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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St. Francis altar
MASS ON APRIL 17-18

Signup for Mass for the weekend of April 17-18 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.


THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD

Resurrection

Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus, which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday, were the first to encounter the Risen One. Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ’s Resurrection for the apostles themselves. They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers, and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims: “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”

Everything that happened during those Paschal days involves each of the apostles—and Peter in particular—in the building of the new era begun on Easter morning. As witnesses of the Risen One, they remain the foundation stones of his Church. The faith of the first community of believers is based on the witness of concrete men known to the Christians and for the most part still living among them. Peter and the Twelve are the primary “witnesses to his Resurrection,” but they are not the only ones—Paul speaks clearly of more than five hundred persons to whom Jesus appeared on a single occasion and also of James and of all the apostles.

Given all these testimonies, Christ’s Resurrection cannot be interpreted as something outside the physical order, and it is impossible not to acknowledge it as an historical fact. It is clear from the facts that the disciples’ faith was drastically put to the test by their master’s Passion and death on the cross, which he had foretold. The shock provoked by the Passion was so great that at least some of the disciples did not at once believe in the news of the Resurrection. Far from showing us a community seized by a mystical exaltation, the Gospels present us with disciples demoralized (“looking sad”) and frightened. For they had not believed the holy women returning from the tomb and had regarded their words as an “idle tale.” When Jesus reveals himself to the Eleven on Easter evening, “he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.”

Even when faced with the reality of the risen Jesus the disciples are still doubtful, so impossible did the thing seem: they thought they were seeing a ghost. “In their joy they were still disbelieving and still wondering.” Thomas will also experience the test of doubt and St. Matthew relates that during the risen Lord’s last appearance in Galilee “some doubted.” Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles’ faith (or credulity) will not hold up. On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under the action of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church