San Francesco Parish, in Clinton Township, Michigan is a personal parish established to serve the Italian community and all people who choose to use its services in lieu of their territorial parish. San Francesco Parish has no geographic boundaries, and all are welcome to come together to worship and grow in faith and love.
SATURDAY: 8am and 6pm
SUNDAY: 8am, 10am (Italian), 12pm
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Friday from 8:30 to 12:00 noon with Benediction at 11:50.
First Friday devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.
First Saturday devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.
FRIDAY: 6:30pm-7:30pm OR BY APPOINTMENT
SUNDAY: 1pm BY APPOINTMENT
CALL RECTORY OFFICE AT LEAST 6 MONTHS BEFORE HAND
From Our Pastor, Fr. Dino Vanin, PIME
Devoted to Breaking Bread in our Church (Acts 2:46)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church has a wonderful definition of the Eucharist: The Eucharist is “the source and summit” of the Christian life. The other Sacraments and, indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch. (1324-1327).
The pandemic has revealed those of our parishioners who truly live out this definition by the aching that gripped their hearts during the lockdowns and the intensity of their longing to return to worship in their beloved church of San Francesco so as to ease their hunger for the living Bread.
But the pandemic has also brought to the surface the painful reality that only one third of Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic species, i.e., present with his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. For them the Eucharist is far from being the ‘source and summit’ of Christian life. Alas, they might feel lukewarm about the Eucharist and reserve it for the occasional thought that prompts them to set foot inside a church on Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, a few other Sundays and on special occasions such as First Holy Communions, Confirmations, weddings, and funerals. Their body language, more than their actions, denotes a lack of that burning desire that should be visibly displayed by their entire being; this is if they firmly believe in truly becoming divine by assimilating the heavenly food that guarantees genuine believers to live on into eternity, way past their inevitable physical demise.
Let me confess to you all how deeply concerned and troubled I am that the other two thirds of “Catholics”, de facto, are not Catholic anymore, because they are missing out on the source and summit of Christian living.
The first of the two most disconcerting signs of apathy towards the Catholic belief in the Eucharist is: having adjusted to a general spiritual malaise of being sinful and weak. Spiritually healthy believers, realizing that their love for Jesus has become tepid, would rush to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Those who do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species instead go years or even decades without receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, because their sinfulness has metastasized. The other disconcerting sign is a loss of craving for the Flesh of our God in Holy Communion. The fire of love for Jesus that once was burning inside has been gradually replaced by tepidness, as they have adjusted to the near flat line of their Christian life.
Hence, tragically, two thirds of nominal Catholics find themselves trapped helplessly in this vicious cycle. Tepid love for Jesus makes them minimize their sins until they find themselves in a deep sinful rut, and they become weaker and weaker. Having become spiritually weak, they still keep “the habit” of going to Holy Communion, but without feeling the urgency of reforming their life and without the burning hunger for the heavenly food that would make them recover their strength and be set ablaze again with love for Jesus. The vicious cycle is only broken by genuine love for Jesus, which is eloquently visible in the Crucified Lord and readily available in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and The Eucharist, in that order.
Fr. Dino Vanin, your very concerned pastor
For your edification, you might also want to Google “St. Tarcisius;” you will find a variety of narratives about the inspiring feats of faith and courage of this young Christian boy martyred for his love of the Eucharist.
Almost Back To Normalcy
Dear Parishioners and Friends of San Francesco Church,
I commend all those courageous souls among you who have never stopped attending church since it reopened on May 18, 2020. I welcome with great joy all those who, gradually, have trickled back to worship in our beloved church of San Francesco. I thank every one of those who have supported our parish community with prayers, volunteer work and financial support as generous as their means have allowed.
In the last 18 months, we have most scrupulously followed all the directives that were issued by the Archdiocese of Detroit. Presently, those who still need to mask up are those who are Covid-19 unprotected. Naturally, this rule operates on the “honor system.” But, as Disciples of Christ Jesus, we are called to exercise loving consideration towards the weakest and most vulnerable members in our community of faith. About one third of our church offers social distancing. But, for personal wellness, anyone is free to wear a mask and keep social distancing, even if fully vaccinated.
The three months that all churches in the Archdiocese were on lockdown, you must have all ardently longed to resume feeding on the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord in Holy Communion. Your joy in returning to sacramental intimacy with our Lord through Holy Communion was quite evident to me, and I rejoice with you.
