Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,
You will notice on the front areas of our church and rectory that we have signs which say “We stand with our Jewish neighbors”. As you are aware the increase in anti-Semitism in common culture today, not only in graffiti, but more importantly in violence is shocking. All of us need to stand for peace and respect of everyone. Anti-Semitism is a learned evil and we must present ourselves as examples that stand against this. Bear in mind that or children learn anti-Semitism by our silence, or even worse by our example. How can we tolerate that Jews live each day with fear for their personal safety in our nation and perhaps even in our Town and neighborhood? There are some additional signs available in the lobby at the elevator entrance of our church building if you wish to take and put a sign at your house. This action is symbolic, but symbols often have great meaning and power. We must stand against any violence towards people in our land.
Karen Ackles, Director of Religious Education has sent out via email notice that parents may now register their child(ren) for Religious Education for next school year. FYI: Registration is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on our parish website. How convenient and easy to do. Mrs. Ackles has planned a faith formation program and schedule which should nourish the faith life of our children and also ease some of the burdens of parents in transportation this coming Autumn. This Fall every youth program and group will re-start all sort of programs and activities for children and parents will be overwhelmed in providing rides etc. for this child(ren). Mrs. Ackles has developed a model of religious education based on “the domestic church” model which the Archdiocese encourages. From all the results of the recent Parent survey we learned that last year’s totally remote program was greatly appreciated by parents because they were able to sit with their child(ren) and the text book and were able to work through the assigned lessons at the times which worked for their family life. It was faith sharing at its best for parent and child. We will continue that dynamic with the addition of a carefully curated enrichment series in person for the student held periodically in the school building. Each grade level will have its own specially planned program. Faith formation is an essential activity for our children if we desire and hope that as they grow they will have depth, meaning and purpose in their lives. Just a reminder: make sure you tell parents of a first grader that the Communion Program is two years and best to start the program with a first grader, but second grader can also do year one and then the following year, year two. The Confirmation Program is also two years.
Despite the rainy weather the July 4th, Independence Day Celebrations on the Common despite the rainy weather was certainly enjoyed greatly this past Sunday. It was delightful to see families with young children enthusiastically coming up to the Common for all the rides and food. You cannot beat freshly made cotton candy! We always provide the space for the entire ride crew and their trailers on our property at “Barn” area behind our former school building. We are fortunate that our parking lot is so close so that many Town residents can use it during the great event. It is good that we are able to support the common civic events of our Town.
As we know “sometimes an ill wind blows someone some good” and this is the situation with the purchase of the high tech equipment and wiring of the church for Live Stream Masses. Some of our Parishioners who are permanently unable to come due to age or disability watch Mass each Sunday along with those folks who still need to wait to return because of the Pandemic. Our plan is always to Live Stream the Saturday/Sunday Masses; this is one of the goods which has come from the Pandemic. Another good is: we have also got emails from folks who live at a distance, often out of this country who are able to participate at the funeral Mass of their loved ones. Please remember that all Masses are best accessed via our website: stmarysfranklin.org
We are coming to the conclusion of the “With One Voice” Campaign for the pledges for our new wonderful addition for the elevator, the expanded narthex (lobby) and also the addition of proper bathrooms and better meeting spaces. Soon those who made pledges will receive a letter asking for the particular information they would like on the donor plaque. It is important that you print clearly on the form and send it back in the pre-addressed stamped envelope. Your timely cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Our Parish continues its ministry and services each day throughout the week. Hopefully after Labor Day we will begin to re-develop and re-start some of the parish groups and activities. Those who been assisting at Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers have been heroic in their efforts. We all appreciate their efforts and service. I suspect after Labor Day our attendance will continue to increase and others will then return to service in our Parish activates and ministries.
Your faithful support to our Saint Vincent de Paul service to the fragile and needy is greatly appreciated. I also personally appreciate your faithful financial support of our Parish by your on-line giving (best accessed: stmarysfranklin.org) or by mail or drop in envelopes or your donation given at Mass each weekend. I am also very appreciative of those who have given to Cardinal Sean’s Archdiocesan Annual Appeal. As of June 26th, you have pledged/given $64,104.00 out of our assessment of $65346.00. This is at 98%. We are short approximately $1100.00 For those who have not yet given, I would ask you to consider giving now. You can best do this by going to our website (stmarysfranklin.org) and clicking on the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal button.
Always remember Mary, Our Parish Patroness intercedes for us at the heavenly throne of heaven and Saint Rocco, our special Patron brings healing to those who are hurt or sick in mind, body or soul. We are blessed with faith which allows us to feel the grace and strength of our God in our daily lives.