Sacred Heart of Christ

08-29-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Medieval legends inform us that most knights died from defending truth, beauty and freedom, but historians of later centuries inform us that the knights actually died from the result of their armor. The constricting metal "clothing" caused them to succumb to excessive heat exhaustion and dehydration; they usually died from a heart attack. Are you aware that the rules and customs of life which are supposed to support a good life often times can cause the death of one's heart. This is an issue which Jesus spoke and taught about, the death of life caused by rules that do not give life, but cause death.


Approaching Labor Day

08-25-2021Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

Next weekend is Labor Day Weekend. When I was young and at my grandmother’s house in Scituate there was a ritual pattern which we followed. Everyone gathered for the weekend at her house. This meant lots of adults and children and thus lots of laughter and fun. What a crowded house it was between all of us staying there with the day-hoppers and also relatives and friends in near-by houses! Then on the next day, Tuesday we all packed up and went back to Boston and started school the next day. Times change and now schools start different weeks and days for various institutions. Our Town has already begun. Colleges and Universities seem to start the soonest and private high school academies seem to start the latest. I treasure the memories of my summers in Scituate and hope that you all have created some memories this summer to cherish. I did. My grand nephews and nieces were at our home in Falmouth and it has been great fun and joy.


To Whom Shall We Go

08-22-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Whenever we enter a room through a doorway, we go through a place that it is called a "threshold". We cross this threshold when we have entered a new space and have left behind the room and space which we had been in. Many times, we stop at the threshold of a room to see what is before us, to remember what we left behind or to think about if we should even enter the new space. Thresholds hold great meaning, although often times we do not realize it. Thresholds are quite symbolic.


Favorable Light

08-19-2021Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

In this past week a great and wonderful light in the Town of Franklin left us. Reverend Carol Rosine, the Minister Emerita of First Universalist Society in Franklin died. In more than 12 years which I have served at Saint Mary Parish, I was privileged and blessed to know Reverend Carol, serve with her on the Interfaith Council and various committees and projects, and also treasure her as a special friend. Reverend Carol brought joy, hope, strength and the presence of God to all who she met in her dedicated service in Franklin. The lost and lonely, the less and the frail knew that she was not only their friend but a strong advocate for them. Her ministry touched the lives of many, many people, including many beyond her congregation. On behalf of Saint Mary’s I have expressed prayerful condolences to Carol’s family and to her Universalist congregation. We are a better Town and Community because of her faith, heart and soul. We mourn her loss, but we rejoice that she touched our hearts and lives with her faith and strength.


Mary Magnifies the Greatest of Our God

08-15-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

The Feast of Mary's Assumption into heaven is a feast that celebrates the triumph of Mary into heaven first and then also includes "all who hear the word of God and keep it." Slowly, ever so slowly, the honor paid to Mary by Christians grew through time. In early church documents we learn of Mary's "dormition" meaning the falling asleep or death. In fact, it was the Orthodox Church, the Church of the East, which first celebrated as a formal feast Mary's Dormition, or what we have come in the Church of the West to call 'the Assumption of Mary into heaven." No matter its history or whatever word(s) you use to describe this reality, this feast of Mary is precious and is cherished in our Latin Rite Roman Catholic Tradition.


Taste and See

08-08-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Today most of us are very conscious to "eat healthy" and not to indulge frequently in food that is not nutritious for us. Many people now shop only for organic certified foods. Some folks have now switched to an entirely plant-based diet. Overall we are blessed in this country with the privilege of having such a great variety of fresh and healthy foodstuffs. There are some among us, even in the Town of Franklin, who do struggle to obtain food. For them, food is a scarcity which both through your generosity, our Saint Vincent de Paul Society and the Franklin Food Pantry help them. Many of us also have memories of being young and having our parents say to us "Taste and see if you like it or just have a little". We often hear how important it is to taste food. This week's readings are about the spiritual food which is good for us.


Safely Stepping Towards Fall

08-05-2021Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

We are stepping right along to the Fall and the re-start in various ways of many of the activities and programs in our Parish. The Pandemic will still be among us in many ways, but we can begin a safe and thoughtful transition as people continue to be vaccinated and practice good COVID protocols. In many ways we will be transitioning for one full year. Whatever the new normal will be, it is mostly likely one year from this Fall. We will be consistently and slowly re-starting or opening various ministries, programs and services. With the arrival of our new part-time Pastoral Associate Leo Racine shortly after Labor Day, we will re-start according to good COVID safety rules Communion Services at our various institutional facilities. We will also be offering some evening meetings for Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers to help address these roles and now the different requirements and protocols in serving due to COVID Safety.


Give You Eternal Life

08-01-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

This weekend, we discover in our first reading that life was not easy for the Israelites as they left Egypt to go to the Promised Land. God had rescued them from the swords and whips of the Egyptians and now they had very tough going in the desert. They had adopted a typical human behavior of complaining unceasingly. When they quite bitterly and angrily complained of being hungry to God, he sent them manna, but they resisted that food. They continued to complain. It took Moses to point out to them that the manna was the answer to their prayers to God. They missed the obvious.