banner    April 1, 2016

An Easter Message from Frank Kiolbassa, Council President

Happy Easter to everyone. Below are my thoughts for our Easter Season

Today we celebrate Jesus' Resurrection, the core event that confirms our life of faith, hope, and love. We sang and proclaimed the Easter Alleluias. We were filled with a newest of life. Clothed ourselves in new attire. We enjoyed the time with family. We reveled in the spring sunshine and the colorful flowers all around us. So I hope your day is complete with all these joys of the Easter miracle.
But today as I heard the Gospel proclaimed at our parish Sunrise Mass, I was struck by what the soldiers at the tomb might be thinking and experiencing. I always find the deeper meaning of a story by contemplating the supporting cast or minor characters. They experience the effects of the story theme in different ways. This is especially true of all the characters in the Easter Resurrection. So I share some Vincentian thoughts about the affect the Resurrection had on the soldiers who were at the tomb.

These soldiers were detailed to a thankless task but one that could kill their career or even their life if they failed and allowed someone to steal Jesus' body. Then comes the early morning hour of the third day of this boring assignment. Women arrive to treat the body of Jesus in accordance with local customs. These women had the gall to ask them to roll back the large stone.  They had nothing else to do so why not. Then they heard the women express astonishment, joy, and confusion. They rest of the morning was filled with people coming to see what happened. I am sure they went in to see the empty tomb and then worried what would happen to them. But they were probably embraced by those coming and wishing them the joy of what had happened. Probably something they had never experienced from the local citizens. Their lives were changed forever and I believe many may have become disciples.

Today our Soldiers at the Tomb are the brothers and sisters we serve. We can choose to embrace them as the people coming to the empty tomb did. We can greet them this Easter Season with the joy of faith, hope, and love we experience today. It is our opportunity put on new life of prayer and spiritual growth by serving the broken and lost that come to us. Maybe because of our actions they will realize their lives are important because God loves them. This is my Easter Season goal and hope you will join me in this great conversion experience.

"No Work of Charity is Foreign to our Society in the Archdiocese"

April 10, 2016
Gospel: (John 21:1-19)

At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. The disciples had gone fishing but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, "Have you caught anything to eat?" They answered "No." So he said, "Cast your net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, " It is the Lord."


Resurrected life has its demand-but the incredible thing about our God is that God provides us with all we need, beginning with offering us new life. Accepting the abundance that God offers means that by following Jesus we become Jesus' resurrected presence with the grace to lead others to him. Every day we must take care that our actions announce God's blessings at the same time that they speak of God's goodness and care. Leading others to Jesus doesn't mean doing big things; it means doing the little things well and so reflecting the life of Jesus in us. (Living Liturgy, p.116)

Vincentian Meditation:

It is a remarkable fact that in all the appearances of Our Lord after His resurrection, His disciples and friends had a certain difficulty in recognizing Him. Yet that difficulty did not conflict with the assurance which eventually dawned upon all of them, that Jesus Christ had indeed risen from the dead. That should be a source of encouragement to us. We also do not see Him with our physical eyes, and with the first disciples we share the difficulty of seeing Him clearly in the ordinary events of our lives. St. Pius X once wrote: "In all circumstances of your life say: 'It is the Lord.'" This is very Vincentian, as St. Vincent was deeply devoted to the Providence of God, and he recommended that we accept all things by saying: "when something unexpected happens to us in body or mind, good or bad, we are to accept it without fuss as from God's hand." If we could live that ideal of St. Vincent, we would have great peace in our lives. "In all circumstances, say: 'It is the Lord.'" (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p. 278)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)

When in your life or ministry have you found the grace to say:
"It is the Lord?"

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, you rose from the dead that we might live,
-fill us with faith and trust!
Help us to do the little things well and so reflect your life,
-fill us with your compassion!
And, in all circumstances of our life give us the grace to say,
-"It is the Lord." Amen

Congratulations to Resurrection of the Lord Conference who was received an Honorable Mention: Food Pantry of the Year at last night's San Antonio Food Bank Golden Apple Awards!

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Bexar Area Agency on Aging - AACOG
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program

If your Conference receives mail from the IRS don't ignore it!

