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The St. Francis Catholic Church Christmas decorations have been admired in our area for decades. They are easy to take for granted. However, few people realize that the work on this annual project starts as the previous year's decorations are taken down. For example, during the past year new choir loft and communion rail garlands were purchased and prepared to replace older worn garlands. Well used, but rumpled, ribbon arrangements were replaced with new materials that were lovingly tied during warmer months. Also, planning for better ways to control lighting circuits was thought out early. By the time the thousands of lights are illuminated, on Christmas Eve, dozens of parishioners have spent hundreds of man-hours preparing and installing,
Slideshow. To navigate through the slideshow, hover your mouse over a photo. "Pause" stops and "Play" restarts. Use arrow buttons to move forward or back, or more quickly. Thanks to Marsha Smith for sending some of the photos.
Our joint parishes website, www.stfrancis-stambrose.org, has been up and running for more than two years. The web page and its companion Facebook page "@StFrancisAmbrose" are excellent tools to familiarize new parishioners with our churches, describe parish organizations and policies, and keep folks informed about St. Francis and St. Ambrose activities. The web page, combined with the sharing power of Facebook, have put our joint-parishes information, events and accomplishments in front of a lot of people.
Here are some website use statistics since we secured our domain name and hosting service on September 27, 2016:
Links add up and people do recognize us as an active, vibrant church family!
WE NEED SOME HELP FROM TEAM AND GROUP LEADERS!
Leaders from both parishes are asked to look at their team rosters, and current procedures. Compare the current information with that shown on the website. Please provide updates as necessary or just let us know if everything is correct. Open the site HERE and look at the information under the "Education", "Organizations" and "Church Life" links at the top of the page. 
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)
1 The Knights of Columbus and St. Francis Altar Society pages have been updated recently and should be OK.
The rectory is donating a very nice piano and bench for sale at the St. Francis Fall Festival auction. The piano is a Jannsen console-type piano and the serial number indicates it was manufactured in about 1961. It has been in the rectory for some time and was tuned several times. It is believed the latest tuning was arranged by Father David.
The overall appearance and condition of the piano is very good. The finish is smooth, glossy light cherry and cherry veneer with a few minor dings and scratches expected from use. It was played by Fathers Vacca and David, and likely others. Under the cover, the action mechanism is clean.
The bench top shows wear, also consistent with use. It has a fold-up seat for music storage. The piano is now in the rectory. It is heavy and might not be moved to the hall for the auction.
Knights of Columbus Council 760 is very pleased to welcome four new members:
Any practicing Catholic man, of any age, who believes he would like to become a Knight should get in contact with the St. Francis Parish office or another member of Council 760. Open THIS LINK for more information about the Knights of Columbus including our council officers.
First Degree Exemplification - Wednesday July 18.
Knights of Columbus Council 760 will hold a First Degree exemplification at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, at St. Francis Parish Hall, St. Paul. During this ceremony we will welcome several new Knights into the council.
Many in our area are aware of some of the civic and charitable work the Knights do. But the role of the Knights of Columbus is much larger than most people can imagine. When you begin to understand that role you also understand why Pope John Paul II referred to the Knights of Columbus as a “strong right arm of the Church.” Catholic men, of any age*, put themselves in very good company when they join the KofC.
Please Follow This Link for more information about the Knights of Columbus. If you have been thinking about joining the Knights, there is no better time than right now. If interested, contact the St. Francis parish office, or any of our current members. The link above includes several names.
The July 18 exemplification will include snacks and beverages. We hope to see you there!
* Must be at least 18 years old.
Knights of Columbus Council 760 — St. Paul - Walnut - Erie
It was a beautiful evening, yet sad. Father David had just led us through Eucharistic Adoration in Celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi. Then we moved to the parish gardens shelter house for another step in bidding him farewell.*
Almost on cue, a long streak of sweltering, humid days took a break in favor of a cooler, breezy evening. A large group of St. Francis and St. Ambrose parishioners, including our youth, greeted Father in the garden to enjoy refreshments provided by the Altar Society. We talked, laughed and reminisced about the four years of spiritual guidance he had given us; and discussed the university challenges ahead of him.
We will miss you Father David Michael Htun!
