Last Weekly Letter as Pastor of St. Mary Parish

05-28-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

This is my last weekly letter as the Pastor of Saint Mary Parish. I retire on May 31st, this coming Wednesday. Certainly I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life, but I do feel sadness at leaving this wonderful Parish and Parishioners. I will be retiring to my family home in Falmouth, MA.

In the last 14 years much has happened at Saint Mary Parish. Within our holy sanctuary, there have been many, many sacred moments. We have offered well over 4000 daily Masses and also 4000 Sunday Masses. Sadly almost 2000 Funeral Masses, Services and Internments have been held at Saint Mary and also well over 2500 Baptisms. It is hard to believe that almost 5000 young people have been confirmed and also 5000 have received their First Communion. Although these numbers are quite large, what is more important, in fact the most important hallmark of our Parish, is that our faith in Jesus Christ has been celebrated, preached and also lived in service in our daily lives. Certainly the special efforts of our Saint Vincent de Paul Society who are aided by the generous support of so many parishioners speaks greatly of the compassionate caring of our Parishioners for the vulnerable and needy. Our Knights of Columbus Sacred Heart Council is vibrant and strong in witnessing to our faith in their many service endeavors. This year over two hundred and fifty Parishioners are volunteering in service in our parish in many ways, such as Religious Education Catechists and Assistants, Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Homebound and Senior Life Center Visitors, Hospital Visitors, Cantors and Choir Members, Saint Vincent Members, Adult Faith and Prayer Group Leaders, Church Sacristans, Leadership Councils and Committees, and so many others in quiet and behind the scenes supportive roles. In addition we have come together as part of the Franklin Community to offer prayerful support or leadership at Town Services on our Town Common.

I have been honored to be the Pastor of this Parish and to offer the spiritual and administrative leadership for our Faith Community. I have been assisted by caring priests and deacons and also by our dedicated Staff in trying to help us fulfill our Baptismal Calling to preach and live the Good News of Jesus Christ. I apologize to those who I have been unable to serve or have offended. I have not always understood nor have I been capable of everything that people demand or expect.

I often called our Tradition the “Roman Catholic Way of Life” for clearly to be a Christian and also committed Catholic requires each of us to live a Way of Life which is felt in our heart as faith, acknowledged in our minds, is connected sacramentally to the Church and is expressed in our daily actions. Thank you for the privilege of being Pastor of Saint Mary Parish.

God bless,

Father Brian