Our Re-opening Weekend

05-29-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

This weekend, May 30-31, we will “re-open our Parish” to Saturday/Sunday Masses. We begin this reopening on a special, powerful and meaningful feast: The Feast of Pentecost, the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, also called the Birthday (Beginning) of the Church. After this long quarantine we are at a “new beginning” of our Parish and its spiritual life. The Holy Spirit, sent by the Lord Jesus, is with us as we start the “baby steps” to begin to walk and re-open our Parish. I invite you to read this letter closely because although everyone is invited, there are many, many of you who should remain at home for health and safety reasons.

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Courage, Kindness, Understanding

05-29-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, a very important Feast Day in our Church Faith and Tradition. The gospel account of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles is a great symbol of how the Holy Spirit will open wide the horizons of our minds and hearts. The power of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is unequaled in power in everyone's life.

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Guidelines for Re-opening

05-22-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

On this past Monday we all greeted with joy the announcement of the Governor that our churches may now re-open. Because we all kept the principle of concern for others and then ourselves, our observance of quarantine and use of masks have allowed him to declare that we now begin re-opening by careful, cautious and deliberate steps which keep everyone safe and well. The Covid-19 virus has not gone away, but instead it has been curbed by everyone’s cooperation. We need to continue all these steps and procedures as we re-open our churches. We must begin by carefully preparing and then cooperating to keep everyone safe. Indeed the vulnerable and the elderly still need “to stay safer at home.” Cardinal Sean continues the dispensation for everyone who is older or has health conditions to miss Mass.

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A Daily Life of Service and Sacrifice

05-22-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

We need to remember that when we read from the Gospel of John, such as this weekend, we are reading a scripture passage which is written after a long time of reflection and living experience. John wrote his Gospel sometime between 90 A.D. and 100 A.D. In art John is symbolized as an eagle, mainly because he soars so high in his thoughts, expressions, and meaning. His Gospel begins with the eloquent words: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God …". We recognize that these starting words of John actually match up in theme and expression to the very first words of the Bible in the Book of Genesis. We discover in John that this special "Word" who was in the beginning with God, now begins his journey home to God. The journey of Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem is the journey of the Word made flesh returning home by his Death and Resurrection.

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Kindness, Patience, and Goodness

05-15-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

The Gospel writer John in today's selected passage tells us that Jesus promises the Spirit. This promise is made during the very long talk that John has Jesus give at the Last Supper. The believers of then would have realized that John had assembled a whole series of quotes of Jesus and had made them prominent by placing them all together at the Last Supper. By John doing this, he is telling us to pay strict and close attention to all these words and quotes. He realizes that the various meanings of these words take power after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Indeed, John is the only Gospel writer who tells us the very important teachings and sayings which Jesus gave at the Last Supper. We know that the Apostles had heard these words, but that they needed a great deal of time to ponder and come to understand them. Do not forget that John says at the end of his Gospel that he has only written down so much of what Jesus said as there would not be enough books available for him to write into record all that Jesus said.

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From Fr. Brian

05-15-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

In listening to Governor Baker we can all start to prepare ourselves for the “re-opening” of our previous lives. To be sure it is still a little distant, but it seems to be in sight. We are still called to remember and value “the common good” as we are getting poised to start again. Letting up now would be a great mistake. We need, as Saint Paul says, “stay the course and finish the race”.For most of us our faith has allowed us to meet each day and deal with whatever has been the difficulties or problems. Remembering the grace that faith gives to us to be strong and hopeful helps us to deal with Isolation, fear or worry. We are always blessed by the Lord and surrounded by his light and grace.

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Jesus, Our Foundation

05-15-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

When I drive down Union Street to where it meets King Street, when I am stopped at the lights, I can see a big construction site just beyond the lights. In a sense I look forward to checking up on it each time I come to the lights. I get to see the progress of it all. I note how it has taken many steps and many different construction trades to build it. Of course, it starts with the General Contractor who has to put it all together. He/They are the ones who have to get the site surveyed correctly, the hole dug for the foundation, and then the forms built and poured for it all. Framers, insulators, plumbers, electricians, insulators, and all sorts of tradespeople and craftspeople have to work on this project. Lots and lots of building supplies are needed. Whether it is a big building or a house, each requires a lot of tradespeople and craftspeople and also supplies and materials. Are you aware that today's readings actually show us a similar construction plan for the church?

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From Fr. Brian

05-08-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary,

As the days lengthen with the beauty of the sunlight and warmth, most of us are desiring to gather with family and friends on weekends to enjoy their love and friendship, but it is still not yet possible. The outside temperature has started to warm u during the day, but still it is cool enough to dampen about of the desire for the outdoors. The wheel of life and time continues to turn and we know that this Sunday, May 10, 2020 is Mother’s Day. On this day we honor all those who cared for us as our Mothers. This is the wonderful remembrance day of “Mother’s Day.” Also, hidden a little bit in our unconscious is that this is the season for First Communion’s, Weddings and Graduations.

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The Good Shepherd

05-01-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

During these weeks that all of us are trying to cooperate as closely as possible with the Directives of “stay at home” and “social distancing”, our daily life can get a little too close and people can get a little too sensitive. Usually behavior that can be let go can sometimes, can become a major irritant. The friction of being together so much and not having our regular life can cause all sorts of problems. We can forget about the larger common good and go back to the regular narcissistic orientated culture that we had lived in and functioned in each day “What is best for me is really best for everyone.”

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Letter from Father Brian

05-01-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

I remember the great Polio Epidemic of the mid-nineteen fifties. My memory is that of a little boy who really did not understand a lot about it. As I recall we were delayed from returning to school in September and ended up spending a few more weeks at my Grandmother’s house in Scituate. We also learned new and important rules about hygiene. We were told never to use anyone else’s used silverware, never drink from some else’s glass or cup or never eat from their plate. We also were told never drink from a public water (“bub-lah”). We all remember some of the young people who contracted polio and had to use iron lungs for a long time.

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