Pastor’s Message

November 27, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

Be Prepared!

“When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 524)

The Church’s five liturgical seasons (Advent, Christmas, Easter, Lent, and Ordinary Time) that begin with Advent avail us grace opportunities through their liturgy, spirituality, and theology. Advent is a grace- filled season in which we prepare to celebrate the most significant event in human history; the incarnation- the birth of Christ- Christmas. The readings of this season will always invite us to prepare for this great feast.

In this season of Advent, we read about two prophets: Prophet Isaiah, who prophesied about the coming of Christ and his mission as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:5-6), and Prophet John the Baptist, the precursor, and the forerunner of Christ, who announced and called for immediate preparation for Christ’s coming, which the Gospel of Matthew today invites us to be prepared for the coming Jesus Christ. At the foundation of the preparation for Christ’s coming is what St. Paul invites us to do in the second reading: “Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Jesus is the Light of the World. The uniqueness of the Advent wreath and candles for this season of preparation invites us to allow the light of Christ to overcome every darkness in our lives so that we become children of light. As we look at the light of the advent candle, let it be a reminder that Christ wants his presence to shine in our hearts so that now and always, we are prepared to be the light of the world. Amen.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!


November 20, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

Jesus, the King Who Serves and Saves!

Today is the Solemnity of Christ the King, the 34th Sunday, Year C, and the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical year. Next Sunday, we begin the Advent season in preparation for Christmas. Therefore, the Church devotes this last Sunday of the Liturgical year to honoring Christ, her founder, and savior, as the King of the universe. He is not a King in the earthly sense but a King who came to serve and save us. Hence, St. Paul describes Jesus’ Kingdom in the 2nd reading (Colossians 1:12-20), “For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him.”

The first reading today is from the Second Book of Samuel (2 Sam 5:1-3), telling us how David became King of Israel. Despite his weaknesses and sinfulness, we recognize David as the greatest King of Israel.  It is on the backdrop of the earthly and temporal kingship of David that Luke’s Gospel (Luke 23:35-43) this Sunday reports the account of the crucifixion of Jesus and the encounter of Jesus with two thieves crucified with him. One of the thieves that were crucified with him recognized his eternal kingdom and believed in him as the King, who serves and saves. Consequently, he pleaded, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Like the thief who recognized the kingship of Jesus, Jesus wants us to recognize him as the King of our lives, who serves and saves us. If Jesus is the King of our lives, we must remember him in our daily choices and decisions. The simple question we can ask ourselves this week as we prepare to begin the Advent season is, “Where is Jesus, the king, in my life.” Do I allow this kingdom I profess, pray, and celebrate to reign in my life? As we describe, his kingdom is truth, justice, peace, and love. Let us ask him for the virtues we need to make his kingdom reign in our everyday life and see him always in our lives as our King. Amen.

This week, on Thursday, November 24th, we will gather as family and friends to celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving Day. It is a special day to thank God for all his immeasurable love and blessings. It is also a day to thank God for the gifts of one another. We, the staff of SFC, would like to thank you for all your support in different ways in the ministries we do here at SFC. We invite you to join us for 8.30 AM Mass on Thanksgiving Day. The traditional blessing of your wine and bread will be within the Mass. As we celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving, let these words of St. Paul, “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) inspire and uplift all of us.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!

 


 

November 13, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

Preserving in the Lord!

This Sunday, November 13, is the feast day of our Patroness, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (18501917). One of the enduring and endearing virtues of St. Frances Cabrini is the exemplary way she persevered in the Lord. When she landed in America on March 31, 1889, from Italy, her home country, at the age of 39, she faced difficulties but overcame them through her perseverance in the Lord. She chose as her motto the words of St. Paul, “I can do all
things in Him (Christ) who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). These faithfilled words motivated and compelled her to live an amazing life of faith through perseverance in the Lord. Hence, by the time she died at 67, she had already opened 67 institutions, including hospitals, orphanages, and schools.

