Pray for our First Communicants

04-23-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

Very shortly on Sunday, May 2 at the Noon Mass we will begin the first of four celebrations for our First Communion young people. The regular Noon time Mass participants (approximately 50 to 60 people) are also welcome, but are asked to sit on the outside wall benches in the church. We are inviting our First Communicants and their households to sit on the main aisle of the church. How beautiful these Masses will be because of these young people as they make their First Communion. We are blessed by their faith and goodness. We will be discontinuing the Noon Mass with the last Mass for First Communion on May 23. Starting on Memorial Day Weekend there will be no Noon time Mass until mid-September.

Weather permitting there will be an outdoor Memorial Day Mass at 9 AM at our Cemetery. You are invited to attend and pray for all our deceased Veterans and our deceased loved ones who rest in peace in our Cemetery. Remember to bring your folding chair if you wish to be seated during this Mass. With the lovely sloping hillside and the paved flat road there is plenty of space for folks to be at a required distance and yet still be part of the Mass. In the event of rain, the 9 AM Mass will be in our Chapel on the lower level of our church building. For your information we are awaiting the arrival of the paving company to re-do a major section of the roads in the cemetery. We were scheduled for last Fall, but COVID  worker shortages pushed us off until late this Spring. It is rather easy to tell that the road way in some areas needs to be done. Patience is an important virtue during this Pandemic.

I also invite you to give serious consideration to making a financial pledge and gift to our Cardinal’s Annual Archdiocesan Appeal. Our Parish has an assessment of $65,000.00 plus and so far we have pledged $38,800.00 plus which is 58 percent of what we must pay. The easiest ways to do this is to go to our website and click on the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal or click on our parish’s on-line giving. If you wish to receive a Pledge Envelope, please email Trish Murphy (businessmanager@stmarysfrankling.org) or call her at 508-528-0020 ext: 10 and speak with her or leave a message. Your personal financial contribution is needed and valued. Please help.

I have read about the continued roll out of vaccinations for folks with the expansion of categories, now from the age of 16 up. I and Father Jack have received both of our vaccinations. I encourage everyone who is medically able to also do so. I am certain that as time progresses and late Fall comes upon us the vast majority of folks will be all set and life should start to resuming some pattern of consistent normalcy. Life today consists of lots of special rules and planning for contingencies, as result life feels very unstable and erratic. I am looking forward to seeing and talking with so many parishioners who have not attended Mass  due to the Pandemic as they are able to return. I know that many, many of them participate via our Live-Stream.

I believe that most of you are aware that (Deacon) Stephen May who has been our Parish Assistant has moved on to Saint Margaret Mary, Westwood to be its Parish Administrator. The job description for that position as it was listed is a role for a business-type manager with some pastoral dimensions. We wish him well in his new position. We are now seeking a part-time Parish Assistant who will be responsible for the Homebound and Sick Pastoral Ministry with a few administrative and educational tasks. The job description is on the Archdiocese of Boston website (www.bostoncatholic.org/employment/parish-job-openings-0) opportunities. The hours are mostly (over 90%) weekdays during the day, approximately 19 hours a week. If interested, please send an email to me (bmanning@stmarysfranklin.org) with the subject Pastoral Assistant. This is a wonderful position for someone who needs to work mostly “school hours”, summer time can be negotiated.

I have begun my pre-season gardening (mostly weeding!) at my family’s home at the Cape. For some reason many weeds thrive in the winter and just keep growing and growing. I am enthused to begin gardening again. I hope for all of you that life has restarted in some limited ways and you are becoming enthused or excited that better days are coming. Living in the present with a hopeful look towards the future is the better way to live life. Some folks drag the past around and use it to impede their daily life and stop the future. We must acknowledge the past, the good and the bad, but live in the present moment with an eye towards the future. Trouble and problems will always come our way; we do not need to drag around with us all of the negative past. We need, instead, to carry with us the wonderful and good moments of our lives. We get to choose. Choose life that has grace and light in it. That is what God’s grace is all about.

Thank you for your constant financial support for our Parish of Saint Mary’s and also for our Saint Vincent de Paul Society. Your kindness and thoughtfulness are appreciated. I remind you of the Envoy Program “Eat Out – Take Out” Program which helps the Franklin Food Pantry. Our wonderful Sacred Heart Council Knights of Columbus are running a Blood Donor Drive this Friday April 30. See our website for details on both these programs and events.

Mary, the Mother of God is our Patron and Protector. Saint Rocco brings us healing of heart, mind and body. How blessed we are in these still difficult times.

Until next week.. God bless,
Father Brian

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