It has been said that we live in unprecedented times. But do we really? After all, any amateur student of history and especially Church History can attest that the Holy Mother Church has already experienced everything we are living through and even far worse, things like plagues and pandemics, persecutions of Christians, violent attacks against persons for reason of color or other discriminatory traits, the shameless desecration of churches and statues and acts that cause scandal, even by those who are called on to serve as leaders of the faith. These are among the things that are clearly seen in our modern day, but the Church has been here before. The only difference between then and now is us."
— Bishop Kemme, From His Letter
Effective The Weekend of May 30 - 31.
On May 7 we announced the resumption of Holy Masses, using the guidelines of the Diocese of Wichita and Kansas health officials. The social distancing guidelines substantially reduced the seating capacity of our churches. At that time we began a weekend schedule of five Masses at St. Francis, with no weekend Mass at St. Ambrose.
Now, with two weeks of experience, we have decided to reduce our weekend Masses at St. Francis to four with the elimination of the 1:00 p.m. Sunday Mass. Beginning this weekend, of May 30 & 31, Masses are scheduled:
Saturday, May 30:
Sunday, May 31:
We will maintain this schedule until further notice. The previously issued schedule of Ushers, Lectors and Rosary Leaders in linked HERE for convenience.
This message follows Bishop Carl Kemme's announcement of Sunday, May 3rd regarding Phase One resumption of Holy Masses Within the Diocese of Wichita. As noted in the Bishop's announcement, and attachments, Phase One covers the period of Wednesday May 6 through Wednesday May 20.
Below are links to a letter from Father Sam Pinkerton regarding local Mass schedules, beginning Monday, May 11. This letter, and Bishop Kemme's attachment, have also been mailed to all members of St. Francis and St. Ambrose parishes.
At right is a photographic (JPG) image of Father's letter that can be enlarged, or you can follow THIS LINK to download the the letter, in PDF format, to your computer or device.
Here are some important take-away messages from the letter:
Please be reminded — at this time there continues to be no obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sunday. If you are turned away because of capacity restrictions, or are among the high-health-risk population you should pray privately, view Holy Mass on EWTN or other sources.
Note 1. The last three pages of the enclosure titled: "Guidelines for Resuming of Public Masses In the Catholic Diocese of Wichita ...." provide specific guidelines and restrictions regarding entry, seating, spacing, etc.
On Sunday, May 3rd, 2020, Bishop Carl Kemme announced his intention to resume public Masses, in phases, Beginning May 6. The announcement, which was released on the Diocese website, included:
"... the current pandemic is far from over. Medical experts tell us that this health crisis remains a very serious threat to the lives of many people. Because of this, I want to urge all those in the high risk population and others who so choose to continue to use the general dispensation I am giving from the obligation to attend the Sunday celebration of the Mass, which continues indefinitely during this crisis. Please do not put yourself or others at risk by attending the Masses once they resume. This is my urgent appeal to all in our Catholic Community: use extraordinary caution and good judgment in determining if you should attend Mass. No mortal sin is committed if you decide that you and your family should not attend.
The Proposal and Guidelines have since been provided as a single PDF document that can be downloaded HERE. This document describes Phase One of Mass resumption, during the time frame of May 6 through May 20, 2020. The proposal allows individual pastors to start at a later date if more time is required for preparation.
The St. Francis - St. Ambrose parish office has tailored the guidelines for our specific purpose and facilities. Those guidelines are being mailed to all members of both parishes. They will also be posted on the parish website soon.
The COVID-19 crisis is a difficult period requiring many changes in the way we worship. We must remain flexible and patient in the days ahead.
"Put your gifts at the service of one another." 1 Peter 4:10
On Friday, May 1, a prayer of consecration will be offered on behalf of the entire United States of America by the Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The prayer of consecration incorporates language used in consecrations of Popes Pius XII, John Paul II, and Francis, and also from prayers from Masses of the Virgin Mary.
At the same time as the Archbishop's prayer; Bishop Carl Kemme will consecrate the Diocese of Wichita. Bishop Kemme invites all faithful of our diocese to join him in a live-stream video.