As we come closer to the end of the liturgical year, the readings of this Sunday, invite us to persevere in the Lord. In our first reading, Prophet Malachi (Malachi 3:19-20), in a very brief way, describes to us the reward of perseverance, “for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” The Gospel of Luke (Luke 21:5-9) describes the events of the last days, which are not far-fetched from the natural and human
disasters we see and hear these days. In all these, the gospel ended by inviting us to persevere in the Lord, “By your perseverance, you will secure your lives.” Similarly, writing to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 3:712) during their confusion regarding the second coming of Jesus, St. Paul encouraged them as he is encouraging us today to continue to persevere in our work for God’s glory.

God has given us the freedom to accept or reject the gift of salvation he has given us in Christ. He patiently calls on us through different life opportunities to accept and embrace this gift with its challenges. God wants us to say yes to this through our perseverance continuously. The challenges of perseverance come in the face of difficulty and disappointments in life, but that is when we have the test of our faith in God, who will not fail us if we trust in him. Therefore, let us pray for the gifts of wisdom and courage we need to persevere in the Lord. Let these words of St. Paul uplift us, “With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18). Amen.

We want to thank those who participated in our different activities in honor of our feast day. We started as a parish community (school & parish) to celebrate this special day in the life of our SFC community through a week-long activity, which comprises spiritual, devotional, liturgical, cultural, academic, and social activities to mark this year’s feast day. I hope we appreciated the beauty of the diversity of our parish community through the
celebration of our Intercultural Mass and reception. We thank the Cabrini planning committee: Fr. Vincent, Doris Bebla, Ronda Clark, Maile Figone, Cathy Campbell, Lee Campbell, Merry Kaelani, Teresa Adams, Audrey Piedad, and all the volunteers who came out to help in different ways.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!


November 6, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

I Believe in the Resurrection of the Dead!

The celebrations of the Feasts of All the Saints and All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) on 1st and 2nd November, respectively, are very significant as we come towards the end of the Liturgical Year. Through these celebrations, we remember our loved ones who have departed from this life. Also, these celebrations remind us of the transient nature of our earthly life. They invite us to seize our opportunities to embrace the gratuitous gift of salvation, which God has given us in Christ and which we solemnly accept whenever we profess in our Creed, I Believe in the Resurrection of the Dead! The resurrection of the dead we profess always remains the bedrock of our faith.

It is the unflinching faith in the resurrection that gave the seven brothers we read about in today’s first reading- (2 Maccabees 7: 1-2, 9-12) not to compromise their faith in the face of threats to their lives; and one of the brothers at the point of death affirmed, “you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us to live again forever.” In line with this exemplary courage of these brothers, St. Paul, in the 2nd reading (2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5), prays that God gives us “everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace.” The Gospel of Luke (20:27-38) also describes the gift of resurrection God gave us through his Son, Jesus Christ, who now counts us as part of the “ones who will rise.”

The faith we profess in accepting the gift of resurrection is one step that leads us to manifest the acceptance of this gift through the life we live. Faith, as we know, without good deeds is dead (James 2:17). The challenges we face in our Christian journey are tests of our faith. We win this gift of salvation through our perseverance in faith, which we always profess. In addition, St. Paul encourages us to know “that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy of being compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18). Therefore, let us continue to pray for the persevering grace we need to keep to faith that is active, living, and conscious, which leads us to everlasting life. Amen.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!


October 30, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

The Mercy of God: Infinite and Definite!

On October 22nd, we celebrated as a Church, the feast of Pope St. John Paul II. We remember this great Pope for his service to the Church, especially during his 27 years as a Pope. Also, we remember him as the Pilgrim Pope who traveled to 129 countries to encounter people and share God’s love and mercy with them. In 1980, Pope John Paul II wrote an Encyclical, Dives in Misericordia (DM) – (God, who is rich in mercy), in which he reflected on the richness of God’s mercy and the mission of Jesus to share this mercy with us. He stated, “Christ confers on the whole of the Old Testament tradition about God’s mercy a definitive meaning. Not only does He speak of it and explain it by using comparisons and parables, but above all, He Himself makes it incarnate and personifies it.” (DM, #2).

