Happy New Year!

12-30-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,

This letter is meant mainly to wish you a Happy and Holy New Year.

It is stunning to recognize that Christmas Day 2020 has already happened. The Church celebrates the Season of Christmas all the way through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (this year – January 10, 2021), but most of us conclude the Season with New Year’s Day. Although this year because of the Pandemic just about nothing was as we wanted, I hope that you and your loved ones shared some moments of laughter and love.


The Beauty of the Christmas Crib

12-18-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s

This past Sunday, the Third Sunday in Advent is called “Gaudete Sunday” in Latin and in English it is the command to “Rejoice”. This name is because the Feast of Christmas, the Birth of Jesus Christ is only slightly more than one week away. This year is certainly different for this wonderful celebration for all of us, both religiously and personally. The ways that we cherish and treasure Christmas have to be transformed or suspended for this year. However, the meaning of the Incarnation of God made Flesh still remains for us and can inspire and motivate our lives. The beauty of the Christmas Crib can warm our hearts during these coming days and also provide light for our steps and journey during this coming New Year of 2021.


Christmas Mass Schedule

12-11-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary's,

In this letter I am publishing for the first time our Christmas Eve and Morning Schedule of Services. This year all of us aware that this Christmas and the accompanying holidays are different from the past. In so many ways we will mourn the loss of Christmases past, especially those that we hold closer in our hearts and the one we wish we could have this year. We also know that some folks also mourn a special person who has gone before us. This year all of us are invited by the Child of the Christmas Crib to welcome that special Light which He brings into our world and to share that with others as best as we can. Our celebrations may be different this year, but our faith can be as strong and our hearts can be touched by the beauty of this Season of Light.


The Season of Advent

12-04-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioner and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

I hope all of you and your loved ones had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. This year is a different year and so we must all make the best of what we have before us. Thanksgiving is about gratitude. Certainly this year we can understand how much we must be grateful for in our lives. The Pandemic has made us think, feel, see, perceive and reflect upon life in many different ways.


Upcoming Christmas Schedule

11-27-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

I am sending this letter early this week so that I can offer you a special Greeting for our Thanksgiving Holiday. On behalf of all Ministerial, Pastoral and Support Staff I wish you and your loved ones a day of peace and thanksgiving in these most turbulent of times.

Just a very important reminder: to gain access to our live-stream Masses and Services: always go to our website and then click on Livestream Masses – this is for a Mass in real time or to view a past Mass that is recorded. It appears that our YouTube connection for Masses has trouble with the electronic widgets at the moment and does not work for us.


Happy Thanksgiving!

11-20-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Last week’s letter was only a few sentences, so this week is a little bit longer with all sorts of good news and information!

This very Sunday, November 22 at 7 in the evening, the Interfaith Council of Franklin will be hosting our Annual Thanksgiving Service via ZOOM. I invite you to participate in this beautiful service of giving thanks for the many blessings and gifts that are in our lives. To be sure this is a different way for us this year to mark this moment of gratitude in our lives, but it can be a prayerful and enriching moment for us in our faith journey. Lest we forget, we need to pause and remember. As people of faith, we walk in the light of our God. So we need to see the grace, light and beauty which surround us. I am including in this email the Zoom link for you to make it as easy as possible for you to join in, pray and reflect with other members of our Parish and Town Community:

Franklin Interfaith Council - Annual Thanksgiving Service - Sun, Nov 22 at  7:00pm https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5085285348


Noon Sunday Mass beginning in Advent

11-06-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Most of us are still reeling from the snow storm and the bitter cold from this past week or so. It is supposed to get warm again, if 60 is really warm. We now have felt the first snap of winter. We can get lulled into complacency very easily by the mildness of the Fall weather. This is also true regarding the necessary precautions of the COVID Pandemic. Do not be fooled by deniers, naysayers or lulled into letting down your health standards because of the length of this emergency. With the winter upon us, we New Englanders who are made of sterner stuff will do fine. We need to use our sterner stuff during this Pandemic Emergency.


Planning for Christmas

10-30-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

During this past week, a Parishioner looked at me with confusion on his face when I was talking about how Fr. Jack, the Pastoral Staff and I have been trying to plan Christmas Masses and Services for the last 6 weeks. I could not figure out if he just realized how much thought, planning and work it takes to plan for Parish Masses and Events. Or he may belong to the “magic school” that because he thinks it simply happens. Or maybe he could have been horrified to think that Christmas is not that far away and that because of the Pandemic slowdown, he needs to get cracking and start the Christmas Shopping. Whatever it all was, we as the Pastoral Ministry Staff are sensitively, thoughtfully and carefully planning for Christmas at Saint Mary’s. We want to be able to welcome everyone in various ways in light of their decisions and limitations about participation in light of the Pandemic.


The Joys of Technology

10-23-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

We are blessed that our Parish of Saint Mary’s strong faith and spirit keep us focused on the important things of our lives. We have our faith in Christ to help center us during these difficult and turbulent times. Although many are not able yet to attend Mass on the weekends, many hundreds literally now participate via our Live Stream Masses or the Masses on Catholictv.org. Who would have envisioned that technology could so support our faith? We are also using technology to assist parents with Religious Education for our Young People. Although every student has a book at home, the Directors of Religious Education are also using ZOOM and Webinar Sessions in limited ways for our young people and their parents. Even our Adult Spirituality programs are using technology for enriching and developing people’s faith.


Men's & Women's Faith Formation

10-16-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

The Fall Season moves on in our lives as some important activities re-start with the COVID in place. Our Parish will again be supporting the Men’s and Women’s Faith Formation Programs this year via the media of ZOOM. I invite you to consider involving yourself in this wonderful spiritual enrichment program on one Saturday a month for one hour. Please refer to our parish website to learn more and gain access to the program. You can be part of it from your home this year! Our Religious Education Program for our Young People has also started with a parent friendly approach. The Program will work its way out for everyone. With a little patience and a dab of faith, the various parts of the program will work out fine.


First Communion Masses continue through October

10-09-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Our First Communion Mass last Sunday at Noontime was absolutely so spiritual and beautiful. One of my most cherished memories of church in my now long life is my Reception of First Communion. Long ago when I made my First Communion, only parents could attend. With the COVID restrictions, we were able only to invite the young child’s entire household and not the usual cast of thousands.


Celebration of the Sacrament of First Holy Communion

10-02-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

During these coming days many wonderful and sacred events are happening at Saint Mary Parish despite the limitations imposed by the COVID Pandemic. Starting this Sunday, October 3 we will be holding First Communions for our 2020 Class at a special Noon Mass. These Communions will continue for the 3 remaining Sundays of October. Each young person is welcome to have his/her own family household(s) in their special bench in our church, and then the family comes forward and witnesses their young one receive the Body of Christ. What a great and blessed occasion it is for them and also for all of us in our parish faith community. We must rejoice that these children whose parents pledged to bring them in the ways of our faith have now prepared them and presented for Holy Communion.