Welcome Christ in Others

06-28-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian

Way back “in the olden days” when I was young and in elementary school, we always went from the city to my grandmother’s cottage in sunny seaside Scituate for a good part of the summer. Our first cousins and also my brothers and sisters in various configurations of age groups would be there for most of the summer. All the time we were there, lots of relatives and friends would also come to visit for the day and sometimes for the weekends. Even though at times it was very crowded and quite noisy, it was never too crowded or too noisy because loved ones were all there.

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Independence Day

06-26-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

The re-opening of our Parish Weekend Masses continues to take place “successfully”. I think most of us are aware that the rules in another Parish in the Archdiocese were not followed and the Parish had to close down completely for two weeks. A parishioner with symptoms of COVID came to church and engaged with the priests with the resulting closing of the church for two weeks. The priests and staff had to go into quarantine. So far we are “successful” here at Saint Mary’s because everyone is following the rules and we are most cautiously and carefully moving forward. The key values are safety and reverence. There are some people who are pushing and pressing to open more; they are at times loud and noisy, but they are actually quite few in number. They want to take risks about your health and life, but in the end, they would not be willing to be responsible. Bossy or bully-like people never take responsibility for their actions. They blame others or you.

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Fear No One

06-21-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

In our first reading, we learn that the prophet Jeremiah was not easily intimidated. We also learn that his prophetic vocation was as difficult to accept as it was unambiguous in meaning: A quote found early in the first chapter describes it quite accurately: “To root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant”. Jeremiah was a prophet to the Jewish people just before the Great Babylonian Exile. This prophet loudly told them that its apostasy and infi-delity would bring it all the way down, as indeed it did. His dire and forbidding warnings, though they came to be true, were no way to win acceptance and affirmation by everyone, from the highest and grand level of the king to the lowest and poorest citizen of Judah.

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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.

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Living Bread

06-14-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Most of us are fascinated by the beauty of the classic Latin hymn “Panis Angelicus”. Although there are many Latin hymns in our tradition, only a few are really “great”. This hymn “the Bread of Angels” is certainly one. Folks of all ages are drawn to it because of its interior melodic beauty. What is most interesting is that this “bread of angels” is really the holy bread for humans. It is Jesus who gives us his Body under the appearance of bread, not the angels.

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Letter from Fr. Brian

06-12-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s, Cardinal Sean announced that we will begin (again) the special “Year of the Eucharist” this Sunday, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. With the limitations and requirements of the Pandemic these past months influencing our church life so profoundly,there is a more powerful meaning to this Year of the Eucharist for us. One of the distinguishing hallmarks of Catholicism is that whenever and wherever possible, we are expected to participate in the Sunday Mass. Unlike so many other parts of this country, we have so many Masses each weekend that we may have in many ways come to devaluate the Mass grace and meaning in our lives. This time of enforced abstinence has allowed many of us to come to feel how much we need the Holy Mass and Communion. Indeed it is a privilege to be a participate at Mass, Mass is not a burden or an “obligation”.

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Reopening Weekend was a Success

06-05-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

I am delighted to tell you that our “Re-opening” this past weekend was most successful and went extraordinarily well. The hours and hours of planning and preparation to insure that all the Masses were very reverent and very safe along with the addition of our special volunteer “Ambassadors” and also with the cooperation and support of the congregation allowed us to launch these Sunday Liturgies. The attendance at the Masses was: 50 at Saturday 4 PM, 70 at Sunday 7:30 AM and 90 at the 10:30 AM. (Maximum allowed capacity is approximately 180) I was pleased that many folks thoughtfully decided to attend or decided not attend Mass.

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A Community of Love

06-05-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian

It has often been said that no one can know someone else 100% and that there is always a little mystery in every person, no matter. This usually makes for a more interesting relationship and life. When we realize that we always have more to discover in ourselves or other people, it makes sense that there is always more mystery to be discovered in God. Certainly, the sacred mystery of the Holy Trinity, which is one God in three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, always has some more to be discovered and understood. The depth and beauty of our God is a reality that is an unfolding mystery, which we will never cease contemplating and celebrating.

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