St. Francis of Assisi Parish

About 10 years ago, I decided to leave St. Viator Parish in Las Vegas as I sought to find a new parish that would embrace more of the “conservative” Catholic faith that I prefer.  I decided to place membership in a brand new parish in Henderson, St. Francis of Assisi.   The aftermath of my decision has left me with a ot of “mixed” emotions.   On one hand, I absolutely LOVE the pastor, Fr. John Assalone, and the associate pastor, Fr. Vic, however since my transition, I have found that my enthusiasm for church involvement has decreased tremendously in comparison to my activity at St. Viator’s.  While serving as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Viator’s, I got to know most of all the others in the 12:00 PM ministry, and came to cherish my friendships with each of them.  As a group, we would occassionally gather for lunch after mass, and EACH SUNDAY we would all gather in the sacristy and pray together, enabling each of us to share our joys and sorrows with one another while asking God to lift us up in prayer.  In addition, for several years, I hosted a Christmas party in my home for all Eucharistic Ministers, ushers, and lectors at the 12:00 mass, along with some of my personal friends and neighbors.  We always had such an enjoyable time, as we bonded closer in friendship.   Sadly, I have found it tremendously difficult to build bonds of friendship with the parishioners at St. Francis.  I have been active in some of the ministries, such as serving as a Eucharistic Minister and lector, and making an attempt to start a quilting ministry, which Fr. John was quite enthusiastic about.   Regretfully, the failure of the quilting ministry was my own fault, as I was not able to muster enough spirit for it, even though there “was” some interest amongst a few of of the ladies — enough to “get the ball rolling.”  I don’t know what it is, and can’t seem to put my finger on the source of the problem.  It could be “me” and my overwhelming expectations of making my experience at St. Francis as enriching as it was at St. Viator’s, or it could be the culture of people in this parish; most of them are “Neo-Las Vegans,” whereas those at St. Viator have spent anywhere from 30-50 years in this city, and have more of a sense of “community” for the area.  I suspect a bit of both is at play here.  Since my retirement, I have been making more effort to attend the daily masses at St. Francis and always feel spiritually renewed each day.  Shamefully, over the past six months, my church attendance has declined as it is extremely uncomfortable for me to kneel on the “temporary” seating arrangements that now exist in the church.  At the present moment, the masses are held in, what will be our future, auditorium and reception hall.  It is small, cramped, and stuffy, which is “distracting" from a personal and spiritual worship.  People CONSTANTLY walk in “late,” trudging past my seat while I attempt to pray, sing, or concentrate on the homily.  I know this is a poor excuse for neglecting my Christian obligation to commune with God each week, and I am deeply ashamed that I have allowed myself to fall into this trap!  The construction on the actual “church” is yet to be started, as we patiently and fervently collect funds to begin the project.   I hope and pray the new church will be raised soon, as well as my own fallen spirit.  PLEASE, pray for my soul!!!  In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — Amen!

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.© Mary Darby 2016