God's Voice Comes Forth

09-26-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

From reading the scriptures of the Old Testament we certainly find Moses a surprising person and leader in many ways. We know that he did not want the role that Yahweh gave him. He also required help from Aaron to manage everything. Yahweh also gave Moses 70 Elders who could prophesize and then it was discovered there were two more. Moses was quite happy about these extra Elders. He saw all these peoples as special gifts from God. Some of the Jews were mad that there were these two, but not Moses. Jesus also had the same issue in the Gospel passage we hear today at Mass. There were some people who did not know Jesus personally who worked miracles in His name. Jesus was much like Moses in his response. If one can work miracles in His name, then you cannot be against Him. Jesus did not mind that there were people who were not His chosen few. They had caught the power of the Holy Spirit and were acting for God.


Fall Functions

09-24-2021Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Last weekend the sun and weather was at New England’s early Autumn best. The beautiful mellow and warm days certainly helped to perk up everyone’s spirits. Slogging our way through the Pandemic is exhausting and a patch of inspirational weather certainly helps. At the end of each day we are closer to the end of it all, but that end is still a good bit of distance in front of us. We can only face each day and lean into it. It is easier each day if you face life with a positive attitude and a little humor. We cannot really change much at all, but we can change ourselves and make it easier for our self. It is true one can choose to  be miserable or happy with the same circumstances. I choose being happy and suggest that you also make the same choice. I know that daily life is not easy for most of us, but we do have that choice. I think faith also helps us make a choice for the positive and better. Trust in God helps lift our spirit.  Saints did not spread gloom, negativity or misery. Our finest saints spread both joy and hope.


Live His Way of Life

09-19-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

We often talk about "success" in our country. If you listen to some talking heads on the continuous news channels, it appears that success is usually tied up with wealth and money. In fact, on these programs only the rich are quoted or cited most often. This week's scriptures, in particular the Gospel are about what Jesus believed "success" to be.

Our first reading, which is from the Book of Wisdom, focuses our minds on the idea of the trials that "just one" must endure. The people in this story deeply resent this person who dares point out their mistakes. They ask out loud if the "just one" could stand for God and against threats of condemnation and death. Many people through the centuries have interpreted this passage as a prediction of the Passion of Our Lord, which Jesus himself tells us about in the Gospel of today. This is the second time that Jesus has predicted His Passion.


Welcoming the Newly Confirmed

09-17-2021Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

Last weekend Bishop Robert Reed, our Regional Bishop was here to confirm the Sacrament of Confirmation upon approximately 180 young people of our Parish. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit sustains and empowers them to live our Catholic Way of Life. In this most confusing time, our faith is ever more important for all of us. It gives us direction, purpose and stability. Hopefully the young people’s parents will recognize this larger reality and help them by their example to live our faith by attending the Holy Mass and living charity and understanding each day. Young people learn best by example and may their parents be the very best of models for them.


Care For Our Brothers and Sisters

09-12-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

This weekend at our Masses, the theme of each of the three readings is all about good discipleship. Our first reading, a passage from the Prophet Isaiah addresses the theme of the "Suffering Servant". We know to interpret the servant as Israel because the pain caused in the servant is a direct result of his faith. He is insulted because of his faith but note that he never wavers or steps back. His life was just because he set his face against these bad people with a face "like flint."

In our second reading the writer James continues the theme of discipleship. He writes that it is not enough to state our beliefs and faith, we must do more. Good intentions and talking are never enough. If people find their neighbors hungry and without enough clothing, it is not enough to wish them well, but we need to act on our wishes for them. Saint James always wants us to pray, but sometimes he knows that prayers alone are not enough. We must act on our own prayers or else God's work will not be done.


Noon Mass

09-09-2021Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,

This weekend, we launch the NOON time Sunday Mass. Even though our numbers do not support this, I think it is best to put it in place. Of course, this is the weekend where it is necessary to block off Main Street beside our Town Common for the Cultural Festival so that everything is even more complicated! But that is life. This weekend going forward our Saturday/Sunday Masses will now include the second reading and the recitation of our Creed. We will also have the bulletin available for you at the tables at the front lobby of the church for you to take home. The same information is also available on our website (stmarysfranklin.org).


By our Baptism Call

09-05-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

In this week's Old Testament passage, the prophet Isaiah announces that the present mood of melancholy in Israel will turn to its opposite. He uses images to make this absolutely clear for the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the one who cannot move will win foot races, the one who is without words will be full of words—songs even. The very land itself will come alive: sands will be watered, deserts will flower. This is quite the prophetic statement by Isaiah.


Fall Function

09-01-2021Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

We have now stepped into the month of September and in some limited ways we have started the Fall cycle of life. Schools have opened, after school and weekend sports have started, signups for evening enrichment programs for adults and the wondering about “where has the summer gone?” have all begun.