In His Greatness He Tells Us How to Live Our Daily Lives

10-31-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Most of us have experienced at least one painful or scary time in our lives. This can be the sudden and tragic death of a spouse, perhaps even the loss of a child. A scary moment can be the loss of a sole income for a family. At these times we never really know what to say. In fact there is very little we can do for the suffering person, but we do know that we have to be there, after all that is what friends do. Friends are people you can turn to in times of need.

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November is Right Around the Corner

10-27-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

November begins this week and we tend to begin preparing for the great Feast of Thanksgiving these coming days. For many of us it is the issuing of invitations, the planning of menu’s and the decorating of our homes. We also usually have some thoughts and feelings inside of us of remembering those who are no longer with us and have gone to the other side of life.

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Faith Comes Before Seeing

10-24-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

The prophecy of Jeremiah found in the first reading was selected because it provides an initial insight into our Gospel passage. Clearly God's compassion, described in the first reading prepares us to learn about the compassion of Jesus for the blind, desperate Bartimaeus.

From the first reading we realize that people who are bound and captured and also exiled in a strange land always pay close attention to their captors and oppressors. They can sense the slightest nuance of change, and now in this passage they can sense change. They know that their captors are now threatened by others and are becoming weaker. The once powerful Assyrians are losing their power as the Babylonians and Medes begin to overwhelm them. The Assyrians seem to be concluding that these exiled Jewish captives are not worth the time and effort and so they should send these foreigners back home.

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A Quick Update

10-20-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

I have been away for the last few days and will be away one week more. I was participating in a family wedding in Raleigh NC and  then will be away for a few more days. So, this week there is no letter. I did write a Pastoral Reflection for you. Hopefully the letter resumes next week end!

My Best,

Father Brian

Service to Others Given From a Loving Heart

10-17-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

If you reflect upon the first and second reading at Mass this weekend, you may conclude that the readings balance each other and offer us some kind of equilibrium and strength for us to continue in our journey as disciples of the Lord. Most people find the first few words of the first reading absolutely shocking as Isai­ah writes: "The Lord was pleased to crush him in infirmity." How can this please God? How can people being crushed please God? How are we to understand this? Most people conclude that God seems to allow the suffering of the innocent to go on and on, with no intervention or relief.

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Grand Annual and News

10-15-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

Unfortunately, this past weekend our Live-Stream software was not working correctly, and Masses were not Live-Streamed. All of this is above the heads of 99% per cent or more of us and we must wait for the ‘tech’ to come and fix it. I am disappointed that we were unable to share the Holy Mass with some of you this past weekend. Sometimes there is nothing I can do, especially when it has to do with tech equipment. All of us are now well experienced in waiting for assistance from people whether it is on-line, on the phone or even in-person. Hopefully it will all be working this weekend.

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Try and Do Our Best

10-10-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Our Gospel passage this weekend is about Jesus and the Young Man. One should notice that the young man has self-confidence and is also generous in spirit, and in addition, is vibrant in his approach to life. Jesus obviously saw the young man and wanted to speak with him. We realize, of course, that the young man's request was quite a legitimate question to ask Jesus. Perhaps the young fellow was a little out of line by the salutation of "Good Master" for Jesus certainly corrected that. He reminds the young man that God alone is good, and thus in a sense any good we do is because of God. Yet we must hear the entire story for everything to fit together properly.

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Stepping Along to Autumn

10-08-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

We all have stepped along to mid-October and the Autumn Season. It does not take too long for the days of summer to fade from our memories as we push closer to the cold winter time. The great holiday of Thanksgiving is not really that far away. Our family starting its plans for that weekend in late August and we have stepped it up a notch or two since October 1st.  Just a reminder: the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day our parish will host the Franklin Interfaith Council’s Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. It will also be Livestreamed via our website. More details to follow in a few more weeks. Just “save the date” for that Sunday evening at this point! I enjoyed the Town’s Harvest festival last weekend. The weather certainly allowed it to flourish and be a wonderful opportunity for everyone to wander and see all that was to be offered. The Harvest Festival Leadership and Committee are to be commended for their extraordinary service to all of us.

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Sacrament of Matrimony

10-03-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

A bishop, priest, deacon, or lay preacher who is preaching this weekend can certainly stand tall on the preaching box and rant about marriage in this present age and in these times. It is easy to focus a talk on pre-marital sex, divorce or same sex marriage instead of attempting to lift up marriage and encourage people to see the beauty and wonder of marriage. Religious preachers can be quite lazy and often go about bashing and beating people up and do not put thought and effort about lifting up the Word of God and his gifts to us. We all know it is easier to throw around nasty names and criticize without understanding anything than it is to think decently and thoughtfully about something that is important. Oftentimes this bashing and destroying is a substitute for what it is really going on. Certainly, the Gospel tells us this in plain and clear terms.

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Reengaging in Community Life

10-01-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

During these past few weeks our Parishioners have been engaged in the re-start of our community life. Our most dedicated Saint Vincent de Paul held its Annual Walk for the Poor and it was most successful. Over 100 young people from our Town joined in the Walk. I was very impressed to see that your young people understand the issue of food scarcity and neediness and that they responded in person to walk. Our Catholic Women’s Club which is celebrating its 100th Year held its Annual Opening Mass and Social. Father Jack, this Mass’s customary priest celebrated this special Opening Mass.

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