Wintry Weeks

01-14-2022Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

During this past week or so the season of winter has arrived in full force. The snow storm last week was a dramatic reminder that we live in New England and that winter does happen here. These days we are enduring the bitter, bitter cold. We sometimes forget that our winter really takes full shape and force during the months of January and February. So, all of us may need to wear an extra layer when in our houses because heating systems are not designed for almost zero degree outdoor weather and also when we go out, hats, gloves, scarfs and multiple layers of clothes are the only way to go. Our four season weather helps influence our underlying philosophy of life here in New England. We need to be prepared and then as they say in today’s idiom: just lean into it.

I appreciate the many, many notes and emails which expressed appreciation for our very beautiful Christmas Season. Our music was wonderful and inspirational. I thank Terry Ker, our talented Music Director for his dedication and hard work. I also thank the Choir for their hours of preparation and also our Cantors who prepare and offer spiritual musical direction at our Masses. Our Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers were faithful and dedicated in their service. I thank those who cleaned the church and also the set up and decorating of our sanctuary and church spaces. I also thank the many parishioners who through their weekly contributions support the graced work of our Parish. Parishioners also generously supported the sacred work of the Saint Vincent de Paul in caring for our parishioners and community members in need.

Due to the Omicron COVID Variant, Religious Education for our Young People has returned to being remote. Hopefully soon our Program can return to the in person faith enrichment program which Karen Ackles, our Religious Director has prepared. I appreciate the patience and cooperation of all our parents as we all together work our way through the ups and downs of the Pandemic. It has been a long journey for all of us, but each day does get us closer to the end of this emergency period. If we just keep moving forward with fortitude and patience, we will get to whatever is to be the new ways that our daily life will be. All of us have lived with radical change in our culture and daily lives in the last 20 years, so as difficult as all this is, we are able to positively move forward with all this. Our faith gives us a foundation to our footsteps as we move into the future.

Our Women’s and Men’s Spirituality Program continues and those who are interested can discover how to join by looking at our website. It meets both via ZOOM and also when possible in person. The Monday night Rosary continues each week via ZOOM at 7 PM. Please connect via our website ( Our Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) will be meeting via remote this coming week. The PPC is trying to forge ahead on the discussion of our Patrimony (201 Main Street aka.. the old school and grounds) on how it can best serve the mission of Saint Mary’s Parish. Their advice from their last meeting helped to shape our most successful Christmas Eve and Day Mass and outside Communion Schedule. The PPC helps me sort through the many, many contradictory suggestions and conflicting opinions I receive from Parishioners. The thoughtful advice of the PPC helps me to land and find the best way forward for all of us. We also will be affirming the revised Pastoral Plan which is an extension of the original Plan.

I am most appreciative of all those who support our Parish by means of on-line giving (best accessed:, by mail in or drop by envelopes and those who contribute each week in the Collection Baskets at the front doors of the church. Our Saint Vincent’s is also blessed by the generosity of so many of you.

We begin this week “the Ordinary Time” of the Church Year. Our great Feasts surrounding the Birth of Jesus Christ are now concluded. Ordinary Time is a wonderful Time for us; it gives us time and space to breathe and reflect on who we are and how we must live in concrete and practical ways in our daily lives the message of the Christ Child of Hope, Peace and Love.
We offer our prayers through Mary, the Mother of God and our Parish Patroness. We also know that our special Patron, Saint Rocco will intercede for all of us who are ill in mind, body or spirit, especially for our young ones.

God bless,

Father Brian