The Adult Faith Program provides adult education opportunities for the parish.
Watch the bulletin for the varied presentations offered on the second Saturday of the month. Guest speakers include priests, sisters, teachers, and authors who speak on topics ranging from the Shroud of Turin to praying with scripture. A light breakfast is served. This is typically held in the lower level meeting room of the rectory, 9:00–11:00 am.
This program is a way for men of the parish to obtain fraternal spiritual support in the battle for souls. The monthly program will be held the last Wednesday of the month in the church at 8:30 pm. Watch the bulletin for the upcoming schedule.
Be Bold. Be Dynamic. Be Catholic.
Christmas 2014 marked the beginning of the Dynamic Catholic program at St. Francis of Assisi as we embraced the Archdiocese’s initiative to consider the four precepts outlined in Matthew Kelly’s life-altering book, Dynamic Catholic, to enliven faith and set hearts afire. Watch the bulletin and website for the Dynamic Catholic logo identifying special opportunities to deepen our efforts towards prayer, study, generosity and evangelization.
*Matthew Kelly’s book Dynamic Catholic is available in the parish library and in the Adoration Chapel.
Dynamic Catholic — Prayer
When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:12-13
Prayer is communion with God. Prayer can be public or personal, spoken or silent. The psalms are prayers we sing; they have been a part of the Church’s communal prayer since the earliest days of the Church. Prayer is communication with a God who loves us and desires to be in relationship with us.
Jesus teaches us about the importance of prayer. The Gospels record seventeen times that Jesus took time apart to pray. In the Scriptures, Jesus prays often, morning and night. He prays during critical events in his life and he prays before ministering to people in need. Jesus is a model of prayer for us.
Prayer is essential to living a full, Catholic life. The central communal form of prayer for the Church is the Mass. Some of the Church’s most traditional and foundational prayers are as follows:
Grace before Meals: Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your goodness, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Glory to the Father: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary: Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women; and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Act of Contrition: My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.
Hail, Holy Queen: Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, the children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this land of exile. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; lead us home at last and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus: O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
There are also contemporary ways to pray. Talking with God each day, no matter the form or words used, nourishes our relationship and helps it to grow.
Silent prayer or meditation helps us center our thoughts on God’s goodness and offers renewal in a noisy, hectic world.
Lectio Divina is a way of praying with the sacred Scriptures. Find a Scripture passage that speaks to you. Read it out loud and then reflect upon it silently for several minutes. Read it again. Notice any words or phrases that stick with you. Ask God what you are to learn from this passage. Listen.
Keep a prayer journal with all of your wants, needs, thoughts and reflections related to your prayer life.
Try some of these to develop your prayer life:
Set a daily time and place for prayer. Begin by setting aside just 10-15 minutes but be consistent with the start time, duration and location.
7 Step Prayer Process from Matthew Kelly’s book, The Dynamic Catholic.
Attend Sunday Mass every week. Attend daily Mass whenever you can.
Frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Spend time listening to Our Lord in the Adoration Chapel. Would you like us to pray for you? Submit your prayer request and it will be placed in the basket set before Our Lord in the chapel.
Dynamic Catholic — Study
We must always be ready to give a reason for our hope. There is always more to learn about the faith. Some resources readily available to parishioners at St. Francis include:
Lighthouse Media Kiosk: Located in the back of church, the kiosk is full of CDs, books and booklets on various Catholic topics. These are not only informative but inspiring. After you listen try passing it on to someone else. Small donations are requested to replenish the kiosk with new material ($3 to $5). Please place the donation in the slot on the kiosk.
SFA Parish Library: The library has a wide range of videos, books and CDs for your use. Located in the rectory basement, the library is usually open after Sunday Mass and at special times throughout the week. Whether you’re interested in deeper spirituality, church history, or artwork in the Vatican, this is a wonderful free resource for parishioners. If you haven’t read it yet, check out Matthew Kelly’s book Dynamic Catholic.
