A Different, but Still Fruitful Lent

03-05-2021Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's, It is good to hear that most of our first responders and COVID face-to-face Care Givers along with many of the vulnerable folks have received their first, if not second vaccination. I know that for everyone who wants a vaccination this will take a long time for there are over 6,000,000 people in the State and also almost 36,000 in our Town of Franklin. It is also quite good that we are now starting the first week of March and better weather will soon be upon us. Winter has not ended, but the warming sunlight of Spring is not too far away. The Pandemic and all the restrictions that we have will not disappear soon, nor will life be back to “normal” any time soon, but life will be easier for we know that our weather will be getting better.

Lent is progressing along each day. Yes, this is a different Lent, but it can be as much of a Lent as you make it. It is easy to blame the Pandemic if you do not make the spiritual journey of Lent this year. American culture always blames someone or something else. If you do not pray and deepen your relationship with God, you have not taken on your personal responsibility for your own journey in Lent to the Great Events of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. It is never too late to begin the journey. It is never too late to say your prayers and maybe even meditate about yourself and God each day. Quickly sign up for “BestLentEver.com” and you will get a special email each day from Dynamic Catholic which will enrich your Lenten experience. You can also participate in the Tuesday night Lenten Spirituality program offered by our Pastor Associate Deacon Stephen May via Zoom.

As the church readings and prayers say, part of Lent is giving “alms,” that is, giving to charity, in fact more than your regular charitable giving. I suggest you do this special Lenten alms giving by means of our Knights of Columbus “Stop and Shop Food Card Drive” in support of our Saint Vincent de Paul Society. Details and process are on our website.

Our Women’s and Men’s Spirituality Program have very important speakers this month. The Women’s Group has in person Bishop Reed, head of our Catholic TV and our regional Bishop; the Men’s has the programmatic talk by Bishop Barron on “3 Habits to get the most out of Lent.” Again, check out our website for all the details. Everyone is welcome whether you have attended before or not. Zoom makes it much easier for all of us to attend. Email Deacon Guy to obtain the details and Zoom link info.

Just an announcement for Seniors in high school: Our Knights of Columbus have a special scholarship for which you may be eligible. Check out the details via our website to get to the Knights’ webpage link for this.

Our Parish faith life continues every day because of your financial support. Thank you. Your online giving (also found at stmarysfranklin.org), your mail-in or drop-by envelopes, and also your in-church giving make all of this possible. I also am inviting you to consider giving to the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal (aka Cardinal Seán’s Appeal). He asks that you help contribute to the support of his ministry and work and the great work of the Archdiocese. Yes, we are assessed and must meet the amount. If you did not get a letter with a giving envelope from him, please email Patricia Murphy in our Business Office or call (508-528-0020 ext. 10) and she will mail you an envelope that will make sure our parish gets the credit towards our assessment.

Our Saint Vincent’s is most grateful for your food resources and financial support. Many are quietly helped because of your giving and aid.

Blessed by Mary, Mother of God, as our Patron along with the intercession of our special friend, Saint Rocco, we continue living the Way of the Catholic Faith. We are blessed by our beliefs and are able to live the virtues of faith, hope and love because of our God’s grace.

God bless.

Father Brian