Tuesday, October 07, 2003

The English Faire on September 27th was a great success! Thanks to all the Mayors, Sheriffs, and Town Criers and citizens who helped welcome so many to our church and school campus. We can forget “King” Karl MacOmber who guided the effort and Alicia Basemann, our parish administrator who provided support. The food offered at the Faire was delicious: fish n’ chips, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie. Thank you Joy Miller, Andy Bruno, and all your helpers! The Episcopal Church Women had a wonderful, sold-out tea! And Amy Bruno won the beautiful PT Cruiser donated by Steve Christy Chrysler Jeep- she really deserved to win as the tip-top seller of over 60 tickets! The English Faire effort netted $5,200 for our Habitat for Humanity House and the PT raffle made $25,000 for the Peace of Mind Organ fund. Thanks again to everyone who participated in our Faire!!

The 10:00am Patronal Mass to St. Michael and All Angels on Sunday, September 28th was beautiful. Our choir sang the Schubert Mass supported with orchestra and timpani. Thank you Jane Haman, choir director and organist, for all your efforts to make this a special celebration. Daniel Richards, our transitional Deacon, preached a message that since Michael, our Patron, has the sword and scales of justice, we can trust God and put away our own swords and judgments which divide us from so many of our brothers and sisters.

On that same Sunday afternoon at the Tucson Community Center four parishioners and Fr. Smith attended the “Families First” agenda rally sponsored by the Pima County Interfaith Council. Mayoral and City Council candidates responded to the agenda which strongly supported the need to fund programs for families like KIDCO, JobPath, and an eastside Adult Education facility. Program funding has been cut sharply and needs to be restored. Formerly at no or little cost, programs like KIDCO are now charging fees that are prohibitive for many families and require them to register with a credit or debit card which many low-income families do not have. Attendance in this afternoon program has been dropping. Idleness after school while parents work leads to crime. Prioritizing city funds away from flashy studies and projects could make these programs thrive again. Register and vote. Registration is offered after services on Sunday.

Sunday, October 5, saw many animals of all shapes and sizes, gathered at Mass with their owners for the blessing of the animals in honor of St. Francis. Fr. Smith shared how Francis lived in time much like we do: constant warfare, political scheming, and tremendous cruelty of people to one another and especially animals. In this context he opened himself to the grace of conversion which enabled him to embrace absolute poverty and the Gospel message of repentance, love, and reconciliation. Great stories are told of his reconciling a terrorizing Wolf with the townspeople of Gubbio and the harmony and love that ensued. Another story told of Francis and his brothers joining the 5th Crusade in 1219 in Damietta where untold crusaders and muslims lost their lives. Walking through the line of battle, armed with nothing but the Gospel message of love, Francis was allowed an audience with the Moslem Sultan Malek al-Kamil. The mighty Sultan could have had Francis’ head in a second, but he was so impressed with Francis’ sincerity and message of love for God that he gave Francis and his brothers a letter of safe passage to the Holy Land which was the goal of the whole crusade whose blood thirst in God’s Name made arrival there impossible! Can we pray for the grace to, like Francis, arm ourselves with nothing but Jesus in our world of constant warring, political intrigue, and cruelty and build a new relationship with God’s natural, animal, and human creation. Make us channels of God’s peace!