See Instructions below for downloading the Prayer of consecration, and a link to the live-stream.
DAILY MASSES continue to be celebrated privately for the intentions that have been scheduled:
Sun. 4-26 3rd Sunday of Easter - People of the Parish
Mon. 4-27 + Henry & Catherine Smith
Tue. 4-28 No Mass
Wed. 4-29 + Alex Treiber
Thur. 4-30 + Ann Smith
Fri. 5-1 + Betty Coomes
Sat. 5-2 + Bill & Lou Spielbusch
Sun. 5-3 4th Sunday of Easter - People of the Parish
DRIVE-UP CONFESSIONS: Confessions will be heard on the west side of the St. Francis Rectory every Saturday from 4:30-5:15 p.m.; and every Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until all are heard. Follow the signs and cones and remain in your vehicle. If traffic allows, exit north on the gravel drive toward Carroll Street. Click HERE for more information.
Bulletins will be in the back of both churches every week; and are always available on our website Home Page.
DAILY MASSES continue to be celebrated privately for the intentions that have been scheduled:
Sun. 4-19 2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy) - People of
Mon. 4-20 + Charles & Betty Westhoff
Tue. 4-21 No Mass
Wed. 4-22 + Alex Treiber
Thur. 4-23 Mary Alice Diskin 90th Birthday
Fri. 4-24 + Bill & Jennifer Beachner
Sat. 4-25 + Rick Bowman
Sun. 4-26 3rd Sunday of Easter - People of the Parish
Remember — As always, the weekly bulletin is posted on the home page of this parish website. There are also copies of the bulletin in the back of both churches.
Our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Thomas Weston who passed away; and to the family and friends of Mary Lou Beachner who passed away. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
Drive-Up Confessions are heard every Saturday evening and Sunday morning as described HERE.
DAILY MASSES will be continue to be celebrated privately for the intentions that have been scheduled:
Sun. 4-12 Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord - People of the Parish
Mon. 4-13 + Ralph & Loretta Carter
Tue. 4-14 No Mass
Wed. 4-15 + Betty Roberts
Thur. 4-16 + Woody Holland
Fri. 4-17 + Pete & Marie Fager
Sat. 4-18 + Jane VanLeeuwen
Sun. 4-19 2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy) - People of the Parish
Parish Organization Leaders:
Our Joint-Parish website is about 3-1/2 years old and it has more than a year since we did a general site update. Please take a moment to look at the part of the site that pertains to you and your organization, and update information as needed. In many cases, this might just be name changes.
Follow these links to check your individual page information:
Education (including, PSR, Catechesis, RCIA, Bible Study)
Updated information may be provided to Laura Hoppas (St. Ambrose) and Ron Brogan
(St. Francis) directly or by message using the Joint-parishes Facebook Page (linked HERE)
* The St. Francis Altar Society and the Joint Knights of Columbus pages were updated fairly recently and might be OK as the are.
Some Updates and Reminders About COVID-19 the Situation:
With the Stay-at-Home order now in effect, please do not mail your treasure - tithe. Hold onto your envelopes until we are though this crisis.
Special Anointing Due to Surgery:
If you are going have a significant surgery, please call for Anointing of the Sick before you enter the hospital.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Parish Office is now closed to your physical presence and entrance. To schedule Mass intentions or such, please call Jackie Harmon, our Parish Secretary, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday at 620-449-2224.
The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations Because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood*.
When: Wednesday, April 8; 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: St. Francis Parish Hall, 1 Block North of Highway 47 & 1st
This blood drive will be run entirely by American Red Cross personnel. Every precaution is assured that the blood drive will be done in a safe and secure manner. **
* As the COVID-19 pandemic has grown blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate. To date, nearly, 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses and schools amidst the outbreak. These cancellations have resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations.
** There will be no need for St. Francis or St. Ambrose Altar Society or Daughters of Isabella Volunteers.
Weekly Mass Intentions and First "Abbreviated Bulletin."
