Ed Scott

Pastor’s Pen

January 28, 2022

Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas

Dear members and friends of St. Francis Xavier faith-family,

Now that our ‘normal’ lives are still being challenged by COVID, I wanted to write a note to the parish and update events and plans which are ever-changing.  A few dates to put forth to you are: “Save the Date” of Sunday; May 22 @ the 11:00 AM Mass.  In gratitude, I will celebrate with you my 40 years of ordained priesthood.  Who knew? J What an honor for me to be pastor of SFX Parish for this milestone celebration.  You all are more than cordially invited to the reception in our Parish Activity Center afterwards.  My cousin, Archbishop Thompson, will be here to give the homily (but I will have the last word!)  A second “Save the Date” is Sunday; May 29 @ 11:00 AM in which the new archbishop (still unknown to humankind and only to God) will celebrate Mass and, immediately following, bless the PAC building and our renovations in the old church.  Please put these on your calendars!  

I also want to take the opportunity to remind you of our upcoming Ministry Fair that will happen in the RE building on February 12-13.  We celebrate our accomplishments in ministry as well as commit and recommit to the ministries that make our parish work.  The big keys to Stewardship are the three “T’s”; Time, Talent and Treasure.  As time moves forward, these three “T’s” are in flux and you are needed in our new works of charity.  You are the hands and feet and tongue of Jesus to one another.  Please make plans to come and offer yourselves in a ministry.

Lastly, thanks to all of you who give to our regular collection.  Without these funds our work just could not be done.  If you have not done so, please re-evaluate the possibility of giving more than in the past.  As one can see clearly in the weekly bulletin, we are running a deficit and certainly need your help… please. Amen.

May God bless your every good effort in doing what Jesus would have you do.

In Christ the Cornerstone,

Pat French Scholarship Application

ATTENTION HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: SFX High School Seniors are invited to apply for the $2,500 Pat French Scholarship.

Application Requirements:  Applicants must be a member of St. Francis Xavier Church and graduating high-school senior with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 sale. The applicant must be a service-oriented person and dedicated student, demonstrating good work ethic.

Application Deadline is February 18, 2022.
Contact Jennifer Sweeney in the parish office with questions at (502) 538-4933 or jennifer.sweeney@sfxmw.com
Applications may be emailed, dropped off at the parish office or mailed to:
St. Francis Xavier
Pat French Scholarship
155 Stringer Lane
Mt. Washington, KY 40047

(must be postmarked by 2.18.22)

Tree of Life

As our story continues and we celebrate our 175th anniversary as a parish, we can honor and remember our loved ones in a very special way. You now have the opportunity to purchase a leaf for the “Tree of Life” that will be displayed in a prominent place in our new Parish Activity Center. The cost to acknowledge the special people in your life in this meaningful way is $200 per leaf. Leaves can be purchased in the back of church after Masses or you may pick up an order form in the back of church and drop it off with payment at the church office or in the collection basket. This is the perfect way to make a lasting memory so order yours today!

Furnishing Our House…

The Parish Activity Center, a new addition to our parish family home, will be completed soon. It’s time to start thinking about how we are going to furnish our home. Just like when you bought your first home and had to figure out how to furnish it, we are planning now on what we need for interior finishings, what they will cost and how we will pay for them.

To start, we know we will need things like tables and chairs, kitchenware, recreational equipment as well as IT, security and audio equipment. In addition, we’d like to make improvements to the old church and parish hall, including flooring, painting and new windows.

Now we need our parish family to help furnish our new parish home. Our estimates put the total cost around $160,000. You can find a list of items needed located on a table in the main church entrance. Monies that continue to be donated to the Expanding Our Embrace campaign will be used to help fund the furnishing of the Parish Activity Center and improvements to the Parish Hall and old church.

Please consider donating in one of the following ways.  You can visit the St. Francis Xavier website and click on the Giving tab and choose the Capital Campaign option (click here). You can continue to use your Expanding Our Embrace envelopes or write in the “For” section of your check “Expanding Our Embrace” or “Capital Campaign.” You can put these in the church collection baskets or drop them by the church office. Feel free to contact the church office if you have any questions. 

Thank you for your prayerful consideration!

Fr. Dale’s Homily

19th Sunday in OT (Cycle B)
August 7-8, 2021
Gospel:  John 6:41-51

In an episode of “The Food That Built America” found on The History Channel, it tells the following story…

Back in 1940, two brothers, Dick and Maurice were feeling pretty good about themselves. They had finally, after numerous rejections by the banks, been able to secure a loan for $5,000.00 to open a small drive-in restaurant in San Bernadino, CA.  They were a hit in the first year.  Teenaged boys liked to frequent the place in their beat-up cars, lingering to flirt with the cute carhops.  Young families seemed to enjoy the place, too, because it was inexpensive and relatively fast.  After eight years of modest success, the brothers were not satisfied, so they took a chance.  Guessing that their customers would sacrifice variety for speed, they closed for a while to make some changes.  They fired all the carhops.  They shortened their menu from 29 items to nine, focusing almost exclusively on hamburgers and cheeseburgers.  They replaced the plates and silverware with paper bags, wrappers and paper cups.  Then they re-opened and waited for the crowds.

