Fall Events

11-05-2021Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

The Fall is always a very busy time for everyone with lots of important events taking place and long term plans being made. It is easy to get lost in all of this activity and end up feeling overwhelmed. Critical events also take place that add to the pressure and stress of trying to know and understand and also to act and do everything that is expected. All we can do is take one step at a time and hopefully be moving in a forward direction. This letter has many things for you. So my advice to you is to do the best you can with the items that you believe you should pay attention to. No one can pay attention to everything, but your thoughtful consideration is important.

On a very practical level, tomorrow Saturday night into Sunday morning Day Light Savings Time ends. Please set your non automated clocks back one hour!. Cell phones etc. all adjust automatically, but kitchen clocks which often drive our time are usually manual.

This Saturday, tomorrow, at 4 PM we will celebrate our Annual Mass of Remembrance for all those of our Parish who have gone before us this past year. This is a very beautiful and comforting Mass for those who mourn. The music and scriptural readings are uplifting and provide some spiritual comfort for those who mourn. Everyone is invited to this beautiful, beautiful Mass.  

The church and secular religious media have recently been addressing the World-wide Synod (Meeting) that Pope Francis is calling which is to address issues that the people of the church are concerned about. It is to address what the “voices of the people” are talking about. The church hierarchy are supposed to listen and enter into a conversation with people. Cardinal Sean had developed a process for our Archdiocese which allows everyone to say what they want to say. It is being done by an email survey. The Pope has asked all the bishops of every diocese to gather the “voices of the people” and submit them to the Apostolic Delegate who will then gather them and analyze them for the Great Synod which will then take place. Obviously one cannot hold a meeting where every single person can be heard. No one would want to attend and wait hours, days and weeks to speak. So this process by email survey allows a gathering of all the “voices” i.e. emails to be read and sorted by content. I am now including the link and I invite you to pray, reflect and then to go to the website that the link provides and fill it out. I would suggest that you first look at it before you begin your prayerful discernment. The link is: https://forms.office.com/r/aPadVsPFt9  Our Parish Council will at some point receive a set of particular questions that the Cardinal would like them to answer. As you are aware they represent all of us, but this time you are being asked directly to offer a thought, opinion or statement.  

In the last week or so in our Town we have had some very upsetting and sad events. The destruction of bathrooms in our high school, the yelling and name calling at sports games and finally the disruption and yelling at a School Committee Meeting. I think I notice that all of this follows in a connected line of the deterioration in our civil society and also social fabric and culture in the most recent years. I am appalled that adults, some of whom are parents, are setting this type example for our young people. We must all take a strong stand against this not only in our words, but also by our actions. Certainly last Sunday’s Gospel of the Great Commandments is what we should be about at Catholics and people living in this country and Town. I believe most of you have seen the Statement from the Interfaith Council on this matter and I encourage you as citizen of this Town to sign the Statement. This Statement is called “A Call to our Community: #LOVEfranklin”. This can be found on the Franklin Interfaith Council Facebook page.

Through the cooperation of the Franklin Interfaith Council and directly some of its members there are people who have taken on the great charity of assisting the resettlement of Afghan Refugees here in Massachusetts. If you are interested in knowing more or how you can assist, please go to the following website: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CsHDgJCy-BCbNnUtLX21geS651pqvw4_Zst9ZFmDoZs/edit?usp=drivesdk The Franklin Interfaith Council is sponsoring the Town-wide Thanksgiving Service at our church on Sunday, November 21st at 7 PM. Everyone is invited. This special service should help all of us center ourselves for the coming Thanksgiving Day and help us recognize the meaning of “gratitude” in our lives. The service will end before 8 PM.

Our Sacred Heart Knights of Columbus Council have been revving up the PR for their “EPIC PIE” Sale to take place. Next weekend you can order a pie or pies in person in the lobby of the church after Mass, or even now on line at their website: www.KofC1847.org.  Also, bear in mind the Saint Vincent’s Pantry needs some help with Crackers, juice, cereal and tissues if you are shopping and would like to pick up some supplies for them. You can leave these supplies in the large baskets at the doors of the church. The Catholic Women’s Club is planning an Advent Wreathe Workshop on Wednesday, November 17 at 7:00 PM in the school building (entrance via the Religious Ed. Offices to a classroom in that wing). Please see our website for sign up and details. All are welcome. The Women’s and Men’s Faith Formation Groups meet on the next two Saturdays. Please see the website or bulletin for details. Also, the Monday night ZOOM Rosary continues under the direction of Deacon Guy. Our website gives you all the details on how to be part of this wonderful spiritual activity.

I am personally grateful to those who have given to our Parish’s Grand Annual Collection. This week is the second phase of this collection. Your generous response is greatly needed. Inflation is overwhelming us all. You can contribute in church by means of the baskets at the doors, by mail or drop by envelope or by on-line giving (best accessed: stmarysfranklin.org). On behalf of all of us I thank those who have and are giving to this Collection. I also appreciate very much the constant support of those who give in the weekly collection in the various ways (at the doors, mail or drop in or on-line). Your personal support is helping the Mission and holy work of our Parish. Our Saint Vincent’s is most grateful to those who contribute Pantry supplies or by financial support. Their quiet and humble work assists so many who are in need. The St. Vincent’s will soon be asking for your special help to support their Christmas Caring Tree Project. This letter is growing too long and I will now end the letter although there is much more to say. These must all wait their turn!

Remember through the intercession of Mary, Mother of God and our Parish Patroness we are blessed and also by the intercession of Saint Rocco, Healer and Helper,  our ill, especially our young are placed in the heart of our God.

God bless,

Father Brian