The Month of Mary

04-29-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

We are blessed that as we launch this month of May that in our Catholic Tradition these days are dedicated to Mary, Mother of God. As is our Parish custom, we hold First Communions for our young children during this month. There will be four ceremonies, each at the Noon Mass on the first four Sundays of May. Families and friends will gather in our holy church for this sacred ritual and rite for our young people. First Communion also can be viewed on our Live-Stream as it takes place (accessed via our website: stmarysfranklin.org). May the grace of this sacrament fill our young people’s hearts and lives with strength and light!

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Come Closer to the One who Loves You

04-25-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

In the very long history of the Christian faith, the image of the shepherd has been constant. Since we were very young, we often saw pictures and statues of Jesus as a shepherd. Oftentimes there would be a young lamb sitting astride his shoulders. Pictures often have Jesus standing among fluffy sheep. We celebrate this Sunday with the name "Good Shepherd Sunday". This title for the Fourth Sunday of Easter goes way back in church time. We know that when we think about and ponder the meaning of Jesus as a Good Shepherd we can deepen our faith and relationship with Our Lord.

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Pray for our First Communicants

04-23-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

Very shortly on Sunday, May 2 at the Noon Mass we will begin the first of four celebrations for our First Communion young people. The regular Noon time Mass participants (approximately 50 to 60 people) are also welcome, but are asked to sit on the outside wall benches in the church. We are inviting our First Communicants and their households to sit on the main aisle of the church. How beautiful these Masses will be because of these young people as they make their First Communion. We are blessed by their faith and goodness. We will be discontinuing the Noon Mass with the last Mass for First Communion on May 23. Starting on Memorial Day Weekend there will be no Noon time Mass until mid-September.

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The Good News of God's Love

04-18-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

In the readings for Mass this weekend we learn that a holy mission has been entrusted to us by the risen Lord and that this mission is defined with the words such as reconciliation. Indeed it is not the great Feast of Easter "the great celebration of reconciliation"? In following the words and actions of Jesus we learn that His mission was one of reconciliation, and thus we who are His followers and witnesses have the mission of reconciliation.

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Our Faith Can Keep us Going

04-15-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

It is delightful that the season of Spring is moving along and our weather is becoming milder. I truly delight in the sunlight and gentle warmth of the sun each day. This turning of the season to better weather helps all of our spirits as we continue to navigate our way through the COVID Pandemic. Our education system in our Town is re-opening and many other activities are re-starting with less restrictions so that we may feel that life has made turn for the better. Our faith can keep us going during this time as we slowly move forward. The Pandemic in various ways will still be with us for many, many more months, but we can step along now remembering to follow the rules for the common good of one and all.

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Ask and Seek in Faith

04-11-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

On the days these past two weeks when the sun was gloriously shining and the air had a gentle warmth to it, it become quite easy to believe in the goodness of life and also in our faith in the Resurrection of Jesus. Yet on other days when something horrible or evil has happened such as shootings, the spewing of racial or anti-immigrant hate, or other despicable acts, it becomes hard to believe in the goodness of life. This also happens when a child is seriously ill or someone dies tragically in a car accident. We ask: How can these things happen? How can this God who has so loved us, who sent His Only Begotten Son to die on the cross and rise from the dead allow all these terrible things to happen? How can we believe in resurrection with all these various types of "deaths" around us?

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Eastertide

04-09-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,

We now are in the midst of Eastertide 2021 with the Solemn Celebrations of the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil & Masses) almost a week behind us. Your response to our special Holy Week Services and Masses was so overwhelmingly positive and glowing with praise. Thank you.

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We Live in the Risen Lord

04-04-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

When we think about it, the beautiful verse we sing at Mass on Easter during the responsorial psalm - "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad" - certainly expresses it all. With the Resurrection of Jesus Christ all new life has begun. We now have a "New Creation". Our lives are now different and new because of the Risen Christ. How great it is to sing of this truth.

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