of the whole people when, from the bishops to the most ordinary lay person among the faithful, they display a universal agreement on matters of faith and morals. This instinct of faith is awakened and kept in being by the Spirit of truth. Through it the people of God hold indefectibly to the faith once delivered to the saints, penetrate it more deeply by means of right judgment, and apply it more perfectly in their lives. They do all this under the guidance of the sacred teaching office: by faithful obedience to it they receive, not the word of men but in truth the word of God.

Pentecost

Moreover, the Holy Spirit not only sanctifies and guides God’s people by the sacraments and the ministries, and enriches it with virtues, he also distributes special graces among the faithful of every state of life, assigning his gifts to each as he chooses. By means of these special gifts he equips them and makes them eager for various activities and responsibilities that benefit the Church in its renewal or its increase, in accordance with the text: To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for a good purpose. These charisms, the simpler and more widespread as well as the most outstanding, should be accepted with a sense of gratitude and consolation, since in a very special way they answer and serve the needs of the Church.

—From Lumen Gentium, Second Vatican Council