04-09-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,

We now are in the midst of Eastertide 2021 with the Solemn Celebrations of the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil & Masses) almost a week behind us. Your response to our special Holy Week Services and Masses was so overwhelmingly positive and glowing with praise. Thank you.

Our Easter Sunday Schedule with Live-Streaming Mass to downstairs and out to the larger community and also the outdoor reception of Communion were greatly appreciated by so many, many of you. Terry Kerr, our outstanding Music Director and Organist, selected deeply spiritual and moving hymns and songs for us during all these sacred events. Our Staff did yeoman’s work in making sure everything was ready and prepared and also cleansed and made safe for each day and for each church service or Mass. Yes, this has been a very different Lent and Holy Week, but a time of deep spiritual reflection and renewal for all of us. The Pandemic has made us invest financial resources significantly and develop our technology of Live-Streaming for our Parish. Sometimes an ill wind can blow some good.

Our Town Schools have started to re-open this week with our younger students beginning an in-classroom full-time learning experience. I am certain that all of us are glad for them and also want to encourage them to grow in this learning environment that has been missing for so long. All our School Personnel are delighted that they can now consistently in a face-to-face environment help our young people to learn.

In the last week or so, I have learned that Deacon Stephen May, who has been our Pastoral Assistant and for this past year Director of our Confirmation Program, has accepted a position as Parish Manager at Saint Margaret Mary, Westwood. We thank Deacon Stephen for his dedicated service here at Saint Mary’s and wish him God’s blessings as he begins his new role in Westwood. Although Deacon Stephen has been here approximately three years, we will remember him for his service and work. It will take some time for us to find a new staff person to fill this role. As with the severe shortage of priests, there is also a shortage of pastoral church workers. Almost all the baby boomers have retired and there are few others to fulfill the mission and role of these positions.

Our Sacred Heart Council Knights of Columbus is sponsoring a Blood Drive on April 30. The Red Cross holds this council in very high regard because of their generous work for this cause for our health. Please see our website for details.

The Franklin Interfaith Council is also most appreciative of your support of the “Envoy Project” of using designated local restaurants on a particular night for either “eat in or take out,” which then contribute a special portion of the check to the Franklin Food Pantry. Details are on our website.

Our Parish, as with all the parishes of the Archdiocese, must participate in the annual “Catholic Appeal,” which is the Cardinal’s yearly collection to support all ministries and works of his and the Archdiocese. We are assessed approximately $65,300.00+ for this Appeal. So far parishioners have pledged or given $34,500.00+. I ask you to consider making a pledge and contributing to this most worthy Appeal. You can do so by going online to our website, or calling Trish Murphy our Business Manager (508-528-0020 ext. 10) so that she can send you a pledge envelope, which then be credited to our Parish. Your personal financial help is needed and appreciated.

We have already started planning next year’s Religious Education Program as the time to plan for then is now. We had sent a survey to every parent of our multi-grade program and we appreciate your responses. We will be using the survey results to help plan next year’s programs. We will continue to do the best we can in light of the Pandemic and all the transitions and changes that will be coming at us all for the next many, many months. I have been impressed by the faithful work and support of our parents for our many young people in Religious Education during this past year.

Because of the requests of folks, we are now Live-Steaming all four Masses (Saturday 4 PM and Sunday 7:30 & 10:30 AM and Noon). These are best accessed via our website. I guess the key to parish information and knowledge is always now found at our website: “stmarysfranklin.org”.

Our Saint Vincent de Paul Society is most appreciative of your consistent and faithful support of their work among the needy and frail. Our website lists some of the items that they now need to support their on-going work.

I am also most appreciative of your faithful financial support of our Parish via your online giving (found at: stmarysfranklin.org), via the mail or Rectory drop off. Our Holy Week with all the tech support and beautiful clean and sanitized church (for each service) and also with the great inspiring music and gorgeous Easter flowers are due to many of you who every week faithfully support all of us parishioners. Especially to you, I say a big “thank you!”

Soon the month of May will be upon us. This month is dedicated to our Patroness Mary, the Mother of God. May her intercession bring us heath and good hearts. May Saint Rocco continue to provide his special intercession for those who are ill.

God bless.

Father Brian