Plan for Fall Religious Education

08-30-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Most of our Town Life is focused on our Educational Plans for our young people. We also still hear about various colleges and universities as they change their plans which may greatly impact some of our highest education young people. It is clear that the Franklin Educational Department is doing its best to plan for our young ones. This is true whether we like or dislike their plans. We must faithfully pray for them and also for the teachers and school personnel as they begin their active Mission of educating our children in the most difficult of circumstances.

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Back to School

08-21-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

We have rounded the corner of summer and are heading straight towards Labor Day and the start of Fall and the new School Season. These coming days of decision making about your children and school with the complexity of remote learning and proper child care are very upsetting and confusing. Our college and university students also are going through great struggles over their futures. We pray for all of you as you make decisions. We must rely on the strength and grace of the Lord Jesus.

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Faith Formation for the Coming Year

08-14-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Another week has passed in this quite hot and sunny summer. I much prefer this heat and humidity to the winter’s cold and ice. New England is not really known for a steady temperate weather pattern at any time of year. I think the constant and sudden weather changes help us to be a little more sturdy and reliant as people. Certainly in this time of the Pandemic we need to have substance and strength. Our God will provide us with this as we step into each day to deal with all the difficulties and worries that come to us. Life is not easy or smooth these days. Putting one foot forward at a time and doing our best actually will achieve a lot of good for everyone.

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St. Rocco, pray for us

08-07-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

For forty-one years our Parish has celebrated in various ways a special religious and at times a social tribute to Saint Rocco, a renown Catholic saint of healing. At its beginning, this feast was small. As time progressed, it grew to a giant outdoor weeklong feast of food and fun, but bear in mind what was always the most important in all of the activities was the spiritual dimension. After the 40th Anniversary we changed the style again; we re-focused its directly on its spiritual roots. The Feast of Saint Rocco became a special Mass with invited guests who sought the sacramental healing of Anointing of the Sick through the special intercession of Saint Rocco.

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Anointing of the Sick

07-31-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Parishioners and neighbors who have been able to come to our Weekend Masses comment on how our Masses are very safe and most reverent. Please know that we will be here whenever you are able to return. I wish to thank all those involved in helping our Masses to be available to those who come through the doors of our church.

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The Joy of Summer

07-24-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

The days of summer are moving along. Almost every day I take great delight in the hot sunny weather. Although I am no longer a “beach person”, I really enjoy the ease of living when we do not have to wear gloves, scarfs, hats and winter coats, nevertheless having to scrape ice or snow off my car each morning. Because I am a gardener at my family’s Cape House, I appreciate these long days of light and warmth. This year, however in this summer comfort all of us are constantly under the direct and indirect effects of the COVID Pandemic.

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Plan for Fall Religious Education

07-17-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

This past weekend our Parish had its first wedding since the beginning of the COVID Pandemic. This weekend we have two more weddings which will take place in our sanctuary and again under the special COVID restrictions. I understand why some couples move forward with their wedding date and also why some postpone. Like all decisions about events, even ones that are not church related, it is very hard to prudently decide what to do. The ripples of effects can be overt or subtle. I think it is really making the best informed and prudent decision you can and then move forward with grace, some courage and kindness.

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The essential work of the Church

07-10-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Yes, the summer is upon us and it is time to shorten my weekly letter. The “Good News” is that our weekend Masses are continuing to be very safe and reverent. We are blessed with volunteer Ambassadors who assist us all at each Mass. The simplified Music at the 4 PM and 10:30 AM Masses has its own innate beauty to inspire our souls. Christ is made present on the altar and people are able to receive the Body of Christ. What greater blessing is there? Our Funeral Masses, though slightly modified, are powerful instruments of prayer which also provide spiritual comfort for the mourners. Our Baptisms continue each Sunday, as needed, and welcome the Light of Christ into the hearts of our young ones.

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Happy Fourth of July

07-03-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

The recent rain caused our main server to stop working and the letter which I had been diligently writing over the previous few days is on it and I have no access to it. This is a small inconvenience in life for me, and actually a great gain for you! This substitute letter will be very short!

I would like to wish you, your loved ones and your friends a Happy Fourth of July. To be sure this is a very, very different holiday weekend for all of us, but we can still enjoy the time and days.

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Independence Day

06-26-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

The re-opening of our Parish Weekend Masses continues to take place “successfully”. I think most of us are aware that the rules in another Parish in the Archdiocese were not followed and the Parish had to close down completely for two weeks. A parishioner with symptoms of COVID came to church and engaged with the priests with the resulting closing of the church for two weeks. The priests and staff had to go into quarantine. So far we are “successful” here at Saint Mary’s because everyone is following the rules and we are most cautiously and carefully moving forward. The key values are safety and reverence. There are some people who are pushing and pressing to open more; they are at times loud and noisy, but they are actually quite few in number. They want to take risks about your health and life, but in the end, they would not be willing to be responsible. Bossy or bully-like people never take responsibility for their actions. They blame others or you.

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A Letter from Fr. Brian

06-19-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

During this past week the wonderful warmer days of summer have arrived. There have been hints for a while, but this week brought us the better weather of summer. As New Englanders by birth or by choice, we are used to the unstable weather and the unpredictable patterns of the Northeast. I guess in so many ways the New England Yankee stoic approach to acceptance of our weather is much what we need as we move on through the various Phases of Return from the Pandemic Directives. More importantly, our faith can help us with fortitude, strength, patience, and grace to get to the very far side of all this.

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Letter from Fr. Brian

06-12-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s, Cardinal Sean announced that we will begin (again) the special “Year of the Eucharist” this Sunday, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. With the limitations and requirements of the Pandemic these past months influencing our church life so profoundly,there is a more powerful meaning to this Year of the Eucharist for us. One of the distinguishing hallmarks of Catholicism is that whenever and wherever possible, we are expected to participate in the Sunday Mass. Unlike so many other parts of this country, we have so many Masses each weekend that we may have in many ways come to devaluate the Mass grace and meaning in our lives. This time of enforced abstinence has allowed many of us to come to feel how much we need the Holy Mass and Communion. Indeed it is a privilege to be a participate at Mass, Mass is not a burden or an “obligation”.

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Reopening Weekend was a Success

06-05-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

I am delighted to tell you that our “Re-opening” this past weekend was most successful and went extraordinarily well. The hours and hours of planning and preparation to insure that all the Masses were very reverent and very safe along with the addition of our special volunteer “Ambassadors” and also with the cooperation and support of the congregation allowed us to launch these Sunday Liturgies. The attendance at the Masses was: 50 at Saturday 4 PM, 70 at Sunday 7:30 AM and 90 at the 10:30 AM. (Maximum allowed capacity is approximately 180) I was pleased that many folks thoughtfully decided to attend or decided not attend Mass.

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