Mass Intentions for Week of March 29 - April 3, 2020:
DAILY MASSES will be celebrated privately by Father Sam for the intentions that have been scheduled:
As announced last week, the St. Francis, St. Ambrose bulletin has been abbreviated to only one page. As usual, the bulletin is posted on the home page of this parish website; and is also linked below:
TO OUR KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS TEAM:
Thank you and your family members for securing the signs, and placing the signs and pylons for Confession. Those things are heavy!
Know of my prayers for you and all in our parish and our community at this time
Yours with pastoral love and prayers
in Jesus with Mary, I am
Father Sam Pinkerton
Dear People of Saint Francis and Saint Ambrose Parishes:
Due to the Coronavirus the Parish Office is now closed to your physical presence and entrance.
To schedule Mass Intentions or such, please call Jackie Harmon, our Parish Secretary, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m on Monday through Friday at:
I love you, but God loves you more!
In Jesus with Mary, I remain,
Father Sam Pinkerton
The COVID-19 Crisis Is Causing a Lot of Changes In Our Lives and Within Area Parishes As Well. Here Are a Few Things We Want Our St. Francis - St. Ambrose Parishioners to Be Aware Of. These Changes Are Effective Immediately and There Could be More.
Suspension of Masses and Other Events.
For those who are unaware, on March 17, Bishop Kemme suspended Masses, funeral luncheons, and other gatherings until further notice. There are provisions for limited gatherings for funerals, baptisms, etc discussed in his LETTER.
Beginning Saturday, March 21, St. Francis has Drive Up Confession at the West entrance of the Rectory. The confessions will be heard on Saturday afternoon from 4:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and Sunday mornings from 9:30 a.m. as long as necessary. Refer to THIS LINK for more information.
Bulletins & Parish News.
The bulletin for Sunday, March 22, is printed and on tables near the entry of both churches. They are not folded and Bishop Kemme's message of March 17 is on the right side of the page. This will be the last printed bulletin until you are otherwise advised. As always, this bulletin is posted on the home page of the parish website, https://www.stfrancis-stambrose.org/.
During the COVID-19 crisis period the bulletin will be reduced to a list of weekly private Mass intentions and special announcements. This abbreviated bulletin will be posted on the home page of the parish website — usually by Friday afternoon, with earlier bulletins. Parishioners who have friends or family without access to computers can print copies of these abbreviated bulletins for them.
Also, much of the recent news or events related to our churches, the diocese or The Vatican are provided at:
Even during this time of suspension and decreased activity, our churches and other facilities are expensive to operate. Air conditioning and heating systems continue to run, insurance premiums come due, maintenance is required and salaries must be paid. We still need your support!
Please place your tithe in your church envelope, then inside of a regular mailing envelope with your return address on that mailing envelope. This allows us to separate donations for the two church accounts, and ensures you are credited for your donation. Mail to St. Francis Catholic Church, P.O. Box 216, St. Paul, KS 66771. DO NOT MAIL CASH.
1. A Note About Facebook:
The Saint Francis-Saint Ambrose Facebook page currently has 535 followers and the number is growing weekly. These followers receive parish notifications regarding church events, cancellations, or the present COVID-19 crisis as they are posted. Facebook is an instant link to parish news releases.
We understand some parishioners are reluctant to use, or are even afraid of, Facebook. There is no reason to fear our application, but some explanation is in order.
Facebook provides three levels of service:
In Order to Restore Some Normality to Our Catholic Religious Lives, St. Francis Will Offer Drive - Up Confessions Beginning March 21 - 22 (SEE UPDATED DATES BELOW*).
Beginning Saturday, March 21, Father Pinkerton will hear confessions from the west Rectory entrance for people parked in the driveway. The spacing from Father to the planned parking spot allows safe distancing to prevent spread of disease. The Confession Schedule is:
* Beginning Saturday, May 16, Drive-Up Confessions Will Be Heard On Saturdays, From 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ONLY. Because of Increased Weekend Mass Schedule, Sunday Confessions Will Not be Heard
Illustrations and instructions below describe the entry-exit procedure; and the use of a waiting area to ensure adequate privacy during confession.
