Fr. Harold Snider

Welcome to the website of The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi and its beautiful Porziuncola Nuova. This complex is not only located in the heart of San Francisco, where Chinatown and North Beach meet, it is "The Heart of San Francisco" where, in a very real way, Heaven and Earth meet like no other place in The City.

One of the reasons this Shrine is unique is its very urban location in the second most densely populated city in the country. But in the midst of an often rowdy, noisy, bawdy, and chaotic neighborhood (a bronze marker in the sidewalk reminds us that this was once "The Barbary Coast"), the Shrine's Church and the Porziuncola offer an oasis of peace, quiet, serenity, and refreshment to the thirsty spirit.

Saint Francis was very aware that all of God's creation is holy and it all reflects his beauty, truth, and goodness, but Francis appreciated churches especially because he knew that in these sacred spaces people could find and recognize the presence of God's spirit more easily than "in the world." This is why the Little Poor Man of Assisi dedicated a good portion of his life to rebuilding old, abandoned churches like San Damiano where he heard the voice of Jesus Christ, and St. Mary of the Angels of the Little Portion-the Porziuncola.

I hope that, through your online visit to The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, you will experience something of the reverence and tranquility and blessings that people find here when they enter our doors. I invite you to take the virtual tours, light a candle, ask for our prayers, and to return to this site often. Allow "The Heart of San Francisco" to become someplace where your own heart can find a haven of rest. Yes, leave your heart in San Francisco!

I also invite you to take the opportunity to participate in the mission of The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi by sharing with us your financial support. But even if you cannot give anything at this time, know that you are always welcome to visit us and to support our work with your prayers. We thank you for your generosity of spirit.

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Church Renovation Project

Our renovation resumed last Monday morning. HOORAY! The new wood subfloor was laid by Thursday evening and the hundreds of 12" granite square tiles began being laid Saturday morning. The projected date of our new floor being completed is the middle of September. Look for updates and progress photos in the next bulletin.

The Shrine "Main Church" is closed until further notice. Mass is being said in the Porziuncola.

The current renovation of the Shrine began on schedule Monday afternoon, April 28th, as all the pews were removed from the church. A few days later, the moving crew (Kennedy Van and Storage) secured our precious items so that we could prepare the Porziuncola for daily mass as you see it now.

As you can imagine, many, many prayers have been offered upon the 80 kneelers removed from our National Shrine and historic church in preparation for the summer installation of a new granite floor, restored pews, and new kneelers. The old kneelers, which vary in length from 27 inches to 56 inches, are in excellent shape. Father Harold and I are hoping to find them a good home with another church or organization so they don't end up in a landfill. If you know anyone who might be able to use them, please direct them to us or us to them. Time is running out. Our phone number is 415 986-4557.

Our wonderful organ is in need of major service before the end of September, which it hasn’t had since 1960. The cost for the work proposed by our organ service company is about $4,000. If you would like to contribute to this fund or know someone else who may like to contribute, please let them know that we very much need everyone's help to reach this goal.

We are planning to begin restoration of the Hall this week but, unfortunately for our old baby grand piano, we will no longer have space or a meaningful use for it. If you know of anyone who would like to donate a small amount of money to have a baby grand piano, please have them contact the rectory at 415 986-4557.

We have 30 Paraclete Press books remaining for sale entitled Heaven Bound, Creating a Funeral or Memorial Service for Your Pet. They're $10 each (normally $16) and they are only available while this supply lasts. Please contact Vince Stadlin or the rectory office if you would like to purchase one.


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ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII
ON PROCLAIMING THE QUEENSHIP OF MARY

From the earliest ages of the catholic church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother's solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.

2. Following upon the frightful calamities which before Our very eyes have reduced flourishing cities, towns, and villages to ruins, We see to Our sorrow that many great moral evils are being spread abroad in what may be described as a violent flood. Occasionally We behold justice giving way; and, on the one hand and the other, the victory of the powers of corruption. The threat of this fearful crisis fills Us with a great anguish, and so with confidence We have recourse to Mary Our Queen, making known to her those sentiments of filial reverence which are not Ours alone, but which belong to all those who glory in the name of Christian.

3. It is gratifying to recall that We ourselves, on the first day of November of the Holy Year 1950, before a huge multitude of Cardinals, Bishops, priests, and of the faithful who had assembled from every part of the world, defined the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven[1] where she is present in soul and body reigning, together with her only[1a] Son, amid the heavenly choirs of angels and Saints. Moreover, since almost a century has passed since Our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, proclaimed and defined the dogma that the great Mother of God had been conceived without any stain of original sin, We instituted the current Marian Year[2] And now it is a great consolation to Us to see great multitudes here in Rome - and especially in the Liberian Basilica - giving testimony in a striking way to their faith and ardent love for their heavenly Mother. In all parts of the world We learn that devotion to the Virgin Mother of God is flourishing more and more, and that the principal shrines of Mary have been visited and are still being visited by many throngs of Catholic pilgrims gathered in prayer.

4. It is well known that we have taken advantage of every opportunity -- through personal audiences and radio broadcasts -- to exhort Our children in Christ to a strong and tender love, as becomes children, for Our most gracious and exalted Mother. On this point it is particularly fitting to call to mind the radio message which We addressed to the people of Portugal, when the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary which is venerated at Fatima was being crowned with a golden diadem.[3] We Ourselves called this the heralding of the "sovereignty" of Mary.[4]

5. And now, that We may bring the Year of Mary to a happy and beneficial conclusion, and in response to petitions which have come to Us from all over the world, We have decided to institute the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen. This will afford a climax, as it were, to the manifold demonstrations of Our devotion to Mary, which the Christian people have supported with such enthusiasm.

Read more here ...

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St. Francis of Assisi Mission

The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, as with The Archdiocese of San Francisco, has a mission that is rooted in the Gospels and the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Central to that teaching is the inherent dignity and sacredness of each human being.

We educate and advocate on this dignity in relation to the unborn child, the prisoner on death row, the homeless and hungry person on our streets, the elderly, the ill and disabled faced with the threat of assisted suicide, the stranger in our midst, and the poor and marginalized in our society and throughout the world. We are neither right nor left, Republican nor Democrat, but we formulate our agenda by the standard of human dignity that is reflected in our faith tradition.

  1. It is the purpose of the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi to provide more abundant means of salvation, through the rich liturgical and devotional life of the Roman Catholic Church for the Christian faithful, including those who come as pilgrims from around the world to the City of San Francisco and the greater San Francisco Bay Area, who seek to encounter the living God through religious worship and special devotion to St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan saints.
  2. It is the further purpose of the National Shrine to welcome, share and extend this same spiritual experience and devotion to St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan saints to pilgrims and visitors of all faiths, religions, denominations, and nationalities.
  3. The Capuchin Franciscan Friars (OFM Cap.) and Staff of the National Shrine, therefore, provide a pastoral (i.e., welcoming and prayerful) environment with the hope that in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, spiritual nourishment healing and reconciliation will be found by all who visit the Shrine.