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 October 17-18

Signup for Mass for the weekend of October 17-18 at St. Francis is now open to all parishioners and guests. Although signing up in advance continues to be required, there are no restrictions as to last name and attendance limits have been increased substantially. Once the limit for seating in the church is reached (approximately 75 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 remains 3 p.m. Saturday, but the deadline for both Sunday Masses is now 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:

As of Saturday at 1:30 p.m., the number of seats available is as follows:

  • Saturday, 5 p.m.: 64 of 140
  • Sunday, 8 a.m.: 44 of 140
  • Sunday, 11:30 a.m.: 48 of 140

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 a.m. on Sunday, and the video will be available afterward. The pastor’s homily for this Sunday has been posted


Note the restrictions required for those attending Masses:

  • Please arrive early for checkin. Once the church has reached capacity, worshippers will be offered a seat in Assisi Hall.
  • Masks are required for everyone age 10 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.


RESPECT LIFE MONTH

October is Respect Life Month, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued a statement encouraging Catholics to allow “the Gospel of Christ to touch and transform our own hearts and the decisions we make.” Archbishop Naumann’s full statement follows:

As Catholics in the United States, we will soon mark our annual observance of October as Respect Life Month. It is a time to focus on God’s precious gift of human life and our responsibility to care for, protect, and defend the lives of our brothers and sisters.

This year’s theme, ‘Live the Gospel of Life,’ was inspired by the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, The Gospel of Life. Pope John Paul’s masterfully articulated defense of the right to life for children in their mothers’ wombs, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and the marginalized is more relevant today than ever before.

Last November, the U.S. bishops reaffirmed that 'the threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed.’ While we noted not to 'dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty, and the death penalty,’ we renewed our commitment to protect the most fundamental of all human rights — the right to live.

This past January, I shared with Pope Francis that the bishops of the United States had been criticized by some for identifying the protection of the unborn as a preeminent priority. The Holy Father expressed his support for our efforts observing that if we fail to protect life, no other rights matter. Pope Francis also said that abortion is not primarily a Catholic or even a religious issue, it is first and foremost a human rights issue.

The Gospel of Life provides a blueprint for building a culture of life and civilization of love. The important work of transforming our culture begins by allowing the Gospel of Christ to touch and transform our own hearts and the decisions we make. May we strive to imitate Christ and follow in his footsteps, caring for the most vulnerable among us. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, may Our Lord grant us the grace to live courageously and faithfully his Gospel of life.