One of the central themes the readings of this Sunday reflect on this invitation Pope John Paul gave us to share in the richness of God’s mercy, which is infinite and definite. Our first reading, the book of Wisdom (Wisdom 11:22 -12:2), reminds us of God’s mercy, “But you have mercy on all because you can do all things, and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.” Likewise, one of the lines of our Responsorial from Psalm 145 reminds us, “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness.” Similarly, the richness of God’s mercy is well depicted in the Gospel of Luke (19:1-10) through the story of Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus, the Tax Collector.

We have so much to learn from the gospel story: First, Zacchaeus’s desire to experience God’s mercy. Thus, he strove to encounter Jesus. Second, Zacchaeus’ determination to overcome all obstacles to experience the Mercy of God. Jesus recognized his efforts, encountered him, and allowed him to experience the richness of God’s mercy in its fullness. Jesus, in this encounter, reminds us of his primary mission, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” Like Zacchaeus, we all need the mercy of God to different degrees. Let us ask God for the strength to overcome the obstacles that hinder us from receiving this mercy, whether these obstacles come from our pride that makes us be in denial of our weaknesses and sinfulness or our despair that makes to give up in making efforts to receive the mercy of God and change our ways and behavior. Amen.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!


October 30, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

The Mercy of God: Infinite and Definite!

On October 22nd, we celebrated as a Church, the feast of Pope St. John Paul II. We remember this great Pope for his service to the Church, especially during his 27 years as a Pope. Also, we remember him as the Pilgrim Pope who traveled to 129 countries to encounter people and share God’s love and mercy with them. In 1980, Pope John Paul II wrote an Encyclical, Dives in Misericordia (DM) – (God, who is rich in mercy), in which he reflected on the richness of God’s mercy and the mission of Jesus to share this mercy with us. He stated, “Christ confers on the whole of the Old Testament tradition about God’s mercy a definitive meaning. Not only does He speak of it and explain it by using comparisons and parables, but above all, He Himself makes it incarnate and personifies it.” (DM, #2).

One of the central themes the readings of this Sunday reflect on this invitation Pope John Paul gave us to share in the richness of God’s mercy, which is infinite and definite. Our first reading, the book of Wisdom (Wisdom 11:22 -12:2), reminds us of God’s mercy, “But you have mercy on all because you can do all things, and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.” Likewise, one of the lines of our Responsorial from Psalm 145 reminds us, “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness.” Similarly, the richness of God’s mercy is well depicted in the Gospel of Luke (19:1-10) through the story of Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus, the Tax Collector.

We have so much to learn from the gospel story: First, Zacchaeus’s desire to experience God’s mercy. Thus, he strove to encounter Jesus. Second, Zacchaeus’ determination to overcome all obstacles to experience the Mercy of God. Jesus recognized his efforts, encountered him, and allowed him to experience the richness of God’s mercy in its fullness. Jesus, in this encounter, reminds us of his primary mission, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” Like Zacchaeus, we all need the mercy of God to different degrees. Let us ask God for the strength to overcome the obstacles that hinder us from receiving this mercy, whether these obstacles come from our pride that makes us be in denial of our weaknesses and sinfulness or our despair that makes to give up in making efforts to receive the mercy of God and change our ways and behavior. Amen.

 

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!

Feast Day Dinner 2022 RSVP

October 23, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

Pray in Humility!

“If you have lost the taste for prayer, you will regain the desire for it by returning humbly to its practice”
(St. Pope Paul VI)

The Eucharistic celebration (Mass) is the sacrament of God’s mercy. At different times within the Mass, we ask for God’s forgiveness because we believe, as we profess in the Creed, “the forgiveness of sin” and affirm our human frailty and the reality of sin. Last Sunday, we read the first part of Luke’s Gospel chapter 18 on the parable of the persistent widow and wicked judge, through which we were called to reflect on the importance of praying with perseverance and persistence. The second part of Luke’s Gospel chapter 18 invites us to reflect on our attitude in prayer through the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.

