Merry Christmas

12-25-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

To you and all those you hold close in your heart, I wish a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a wonderful and peaceful New Year! - Father Brian

When it is sunny, crisp and clear in New England on Christmas morning, when you leave church which is decorated in rich and green colors with the Manger as a focal point, do you feel like all the ends of the earth had seen the glory of the only Son, coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.  


Advent is over soon, just one week to go to December 25th and Christmas

12-18-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Wow! Advent is over soon, just one week to go to December 25th and Christmas. Our “waiting and watchfulness” will soon end. Perhaps before the final run up to Christmas occurs, we can find a little quiet time, perhaps in our car as we are driving, to think about Christmas and Jesus.


“Gaudete Sunday” which means “Rejoice Sunday” because the wait for Christmas is Almost Over

12-11-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Most people look forward to Christmas, however often there are many different reasons and people do not always share the same motivation or desires. Christmas for most young children is a wondrous and exciting time, high school age and college age young people may look forward to its long school break, families may look forward to the special time that is spent with each other. Lots of reasons; some overlap, some do not. We are now at the Third Sunday of Advent and Christmas and its actual Season is getting closer and closer. Because it is so near, some folks are joyful. By custom, the Catholic Church calls the Third Sunday in Advent “Gaudete Sunday” which means “Rejoice Sunday” because the wait for Christmas is almost over.


2nd Sunday of Advent

12-04-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Are you aware that the future is rooted in the present moment and time? This means what we do now influences and shapes the future. We cannot really tell the future or “predict it”, but we can think rationally and logically about our present actions and how they influence the future. As people of faith, we know that our lives are in the hands of God and also we know that we do not control our lives. To some extent the future is now. Our present acts and attitudes create our future.


We Need to be Mindful of Right Now

11-27-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Did you ever realize how much of our time is spent thinking about what is next or where we will be shortly, such as if you are driving to work you think about what is going on at the office, or when you are at work you think about the drive home. Although we are where we are, we do spend a lot of time thinking about where we will be. We often do not live in the present, but live more in the future. Today is the First Sunday in Advent. Are you thinking about Christmas, or are you thinking that this is the First Sunday of Advent and that now we light one candle in the Advent Wreathe because this is the beginning and the first step to Christmas? Are we willing this Sunday to be a light, yes a single light that breaks up the darkness of life for others and helps light the way to the celebration of the Salvation of our world, the Nativity of Jesus Christ in four weeks?


How and in what ways do we recognize the power of Jesus in our lives.

11-20-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Often times in today’s culture we talk about power: “What is power?”, “Who has power?”, “How is power used?”, “How to accept power or defend against power?”. We know that some power in life comes from physical force, like the power of a physically intimidating person or a hurricane. The brunt of this type of power is to be feared and avoided at all cost. We know that some power derives from inner strength. This power is positive and tends to draw people together. Jesus had this type of positive power. His words and actions were full of positive authority which the world needed.


We must quietly and patiently lean on Him and He will provide

11-13-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

It is often better or easier to simply go along with the flow in life, in fact, often times, many things simply do not matter in the long run. We often take stands or push back over ultimately inconsequential things that in a few days or weeks we will not even remember. However, sometimes we need to stand and act on our values. This weekend’s scripture is a reflection on how Jesus thinks about his disciples and how they will go on--on their own, but in his presence.


This belief is comforting and gives us all hope for ourselves and our loved ones.

11-06-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

I suspect there are more images in our minds and in art of what heaven is than there are people on earth. When we think about heaven most of us project our desires of emotional well-being, beauty or human comfort or perhaps whatever we feel we need that is missing in our lives. Starving people or people who live on the level of bare subsistence, often envisioned heaven as a giant feast with an excess of wonderful food. For those who have felt they are alone and endure the pains of loneliness, they often envision heaven as a great multitude of people altogether as close companions. Some call heaven a “Garden of Paradise”; I suspect most of these folks probably had endured emotionally painful lives, experienced excess drought or lived in a desert like area. There are so many images of heaven, even some which stand in contrast to each other. There are many images of heaven, but the one reality which people who believe in heaven have is that it actually exists beyond the grave, after the death of a person.


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.

10-02-2022Letters 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.