God's Reign Has Already Begun

11-18-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

The Wheel of Life always continues to turn and now we are approaching the end of our Church Liturgical year. The scripture at Mass now starts to focus on the second coming of Jesus Christ and the end times. “End times” is not necessarily a fun and happy topic for most people. Today’s readings, however, help us with a perspective of how to understand the end for any one of us, no matter what age we are.


Do We Really Give for the Good of Others?

11-11-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

Our Gospel reading this weekend dramatically and beautifully illustrates the generosity of the poor. In our Old Testament reading from the Book of Kings, we learn about Elijah encountering a pagan widow during a famine. God had told him that there would be a great drought and that a pagan woman would aid him. When Elijah saw the woman, he asked for a drink of water. His request was normal for a desert climate, but he had “another ask.”


The Primary Command of Christians

11-04-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

A Note of Hope and Prayer: On behalf of our Parish I sent an email-letter to Rabbi Thomas Alpert of the Temple Etz Chaim of Franklin to inform him and his community of our prayerful support in this moment of sadness and loss for them and the greater Jewish community. Anti-Semitism and prejudice are deeply against our faith. We must stand in solidarity with all Jews in this moment. I attended a special Service of Consolation and Comfort at the Temple on Sunday evening. The Franklin Interfaith Council held a Service of Comfort, Consolation and Solidarity on this past Tuesday. I was present to lead one of the prayers/readings.


Updates from Fr. Brian

10-28-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

Church Building: The construction on the new improvements for the church building continues along at a steady pace. I think each week you can notice how steadily that the work is happening. Two weeks ago the steel support for the addition was erected. Did you see the 100 foot crane outside the church? Downstairs the bathrooms and food preparation areas are coming along. The trenching for pipes and the rough wiring and plumbing are complete. Many of the walls have now been enclosed.


The Mark of Greatness is Service

10-21-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

In the generation before me, traditional service roles such as maids, butlers, housekeepers, chauffeurs, cooks and other assorted household helpers did not pay well. Many other service positions did not either, such as waiter or waitresses, counter servers, hotel workers and variety of other similar type roles. Historically service jobs did not pay well. Today, thank god, some of these positions do pay well. Unions, lack of workers, or a sense of justice at times have changed the salaries of some of these roles. Not all, however, are great paying positions.


How Can Someone Give Up Everything

10-14-2018Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Have you ever on occasion been in a store when you hear and see someone being outrageously demanding or abusive to a clerk? Have you ever been embarrassed by someone when he or she has been arrogant and snobby to the person waiting on your table. Do you know someone who has never used the words “Thank you” to anyone, including yourself? I have occasionally thought that a particular person who has so much confidence does not match his or her public performance. Please note this is not about healthy self-esteem, but more of hubris and overconfidence.


Saint Rocco, Pray for Us!

10-05-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

This weekend is another special moment in our Parish history and life. At the 4:00pm Mass on this Sat, Oct 6th, we celebrate a special Mass of Thanksgiving for the graces, received through the intercession of Saint Rocco and also pray for our deceased Priests, Volunteers and Benefactors as we mark a close to the “in the field” part of our annual Feast in Honor of Saint Rocco. There is also a Reception to follow at the Guidry Center at Dean College.


We All Need to Be Prophets

09-30-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

When we think about it a bit, we come to realize that the great Liberator Moses was a surprising leader in many, many ways. Unlike most senior leadership people, this great man did not desire the role in the first place and he did not get to pick his assistant. God selected Aaron for him. It appears that Moses was humble enough to accept help from any source or person. Moses also had the additional help and gift from God of the seventy elders, for example, who received the gift of God’s spirit, which made it possible for them to prophesy.


What Jesus Proclaims as Success

09-23-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

We all know the saying “Success is often in the eye of the beholder.” The Gospel this weekend speaks to what Jesus proclaims as success. Keep this in mind as you reflect on the scriptures.

Our first reading, from the Book of Wisdom, speaks about the trials the “just one” must endure. In the story the plotters resent the person who dares point out their mistakes. They clearly ponder if the just one would stand for God and against threats of condemnation and death. We consider this to be a prediction of the Passion, which Jesus himself announces in today’s Gospel reading. We note that this is Jesus’ second prediction of his passion in the Gospel of Mark.


What is Good Discipleship in Jesus?

09-12-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

The overarching theme of the readings this weekend is “what is good discipleship in Jesus.” The Suffering Servant is the image which launches our scriptural readings. This servant is a symbol for Israel. The servant’s faith never wavered despite the blows, insults and sufferings that were imposed. The servant knew that his faith had to do with the future. His faith had a most noble and just purpose, and life and energy were not to be wasted.


See Anew and Be Renewed

09-09-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

In speaking, the prophet Isaiah uses contrasts. The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the one who cannot move will win foot races, the one who is without words will be full of words - songs even. The very land itself will come alive: sands will be watered, deserts will flower. Our Gospel passage matches this. For through Jesus, God’s power reverses the condition of the man (symbol for anyone) who cannot hear and therefore cannot speak.


Honest Expressions of Respect and Love

09-02-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

We know from studying epidemiology that more knights in shining metal armor died because of the very dangerous armor itself than from combat injury. The shining armor was so constricting, so suffocating, and so cumbersome that the knight would be overcome by heat exhaustion and drop dead of a heart attack. We can forget that at times the usually good rules and customs of a people can become a deadly suit of armor. They can cause the death of a person’s heart. And Jesus knew this.