Lighthouse Catholic Media Online: Browse the full library of materials on just about any subject related to faithful Catholic living. Books, CDs and other media are reasonably priced. They also offer monthly CD subscriptions so new material is sent to you on a regular basis.
Catholic Essentials: Do you know the four marks of the Church? The precepts of the Church? The Beatitudes? They’re listed on this page.
Formed.org: Transform your faith by using this subscription-based website which is currently free for parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi. Go to the website and click the REGISTER tab, then enter your email and use parish code W3EFPT for entry. You only need to register once and you’re free to return again and again.
Paul VI Institute: The Archdiocese of St. Louis has an institute that offers online and in-person classes on various aspects of the faith. Different programs are offered for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.
Adult Faith Programs: St. Francis offers various programs throughout the year ranging from one-time events to several weeks. Our neighboring parishes may also have programs of interest to you. Watch the bulletins for upcoming dates and topics.
Archdiocesan Events: Read the St. Louis Review to keep up to date with events going on around town.
Dynamic Catholic — Generosity
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35
In 2017 St. Francis will focus on generosity. Watch the bulletin and website for ideas on how to continue to develop as a generous, Dynamic Catholic. In the meantime, consider that generosity comes from gratitude. Take some extra time to reflect on the many blessings God has already given you. Remember that He entrusts us with gifts and expects us to be good and generous stewards!
Give to those in need.
Volunteer at St. Francis or at a charity.
Give the gift of your time to someone. Spend time with family and friends. Visit a relative who is homebound or doesn’t receive many visitors.
Contribute to the weekly parish collection. If you do not give anything, consider starting a weekly contribution. If you already give, ask God if He is calling you to give a little more.
Respect all people.
Thank people for kindness shown to you and others.
Dynamic Catholic — Evangelization
He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
Through Baptism each of us is called to go out and share the love of Jesus with others. Here are some simple things you can do:
Invite someone to join you at Mass.
Invite friends and family to join an activity at St. Francis or the Archdiocese of St. Louis
Offer to pray for others. If they’re expressing worry or concern, offer to pray with them
right there where you are. A moment of intercessory prayer is a powerful witness.
When it is time to give a gift, consider a CD or book about God and His Catholic Church. The Lighthouse Media Kiosk in the back of church has a changing assortment of titles. You may want to join the CD of the Month Club and order extras to give away.
Use social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to post and share items about our faith.
It’s a new website made to transform your faith with some of the best Catholic content available today. Entertaining and informative talks by speakers like Scott Hahn, Father Larry Richards and Jason Evert. DVD series like the popular Symbolon program that explains the Catholic faith and the Y-Disciple series for youth. Videos on lives of the saints, the lost gospels and Catholic mysteries. And if you prefer to read there’s a variety of downloadable e-books available.
REGISTER: The subscription-based website is free to parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi parish. Go to http://formed.org and click the REGISTER tab. Then enter your email and parish code W3EFPT. You only need to register once and you’re free to return again and again.
Catholic Lighthouse Media
Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge. Proverbs 23:12
Located in the back of church, the Lighthouse Media Kiosk offers an ever-changing assortment of CDs, books and booklets covering a variety of topics. The material is top rate, lively and entertaining from some of today’s top Catholic speakers. Try listening to a CD on the way to work. Then pass it on to a friend. Suggested donations are $5/book, $4/CD, $3/booklet, which helps us cover the cost of the materials so we can replenish with new titles.
Lighthouse is part of the Augustine Institute, which produces excellent material on the faith. Visit the Lighthouse Catholic Media website for their complete library of CDs, books and programs. Do you understand why contraception is a bad idea? Do you know someone having trouble with addiction to pornography? Are you suffering and don’t understand why God permits it? Do you want to learn about angels or saints? Is your son having trouble with girlfriends getting too attached? You’ll find the broad range of topics keeps you coming back to the site again and again as you enjoy listening to these insightful and captivating Catholic speakers.
There are also affordable subscriptions (CD of the Month, MP3 Download of the Month) to keep new material coming right to your door. Order multiple copies to share with family and friends, an easy and effective way to evangelize while enlivening your own faith.
And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32