National Shrine of
Saint Francis of Assisi

Pope Francis: 50 years of priesthood
serving God and his people

By Sergio Centofanti, Vatican News, December 13, 2019

December 13th marked the 50th anniversary of Pope Francis' ordination to the priesthood. Vatican News celebrates this milestone recalling some of Pope's reflections regarding priests and the priesthood.

On 13 December 1969, just four days before his 33rd birthday, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a priest. His vocation dates back to 21 September 1953, the Feast of St. Matthew, the tax collector converted by Jesus: it was during a confession that day, that the future Pope had a profound experience of God's mercy.

The priest and mercy
Divine Mercy has characterized his entire priestly life. Pope Francis speaks of priests as quietly leaving everything to engage in the daily life of communities, giving others their own lives, moved, like Jesus, when he sees people exhausted and "like sheep without a shepherd". Addressing parish priests in Rome on 6 March 2014, the Pope said: "In the image of the Good Shepherd, the priest is a man of mercy and compassion, close to his people and a servant to all... Whoever is wounded in life, in whatever way, can find in him attention and a sympathetic ear....Wounds need to be treated... We priests must be there, close to these people. Mercy first means treating the wounds".

The priest and the confessional
The priest plays an important part of his service to God and His people in the confessional, where he can become an expression of God's mercy. Addressing parish priests in Rome on 6 March 2014, Pope Francis said: "It is normal that there be differences in the style of confessors, but these differences cannot regard the essential, that is, sound moral doctrine and mercy. Neither the laxist nor the rigorist bears witness to Jesus Christ, for neither the one nor the other takes care of the person he encounters. The rigorist washes his hands of them: in fact, he nails the person to the law, understood in a cold and rigid way; and the laxist also washes his hands of them: he is only apparently merciful, but in reality he does not take seriously the problems of that conscience, by minimizing the sin. True mercy takes the person into one's care, listens to them attentively, approaches the situation with respect and truth, and accompanies them on the journey of reconciliation".

The priest and the Eucharist
Pope Francis describes the priest as a decentralized man, because at the center of his life there is not him but Christ. In his homily during the Jubilee for Priests on 3 June 2016, he said: "In the Eucharistic celebration we rediscover each day our identity as shepherds. In every Mass, may we truly make our own Christ's words: 'This is my Body, which is given up for you'. This is the meaning of our life: with these words, in a real way we can daily renew the promises we made at our priestly ordination".


July 31, 2019

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone invites all Catholics and all concerned people to join in a Novena (nine days of prayer) to ask the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe--patroness of unborn children--to defeat California State Senate Bill 24 (SB 24).

The nine days of prayer began August 3. On Sunday, August 11, the Archbishop will celebrate Mass at 9:00 a.m. in the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption to conclude the Novena. The archbishop urges Californians not only to pray but also to contact their lawmakers to express their opposition to SB 24.

Time is short. The bill has passed the state Senate, has been approved by all state Assembly committees, and awaits a floor vote when the State Legislature, currently in recess, reconvenes on Monday, August 12. SB 24 mandates that the health centers at all state colleges and universities in California must provide "abortion by medication techniques." As SB 24 states, "All California public university campuses have oncampus student health centers, but none of these health centers currently provide abortion by medication techniques." For more information including a link to read the entire bill, visit:


San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, in whose Archdiocese the death chamber is located, has issued the following statement on behalf of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops regarding the declaration of a moratorium on executions by California Governor Gavin Newsom:

"The Roman Catholic Bishops of California welcome the announcement by Governor Newsom today that he is declaring a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the state of California. We appreciate this recognition that the state has the adequate means to defend human dignity and public safety without recourse to capital punishment. We ask the Governor to urge the legislature to find a permanent legislative solution that will end the practice of capital punishment in our state for good.

"We also encourage the Governor to use well the time of the moratorium to promote civil dialogue on alternatives to the death penalty, including giving more needed attention and care to the victims of violence and their families. Capital punishment is not a cure for the suffering and turmoil inflicted by violent crime; the restorative healing of victims and their families to the extent possible is an essential part of justice.

"With regard to the practice of capital punishment itself, it has been apparent for many years that such recourse to the ultimate punishment is not necessary in a modern society. Repeated studies have proven that it does not serve as a deterrent, that too many innocent people are condemned, and that sentencing is too often influenced by racial, economic and other discriminatory factors.

"The Catholic Church has long recognized these realities, beginning with Saint Pope John Paul II and continuing with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. They have been joined by numerous national conferences of bishops, including our own U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and other Catholic leaders throughout the world. Pope Francis in particular has modified the Catechism of the Catholic Church to assert that the death penalty is "inadmissible" in order to underscore that it undermines the respect for life demanded by the intrinsic dignity of every human life.

"We thank Governor Newsom for this decision, and pray that this moratorium will bear fruit for a more just and equitable solution to addressing the violence that plagues our society."

Archdiocese of San Francisco, March 13, 2019

Eligible boys should possess an unchanged, clear and pleasant singing voice. Previous choir experience is not required and there is no need to prepare audition material. There is no cost to audition.


Fr. John wishes to offer an invitation to those interested in being a part of the service and outreach of the growing ministries of the Shrine. Fr. John will be hoping to develop strong teams of volunteers to serve as Extra-ordinary ministers of Communion, Altar Servers, Lectors, Greeters, Assistant Sacristans, Ushers, Hospitality Providers, Cantors, Musicians, etc. Especially at a church that is at a stage of expanding its small but vibrant faith community - there is a great reliance on the participation of many of the few. Be a trailblazer, as together we develop the witness of the Shrine to St. Francis. If interested: please submit contact information to Fr. John at e-mail:


PORZIUNCULA PARDON is always available under the conditions the Catholic Church has stipulated. The conditions for receiving the Porziuncula Pardon are:

To receive the the Porziuncula Indulgence on August 2, one must receive sacramental absolution and receive Holy Communion at Mass during the Period beginning eight days before the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels and ending eight days after August 2. Additionally, on August 2 itself, one must visit a church where one prays at least the Creed and an Our Father for the intentions of the Pope. Additionally, one must be completely free of any attachment to sin; if this condition is not met, the indulgence is partial rather then plenary. However, at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, the Pardon of Assisi may be received on August 2 (either at the Shrine Church or the Porziuncula Nuova chapel); on October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (in the Shrine Church); on any two days of one's own choosing during the year (one day in the Church and one day in the Porziuncula Nuova); and as often as one makes a formal pilgrimage as part of a group to the Shrine Church or to the Porziuncula Nuova. (One may receive a plenary indulgence only once a day and it may be applied to oneself or to the soul of one of the faithfully departed. All the same conditions as on August 2nd apply.)

Donations Needed for Historic Pipe Organ

You are invited to own a piece of history at the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi by contributing to help us meet the current needs of our Historic Pipe Organ. The total cost before tax and any unforeseen additions is $3,630.

  • Update Stop Keys: $350
  • Re-Configuring the Crescendo Pedal: $400
  • Tonal Re-Voicing to the Clarinet Stop: $1,200
  • Updating & Fixing the Combination Pistons: $680
  • Replace Wind Conduit & Recondition Wind Blower: $500
  • Tuning & Voicing: $500

Church-Hall Revonation Photos