Now, it is time to seize the lifting up of most restrictions to be apostles of Jesus sent to those family members, relatives, acquaintances, friends, and neighbors whom you know and to invite them to join you to be present in our beloved church with the totality of their being. Our joy in having been able to do so again for quite a few months must now be considered the blessing that it truly is, and anybody may see on our face that for us it is so much better to assemble in our church for worship than to watch Holy Mass on TV.
This form of apostleship, too, is a fine way of Unleashing the Gospel.
Hopefully we do not have to regress and abide by previous restrictions.
In God’s service,
Fr. Dino Vanin, Pastor of San Francesco Church
Our Family of Parishes
By now you all must have heard that, due to shortage of priests in active ministry and of resources, the Archdiocese of Detroit has been divided into “Families of Parishes.” There are two models of Families of Parishes. Model one: Multiple Family-Pastors in solidum; each Parish of a Family is assigned to a Pastor and one of them is appointed their Moderator. Model two: One Pastor assisted by Parochial Vicars.
Our parish of San Francesco belongs to the Family of Parishes comprised of the parishes of Saint Hubert in Harrison Township, Saint Louis in Clinton Township and Saint Peter in Mount Clemens. It is a Family of the first model (Multiple Family-Pastors in solidum with a Moderator).
Our Archdiocese is making the Families of Parishes operational in two waves: the first this yearand the second next year. Ours will be operational next year. While the priests of a Family of Parishes are assigned to the whole Family for team-work pastoral ministry, given the peculiar nature of our Parish, as a personal/ethnic parish, entrusted to the PIME Missionaries since 1948, its Pastor has to concern himself mainly with the spiritual needs of the parishioners of San Francesco Church. Since the untimely death of Fr. Michael Cooney, Pastor of St. Peter in Mount Clemens on November 26, 2020, my PIME confreres have been helping out within our Family of Parish, especially at St. Peter’s. Their availability bodes well for our whole Family and beyond.
Fr. Dino Vanin, PIME
Pastor of San Francesco Church
The Missions Corner
An Urgent Letter from Fr. Livio Maggi, PIME Myanmar Superior
Dear friends and benefactors,
I am writing to you as I see ambulances on the streets below, and many people coming to get their oxygen tanks at a distribution site near their homes. All with masks and gloves in defense of something that cannot be seen. As I write, there is carnage unfolding all over the country, even though it is not being talked about in the newspapers of the world. The virus is really destroying the country and its villages, and we do not know how to cope with this dramatic situation.
In addition to all this, the political condition in Myanmar is even more dramatic, and makes this country’s situation precarious. Those who are in power right now do not make the people a priority. It is something I have never encountered in my life and it is difficult to describe; some provinces have even fallen into a state of civil war. With the month of July came a new wave of COVID-19, worse than the past ones, and people locked themselves in their homes, even more drastically than the last time.
These last few months have been dramatic. The priests’ and nuns’ hostels have hosted, and continue to host, hundreds of people, families, and refugees who have had to leave their homes. Sometimes it is the families of our children that you already support through Sponsorships at a Distance. Often, it is other families that are in need of having a place to stay temporarily.
I can sincerely say that your support has been crucial in the face of these urgent and dramatic situations. It should be added that in recent weeks much has been spent on oxygen, medicines, and food-aid for families. Convents and parishes are also struggling with the virus; many priests have died. I would like to ask you to continue to support us with your help. I ask you to continue to support us for the good of these people.
Fr. Livio Maggi, PIME
This is a most heartfelt letter that Fr. Livio Maggi, PIME sent in August of this year. If you think you can do something about the harrowing plight of his people, please use the link below to get to the PIME Website. God will reward you for your kindness and generosity. Thank you.
Fr. Dino Vanin, PIME
To reinvigorate your missionary spirit and to feel close to the needy and suffering people of the missions, please go to www.PIMEusa.org or:
Contact the PIME Mission Center via e-mail: info@PIMEusa.org or
Write to U.S. Mission Office 17330 Quincy St. Detroit, MI 48221-2749 or
Subscribe to MISSION WORLD, or
Pick up a copy of MISSION WORLD from the magazine rack in the Vestibule of San Francesco Church.