Jesus, through today’s Gospel of Luke (18:9-14), teaches us how we should pray and how not to pray: Avoiding self-justification and judging others in prayer. Today’s first reading, the book of Sirach (35:12-14; 16 -18), one of the wisdom books, reminds us of the importance of praying in humility, “…the prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds…” In addition, in today’s second reading (2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18), St. Paul, in the last part of his letter to Timothy in a prayerful way, sets a good example for us. He offered a prayer of inclusiveness and forgiveness.

Praying in humility reminds us that our prayer should not be time for self-defense, self-justification, self- appraisal, or justification, but more of thanksgiving and asking for mercy. The problem with the prayer of the Pharisee in the Gospel was that he used his prayer time to judge and condemn the Tax Collector, which is a mark of pride. From the Tax Collector in the Gospel, we learn the importance of praying in humility as a model of prayer. Praying in humility is also an act of faith. It calls to our mind that our prayer should reflect our total dependence on God and our openness to receive the mercy of God, which is infinite and definite. Let us always remember these words of Jesus that conclude today’s Gospel, “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Amen.

We believe everyone who came for our fiesta this weekend of Friday, October 21st, to Sunday, October 23rd, had memorable fun. We are grateful to all who were present and supported the parish. On behalf of our SFC community, we would like to thank Mike Livingston (SFC Director of Fiesta) and these members of the Fiesta Committee: Jennifer Gudeli, Karim Elsharif, Maile Figone, Mike Vasquez, Dave Citrigno, Pam Citrigno, Jose Rodriguez, Tim Smith, Malia Delvecchio, James Sawaya, Sam Nickolas, Delina Pulliam, Eric Pulliam, Linnea Sheehy, John Quinn, Jacqueline Quinn, Glenn Gifford, Leticia Ambriz, and Doris Bebla. Also, we would like to thank all the fiesta volunteers, especially those who came out to set up the fiesta site on Saturday, October 15th, or helped in other ways. We are very grateful for all your hard work.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!


October 16, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

Pray Without Ceasing!

“When we pray, we talk to God, and when we read the Scripture, God talks to us.”
(St. Augustine)

For some Sundays, we have been reading Paul’s letter to Timothy in our second reading, filled with words of exhortation, encouragement, and admonishment. This Sunday’s second reading (2 Timothy 3:14‐4:2) points out clearly that the Scriptures are inspired Word of God, which is “useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” God speaks to us through the scripture. Sometimes it becomes difficult to know the message God is giving us, especially when we read the Old Testament stories of war and killing. However, if we read the scripture between the line and within the context, we can get the message.

In our first reading today (Exodus 17: 8‐13), the victory of the Israelites’ army led by Joshua over the Amalekites through the perseverance and persistence of Moses. He interceded on their behalf by relentlessly raising the staff of God. The gospel of today (Luke 18:1‐8), the parable of the persistent widow, was chosen on the background of the perseverance and persistence of Moses. This parable encourages us to pray without ceasing. Our perseverance and persistence in prayer is an act of faith through which we continue to feel the presence of God in our lives. Our faith reminds us that no prayer goes unanswered; instead, in answering our prayers, God grants us our requests or gives us the disposition to accept his will.

God, who loves us infinitely, knows the best for us and answers our prayers according to his best will. His will, as our faith teaches us, will not take us to a place where his grace will not abide with us. God wants our prayer life to be ongoing and not only when we need something, thereby making him the only God of emergencies. He wants us to pray in season and out of season. Our Catholic traditions have blessed us with different forms (vocal, contemplative, and meditative prayer) and expressions (Adoration‐praise, thanksgiving, forgiveness, petitions) of prayers. Of these forms and expressions of prayers, which ones are part of your life? Let us ask the good Lord to help us make prayer part of our daily life and pray without ceasing. Amen.

