A Thriving Lenten Community

02-26-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish:

I was quite happy that on Ash Wednesday so many folks were able to come to the Church either to attend Mass and receive Ashes or come to the Reception of Ashes outside at mid-day. In addition, many families and households signed up to obtain ashes a head of time and have a brief and holy service at home and receive them. Our Religious Education Director sponsored and facilitated this faith activity. Many also watched the Ash Wednesday Masses on our Livestream in real time or later. We took the experience of Christmas Eve and Day Masses of how Parishioners responded and participated and used this as a model and planned Ash Wednesday. Holy Week, from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday will also be designed and planned in light of how you all participated in the various ways which we had offered. Parish Ministry has certain had to pivot and turn in so many ways during this Pandemic. I deeply appreciate that so many of you who have been positive, helpful and understanding. The strain of the Pandemic has most people near an edge of anger and it surfaces quite often in us despite our best attempts to remain peaceful and calm.

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Strive to Do More During Lent

02-19-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,

Eek! Yes, I say, “Eek!” I attributed the Monday Rosary to the Saint Vincent’s Society and it should have been attributed to the Women’s Spiritual Program. My apologies.

This past Wednesday we began the sacred Season of Lent. To be sure this Lent will be different from all others, but bear in mind we are still able to have this spiritually enriching season.

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Parish Lenten Activites

02-12-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. I find it very difficult to believe that the time since Christmas has passed so quickly. With the Pandemic as a background noise always in our daily life, there is a distortion in the passage of time for me. I guess I can say that the movement of days, hours and minutes brings me closer to my favored season of a nice hot summer. We should never wish our time away, but it is always nice to know that summer is never far away. Meanwhile, there is much for us to have and do in our lives. We are blessed that the very personal and spiritual Season of Lent is upon us.

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The Sturdiness of Yankee Culture

02-05-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,

This past week certainly was quite the week with the great snow storm that has left us with more snow at one time than we have seen in a few years. Those of us who do not really like the snow, ice, and cold really can mutter for good reason about winter weather these days.

Yet we who are New Englanders at heart, whether native-born or adoptees, know that all we have to do is keep going through the bad (weather) and the good (such as summer) will come again. The sturdiness of Yankee culture can aid us not only in bad weather, but also in the bad times of our lives.

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Looking Ahead to Ash Wednesday and Lent

01-29-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

Despite the cold and snow last week, we can tell that winter is moving on as the light at the end of the day is lengthening. We need simply to put one foot forward at a time, and soon we will be well through February, which begins this Sunday. It is rather stunning to think that the Christmas Season is now far back in the rearview mirror and that Ash Wednesday and Lent 2021 will soon be upon us. The pandemic, the long process of vaccinations, the recent civil disturbance in Washington DC, and the new federal leadership for our country all contribute significantly to our confusion, uncertainly, and burden of living each day. Parents and students, workers and homebound, elderly and young, everyone’s lives are still challenging beyond the usual pressures and strains of life. We are blessed that we have our faith to focus us, direct us, keep us strong, and let us continue our daily life with hope and peace of mind and heart.

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Pray the Prayer of St. Francis

01-22-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,

This past week held a critical and important event in our country’s history and life. We have inaugurated a new president and vice-president in the worst of times in our civil society. The events in Washington D. C. of the last two weeks tell us in the most painful, violent, and dramatic terms and actions that our nation is facing serious and grave difficulties. Cardinal Seán’s recommendation is ever so correct: that the Prayer of Saint Francis should be our prayer and motivation at this time. We must be instruments of justice and peace. All of us must pray for our country and its elected and appointed leaders to help us to face in justice what is wrong, admit responsibility, and then be reconciled for the good of us all.

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Looking Ahead to Ash Wednesday and Lent

01-15-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Although our Church in our Liturgical Year has returned to “Ordinary Time” after the Christmas Season, this present “time” is in fact extraordinary for all of us. We continue to face the Pandemic, and in addition in our Town of Franklin we are a Red Zone, and also we are all reeling and reacting to the great tumult and upset in Washington DC with the riot and siege of the Capitol Building with the unfortunate deaths and desecration of our many national signs and symbols.

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Put Your Faith in the Lord

01-08-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary,

We have stepped into the New Year and must continue to put our faith in the Lord in these most troubling of times for our country and for our people who continue to struggle during this Pandemic. We must ask our God to fill the hearts and minds of our leaders on all levels of government to always put the good of others before themselves. We must all remember all of us must respect the laws of our country and work together for our democracy. Ideological and political polarization is destroying the good of our “common good”. Our country needs our prayers said faithfully these days for all of us to move past the violence of Wednesday. We must condemn the violence which has taken place and work peacefully for our country’s future.

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