Email St. Vincent de Paul's Controller at
INCLUDE a scan of the IRS Letter you received.


Mail the IRS Letter to:

Society of St. Vincent de Paul ATTN: Accounting
PO Box 831074
San Antonio, Texas 78283

We Are Celebrating: The New Kitchen Is Open
& Meating the Need Has  Been Feeding the Homeless For 9 years!

Our group of volunteers were honored to serve the first dinner out of the new St. Vincent de Paul kitchen and we served 434 plates of Salisbury Steak provided by Meating the Need.  How could an idea Kelly Hudson and I had back in March 2007 go on to deliver shipments of food to the shelter every other Tuesday for 9 years?  It has to be a "Total God Thing." And, we are not done yet.  Thanks to our generous financial supporters, we added new items to the menu again this week!! Now that we have a real kitchen (see photos below), we replaced the canned vegetables with fresh and frozen vegetables. Last Wednesday, we served up Salisbury Steak with mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli and cheese, bread and dessert. 

Our friends and at Sysco Foods have switched our delivery day to Wednesday, so from now on we will be delivering every other Wednesday.  Here is what you bought and we delivered last Wednesday:
480 Salisbury Steak
140 Lbs Fresh Salad Mix & 4 gallons of Ranch Dressing
100 lbs. Ground Beef
1760 Breaded Beef Fingers
24 lbs. Ham (for sandwich lunches to go)
480 Beef Patties (4oz)
60 lbs. Pulled Chicken
2,240 Meat Balls
480 Chicken Breast Patties Breaded
20 lbs. Shredded Cheese
500 Polish Sausages 3.2 oz
480 Chicken Fried Steaks
144 oz of Cream Gravy Mix
40 Lbs Sliced American Cheese (for sandwich lunches to go)
10 lbs Fresh Bell Peppers
120 lbs Frozen Corn
120 lbs Frozen Cut Green Beans
120 lbs Frozen Peas & Carrots
96 lbs Frozen Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables

Total $3,609.60

Friday, April 1- Blessed Anaclete Gonzales Flores

As a law student during the time of the persecution in Mexico, Anaclete Gonzales felt he needed to challenge his godless professors and, so, organized the Catholic students in defense of the Church. He himself joined the Third Order of St. Francis. Believing in the power of the press, he founded a weekly newspaper called The Word, and was a regular contributor to other Catholic periodicals. He also started a second weekly called The Sword. The government tried on a number of occasions to silence him by jailing him. His efforts would then turn to evangelizing his fellow prisoners.

Finally the government decided to make an example of Anaclete. Because he refused to reveal the whereabouts of the archbishop, he was hung up, whipped and pierced with daggers. Anaclete maintained his silence, but to one of his executioners said, "I have labored unselfishly to defend the cause of Christ and his Church. You will kill me: But know that the cause will not die with me. I go, but with the assurance that from heaven I shall behold the triumph of religion in my native country."

Anaclete was run through with a bayonet and died from a volley of bullets. It was April 1, 1927. He left a young wife and two small sons.

His funeral was cause for a great outpouring of faith among the people and loud cries of "Viva Cristo Rey!" (Long live Christ the King!), a powerful tribute to a lay Franciscan who lived and died for the kingdom.

Saturday, April 2 - Blessed Elisabetta Vendramini

"The love of Christ urges us on" (2 Corinthians 5:14) was Elisabetta's guiding star.

Born in Bassano del Grappa near Treviso, at age 27 Elisabetta broke off an engagement to marry and decided to alleviate the moral and material sufferings of the poor. She began working at a girls' orphanage in her hometown in 1820 and joined the Secular Franciscan Order the following year. After moving to Padua in 1828, she continued working with children. In 1830 she founded the Franciscan Tertiary Sisters of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. Until her death Elisabetta guided this community, which dedicated itself to teaching as well as caring for the elderly, orphans and the sick. She united her physical sufferings with those of Christ and the Sorrowful Mother Mary. Elisabetta was beatified in 1990.

Sunday, April 3 - St. Benedict the African

Benedict held important posts in the Franciscan Order and gracefully adjusted to other work when his terms of office were up.

