Fifty years for St. Francis: ‘Honoring Our Present, Building Our Future’ | SierraSun.com

Fifty years for St. Francis: ‘Honoring Our Present, Building Our Future’

Special to the Bonanza

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — On Sunday June 28, St. Francis of Assisi Parish celebrated 50 years as a Catholic parish in Incline Village.

The theme surrounding the 50th year is "Honoring Our Present, Building Our Future." The anniversary celebration included a mass and luncheon at the Chateau; more than 300 parishioners and friends of St. Francis attended both.

During mass, Father Bill Nadeau encouraged us to follow the direction that Pope Francis is recommending. We must have compassion and commitment for the poor; which is a genuine reflection of the Gospel of Jesus.

Father Bill reminded St. Francis disciples the need to walk side by side with one another with the spirit of reconciled diversity.

"The future of our survival as a parish depends on each of us living our lives as intentional disciples with a sense of mercy, a sense of joy and a sense of accepting people where they are," he said.

Our parish will flourish as a vibrant community in North Lake Tahoe, by remaining open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit by:

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• Inviting non-practicing Catholics to our "Coming Home" program,

• Participating actively in the liturgy of the Church,

• Being involved in one of our many ministries,

• Attending Bible studies; and

• Helping in the Social Justice ministries.

Father Bill closed by saying, "Have the courage to share Jesus' love. Say this prayer everyday: 'Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves Me Unconditionally and Jesus Loves Me Unconditionally, All the Time.'"

The luncheon proved to be a festive occasion with many current and former parishioners celebrating this half-century anniversary.

Committee Chairpersons Mary Arbuckle and Helen Neff and committee members Jill Mulcahy and Katie Christensen were recognized for their outstanding contributions in making the event such a huge success.

The luncheon closed with a raffle of items donated by Hyatt Lake Tahoe, Adrift Tahoe Paddleboards and Ciprian Photography.

The celebration at the Chateau following the Mass was permeated with joy, gratitude, and a sense of family evident by the many comments shared with this humble reporter.

Linda Larish said, "We have been parishioners for 15 years and love St. Francis Parish. It is such a warm and loving community. Our faith has grown over the years and we have made such wonderful friends here in this faith community."

"This parish is very important to me," added Marianne Mika, "because we focus on providing meaningful liturgies as well reaching out to the diversified communities of North Lake Tahoe. I love participating in everything I can."

Reflecting on the parish Annette Mimiaga said, "The St. Francis parish has been my rock. I recently lost my husband, Bob, and the church community has been such a source of strength, hope, and trust throughout this difficult time. The fellowship has validated my faith in God tremendously."

"Over the years our pastors continually share such wonderful wisdom, teachings and challenge us to think…think with our hearts and not just our heads. We absolutely love this parish," commented Carol Del Carlo, parishioner since 1995.

When asked about his feelings about our celebration, Dick Daleke's eyes welled up with emotion as he described the spiritual energy he felt as we celebrated Mass together.

"Having all the clergy that represent the recent history of our parish was overwhelmingly beautiful," he said. "Our reception enabled all of us to share the joy we all felt. Very upbeat and fun."

Parishioner Mike Gallagher expressed that he and his wife, Julie, thought the Mass was a wonderful celebration of history as a Catholic Community.

"This is a promise of a loving future and diversified acceptance to further love and understanding. We gather weekly to celebrate Christ," he said. "We gathered at the luncheon to celebrate each other and our commitment to Christ and also to recognize our accomplishments.

Katie Christensen summed it up well: "St. Francis Community exemplifies what it means to be grateful for the gifts God has given us. In planning our celebration we took great care to provide a meaningful, welcoming liturgy. Our gathering at the Chateau was filled with joyful noise in celebrating one another. I am truly blessed to be called a St. Francis disciple."

Ann Demolski and Charlotte Curtis, parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi, contributed to this article.

Editor’s note

This is the final in a four-part series of feature stories leading up to and recapping the 50th anniversary mass this summer at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Incline Village.