The Season of Advent

12-04-2020Letter 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.

Our church and chapel are now decorated for the Season of Advent. The deep rich color of purple is a radical change from the verdant greens which have been a sign of the “Ordinary Time of the Church Year”. We began again this past Sunday with the proclaiming and re-telling of the story of our salvation in Jesus Christ. John the Baptist has cried out “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!”. And thus many of us with a quiet and prayerful heart turn toward the glow of the Manger at Bethlehem to see its light shine upon us. To celebrate the Nativity of Jesus Christ requires us to be prepared in so many ways.

Our Christmas Eve and Morning Schedule is planned to allow as many people as possible to celebrate Christmas in devout also very safe ways. Everyone can choose either to come into the church building for Mass to receive Communion at the Crib or stay outside and receive Communion at the Christmas Crib (very bad weather: come into the lobby, receive Communion and pivot out side door) or to watch our Masses on our Live Steam. You can gather at a Holy Mass or come and receive Communion at our beautiful outside Crib and then leave. We will have our wonderful Christmas CD of our Choir singing festive and joyous hymns outside while Communion is being given. Next week I will be publishing the schedule with additional details for one and all.

The Cardinal in his ongoing Dispensation from attending Mass includes the Feast of Feast of the Immaculate Conception this year. We will be celebrating two Masses for this Feast of Mary, our Patroness. There will be a Mass on Monday, December 7th at 4:00pm and also Tuesday, December 8 at 9:00am in our main church. Both Masses will be live-streamed.

We are blessed with a very active Knights of Columbus in our Parish. They have just about concluded their Stop and Shop Food Card Giving (see our website for details on how you can donate) and tomorrow, Saturday, they are again sponsoring a Blood Drive (see our website). The Red Cross has again deliberately asked them to help because they have been so successful at this needed Life-giving gift. The men of our Sacred Heart Council take their Mission to aid others in need most seriously.

Just a reminder that Mass Intentions are being accepted for the Saturday 4 PM Mass and also the 7:30 & 10:30 AM and Noon Masses. The best way to make the arrangement is to email our secretary at During COVID times, the Parish Office is open Monday to Thursday 9:00am-12:00pm (except holidays).

Please note the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance aka Confession) will be offered this Saturday, December 5 and the following two Saturdays, December 12 & 19, from 8:00-9:00am in the Chapel on the lower level.

Time keeps moving on and we must remember that our faith can greatly sustain us in these very different and confusing days. I think the isolation, the worry or the fear of the unknown or unseen and also frustration in trying to accomplish simple errands which people have experienced over these many months have given us all an opportunity or more to ponder and reflect on our lives. We all hope to return to “normal” as soon possible whatever that will be, but we will also be different because of what we have experienced these many past months.

Thank you for your constant and faithful support of our Parish. Your financial help keeps us afloat on these every rough waters. Your online giving, your mailing in or dropping at the Rectory and also your in church support is critical to the continuation of our holy work. Our Saint Vincent’s is truly blessed to have such constant and generous support from you as they care for the needy and fragile.

This week we honor our Parish Patroness, Mary, the Mother of God on the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. We also humbly ask Saint Rocco, our special Patron to continue to interceded for our health and healing.

God bless.
Father Brian