Lent begins on March 2

02-25-2022Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

On Wednesday of this coming week, we will be gathering in our church to receive our ashes as we spiritually prepare ourselves during Lent for the Great Feasts of Holy Week culminating with the Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus on Easter Sunday. On Ash Wednesday Mass and the Distribution of Ashes will take place in our church at 7:00am and also 7:00pm; there will also be a Simple Distribution of Ashes at Noon in our Church. We will be approaching the sanctuary to receive ashes as a symbolic action to mark our desire to try to live a better life as a follower of Jesus Christ. The ashes on our foreheads are to mark our inner heart of repentance for our wrongdoing and our desire to live a better life in Jesus Christ.

I think everyone is aware that the face covering (masks) are no longer required in church, but remain a choice for everyone. Your decision should be based on what is best for your health and the people who surround you on a daily basis. We will continue to maintain the ‘socially distance” section on the Main Street side of the church. Folks often have health issues which make it better for them to either wear and/or sit in the socially distance section. Our Eucharistic Ministers will continue to wear masks and also wash their hands beforehand with hot water and soap. Holy Communion will only be received in the hand.

On Fridays, starting the Friday after Ash Wednesday there will be a Service of the Stations of the Cross in our Chapel at 7 PM. You are most welcome to attend and walk with our Lord on his journey to His Death and Resurrection. Lenten Morning Mass is Monday through Friday at 7:00am in the Chapel. Perhaps you can attend one morning a week as special sign of your spiritual preparation for Easter. You may wish to join our Rosary Prayer Group on Monday evenings at 7:00pm during this Season of Lent. All the details and an easy “click to join” are on our website. I also encourage you to view the Catholic TV channel on cable or the website (catholictv.org) to discover all sorts of wonderfully religious and spiritually enhancing Lenten programs. Bishop Reed by means of Catholic TV offers many, many wonderful Programs about our Catholic Faith. Perhaps you can participate each week for one hour as your special effort for Lent.

I know that Parishioners have been receiving letters about the soon to start Annual Archdiocesan Appeal (often called “the Cardinal’s Appeal”) which supports the ministries and services of Cardinal Sean and the Archdiocese. I also have received mine! We will be having an in-church commitment time on the weekend of March 12-13. I am inviting you to consider making a pledge to the work of the Archdiocese. If you are not attending church at this time, if you need a pledge envelope, please call Trish Murphy at 508-528-0020 ext. 10 or email her at businessmanager@stmarysfranklin.org. In filling in a pledge in church, with at least your name and address, even if you have already sent in your mail-in pledge, it helps us to make a required envelope in-church quota. This does not exactly make sense to me, but I am cooperating and asking you to also cooperate.

Our Saint Vincent de Paul Society appreciates your constant support with the requested items which are listed in the bulletin and also your financial support. I personally am grateful for your faithful support for our Parish by your online giving or by your mail-in or drop-by or in church envelopes.

Thank you. Mary, the Mother of God is our Patroness. We are blessed by her intercession for us. We also have Saint Rocco, a Saint of Healing as our special intercessor. May he intercede for all who are ill, especially our young.

God bless, Father Brian