An Announcement of March 17, 2020 Regarding Suspension of All Catholic Masses, and Other Services, In The Diocese of Wichita, Until Further Notice.
Click Images Below to Enlarge.
Regarding St. Francis, St. Paul:
Being handed a roll of this candy is a reminder that you can make a difference in the lives of women facing crisis pregnancies.
The familiar Life Saver candy was invented in 1912 by Clarence Crane of Garrettsville, Ohio. He was looking for a hard-candy alternative to chocolate that melted during hot Ohio summers. Their shape was similar to life rings used on boats and around swimming areas. As they became popular, a roll of the candies was a "lifesaver" for the occasional sweet-tooth attack.
A New Meaning.
In recent years, the word "Lifesaver" has taken a more literal meaning. Knights of Columbus members, across the nation, don their familiar aprons and meet parishioners at church doors, after Mass, with the cash-can in hand. Being handed a roll of the candy is a reminder that you can make a difference in the lives of women facing crisis pregnancies.
The difference an ultrasound machine makes is frequently the difference between a mother keeping or aborting her baby. It is hard to deny the humanity of an unborn baby when confronted with a face, a nose, a heart, ten fingers and ten toes. In October of 2019, the Knights of Columbus announced that it's Ultrasound Initiative has placed 1,134 ultrasound machines — valued at more than $54 million — in all 50 states, Mexico, Canada and countries in South America and Africa. Thousands of babies have been saved and and the lives of countless mothers, fathers, and families have been enhanced thanks to the work of the Knights.
Closer to home, the Kansas State Council has set a 2019-2020 goal of raising $450,000 in donations for Culture of Life organizations and/or the Ultrasound Initiative. Local Life Saver Sunday proceeds support clinics such as A Better Choice Pregnancy Center in Wichita. 
So remember, when you see a Knight in the apron, with his can, ... digging into your pocket a little deeper will make a difference!
1. Source: Kansas State Council 2019 - 2020 Program & Membership Guide.
Photo is from KofC.org "Building a Culture of Life." (2019)
Congratulations to thirty-six of our young people who received the Anointing of the Holy Spirit through this great sacrament on Sunday, February 9. Thank you Bishop Carl Kemme for being with us as our shepherd in the Catholic faith!
Also Thank You to our Instructors: Aubrie Gahman & Patrick O'Brien for 7th and 8th students; and Suzie Diskin & Kari Chambers for 9th & 10th students.
Photos: Diocese of Wichita.
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION for 36 PSR Students will be on Saturday, February 8th, at 1:00 p.m. This will take the place of the 5:30 p.m. Mass and will fulfill the Sunday obligation.
The practice for candidates and sponsors will be on Wednesday, February 5th, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the church. (If the sponsor cannot be there, please have a parent attend.) There is no reception after the Confirmation Mass. Please plan accordingly for this special day! Parents:
Please read the information about pictures on the back of the letter that was mailed home. Bishop Kemme will be bringing a photographer along that will take a group picture before Mass and individual pictures during the Anointing and after the ceremony with sponsor and parents. You must order these online. The Bishop requests that no photos be taken during the Mass other than by the professional photographer. More information on this will be given to students at practice.
CHRISTMAS MASS SCHEDULE:
CHRISTMAS EVE: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24TH, 5:30 P.M. AT ST. FRANCIS
CHRISTMAS DAY: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 25TH, 8:00 A.M. AT ST. AMBROSE
CHRISTMAS DAY: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 25TH, 10:00 A.M. AT ST. FRANCIS
This is the community website for the St. Francis de Hieronymo and St. Ambrose Catholic Churches in Neosho County, Kansas. Both churches are located in the center of the historic nine-county southeast Kansas area. We share one of the richest Catholic Heritages in Southern Kansas and the Four-State Region. For more information about our churches, history, organizations or programs browse our site including its links.