Anointing of the Sick

07-31-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Parishioners and neighbors who have been able to come to our Weekend Masses comment on how our Masses are very safe and most reverent. Please know that we will be here whenever you are able to return. I wish to thank all those involved in helping our Masses to be available to those who come through the doors of our church.

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Heart Wisdom

07-26-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian

Back in “the olden days” when I was young, we did not have to know what our vocation and profession would be. We were encouraged, instead, to pursue knowledge and education so that we would become whole and good people who understood the meaning and purpose of life. Our work, whatever it would be, would come along as time shed light on our steps. If we asked the larger questions of our life and tried to pursue the meaning of our existence as given by God, we would be where we were supposed to be. Helicopter or drone parents were not necessary for us; instead, parents who led lives that were examples of being a Catholic and an adult were the only requirements. I suspect if we were given the one question that Solomon had in our first reading of “what did he want,” I suspect we would have asked for the same gift, that of wisdom.

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The Joy of Summer

07-24-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

The days of summer are moving along. Almost every day I take great delight in the hot sunny weather. Although I am no longer a “beach person”, I really enjoy the ease of living when we do not have to wear gloves, scarfs, hats and winter coats, nevertheless having to scrape ice or snow off my car each morning. Because I am a gardener at my family’s Cape House, I appreciate these long days of light and warmth. This year, however in this summer comfort all of us are constantly under the direct and indirect effects of the COVID Pandemic.

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Patience

07-19-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian

In our first reading this weekend we learn that God is truly supreme in all ways. This passage from the Book of Wisdom tells us that God is all-knowing, just, and powerful. Indeed we may not realize it, but even our hearts, thoughts, and actions are clear to God, in fact even before we know them. In contrast to his awesome and incomprehensible power, we learn that God is patient. The words of Wisdom illustrate for us how God tempers justice with mercy and also how God’s actions teach us to be patient, fair, and hopeful.

We find in our second reading that Saint Paul encouraged the Romans to have patience in dealing with the trials of this life. The “worrying” is not worth the effort when we think about the glory God has in store for us. Paul tells us that we are saved in the hope of what is unseen and also that we need to be patient to receive God’s promise of heaven. Bear in mind that even when we lack patience, the Spirit helps us and gives us the heart to hope, wait, and pray.

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Plan for Fall Religious Education

07-17-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

This past weekend our Parish had its first wedding since the beginning of the COVID Pandemic. This weekend we have two more weddings which will take place in our sanctuary and again under the special COVID restrictions. I understand why some couples move forward with their wedding date and also why some postpone. Like all decisions about events, even ones that are not church related, it is very hard to prudently decide what to do. The ripples of effects can be overt or subtle. I think it is really making the best informed and prudent decision you can and then move forward with grace, some courage and kindness.

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Tend the Word of God with Care

07-10-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

Our first reading from the Book of Isaiah is a very beautiful reading as our summer now unfolds and all the wonderful plants and flowers around us grow in the sun-light and are watered by the occasional rain that falls. Our first reading tells us that it is God who makes the rain to fall on the earth so all things may grow. The symbolism is that God “waters” us with his sacred love and thus we grow in living a life of meaning and purpose. Ultimately there is a harvest time when all plants mature. The fruit of all this growing is that there is a spark of the divine in each one of us and it is clearly God’s everlasting love.

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The essential work of the Church

07-10-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Yes, the summer is upon us and it is time to shorten my weekly letter. The “Good News” is that our weekend Masses are continuing to be very safe and reverent. We are blessed with volunteer Ambassadors who assist us all at each Mass. The simplified Music at the 4 PM and 10:30 AM Masses has its own innate beauty to inspire our souls. Christ is made present on the altar and people are able to receive the Body of Christ. What greater blessing is there? Our Funeral Masses, though slightly modified, are powerful instruments of prayer which also provide spiritual comfort for the mourners. Our Baptisms continue each Sunday, as needed, and welcome the Light of Christ into the hearts of our young ones.

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Love One Another

07-05-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

This weekend includes our civic holiday July 4th, which is a celebration of our Independence Day. Although the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor came much later, this magnificent statue has inscribed on it these words “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free … Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me …” We must wonder: Did these words find inspiration in the Gospel of this weekend? It appears that this quote echoes the words of Jesus. The similar words welcome the humble.

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Happy Fourth of July

07-03-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

The recent rain caused our main server to stop working and the letter which I had been diligently writing over the previous few days is on it and I have no access to it. This is a small inconvenience in life for me, and actually a great gain for you! This substitute letter will be very short!

I would like to wish you, your loved ones and your friends a Happy Fourth of July. To be sure this is a very, very different holiday weekend for all of us, but we can still enjoy the time and days.

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