We look forward to our parish fiesta this coming weekend, Friday, October 21st to Sunday, October 23rd. The parish fiesta is an excellent opportunity to have fun as a parish community and to support the parish. We hope you will be there to enjoy the weekend after the three years we have missed it. We would also like to invite you to celebrate Cabrini Week as SFC Community (parish & school) in honor of our patroness, St. Frances Cabrini, whose feast day this year falls on Sunday, November 13th. The vision is to celebrate Cabrini Week with spiritual/devotional, academic, catechetical, liturgical, cultural, and social programs. One of the week’s highlights will be the celebration of intercultural Mass to celebrate the beauty of cultural diversity in our parish community. We will keep you posted with the details of the week’s events.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!


October 9, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

Thank You Jesus!

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread
(St. Theresa of Calcutta)

The celebration of the Eucharist is the celebration of our deep sense of gratitude to God for his everlasting love and mercy. This celebration invites and sends us to continue to recognize and appreciate God’s ever‐abiding presence. One of the central themes of this Sunday’s readings is the invitation to always find something in our lives to say, ‘Thank You, Jesus’. More still, gratitude to God is an act of faith. It reminds us constantly that faithful God will never abandon us, just as St. Paul emphasizes in the first reading (2 Timothy 2:8‐13), “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.”

In this Sunday’s first reading (2 Kings 5:14‐17), the story of Naaman, the leper, is an excellent example of how we should express our profound gratitude to God and to the people God uses to shower his benevolence to us. Naaman returned to Prophet Elisha, the Man of God, who interceded on his behalf for God’s healing upon him. Similarly, the Samaritan’s deep appreciation of Jesus’s healing in this Sunday Gospel (Luke 17:11‐19) reminds us that being grateful to God for his presence in our lives is an act of faith. Specifically, Jesus praised the act of faith of the Samaritan leper, who was the only one who returned to say thanks out of the nine healed. Jesus told him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

Our ability to recognize and appreciate the beautiful things God has blessed us with helps us know that God has not abandoned us in the face of our challenges. Also, we are called to appreciate the gifts of people God uses to bless us, just as Naaman recognized that the healing of God came to him through the intercession of the Prophet Elisha. We must ask ourselves; do I appreciate the people God has placed in my life through which I receive his love and kindness? In addition, how can I use God’s gifts to express my gratitude to people in my life? Let us ask the good Lord to give us the faith we need to acknowledge the beautiful things he is doing in our lives and be able to say always, ‘Thank You, Jesus!’ Amen.

Every month of October, the Church in the United States celebrates Respect Life Month. This month, we reflect more deeply on the dignity of every human person made in the image and likeness of God and help to build in different ways a culture of life that cherishes and protects human life at every stage. The month of October is also the Month of the Most Holy Rosary, and the feast of the Holy Rosary is celebrated on October 7th. Also, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on October 13th, 1917, for the last time to shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, urging them to “say the rosary every day to obtain peace for the world.” As an SFC parish community, this October, different families will lead the Rosary every Thursday at 6.30 PM inside the church. I hope you will find time to join this weekly parish family Rosary.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!


October 2, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

Active And Living Faith!

We have the opportunity to read something new weekly about our Patroness, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), in our SFC weekly bulletin and newsletter. The life of faith St. Frances Cabrini lived is worthy of emulation. When she landed in America on March 31, 1889, from Italy, her home country, at the age of 39, she faced difficulties but was able to overcome them through her active and living faith. She chose as her motto the words of St. Paul, “I can do all things in Him (Christ) who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). These faith-filled words inspired and propelled her to live an extraordinary life of faith. Hence, by the time she died at 67, she would open 67 institutions, including hospitals, orphanages, and schools.

