Let us give thanks to the Lord

04-28-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

The Mass of Thanksgiving and Blessing Ceremony of the Piazza del San Rocco and Addition are the result of the hopes and dreams and also the sacrifices and hard work of many, many of us. All of us owe a special thanks to the Benefactors of this addition to our beautiful church building that allows us to welcome everyone in a dignified and gracious way. The gifts of these parishioners allow all of us to receive a much greater gift: the church which can truly welcome one and all with warmth and hospitality. Although no one builds their home to accommodate the entire world, we who are a Catholic faith community of God know that we must offer a gracious invitation of welcome which is said not only words but is also a holy place which is accessible. Our new narthex (foyer, lobby or vestibule!!!) welcomes people with a dramatic view of our most beautiful church interior. Indeed, one person told me that this panorama invites you to come inside closer to the altar and be in the presence of our most holy God. We have placed the statue of “Saint Rocco in the Field” in our new outdoor piazza as “a beacon of welcoming” to all those who seek healing and eternal life. Our new outside walkways are all compliant with the “ADA” code. Our new main entrance on the piazza is now barrier free with an elevator that can transport guests to the lower level to the chapel and Sacred Heart Hall or to the upper church. Our hall and meeting space now have facilities that allow us to offer refreshments and hospitality. Both levels of our building now have restrooms that are dignified and accessible to one and all. This great project will support us not only in our worship, but also in our evangelization and hospitality. Our wonderful Parish will now be able to grow in faith in so many ways because now all of us, not just some, are able to gather as “disciples of the Lord.”


Unclouded Hope in the Risen Lord Jesus

04-21-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

If you look about, you will see that there are fresh signs of resurrection and new life all around us. The time and work of Lent are complete. Christ has risen! New spiritual life abounds!

The readings on Easter Sunday are much less dramatic than those of the Easter Vigil. They are similar to the quiet as the sun at dawn starts to rise to a glorious new day. Today, we find the sunburst of newness especially in our responsorial psalm, for indeed “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118:24).


Let Your Attitude Be Christ's

04-14-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

How are we able, in fact, to walk the way of the Cross? It is because ultimately we are walking towards the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We walk along with Jesus on his way to Golgatha and experience much with him, but it is because we ultimately experience him in his Resurrection that all of this has meaning. We sing great alleluias because He is Risen, not because he has died. This Sunday has been called Palm Sunday for many centuries even though the story really is about the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. Our celebration of the Blessing of Palm is distinctive to this Sunday and it is the grand introduction to Holy Week with all its profound and spiritually moving ceremonies and services. How fitting it is to begin this week with a Procession of Palm in honor of Jesus Christ and his ultimate victory over death.


Mercy, kindness, compassion

04-07-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

The major theme in today’s Gospel is compassion. Jesus is seen as the model of compassion for us to follow. We learn of his depth and understanding in this Gospel. Indeed this is a blessed and wonderful theme to think about in our lives just before the beginning of Holy Week.

In hearing this Gospel we learn that Jesus has been manipulated by the scribes and Pharisees who have humiliated a woman for their own ends. As can often happen with important leaders, people are to be used as needed and then coldly disposed of.