*Father David's next assignment is as pastor of St. Paul University Parish, Wichita State University.
On Sunday, June 3rd, (Corpus Christi Sunday) we will have Adoration from 6:30 p.m. — 7:30 p.m. at St. Francis Church.
After Adoration the Altar Society will have a farewell reception for Father David in the Garden Shelter House. Refreshments are provided. Everyone is encouraged to attend and thank Fr. David for all of his work here at St. Francis and St. Ambrose during the past 4 years.
It is a Joyous Time For Our Parish Family.
On Saturday, May 26, Deacon James "Jimmy" Schibi was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in Jesus Christ at the Church of the Magdalen, Wichita. Father Schibi went to high school in St. Paul and graduated with the class of 2006. During his time at St. Francis he was confirmed and attended the St. Francis Parish School of Religion with many of our students. As he progressed through his Sacraments and religious education with us and his home parish of St. Patrick's, he received his call to the priesthood.
Father Schibi will celebrate Mass at St. Francis Catholic Church on Saturday evening, June 9th at 5:30 p.m. Following the Mass, the Altar Society and Knights of Columbus will serve dinner at the St. Francis Parish Hall. All St. Francis and St. Ambrose parishioners are invited to attend and wish him well!
Effective June 19, 2018, Reverend Samuel J. Pinkerton will become the pastor of our St. Francis—St. Ambrose Parishes family. Father Pinkerton is currently the Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Garden Plain, and St. Mary Aleppo Catholic Church, near Garden Plain. Both parishes are administered from Garden Plain. Father Sam has been assigned to St. Anthony and St. Mary Since 2007.
Father David Michael Htun is being reassigned to the St. Paul University Parish located on the campus of Wichita State University, Wichita. He was assigned to St. Francis—St. Ambrose as parish administrator in 2014 and became our pastor in 2015
Father David will be dearly missed, but we look forward meeting and getting acquainted with Father Sam Pinkerton. Best of luck to both in their new parishes.
Knights of Columbus Council 760 ...
... will have a meeting on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the St, Francis Parish Hall. Members are encouraged to attend. We have some upcoming, important business and events that need to be discussed and planned.
We would like to than Ceci Thomas for the cinnamon rolls she furnished for the Knights on Sunday, April 29. We would also like to congratulate Bob Harmon for being selected as "The Knight of the Month." to the Dan and Susan Vitt Family for being selected as "Family of the Month" and Riley Vitt for the Youth Sponsorship.
Holy Week Services, Holy Thursday Through Easter Sunday.
Thursday, March 29 — 7:00 p.m. Holy Thursday (St. Francis)
Friday, March 30 — 5:00 p.m. Good Friday (St. Ambrose)
Friday, March 30 -- 7:00 p.m. Good Friday (St. Francis)
Saturday, March 31 — 8:30 p.m. Easter Vigil (St. Francis)
Sunday, April 1 —8:00 a.m. Easter Sunday (St. Ambrose)
Sunday, April 1 —10:00 a.m. Easter Sunday (St. Francis)
They Do More Than Cook.
We are accustomed to seeing our Knights across the serving counter at benefit breakfasts or fish fry's. During the fall, many of us buy racks of well-prepared smoked ribs. Some of these events are focused on raising money for families or individuals in need because of illness or a catastrophic event in their lives. At other times they are raising money for their community and emergency fund. These funds allow them to respond, sometimes quickly, to special needs and other community or parish projects.
A good example of special needs are the upcoming KofC fish fry's. A part of the money will support our Catholic Youth Ministry. Remaining proceeds from the fish fry's and other events help them support seminarians.
Current Seminarian Support.
Currently KofC 760 is supporting two seminarians, both scheduled to be ordained later this spring:
Deacon James "Jimmie" Schibi. Council 760 has provided annual financial support for Jimmie's seminarian studies for several years. He attended High School in St. Paul and then entered the Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmetsburg, Md. On May 20, 2017, he was ordained a Deacon at the Church of The Magdalen in Wichita. Following a brief assignment in Rome, Deacon Schibi will be ordained as a priest in May of this year. We look forward to "Father" Jimmie Schibi celebrating a mass at St. Francis de Heironymo Catholic Church later this year.
