Progressing Through Summer

07-29-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

We are progressing through the summer at a great speed. Somehow without me noticing, we are now in the month of August. Shortly our college age children will depart and leave for their educational institutions and begin to engage in their studies. This coming year will be different for them than last year as it will probably resemble more closely the traditional college pattern. It will be the same, but different. Our younger children will begin their education in late August or early September. Again their educational year will be similar to the past, but somewhat different. We pray for and hope for a better learning environment and experience this coming year. Our Educational Administrators, actual Educators and the entire Support Staffs certainly offered heroic service to all of our young people last year during the Pandemic. Karen Ackles, our Director of Religious Education, has been working diligently through the summer to prepare and offer a Religious Education Program that nurtures and develops our children’s faith, but also makes it as “user friendly” for parents as they re-engage with all the obligations and activities of their children this coming year. It is now the time to register for Religious Education… spread the word, please, for Grades 1 through 8 and also Confirmation 1 and 2. It is on-line at our website (stmarysfranklin.org) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Starting Back Up

07-22-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Another week of summer has rolled by us all; I hope you have taken some time for your family and friends. As you are aware, the summer really does not go all the way through Labor Day as it did in ‘the old days”. Nationally colleges and universities start in mid to late August and also most New England town and city educational systems begin just a few days before Labor Day. So I remind you, as well as I remind myself, make your family and friends a priority in the remaining weeks of summer.

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Rained In!

07-16-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

I guess we now know what Noah was nervous about as he built his ark: “Would it be ready for all his family and the animals before it was too late?”. The amount of rain we have had certainly has filled to overflowing the flood plains, marshes, brooks, streams and rivers in our area. I am certain that a few lower levels of homes have been flooded.  There is no perfect balance in New England weather, even if we were not dealing with the effects of global warming. Our flower and vegetable gardens are saturated and now need some sun for everything to grow and ripen. We know the sun will come out, it takes patience.

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Standing Together

07-08-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

You will notice on the front areas of our church and rectory that we have signs which say “We stand with our Jewish neighbors”. As you are aware the increase in anti-Semitism in common culture today, not only in graffiti, but more importantly in violence is shocking. All of us need to stand for peace and respect of everyone. Anti-Semitism is a learned evil and we must present ourselves as examples that stand against this. Bear in mind that or children learn anti-Semitism by our silence, or even worse by our example. How can we tolerate that Jews live each day with fear for their personal safety in our nation and perhaps even in our Town and neighborhood? There are some additional signs available in the lobby at the elevator entrance of our church building if you wish to take and put a sign at your house. This action is symbolic, but symbols often have great meaning and power.  We must stand against any violence towards people in our land.

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Coming Home

06-24-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

Each week people are returning to their church “home” here at the Church of Saint Mary’s. People’s hearts are filled with great joy as they cross the threshold of our church to our sacred space. I know some enter with anxiety and some fear, but the feelings which fill most people when they enter are joyous. For many, they have missed their sacred place where they speak with their God and ask him for His grace and help. Church is a home where you bare your heart to our God. We can pray elsewhere, we all know that. But it is truly special to be in a sacred place where you know your God ever dwells and who waits for us to come and speak with Him. Home is where the heart is and certainly God’s heart is here in our sacred church space of Saint Mary’s. We bring our hearts to the Lord and He listens to our words and gives us the grace, strength, hope, courage or peace which we need to live our daily lives. The Celebration of the Eucharist, the Holy Mass provides us with the spiritual food of Holy Communion to go forth to live our life each day. All of us have missed in various and profound ways our Catholic Tradition and distinctive hallmark of Sunday Mass at Saint Mary’s. Live-Stream Masses provide some connection and have meaning, but to be present at Mass is far deeper and profound. Much like events which are “live” and in person, Mass has its greatest power and meaning when we are there in person.

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Good News and Bad News

06-17-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and friends of Saint Mary Parish,

Some weeks it is a delight to write a letter to all of you because the letter’s content is all good news. Unfortunately this week I have two disappointing stories to tell you about in our Town and Parish. I also have good news too, but I must begin with the bad news. We are all now well aware of the anti-Semitic graffiti which was drawn in the boys’ bathroom in our Town high school.  I applaud our Superintendent, the Principal and the School Administration, the Educators and Staff of our high school who have taken a loud and public stand against this act. Anti-Semitism is learned behavior and is an evil. It usually starts small and grows and grows. That is why it is best to strongly condemn this act right now. The student(s) who were involved in this and all of the other students of our school now have an opportunity to learn about bias, ignorance and prejudice. Perhaps even the adult community can reflect upon these issues in our lives and the example we offer our young people in our daily lives. Our Town community seeks to be a good and safe community and in many ways this goal is achieved. There is, however, always the work that must be done to keep our community a wonderful and welcoming town which means bias, prejudice and hate must be rooted out when they are small and start to show in our Town and lives.

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A Warm Welcome

06-10-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Father Frank moved in last week and celebrated the 4 PM Mass on Saturday. It was a touching “homecoming” to Saint Mary’s for him. I appreciate the many folks who changed their weekend plans to come to the 4 PM Mass to say a personal “welcome” to him.

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Family is Most Important

06-03-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Last weekend we launched the Celebration of our Sunday Mass under the new Protocols of the State and the Archdiocese. It was heartwarming to see some more folks in church who had not been able to attend for well over one year. Our attendance was slightly over 400 people at the three Masses.  I know over the next nine months or so each week more of our faithful church going Parishioners will be attending Mass. Please come when you are ready. Know we are here when you arrive! Our summer schedule is: Saturday 4 PM and Sunday 7:30 AM & 10:30 AM.

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