News

A Message from Fr. Dale

September 16, 2021

Hello SFX members and friends,

On the weekends of September 18-19 AND September 25-26, we will offer the opportunity for anyone to sign a steel beam that is part of the Parish Activity Center construction.  The Beam will be located at the southwest corner of the Religious Education Building under a canopy near the construction area.  ALL parish groups who meet on our campus are invited to sign The Beam, too, on the day your group meets… from Prayer Blanket Ladies to the Youth Group to RE students and catechists to AA to KofC members and many, many, many more.

Please make it a point to autograph a part of our parish history!

God bless each of you and don’t forget to respond (if you have not yet done so) to “The ASK” list provided in church, the parish website, parish bulletin and The CrossRoads Messenger (our quarterly newsletter).  We need support in supplying our new space with items that will allow us to immediately use the PAC as intended.

God bless and thank you so much for being a faithful member of SFX!

In Christ the Cornerstone,

Recommended reading from Fr. Dale

 

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!

Knights of Columbus Catholic Citizenship Contest

The Knights of Columbus St Joseph Council #12354 is proud to sponsor a Catholic Citizenship Contest. The Knights of Columbus Catholic Citizenship Essay is open to all Catholic students, in grades 8-12.  Prizes are awarded to 1st and 2nd place winners in each grade level.  The theme of the essay is Living a Life of Authentic Catholic Faith.

Students are encouraged to write a 500-750 word essay, which describe everyday obstacles that you may have
experienced or witnessed others experiencing while living a life of authentic faith. Explain how you have overcome these obstacles and how, by doing so, it has helped your faith to continue to grow.

An entry form must accompany the essay.   The essays must reflect the assigned theme and be the student’s original work.  The student’s name should appear only on the official Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest entry form which must be stapled to the essay.  Essays can be turned in to the parish office or collection basket, or directly to the St. Joseph Council Knights of Columbus.  Essays must be turned in between September 4 – October 5.  Any questions about this program, please contact
Eric Guy @ 315-350-4113.


A Letter from Archbishop Kurtz

August 19, 2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

May God bless you! In light of our return to in-person worship many months ago, the increase in vaccines, and in consultation with our COVID-19 Pastor Committee, I am restoring the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

The general obligations to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is reinstated as of the weekend of September 4-5, 2021. Your pastor will be communicating with you about this development. Today, I would like to share some reflections about why the Eucharist is so important in our lives as Catholics and what we mean by “obligation.”

First, I want to remind everyone that illness, caring for those who are ill and significant emotional or physical vulnerabilities, especially in light of COVID-19, exempt you from this obligation (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2181). This obligation does not apply to those who are:
• Sick.
• Have a serious health risk or live in a household with those at risk.
• Serve as primary caregivers to those at risk.
• Have serious anxiety or concerns about being in a large-group setting due to COVID-19.
• Are unable to attend Mass in person.
• In addition, prudent caution may be exercised about Mass attendance for those who are unable to be vaccinated, such as children under the age of 12.

I also want to encourage all Catholics who are eligible to obtain a vaccine. Our Holy Father said that taking a vaccine “is about a moral choice because it is about your life but also the lives of others.” This action is an act of love and a contribution to the common good.

The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith because this is where we encounter Jesus Christ, present in the Sacred Body and Precious Blood. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest, something happens! Jesus gives Himself to us in this way because He loves us and wants us to be joyful. He also wants us to share this extraordinary gift of joy with the world through our witness and acts of service. While I was very grateful for the creativity of our parishes in offering live-streaming and other virtual option for Mass when we could not attend or had limits on attendance, there is no substitute for our physical presence at Mass.

The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith because this is where we pray with our brothers and sisters, members of the Christian community, who also reflect the real presence of Christ. As Catholics, we believe that salvation is a journey that we take together as members of the Body of Christ. Together, we ask forgiveness for our sins, listen to the Scriptures relating our salvation history, offer our gifts, experience the transformation of Christ truly present and receive his body and blood as nourishment for the journey and as inspiration as we take Christ into the world. There is no greater gift!

The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith because the church is our home, where we are nourished and where so many important events in our lives take place. God does not ask us to worship because of His need to be worshipped but because of our need for prayer, renewal and formation. Worship is God’s gift for our spiritual well-being, for growth in our relationship with God and others and for our eternal salvation.

Obligation is sometimes seen as a negative word, evoking a sense of grudging drudgery. I invite you instead to reflect on the obligations you have in your lives…to your children, spouses, parents, colleagues, neighbors. Why do you fulfill these obligations? I would guess that most of these stem from a sense of responsibility, commitment, gratitude and love. Our obligation to attend Mass is a requirement of the Church…a requirement that calls us into a deeper relationship with God and others. The word Eucharist means thanksgiving, and our faithful participation in the holy sacrifice of the Mass builds our capacity for faith, hope and love.

I invited a few directors of archdiocesan offices to develop some video messages about the obligation of love and about the Mass as the center of our lives. These short spots feature a variety of parishioners from throughout the Archdiocese. I invite you to listen and reflect on their inspiring messages. These spots will begin to be released the week of August 22 and can be found at http://www.archlou.org/tast-and-see . This page also contains other resources about these topics.

Finally, I want to offer a word of encouragement. I know that many of you are dealing with burdens from your own illness, the illness and deaths of family members, loss of jobs, and increased anxiety because of this devastating pandemic. Please allow our community of faith to support you in your healing. Many pastors have spoken to me about their concern for their parishioners, and we will be reflecting together about how to provide pastoral care for those in need.

As we take this next step of the journey, let us take inspiration from our Blessed Mother, whose trust in God and deep love sustain us on our pilgrimage of faith. Please know of my constant prayers for all of you!

Sincerely yours in our Lord,

Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.
Archbishop of Louisville

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.