A Mission Outreach — Deacon Michael Aung Naing Win. Michael is from Monhla, Myanmar (Burma), Where he is associated with the Missionary of St. Paul Congregation. He was ordained as a Deacon last year. Deacon Michael (also spelled Aungnaingwin) is one of three seminarians currently assisted by our Pastor, Father David Michael Htun. Until now he has relied on borrowed computers. Approaching ordination this spring, he needed his own laptop to prepare homilies, courseware for religion classes, internet communication and writing. In February of this year Council 760 contributed money to cover the cost of a laptop, software and some ordination expense.
For more information about Knights of Columbus Council 760, follow THIS LINK.
Congratulations to the following students for receiving the sacrament of Confirmation Saturday evening, February 24, at St. Francis Catholic Church by Bishop Carl Kemme:
Thank you to Suzie Diskin and Keaton McCracken for preparing these students for their Confirmation.
... The Bulletin is Always With You?
If you have a smartphone or a computer you can access the St. Francis - St. Ambrose bulletin from anywhere. The Sunday bulletin is posted to the parishes website every Monday afternoon. We usually keep at least a couple of months of past bulletins listed on the home page.
On a Desktop Computer:
On Your Smartphone:
Access the Bulletin:
On Sunday, February 18, our St. Francis Catholic Youth Ministry hosted their annual Senior Citizen's Valentine's Dinner. The dinner and desserts were delicious as always. But even more important was the opportunity for our youth to enjoy the companionship of the community's older citizens.
Many of the guests won door prizes. Carry-out dinners were taken to some seniors who were unable to attend.
A Very Special THANK YOU to our CYM Members, Adult Advisers and Parents Who Helped arrange and host this wonderful event!
The feast of St. John Bosco will be celebrated on Sunday, January 28 (Parish Youth Day). The celebration begins with 10:00 Mass at St. Francis, followed by pizza and ice cream at the parish hall. All youth from both parishes are expected to attend, along with their parents. All parishioners from both parishes are invited.
Founder of the Salesian Society, John Bosco was born to poor parents near Castelnuovo, Piedmont, Italy, in August of 1815. His father died when he was two, and much of his education came from his mother and a parish priest. At age nine he dreamed of a life dedicated to the education of young people. On becoming a priest in 1841, he chose as his life's work: "Da mihi animas cetera tolle" ("Give me souls, take all the rest" Gen. 14: 21). He began his apostolate among poor young people with the founding of the Oratory, which he placed under the patronage of St. Francis of Sales. He led young people to Christ through his educational style, pastoral practices and a strong determination in the face of many hardships.
When he passed away on January 31, 1888, Pope John Paul II proclaimed him Father and Teacher of Youth. He was canonized on Easter Sunday of 1934.
* Confused? St. Bosco shows up with three first names. His Italian given name birth was Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco. The most popular variation of his name is "John." However, he is also referred to as "Don" which is an honorary title given to priests in Italy. There are colleges and high schools named after him that have used one or the other variation.
It is the season of giving — and of late-year tax planning. This might be the perfect time to make a donation that will beautify the St. Francis church gardens and make it safer for our elderly and students.
St. Francis is starting a lighting project that will both beautify the church grounds and make the area safer for evening prayer events, as well as PSR students and staff. Approximately fourteen lamp posts will line the sidewalks of the garden including the walkway to Prairie Mission Retirement Village. Light posts will also illuminate the area between the church and rectory.
The Project is Underway ...
... but we still need your help. So far most of the trenching has been done and conduit has been laid between electrical power sources and the post positions. On December 3rd, the Parish Stewardship Council selected a post light head. The decorative heads will be of a Romanesque design that will complement the arches of the church windows, garden bell tower and the steeple. Now, the heads and posts can be ordered, concrete bases can be laid and work will be continued for an early spring completion. Some of the money is in place, but we will need some more financial support to meet the estimated $15,000 project cost.
If You Would Like to Help:
Donations may be mailed to the church rectory or put in the weekend collections. Please be sure to earmark your donation for the "Lighting Project" on your envelope and the check memo line. Envelopes for this may be found in the back of church, or use your own. Out-of-town donations may be mailed to.
St. Francis Catholic Church
208 Washington Street
St. Paul, Kansas 66771
Your generosity is greatly appreciated!