NOBODY CAME.  The McDonald brothers were stunned when business actually fell off.  For a while, they had to ask employees to put their cars in the customer’s parking lot so that it would appear they had some business.  One can only imagine the second-guessing that must have gone on.  Should they have taken the risk and made the change?  Was it too late to go back to the old way and be satisfied with that?  The brothers decided to stick with their new system and see where it would take them.

The ambivalence of Dick and Maurice McDonald at that moment is something that most of us can relate to. There are times when we face an uncertain future.  Lured by a promise of something better, we often take that risk.  But uncertainty nags at us.  We wonder if we have made the right choice. 

So it is with the life of faith.  Jesus beckons us onward to fuller life with Him.  We hesitate, decide, have second thoughts and have to renew, from time to time, our commitment to stay with the Lord on this journey.

There is a risk factor involved in the decision to follow Jesus.  In this age of “informed consent”, Christianity may need a label attached to it that says, “WARNING: commitment to this faith may be hazardous to your mental health, causing anxious moments, doubts and maybe even regrets about the choice you have made.” 

If we are really living our faith, we might at times echo Elijah: “This is enough, O Lord!”  He had to be wondering, as he fled Jezabel, if it was all worth it.

It may be the case if we find our faith safe and comfortableWithout the struggle and the risk, without the sense that something is at stake, we are merely play-acting.

NOSTALGIA:  taking the best of yesterday and comparing it to the worst of today.

Nostalgia for an idealized past can be a roadblock on our journey of faith.  Today’s Gospel begins with the murmuring of the crowd.  They have just reacted to Jesus’ offer of “heavenly bread” by recounting the story of their ancestors who were fed manna in the desert.  Jesus has called them to something marvelous and new; their reaction is to look longingly to the past.  They repeat the mistake of their ancestors

There is a kind of ironic parallel to this in the last chapter of the McDonald brothers’ story.  Their earlier risk had eventually paid off.  By 1961 they were making $100,000.00 from their own restaurant and even more from the franchises that had begun to spring up across the country.  Yet, they were being pressed by their franchising agent, Ray Kroc, to expand even further, maybe to a thousand outlets.  They balked at this.  So they sold out to Ray Kroc.  Today there are more than 37,000 McDonald’s Restaurants in 120 countries around the world.

Along with the risks of faith comes a promise that the Lord will be with us.  On his trek to the mountain of God, Elijah was sustained by “angelic” food and Jesus assures his listeners that if they risk following Him, they will be given “heavenly” bread that satisfies completely

Our pilgrimages of faith involve risks and challenges, but we are given something to sustain us on that journey: JESUS, the bread of life.  We gather now to break the bread and pour the cup, confident that those who eat and drink shall life forever.      

Guidelines for Mass

Guidelines for Mass at St. Francis Xavier Church 2020

First and foremost, Archbishop Kurtz has issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend MASS on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation for the Archdiocese of Louisville until further notice.  Anyone over the age of 65 is encouraged to continue attending MASS as found at www.archlou.org/COVID-19 and ease into your return at your convenience at a later time.   

You are encouraged to take your own temperature before coming to MASS. If you are sick you need to stay home at this time.  As we have been doing, one can share Spiritual Communion at a virtual MASS.  It is strongly encouraged to protect one another and follow the guidelines of the Commonwealth and wear a mask or face covering at all times (and gloves if you choose).  Masks are available at the exits; homemade and bought.   

Doors will be propped open upon your arrival.  In order to fulfill ‘social distancing’, our church seating is that families are directed to sit together in one pew.  Every second/third pew is reserved for that purpose.  All individuals are asked to sit at least 6 feet apart at Mass.  Since our church officially seats 750, we are allowed to use approximately 200 seats per MASS in keeping with Commonwealth guidelines.  In order to comply, a third mass of 11:00 AM is being added to the schedule (until at least the end of September).  Seating will be first come, first served.  

Please take and use an Order of Worship found at all entrances.  Please discard them after the MASS in trash receptacles at the exits.  All song books are in storage.

Hand sanitizer is made available at all three exits (Foamy IQ which is a foam disinfectant). 

The collection of tithing and donations will be taken during Communion.  Please place your donations in the basket provided by the usher.  Thank you for sharing.

Please ‘stagger’ your exit from the church so as to keep ‘social distance’ when leaving.  For those who wish to visit at the end of mass, please do so outside… for now. 

Thank you for complying with these rules and guidelines.  They come from four sources: the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Archbishop and Archdiocese of Louisville, the faith-family of SFX and Father Dale Cieslik, pastor.  

God bless!  Pray unceasingly for a vaccine to COVID-19.

Mass of the Air

As an alternative to attending Mass, Catholics may watch the Mass of the Air. It is broadcast:

  • 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on the Faith Channel (Spectrum channel 19) and streamed on the Faith Channel at www.faithtvlive.com.
  • 10:30 a.m. on WHAS-TV (channel 11) and whas11.com under the “Live Video” tab.
  •  9 a.m. on WBKI-TV (Spectrum Channel 7).

Other resources for virtual masses include the following:

  • Cathedral of the Assumption 12:00 noon Sundays – watch live or recorded here.
  • St. James Parish (Elizabethtown) – has the Sunday Mass by 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, here (YouTube) or here (parish website).  The Mass also airs on Comcast CH 2 at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Mass with Pope Francis here.
  • Word on Fire Daily Mass posted by 8:15 a.m. each day. See here.
  • Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Washington, D.C.) Mass live streamed each Sunday at 12 Noon here.