A Letter from Fr. Brian

06-19-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

During this past week the wonderful warmer days of summer have arrived. There have been hints for a while, but this week brought us the better weather of summer. As New Englanders by birth or by choice, we are used to the unstable weather and the unpredictable patterns of the Northeast. I guess in so many ways the New England Yankee stoic approach to acceptance of our weather is much what we need as we move on through the various Phases of Return from the Pandemic Directives. More importantly, our faith can help us with fortitude, strength, patience, and grace to get to the very far side of all this.

Our beginning of Weekend Masses has been very “successful.” Each week we have a slight increase in attendance, which is a sign that slowly people are starting to feel safe to return. In following the State and Archdiocesan Directives we have developed a reverent and prayerful environment for the abbreviated Masses. Folks have been arriving with the required masks and have also welcomed the assistance and direction by our Volunteer Ambassadors. There are 3 Masses: 4 PM Saturday; 7:30 and 10:30 AM Sunday that provide most amply for our attendance at each Mass for the foreseeable future. Funeral Masses under various Directives and Guidelines are taking place and the mourners are most appreciative. Baptisms are now taking place within the parameters of the Directives and Guidelines.

The Religious Education Staff is planning all sorts of possibilities for the Program for 1 through 8 and also Confirmation 1 and 2. We are laying out possible pathways for Faith Formation and will adopt the pathways that will best meet the Directives and the needs of our Parishioners and their children. The State Directives do not seem to be written yet so that we will be unable to decide all of this until most likely mid-August. The 3 Confirmations on September 11-12 will take place with strict limitations of attendance and length of the Ceremony. We are still awaiting the Fall State Directives to be able to plan safe and beautiful First Communion Masses. Again we will not practically know until at least mid-August.

Our Parish is blessed by those who faithfully support the Saint Vincent de Paul Society by giving supplies or by financial donation. We also blessed that so many folks now use our online giving (found at: stmarysfranklin.org ) or by drop off to the Rectory or mailing in their financial support.

This Sunday we honor and pray for our fathers who have given us life. We pray for those who have provided love, faith, and meaning in our lives. We also include in this honoring and prayer the men who have been like fathers to us. We make this prayer as people whose parish is dedicated to Mary, Mother of God. We also invoke the intercession of Saint Rocco, Saint and Healer, to protect all those who are ill and all those who care for them in so many known and unknown ways.

God bless.

Father Brian