A Compassionate and Merciful Savior

12-31-2017Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Because the Celebrations of Christmas and New Year's are both on Monday, the Sunday scheduling and celebration of various feasts are off kilter. The Liturgical Calendar was drawn up and based on ideal time and space. We all know that the placing of Feasts and Holy days is meant to inspire in us to hopes and dreams as people of faith who celebrate the great moments of God-with-us each year. As hardy New Englanders, we roll with what we get. The weather for the last two weeks in particular has made us remember that life is adjusting and accepting the reality of time and space. At this point we bundle up on certain days, we watch where we walk because of ice and we keep going in life.


Reflections on Christmas Mass at Dawn

12-24-2017Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Did you realize that there are three special Masses that are celebrated with the Feast of Christmas? They are very thematic to the time of night or day. If we were a monastic institution, then all three Masses would be celebrated for us and with us. Each Mass has a special theme and it is connected to the great divine mystery of the God who became Flesh and dwelt among us, namely the Birth of Jesus Christ, truly God and truly human.


Christmas Plans

12-17-2017Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary's,

Next weekend, December 23-24-25, Saturday-Sunday and Monday are confusing days for all of us with Christmas as a Monday celebration. A civil holiday on a Monday is usually quite nice for everyone, except for Christmas. Most folks would rather have the day off before Christmas and then the day afterwards, not two days in a row before it. Christmas Day being on Monday may also cause a great deal of confusion for regular church-going people. Some folks may wonder: "Do I have to go to Mass for Sunday? Does Sunday morning count for Christmas? Does Sunday evening (Christmas Eve) count for Sunday and Christmas? If I do not go two times, have I failed in my faith? Can I go to Mass on Saturday and on Monday, then what about Sunday? There are all sorts of combinations and confusions that exist. In fact, among our bishops and also canon lawyers there are many various opinions over what is "required." Various bishops disagree with a more common opinion and are making exceptions; various canon lawyers strongly disagree with each other. When legitimate authority and its legal experts disagree, you know there is true confusion. So the following is my insight. When legitimate authority and church canon lawyers disagree, then a Pastor 's insight and decision becomes a deciding influence.


Make Ready the Way of the Lord

12-10-2017Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Our scripture readings this weekend are telling us that Christmas never really comes to an end! Great News indeed! Our message in this week's passages leads us to conclude that the story of Christ has not come to an end, that God's concern for us is no less evident now today than over two thousand years ago. The message of today's liturgy is clear: "Get ready!" "Christmas is not too far off!"


Waiting is Not Enough

12-03-2017Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Advent always reminds me of how some people are early, some are on time and some are always late. Many people spend a great deal of time waiting for others. This Sunday we start a special period of time of waiting, the Season of Advent. Let us face it: we cannot solve the problem of people who are always late. For various reasons, they have a need to be always late. As a side note, it is revelatory that they do not miss their plane flights or Amtrak trains when they travel, but the rest of the world is always waiting for them. We know that Advent is the Church's time of vigilance and waiting. Let's take this Advent time and make it a time to be productively getting ready. Let's get ourselves ready for a very special coming. After all, as Christian believers, we really have nothing - absolutely nothing - better to do.