Remember - Two Masses:
This year, because Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, that day is not only the Fourth Sunday of Advent, it is also the Vigil of Christmas. And yes, the Sunday obligation to attend Mass and the Christmas obligation to attend Mass must be fulfilled with two different Masses. The Christmas Mass Schedule is below:
December 23rd & 24th Mass Schedule:
Saturday, December 23rd — 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Francis
Sunday, December 24th — 8:00 a.m. Mass at St. Ambrose
Sunday, December 24th — 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Francis
Christmas Mass Schedule:
Sunday, December 24th — 5:30 p.m.Mass at St. Francis
Monday, December 25th — 8:00 a.m. Mass at St. Ambrose
Monday, December 25th — 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Francis
Thursday, December 21st from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ** Changed from 20th **
Saturday, December 23 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am or until all are heard.
Father David will also be in the confessional every Saturday from 4:30 p.m. until 5:20 p.m.
Quite an Honor to Have Them Here ...
On the weekend of December 2-3 three representatives from the Loretto Archives, Nerinx, Kentucky, visited St. Paul to learn more about their history, and about us. The group consisted of: Loretto archivist, Sister Eleanor Craig; new archivist, Katie SantaAnna and videographer, Neil Tucker. The end destination of their trip is Denver where they will be part of the closing of the Loretto Center on December 8. Along the way they were stopping at important Loretto historical sites including Santa Fe Trail sites near Kansas City and Dodge City.
But the Osage Mission site has been on Sister Craig's mind for several years. During a visit to the Kentucky Motherhouse in 2013, Sister Craig told Rosie and I that the Osage Mission story was one of her favorites. Sister Craig is very aware of the family relationship among the three "Hayden Sisters":
Sister Craig asked for some details regarding the Loretto's time here at Osage Mission - St. Paul. They left with much of the information and more will follow. But more importantly, she wanted to meet some of our parishioners — especially those with ties to the Lorettos or St. Ann's — and we did not let her down. Saturday afternoon and evening several locals joined them during a cemetery tour and at the museum. Sunday morning another group of parishioners greeted them after 10:00 Mass. Sister Craig, Katie and Neil left around 11:30 Sunday and I think everyone believes the visit was a success. It will also open the door for a future exchange of information between the Loretto Archives and St. Francis Parish.
Some Reference Information:
1. Mother Bridget's time at Osage Mission was interrupted by a temporary assignment in Cape Girardeau, Missouri from 1863 to 1866. For more information about Mother Bridget Hayden and her sisters, follow THIS LINK.
2. For more information about the Loretto's St. Ann's Academy, follow THIS LINK.
3. Many thanks to Kelly Standley, his mother, and his crew of workers for getting St. Ann's ready for the Loretto visit.
— By Ron & Rosie Brogan.
A Legacy of Beauty.
St. Francis Catholic Church is blessed with many gifts from the Passionist Order which maintained a presence here for more than ninety years. One of those gifts is our beautiful garden which remains decades after the Passionists and their monastery-retreat house disappeared. The garden holds many reminders of our past including the stone tower which contains the bell from the original Osage Mission log church.
The "Monastery Gardens" are a treasure that attracts visitors from around the region. It is also a place of quite solitude for parishioners and residents of nearby Prairie Mission Retirement Village.
Needless to say, the gardens require care. The heavy maintenance and mowing are done by parish employee Larry Coomes with a lot of part-time help from Charlie Brown. But much of the planting, watering and plant care is done by a not-so-small team of parish volunteers.
The "team" is not directly tied to any specific parish organization. Looking at a list of team members is like browsing the parish directory: Carter, Coomes, Chambers, Corn, McCracken, Pecha, VanLeeuwen, Vitt, .... . And it is not just individual family members. The daily work crews often include children, spouses and several adult members of some large families. It is a parish stewardship project.
While hesitant to accept the title of "Team Leader" Diane Coomes gets the nod from other team members. According to Diane, it is group of folks who love the gardens and want to keep them looking great — 'Everyone knows what to do and when it needs to be done.' While that seems pretty simple, watching the amount of work done by these women and their families reflects a whole lot of pride, effort and love!
A Garden Tour With Captions:
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.