His parents were slaves brought from Africa to Messina, Sicily. Freed at 18, Benedict did farm work for a wage and soon saved enough to buy a pair of oxen. He was very proud of those animals. In time he joined a group of hermits around Palermo and was eventually recognized as their leader. Because these hermits followed the Rule of St. Francis, Pope Pius IV ordered them to join the First Order.

Benedict was eventually novice master and then guardian of the friars in Palermo- positions rarely held in those days by a brother. In fact, Benedict was forced to accept his election as guardian. And when his term ended he happily returned to his work in the friary kitchen.

Benedict corrected the friars with humility and charity. Once he corrected a novice and assigned him a penance only to learn that the novice was not the guilty party. Benedict immediately knelt down before the novice and asked his pardon.

In later life Benedict was not possessive of the few things he used. He never referred to them as "mine" but always called them "ours." His gifts for prayer and the guidance of souls earned him throughout Sicily a reputation for holiness. Following the example of St. Francis, Benedict kept seven 40-day fasts throughout the year; he also slept only a few hours each night.

After Benedict's death, King Philip III of Spain paid for a special tomb for this holy friar. Canonized in 1807, he is honored as a patron saint by African-Americans.

Monday, April 4 - St. Isidore of Seville

The 76 years of Isidore's life were a time of conflict and growth for the Church in Spain. The Visigoths had invaded the land a century and a half earlier, and shortly before Isidore's birth they set up their own capital. They were Arians-Christians who said Christ was not God. Thus Spain was split in two: One people (Catholic Romans) struggled with another (Arian Goths).

Isidore reunited Spain, making it a center of culture and learning. The country served as a teacher and guide for other European countries whose culture was also threatened by barbarian invaders.
Born in Cartagena of a family that included three other sibling saints (Leander, Fulgentius and Florentina), he was educated (severely) by his elder brother, whom he succeeded as bishop of Seville.

An amazingly learned man, he was sometimes called "The Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages" because the encyclopedia he wrote was used as a textbook for nine centuries. He required seminaries to be built in every diocese, wrote a Rule for religious orders and founded schools that taught every branch of learning. Isidore wrote numerous books, including a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a history of Goths and a history of the world-beginning with creation! He completed the Mozarabic liturgy, which is still in use in Toledo, Spain. For all these reasons, Isidore has been suggested as patron of the Internet. Several others (including Anthony of Padua) have also been suggested.

He continued his austerities even as he approached 80. During the last six months of his life, he increased his charities so much that his house was crowded from morning till night with the poor of the countryside.

Tuesday, April 5 - St. Vincent Ferrer

The polarization in the Church today is a mild breeze compared with the tornado that ripped the Church apart during the lifetime of this saint. If any saint is a patron of reconciliation, Vincent Ferrer is.

Despite parental opposition, he entered the Dominican Order in his native Spain at 19. After brilliant studies, he was ordained a priest by Cardinal Peter de Luna-who would figure tragically in his life.

Of a very ardent nature, Vincent practiced the austerities of his Order with great energy. He was chosen prior of the Dominican house in Valencia shortly after his ordination.

The Western Schism divided Christianity first between two, then three, popes. Clement VII lived at Avignon in France, Urban VI in Rome. Vincent was convinced the election of Urban was invalid though Catherine of Siena (April 29) was just as devoted a supporter of the Roman pope. In the service of Cardinal de Luna, Vincent worked to persuade Spaniards to follow Clement. When Clement died, Cardinal de Luna was elected at Avignon and became Benedict XIII.

Vincent worked for him as apostolic penitentiary and Master of the Sacred Palace. But the new pope did not resign as all candidates in the conclave had sworn to do. He remained stubborn despite being deserted by the French king and nearly all of the cardinals.

Vincent became disillusioned and very ill, but finally took up the work of simply "going through the world preaching Christ," though he felt that any renewal in the Church depended on healing the schism. An eloquent and fiery preacher, he spent the last 20 years of his life spreading the Good News in Spain, France, Switzerland, the Low Countries and Lombardy, stressing the need of repentance and the fear of coming judgment. (He became known as the "Angel of the Judgment.")

