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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St. Francis altar

Signup for Mass for the weekend of May 8-9 at St. Francis is now open to all parishioners and guests. Once the limit for seating in the church is reached (approximately 70 people), Assisi Hall will be available for others wishing to attend Mass. For those in the hall, Mass will be livestreamed from the church, and Holy Communion will be distributed. The deadline for signing up to attend Saturday Mass is 3 p.m. Saturday; the deadline for both Sunday Masses is Saturday at 7 p.m.

To sign up:

  1. After you select one of the Mass times listed below, a signup page will appear. Click on the signup button and enter the number of people attending and, if requested, your name and email address (if you are a member of St. Francis Flocknote, your name and email will be recorded automatically).
  2. You will receive an email confirming your signup and offering an opportunity to change or cancel the reservation.
Begin the process by selecting the Mass you wish to attend:

Signups for this weekend’s Masses were closed on Saturday at 7 p.m. The form to sign up for Masses next weekend will be posted on Wednesday at noon for parishioners and on Friday at noon for all.

For those unable to attend Mass in person, the liturgy from St. Francis will be livestreamed on the parish Facebook page at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, and the video will be available afterward. A worship aid to accompany the livestreamed Mass, which includes the day’s readings and parish announcements, is available.

Note the restrictions required for those attending Masses:

  • Please arrive 20 minutes early for checkin. Once the church has reached capacity, worshippers will be offered a seat in Assisi Hall.
  • Masks are required for everyone age 5 and up.
  • Worshippers must practice prescribed social distancing.
  • There are no missals or other materials in the pew racks.
  • Communion will be under the form of bread only.



“If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ’s works and teachings. All truths, even those most inaccessible to human reason, find their justification if Christ by his Resurrection has given the definitive proof of his divine authority, which he had promised.

Christ’s Resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life. The phrase “in accordance with the Scriptures” indicates that Christ’s Resurrection fulfilled these predictions.

The truth of Jesus’ divinity is confirmed by his Resurrection. He had said: “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he.” The Resurrection of the crucified one shows that he was truly “I AM,” the Son of God and God himself. So St. Paul could declare to the Jews: “What God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’” Christ’s Resurrection is closely linked to the Incarnation of God’s Son, and is its fulfillment in accordance with God's eternal plan.

The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God’s grace, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace. It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ's brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: “Go and tell my brethren.” We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fully revealed in his Resurrection.

Finally, Christ’s Resurrection—and the risen Christ himself—is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. . . . For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfillment . In Christ, Christians “have tasted . . . the powers of the age to come” and their lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life, so that they may “live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church Excerpts from the English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for use in the United States of America Copyright © 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc. —Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with Permission. English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Modifications from the Editio Typica copyright © 1997, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops —Libreria Editrice Vaticana.



Perhaps not all parishioners have noticed a small change in the text of the Mass; those schooled in Latin will be smiling with the satisfaction that comes from seeing translations “be done right.” As of Ash Wednesday 2021, a single word has been deleted from the collect—and in similar places in all of the liturgical books.

The “collect” is a prayer that concludes the opening rites of the Mass (immediately preceding the readings). The collect invites people to pray in silence for a moment and then offers a prayer to God that is drawn from the readings or feast of the day or the purpose for which the Mass is being offered.

The collect ends with an invocation to Christ, which includes mention of the Father and the Holy Spirit, and ends, in Latin, with “...Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum.” In English this has been translated as “one God, forever and ever.” A particular collect might conclude, for example, “Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.”

But, in fact, in Latin, the prayer doesn’t say “one God.” It just says “God.” And the conclusion of the prayer isn’t meant to be an affirmation of the oneness of the Holy Trinity. Instead, it is meant to affirm that Christ is God—because of the pervasiveness of the Arian heresy, which taught otherwise, in the centuries in which the prayer first came into being.

Therefore, to reflect this truth—and to convey the official Latin text of the Mass more accurately—the English text has dropped the word “one.” The conclusion to the prayer above will now read: “Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.” The word “God,” then, is in apposition with “our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son.”

But why is a correct translation from the Latin important? What better than an unchanging language, accessible to all and not restricted by general use or idiomatic nuances to a particular culture, to communicate a liturgy with the same substantive properties? In Veterum Sapientia, published eight months before the start of the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII notes that, given these qualities, Latin “is important not so much on cultural or literary grounds, as for religious reasons.”

Latin, in other words, binds the truths of the faith in a way a local, ever-changing, vernacular language cannot.

Based on a report in The Pillar, February 9, 2021, and an article by Joseph O’Brien in the National Catholic Register, February 13, 2021.