The disciples in this Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 17:5-10) saw the practical ways Jesus has demonstrated faith in God. Thus, they asked Jesus, “Lord, increase our faith.” The disciples were asking Jesus to teach them ways to deepen their relationship with God, which would make them not only know about God but know God. Our first reading today (Habakkuk 1:2-3,2:2-4) gives an excellent background to the Gospel. Prophet Habakkuk emphasized, “but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.” Likewise, Paul reminds Timothy in the Second Reading of today (2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14), “I am reminding you to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you.

Faith is a gift from God, and our relationship with God depends on the extent we are open to receiving this gift from God and making it active and living in our lives. Faith shapes and directs our relationship with God. For, “without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Active and living faith blossoms God’s gifts in us and challenges to use the gifts to serve others. As Apostle James stated, “Faith without good works is dead.” Let us, as the disciples asked, pray for an increase in faith that is active and living. Amen.

Bishop Oscar Cantú, on December 6, 2021, following the call of Pope Francis to be a “listening Church,” called on Catholics in the diocese of San Jose to begin a yearlong process of prayer, listening, consultation, and discernment in preparation for our first Diocesan Synod to be held on January 27 – 29, 2023. The four marks (pillars) of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, will guide the synod’s consultation, discernment, and planning process. In preparation for this synod, we will have our SFC Parish Consultation Session on Wednesday, October 5, at 6 PM in the church. Also, in the not too distant future, you will receive a synod survey, which will be an opportunity for all to give voice to this synod process. I hope our parish community (parish & school) will provide our maximum support and participation in Synod 2023.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!


September 25, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

Remember the Poor!

Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the Brazilian Cardinal who died on July 4th, 2022, at 87, was a great friend of Pope Francis. Pope Francis said about Cardinal Hummes in his first press conference after being elected, “He hugged me, kissed me and said: ‘Do not forget about the poor.’ Those words were carved on my mind.” Indeed, these inspiring words of Cardinal Hummes to Pope Francis have been in the mind of Pope Francis and have been reflected in his talks, homilies, and writings. Pope Francis keeps reminding us through his actions and words that the Church is the Church of the poor and for the poor. He has emphasized through the years that the Church, which doesn’t remember the poor, is the Church that does not follow the mind of Christ, who was poor himself.

The invitation to remember the poor is one of the themes the readings of this Sunday invite us to reflect on. We continued in our First reading as we read last week the book of the Prophet Amos (Amos 6: 1a, 4- 7), who will know was very eloquent in condemning the negligent attitude of the rich towards the poor. These warnings of Prophet Amos connect to the Gospel story today, the story of the rich man and poor man- Lazarus (Luke 16: 19-31). The rich man in the gospel went to hell, not because of his wealth or good life but because of his sin of omission. He failed to recognize the pains of the poor man- Lazarus and only indulged in self-comfort and pleasure.

We must remember that the more blessed we are with the material things of life, the more opportunities to use them to touch the lives of people around us. The more generous we are with earthly treasures, the more spiritual treasures we store for ourselves. Maybe there are people we have made invisible, or we have already passed judgment on them regarding why they are poor or wretched, or perhaps we have not thought about different ways we can remember the poor. The poor are always around us, and we can help them in various ways. Our parish community offers us the opportunities to donate to our food pantry, through which we serve the poor in our neighborhood and beyond. Let us pray that in the comforts of our lives, we do not forget the discomforts and pains of people around us. Amen.

Last Sunday was Catechetical Sunday, and we commissioned the Catechists for our parish community during the 9.30 AM Mass. These catechists: Matthew Shafer, Melissa Shafer, Daniel Kearns, Lelanya Kearns, Timothy Van Overen, Daniel O’Connell, Gregory R. Herbert, Tina Wordley Diegnan, Kathleen Cook, Kimberly Delaney, Randyco Prasetyo, Nathalie Ghantous, Amy Corral, Erin Karazija, Mary Ellen Poirier, Linda Brady, Debbie Casey, Vanessa Casey, Keith Metz, Mary Ellen Poirier, Elizabeth Drew, and Joy Kratofil, will work collaboratively with Merry Kaelani, our parish Catechetical Coordinator, to share their wisdom and witnesses with our parish community at different catechetical ministries. We thank them for saying yes to a vocation to be a catechist. We continue to pray for them and support them by participating in the various catechetical opportunities they would offer to our families.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!

