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.


Happy 7th Sunday of Easter

05-21-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

In listening to or reading this weekend’s Gospel, we hear of Jesus’ promises of the Spirit. This passage is a continuation of the lengthy Last Supper “speech” which we have been reading these past few Sundays. Scripture scholars suggest that John composed this long discourse by selecting various words of Jesus from other times. The author John did this so we would know that these words of Jesus are very important, and we should ponder the meaning of His wisdom. Note how these words all have a clearer meaning for us because we hear and read them after His Death and Resurrection; this was not the case for the apostles and disciples. His followers needed time to come to understand. It is interesting that John did not write everything down which Jesus did and said because there would not be enough books in the world to contain what could be written.


Happy 6th Sunday of Easter

05-14-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

We read and hear in this weekend’s Gospel, that Jesus promises the Spirit. John is the only gospel writer who records this very long talk at the Last Supper. Learned scripture scholars theorizes that when John assembled his Gospel, he chose to set these words of Jesus at the Last Supper. This particular position of his words accents strongly their importance and invites us to pay close attention. The words of Jesus become clearer after his death and resurrection. We also need to remember that John goes out of his way to remind us that at the end of his Gospel, he comments that if he were to write down everything Jesus did, there wouldn’t be enough books in the world to contain what could be written. We have more than enough of the Lord’s words recorded in this Gospel.


5th Sunday of Easter

05-07-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

When I back out of the driveway at the Church, I always get to see the house which was constructed only a few years ago in my view. I often think of all the time and many steps it took to build the house. There were many, many trade and craft people involved, besides the necessary plans and permits. The General Contractor had to be licensed and this “GC” had to employ many licensed sub-contractors, such as electricians and plumbers for the construction. The “GC” has to be a good leader and also knowledgeable and experienced in the construction trades. The “GC” has to start with the first steps and work on the project until it is completed and the owner has a Certificate of Occupancy.


Jesus as the Good Shepherd

04-30-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

Anti-Semitism often arises from the misuse of scripture and today’s passage in which Saint Peter informed the people before him that they had crucified Jesus has been used by such haters. Peter was trying to motivate the people to come to the waters of baptism and repent from any of their wrong doing ways. He was not preaching anti-Semitism nor laying the foundation for this hate for others to later adopt and use. The people responded to Peter’s invitation asking how they could make things right. They became eager to be baptized so that they could change their ways and lead a better life.


Happy Third Sunday of Easter

04-23-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

Our society has become more conscious of our “throw away” or “disposable” culture. The issues of oil, gas and renewable resources for power and heat are in fact at times mind boggling. Not all the answers and solutions are easily apparent. We now are constantly reminded that our environment and health are caught up in these questions of what is environmentally positive and what is environmentally negative. We are challenged about what we have and what we use; how we use it and then how do we dispose of it. The reality is that life is more than just a blue environmental recycle bucket, but the blue recycle bucket is a necessary early step. We are challenged to purchase and use items that will last a long time, items that are made to last and not to be thrown away after a single or brief use. We are struggling to conserve how we use electricity and also gas and oil efficiently. Our scripture this weekend also is addressing the topic about things that last. We are being told about things that will ever endure though out time. 


Happy Second Sunday of Lent!

04-16-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

It is essential to realize that the actions of the earliest believers were filled with joy. They had faith and thus were filled with great joy over the News of the Risen Lord Jesus. Some people who think they are being authentically Catholic and  “pious” or “holy” often have a weary, down trodden or sad face. They believe that authentic piety can only look morose and be sad and negative. They miss the obvious that there is joy in the Resurrection of Jesus. His Death did happen, but more importantly His Death led to His Resurrection. Our first reading this weekend tells us that they were filled with joy.


Happy Easter

04-09-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

With Easter Sunday Mass, we now again sing loudly “Alleluia!” We can sing it every Sunday until the earth completes its annual journey around the sun again. With Easter, we are focused on a new kind of light, the light of Christ. Though our earth spins like a top through twenty-four-hour cycles of day and night, it is our faith which proclaims that this day that the Lord has made will not end.


Happy Palm Sunday

04-03-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the Great Week - Holy Week. We know it takes a lot of the devotion and attention and also time, the time we have to gather ourselves and to gather with others to share in the suffering of the cross and the sure triumph of the Resurrection of Jesus. This Sunday which celebrates the reading of the Passion of our Lord and also Blessing and Distribution of Palm Passion is where it all begins.