November, a month which is dedicated to the memory of those who have passed from this life to the next.

10-27-2022Reflections and Resources

The month of November is dedicated to the memory of those who have died. It is a time for us to hold fast to the belief that when a faithful person dies, “life has changed, not ended” (Roman Missal, Preface for the Dead). Here is a 2017 article by Clare Coffey ( that reminds us that “[t]o mourn as a Christian is to hold both the fullness of loss and the promise of restoration at once.”  You can listen to Marty Haugen’s rendering of Psalm 23, Shepherd Me, O God at Psalm 23 is a psalm of comfort for many people in the face of suffering and death.


10-23-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

For over three weeks the major theme of our Sunday scripture readings has been “faith”. The readings look at faith from various points of view and lenses. These readings allow us to reflect upon faith and its meaning for us in our lives.


We Must, by Our Thanksgiving, Reveal the Goodness of our God

10-16-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

We have made it almost all the way through to “the end” of the COVID Pandemic; it now seems to be taking a quieter course as it continues to infect people with its variants. The vaccines and boosters seem to have lessened the terrible effects of the virus and now people can recover at home and not in the hospital on ventilators. However, we still try to avoid people who are coughing or sneezing. We also tend to keep more distance around ourselves. Many people, still stop to think if they wish to be in a large crowd with strangers. Some folks who have been faithful and good Catholics are still not “back in church” because of the confined spaces issue. I understand their decision and respect it. I know some folks who will not be using public transport, especially airplanes or trains.


We are to share not our thoughts and words, but His Word and Mission of Salvation.

10-02-2022Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

It is clear from the Gospel of today that Jesus also foresaw the possibility that the faith of his followers would come unraveled when he was no longer physically present. The long-distance of time would disconnect His Life and Message for some folks and groups down through the many centuries of Christianity. Pride and privilege, not only for church clerics and hierarchy, but for all of us; are often the result when what Jesus had hoped for us to be as His devoted servants offering dedicated and worthy service to others. As found in the Gospel story, much like the apostles, we can let our faith run down especially when we need to pray to increase it.


We Cannot be Complacent Simply Because We Have Enough and Fail to See That Others Do Not

09-25-2022Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Our scripture of this weekend is about “ownership”; owning what we do and being re-sponsible for our actions. In our culture of today, most folks always seem to be able to find someone else or some other institution to be responsible. We only claim ownership if we are successful and famous. We do not get concerned at all about being responsible and decent people on a daily basis.


We Who Seek the Kingdom of God Need to be Focused

09-18-2022Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

The scripture this weekend informs or reminds us of the great justice of God. The scripture also challenges us about our sense of justice in our own lives. In the passage from the Old Testament, Amos the prophet is seen as caring a lot. He lived in a time when the people had ever increasing prosperity that came about from abuse of the poor and marginalized. Amos was very clear about their greed and abuse for he said that they even wanted to work on the Sabbath and mis-weigh to their advantage a measure of grain. He proclaimed that these type of abuses will not be tolerated or forgotten in heaven. Amos was not against making money, but he was if it is on the backs of the poor. He told them that greed and avarice can keep you from serving God. Money becomes an idol for people. This idol does away with justice and keeps one away from God.


All of Us Must learn to Forgive

09-11-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

The major theme of the mass readings this weekend is God’s forgiveness. Upon reflection, we may realize that God’s forgiveness is part of the core of our faith. The gracious acts of forgiveness by God truly empower us to go on in our daily lives. We realize that there is no completely logical or scientific explanation of why our God forgives us. Forgiveness by God gives us back our future and puts us back on the right road to living life


What it Takes to be a Follower of Jesus

09-04-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

The larger message of this weekend’s readings is that we probably need to look at life differently than we do and that we should change or adjust our point of view. For what we see has to do with where we stand in the sense of what we can see. Too close, we see too little, and too far, we miss the details; we need to change our mental point of view as according to this weekend’s scripture. In many ways, we only see things from our own point of view. We are being invited this weekend to look at things from God’s point of view, or at least to incorporate part of this view into our own.


With Sincerity and Effort, We Can Become Humble and a Close Servant of God

08-28-2022Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

The scripture of this weekend is inviting us to reflect upon where we stand in our relationship with God and others. When we think about this, we may conclude that we are in an okay space with God, and perhaps even think we deserve special credit for how we perceive that we are a committed Christian and Catholic. Our readings may abruptly knock us back a step or two and confront us to really question where we are in our relationship with God.


We must freely accept his offer of salvation

08-21-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

In the olden days, way back before handheld calculators were common (!), school al­ways began the Wednesday after Labor Day, no matter how early or late this holiday was. As time has moved on, school often starts before Labor Day. Colleges and Universi­ties often start at the start of the third week of August. Lower education often begins the last week of August. It does not really matter when education formally begins, we all know as we creep along in August and as the evening sun has less time that our school year and Autumn way of life will soon be beginning. There is however a theme for this weekend that supersedes this time of change and new beginnings for education. We learn in the passages this weekend that we can always learn how to be better followers of Jesus Christ. We need to continually listen to His Word in sacred scripture, reflect upon it, and put it into practice in our daily life.


We must be fully committed to Jesus on our journey

08-14-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Sometimes we think the heroic figures of the Old Testament had easy lives. We imagine that the prophets were always honored and listened to no matter what. We tend to believe that they were most welcomed by the people to pronounce a message on behalf of God, even a negative message. Jeremiah was a prophet that the people listened to quite closely, but the people did not like what he had to say to them. He spoke to them when Jerusalem was under attack for a long period of time. He told them not to hold out; in fact, it was futile to hold out. He went further and said that God was handing them over to the Babylonians. The people of Jerusalem did not accept what Jeremiah said because he told them that God, their special god, was handing them over to the Babylonians. He informed them that no matter what they or their soldiers did, the Babylonians who were waiting outside the city would get them in the end. Adding that God was doing the handing over was a new and difficult message for the people to hear.


Our Faith is to Take Action

08-07-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

The principal purpose of the Book of Wisdom is to collect and maintain much of the long memory of Israel. The reading this weekend is about the first Passover. This reading requires our imagination to be engaged. In our mind we are to see and hear people who are not yet free and who are sitting in darkness and the shadow of death. These enslaved people discovered hope and courage in their memory of the promise of God to their ancestors. These suffering people hoped and believed, but they did not presume to dream that God’s promise would finally be realized in them. In the end, they did pass over from no life to life as God’s own.