He tried, unsuccessfully, in 1408 and 1415, to persuade his former friend to resign. He finally concluded that Benedict was not the true pope. Though very ill, he mounted the pulpit before an assembly over which Benedict himself was presiding and thundered his denunciation of the man who had ordained him a priest. Benedict fled for his life, abandoned by those who had formerly supported him. Strangely, Vincent had no part in the Council of Constance, which ended the schism.

Wednesday, April 6 - St. Crescentia Hoess

Crescentia was born in 1682 in a little town near Augsburg, the daughter of a poor weaver. She spent play time praying in the parish church, assisted those even poorer than herself and had so mastered the truths of her religion that she was permitted to make her holy Communion at the then unusually early age of seven. In the town she was called "the little angel."

As she grew older she desired to enter the convent of the Tertiaries of St. Francis. But the convent was poor and, because Crescentia had no dowry, the superiors refused her admission. Her case was then pleaded by the Protestant mayor of the town to whom the convent owed a favor. The community felt it was forced into receiving her, and her new life was made miserable. She was considered a burden and assigned nothing other than menial tasks. Even her cheerful spirit was misinterpreted as flattery or hypocrisy.

Conditions improved four years later when a new superior was elected who realized her virtue. Crescentia herself was appointed mistress of novices. She so won the love and respect of the sisters that, upon the death of the superior, Crescentia herself was unanimously elected to that position. Under her the financial state of the convent improved and her reputation in spiritual matters spread. She was soon being consulted by princes and princesses as well as by bishops and cardinals seeking her advice. And yet, a true daughter of Francis, she remained ever humble.

Bodily afflictions and pain were always with her. First it was headaches and toothaches. Then she lost the ability to walk, her hands and feet gradually becoming so crippled that her body curled up into a fetal position. In the spirit of Francis she cried out, "Oh, you bodily members, praise God that he has given you the capacity to suffer." Despite her sufferings she was filled with peace and joy as she died on Easter Sunday in 1744.

She was beatified in 1900 and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2001.

Thursday, April 7 - St. John Baptist de la Salle

Complete dedication to what he saw as God's will for him dominated the life of John Baptist de la Salle. In 1950, Pope Pius XII named him patron of schoolteachers for his efforts in upgrading school instruction. As a young 17th-century Frenchman, John had everything going for him: scholarly bent, good looks, noble family background, money, refined upbringing. At the early age of 11, he received the tonsure and started preparation for the priesthood, to which he was ordained at 27. He seemed assured then of a life of dignified ease and a high position in the Church.

But God had other plans for John, which were gradually revealed to him in the next several years. During a chance meeting with M. Nyel of Raven, he became interested in the creation of schools for poor boys in Raven, where he was stationed. Though the work was extremely distasteful to him at first, he became more involved in working with the deprived youths.

Once convinced that this was his divinely appointed mission, John threw himself wholeheartedly into the work, left home and family, abandoned his position as canon at Rheims, gave away his fortune and reduced himself to the level of the poor to whom he devoted his entire life.

The remainder of his life was closely entwined with the community of religious men he founded, the Brothers of the Christian School (Christian Brothers, or De La Salle Brothers). This community grew rapidly and was successful in educating boys of poor families, using methods designed by John. It prepare teachers in the first training college for teachers and also set up homes and schools for young delinquents of wealthy families. The motivating element in all these endeavors was the desire to become a good Christian.

Yet even in his success, John did not escape experiencing many trials: heartrending disappointment and defections among his disciples, bitter opposition from the secular schoolmasters who resented his new and fruitful methods, and persistent opposition from the Jansenists of his time, whose moral rigidity and pessimism abut the human condition John resisted vehemently all his life.

Afflicted with asthma and rheumatism in his last years, he died on Good Friday at 68 and was canonized in 1900.

Does your Conference have any news, events, or any other information that you would like to share in the Friday Five? **Please note, that events can be advertised if they ONLY support the SVDP Conference.  Any events that are put on by a parish can no longer be advertised.**

If so, please email Rachel Esposito at to be include in the next edition of the Friday  Five! All information must be submitted by 3:00 pm on Wednesday. Thank you. 

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Please continue praying for Yolanda and Ramiro Ramirez, Angela Angel and Gloria de Luna,  all from St. Ann's Conference  who are experiencing health issues.