NOVENA FOR PENTECOST
NCR is graciously sharing a nine-day Novena for Pentecost of prayer, scripture and music created by composer Dan Schutte.
As the Risen Christ prepared to leave his work in the hands of his followers, he instructed them to gather in the upper room and devote themselves to prayer as they awaited his sending of the Holy Spirit. The nine days between the Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost is often considered to be the first novena.
And so, let us join those first disciples in these nine days of prayer, a way for us to be together even while we are separated by space, to ask God to make us ready to receive the Spirit and follow unafraid where that Holy Breath of God might take us.
As your pastor, I want to let you know that I finally had to make the heart-wrenching decision to close the Steps Ministry, due to and during the Covid 19 virus.
Our Step Ministry has only ever been an emergency overnight sleeping accommodation that was available from 7pm—6am the following morning. These accommodations were provided on nightly basis with no guarantee of permanence. Volunteers in the ministry would greet guests in the evenings to stay in the courtyard and another set of volunteers would prepare a light breakfast in the morning as the guests prepared to leave for the day.
Due to restrictions of the Covid 19 Crisis, many volunteers who were in the over 65 age bracket were not able to serve. Other volunteers withdrew, understandably so, because of the health concerns. As pastor, it is my responsibility to care for both the homeless guests and the volunteers. It was becoming increasingly difficult to provide safe accommodations, proper social distancing and the necessary deep cleaning, let alone keep up with the other health guidelines necessary to comply with state emergency regulations. I felt I would be guilty of gross negligence to both guests and volunteers to allow this situation to continue.
On March 20, the guests and volunteers were first informed of our difficulties following the governor’s announcement of his intention to provide emergency housing for the state’s homeless. They were told then that the church facilities could no longer house the guests due to the inability to comply with the Covid 19 restriction and did not meet the state’s “Shelter-In-Place” orders. They were intentionally given time to find alternative housing.
On the part of the church, we have been in contact with the Governor’s Office, with Mayor Steinberg’s office, and liaising with City and the appointed agencies to assist with the “Shelter-in-Place” for the homeless daily since March 20th. The response from all these official bodies has been that the details of emergency housing are imminent. Unfortunately, imminent continues to be in the future. Consequently, I had to make the extremely difficult decision to close our overnight ministry out of an abundance of caution. This has been a very difficult decision that was necessitated by the real danger to the health of both guests and volunteers. We cannot be responsible for anyone being infected with the virus nor to continue ignoring the state mandates.
On Monday I met with the guests to say that the ministry would have to completely shut down for the above reasons for the duration of the pandemic. My Staff along with myself have developed a plan to acquire accommodations for our displaced homeless and I am glad to say that we have been successful in the short term. For the long term, we can only hope that the Authorities fulfill their promise of Crisis Housing.
I regret this decision ended up being made in Holy Week. The intent of this delay was to wait as long as possible to give our guests time to find alternative housing.
We strive to follow the Gospel message to serve the needy and feed the poor, as we continue working to serve our homeless within the confines of the current situation.
Peace and Every Good in the Tradition of St. Francis and St. Clare,
Fr Des, Pastor
Bishop Soto has asked that parish churches remain open during regular hours, especially on Sundays, for those wishing to offer private prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. St. Francis Church will be open from 9:00-11:30am and 1:00-3:00pm weekdays and 11:30am-3pm on Sundays for private prayer. Entrance to the church is by the side door in the breezeway. Please check this page for updates.
Individual confession will be offered by appointment only.
Please call Fr. Des directly at (916) 443-8084 (ext 115).
All parish meetings, St. Francis School classes, and parish Faith Formation programs remain cancelled until further notice. And the Parish Office is closed to the public for the time being.
Please continue to check our website as we will be posting new information as it becomes available.
Act of Spiritual Communion
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Loving God, grant that your healing grace may flow to all those who are suffering or ill, and that your strength and love may be with all those close to these brothers and sisters, for those who are providing care for them, and for all those who offer prayer on their behalf.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Parish Pastoral Council:
Due to the Corona Virus crisis, the election scheduled for June has been
canceled and a new election date is to be determined.
Bob Reid, Chair
Honoring our Franciscan tradition, St. Francis Parish is a Catholic Christian Community building the reign of God in the spirit and path of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi. We value vibrant liturgy and personal prayer as a way to worship God and celebrate life.
We are an inclusive community respecting the dignity of all persons and supporting the journey of each person. We respond to the command of Jesus to love by welcoming all, evangelizing, supporting spiritual growth, and being Eucharist to each other.
Challenged by the Holy Spirit, we reach beyond ourselves to care for our neighbors, the poor, the marginalized, and those alienated by our Catholic Church. We aspire to be witnesses and prophets advocating for justice in the world and in the church.
In January 2016, following the Provincial Chapter of Franciscan friars, a meeting took place to develop new administration plans for the future. This included assignments of friars and ministerial endeavors. continue reading...