 


September 18, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

We Are God’s Stewards!

The prophets of the Old Testament were messengers of God, called at different times to call people back to God, warn them of God’s justice, and preach against social injustice existing during their time. The 16 books of the Old Testament define different ministries the prophets shared with their people throughout history. Of these prophets, Prophet Amos is well-known as the prophet of social justice. He preached against social ills existing among his people, especially how the rich took advantage of the poor, as we read in today’s first reading (Amos 8: 4-7). He warned them, “Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land… The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!

In our first reading, the rich, prophet Amos condemned was not because of their wealth but because of how they used it. They became enslaved by material pride and used their riches to trample upon the poor and the weak. They forgot that whatever they had was a gift from God, and God called on them to make good use of them. As a result, they were not good stewards of God’s blessing. Based on this backdrop of the first reading, Jesus invites us in today’s Gospel (Luke 16: 10-13) to be trustworthy stewards of God’s gifts by being servants who use well the gifts we have received.

We need to remember always that the gifts we have received make us gifts to others. Once we are gifted, we become gifts to others. We are stewards of God’s blessings. We are stewards of the time, talent, and treasure God has given us. If we believe that whatever we have has been given to us, then we must remember that whatever we make out these gifts in service to one another is the gift we give back to God. It remains our choice on how we use God’s given gifts. It is an invitation to be good stewards of God’s blessings, asking God for the wisdom to use our wealth to his greater glory. Amen!

We want to thank those who have been active and participating in the sacramental, liturgical, and devotional life of the Parish. We have seen an increase in the number of people coming to our daily and weekend Masses. Our SFC Church is open daily for Mass; masks are recommended but not required. Whenever your schedule allows you, we encourage everyone to join us for our daily rosary after Mass or before Mass on special feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Friday devotions schedules can be seen on page 4 of our bulletin. Let us continue to avail ourselves of the opportunities to participate in these spiritual exercises and to pray as a community, for the community that prays together grows in God’s love together.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!

 

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If you visit St. Frances Cabrini during the school hours when the Woodard Entry Gate is closed, please call either the school office at 408-377-6545, or call the parish office during business hours Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM at 408 879-1120 #20. You can also pull up and park on the side, go to the keypad unit and hit Directory. Find the SFC School office or St. Frances Cabrini (parish office). This will ring that office and you will be able to talk with someone. Thank you!


 

September 11, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

In Thanksgiving And Love!

The word Eucharist comes from the Greek word Eucharistia meaning “thanksgiving”. The celebration of the Eucharist is the celebration of our deep sense of gratitude to God for his everlasting love and mercy. As we are sent out “Go in peace” after the Mass, we are sent to continue to live in this deep sense of gratitude for God’s actions in our lives through his ever-abiding presence. Being grateful to God is an act of faith, which reminds us constantly that God is with us. In addition, our ability to recognize and appreciate the beautiful things God has blessed us with helps us know that God has not abandoned us in the face of our challenges.

St. Paul’s expression of thanksgiving to God in our second reading today (2 Timothy 1: 12-17) is very exemplary. Paul recognized that God’s grace turned him from being a persecutor to a preacher of the Gospel of salvation. Hence, in thanksgiving and love, he said, “I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus, our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry. I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant, but I have been mercifully treated.” St. Paul’s expression reminds us that thanksgiving to God begins by recognizing his benevolence in our lives.

The Gospel today (Luke 15: 1-32) has three parables: the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Parable of the Lost Coin, and the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus told these parables within the context of reminding us of God’s infinite and definite mercy. It is worth pointing out that each parable ends with the celebration of thanksgiving and love when we experience God’s love. Significantly, in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the son’s father expressed, “But now we must celebrate and rejoice because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.” This statement confirms that thanksgiving begins with recognition.

Thank you all for your support at the Mass of my installation and reception. Every installation Mass is a celebration of thanksgiving and love. I remain grateful to Bishop Cantú for the opportunity given to me and Fr. Vincent to serve here at St. Frances Cabrini Parish. As I wrote in my message of July 3rd, “Our vision is to build on what our predecessors have established by continuing to make SFC a community where All Are Welcome. We hope to promote and create parish ministries anchored in our SFC Mission Statement: Worship God. Love Others. Make Disciples. Educate the Young! We also hope to develop a culture of maintenance for our property to ensure all our buildings are well maintained for posterity.” We are still committed to this vision and count on your support to make this vision a reality.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!

 

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If you visit St. Frances Cabrini during the school hours when the Woodard Entry Gate is closed, please call either the school office at 408-377-6545, or call the parish office during business hours Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM at 408 879-1120 #20. You can also pull up and park on the side, go to the keypad unit and hit Directory. Find the SFC School office or St. Frances Cabrini (parish office). This will ring that office and you will be able to talk with someone. Thank you!


September 4, 2022

Pastor’s Message | Fr. James Okafor (Ed.D)

The Cross of My Life!

A story was told of a man who constantly complained of the challenges and difficulties he faced in his life and blamed God for all his crosses. Then, one day he had a dream, and, in the dream, he found himself in a room with different crosses representing the challenges people face in their lives. He was asked to select one of the crosses as an alternative to the one he was carrying. He moved around the room and found out that all the crosses were very heavy, and the only one he thought was less heavy was the one that represented the cross of his life. The story reminds us that every one of us has a cross. Thus, the invitation to know the cross of our lives and take it and follow Jesus.

Jesus in today’s Gospel (Luke 14:25-23) reminds us, “Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” The act of discipleship requires us to follow Jesus in season and out season, in bad and good times. Jesus wants us to have the total commitment to being his disciple, being mindful of the challenges that go with that total commitment. Life, as we know, is never a bed of roses and every day has its trouble. These troubles come to us through challenges, difficulties, and disappointments life gives us, either directly or indirectly. The actual test of our faith comes during the cross of our life.

The crosses of our life come in different ways- spiritual, emotional, or physical. Some of them are caused by our poor choices, others cause by others to us, and others are what life gives us. Whichever source comes our cross, the most important thing is to ask for God’s strength and wisdom to help us carry the cross of our life. Hence, our First Reading this Sunday (Wisdom 9:13:18b) reminds of God, “Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high?” In line with this we remember and pray the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference” Amen!

We want to update you on the parish projects we have completed:

  1. Installation of two (2) electric gates off the Woodside side
  2. In front of the Rectory, iron rod fencing
  3. Installation of two new screens and two new projectors inside the Church
  4. Greenbelt Project: New trees and turf planted along the Woodard side parking lots.
  5. Parish Rose Garden center: Cracked cement removed, and landscape and planting replaced in areas needed
  6. New signage has been placed throughout the property: directions to the parish office, entry and exit gates, and Mass times on the Camden side.

The project on the relocation of our Chapel of Adoration is still ongoing. We will continue to keep you posted on the progress of it and other projects. We thank members of the SFC Building Committee who have been very helpful in supervising these projects. Please, continue to pray for the success of these endeavors.

St. Frances Cabrini – Pray for us!

 

*** VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR FR. JAMES INSTALLATION RECEPTION ***

On September 10, 2022 there will be a reception for Fr.James in Essig Hall. We are expecting about 400 guests for a buffet dinner. Many volunteers will be needed with set-up, serving, and clean-up. If you can help volunteer for this event please visit https://signup.com/go/ewxUkBm and sign up today. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

 


Pastor’s Message – Archives

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