Make for a Brighter Future

11-28-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

This weekend we begin a new church religious year. Our year is based upon telling the story of Jesus Christ Our Savior. In a sense, we begin at the beginning and end at the end when everything has been said. To begin telling the story we need to back up a bit before the actual birth at Bethlehem. Thus, we have four weeks called Advent to help us get to the story of Christ's birth and its meaning in our lives. The readings of this weekend help us by focusing us on the future. They, in fact, invite us to rejoice, even in the face of our times and situations, because we know that God will not fail us. They strongly encourage us to plan for the future, because we believe that God will not dash our hopes. They greatly encourage us to strive and work for the promise of a better tomorrow, because we are absolutely convinced that on this very day and every day God is fulfilling His promises and acting on our behalf. We believe that the "Son of Man" is coming and has come. Our great hope and the way we live can make for a brighter future for all who seek him.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

11-23-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

This letter will be a bit short because the parish work schedule is a very short week with the staff only in for two and a half days along with my heading to the family home at the Cape to help with food and guest preparation (and of course my specialty: dropping the turkey (!) and also (lots and lots of) dish and pot-washing). On behalf of our Pastoral and Support Staff along with Deacons Guy and Ron and also Fathers Jack and Frank, I wish you a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. May this holiday weekend bring some joy and light to your life.

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Do What He Asked Us To Do

11-21-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Our scripture readings are thematically related to the theological concept of the life-pact between God and ourselves that is verified by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. We know from the scriptures that God initiates the covenant and invites us to enter into it and to complete it. We learn that what our "high priest" has begun, we are to continue through celebration and service.

When Jesus told his friends to remember him by breaking bread and drinking wine, he did not mean just to have "good thoughts" about him. In our religious tradition all the way back through the earliest of times in the Old Testament, to remember is a very special action. To remember means to make events or happenings from the past come alive now in this very present.

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Thanksgiving

11-18-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving Day which is a very beautiful and wonderful time for us. For the most part we all gather with family and friends to celebrate with a special meal. I know that the Pandemic will influence how we celebrate this year, but our celebration will be closer to what we normally do. Not everyone is blessed to have family and friends that they can gather with on this day, so please recognize how blessed you are in your gathering with loved ones. All of us, of course, will hold in our hearts the special people of our lives who have gone before us to the other side of life. May they rest in peace. Amen. Also remember that some are missing from our tables because of bitter fights, long held grudges or remembered or forgotten resentments. Perhaps the Pandemic will help some of us to realize that a lot of our “issues” really do not matter and we should extend a hand of welcome to our missing family and friends. In the long run most negative issues we carry really do not merit the darkness we have kept in our hearts and the work to keep the alienation going. Some of my family will be gathering at our home down the Cape. There will be the traditional turkey dinner, (with the 3 minute rule if I drop the turkey! And the code of silence about it!)

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God's Reign is Already Begun

11-14-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

We are now drawing close to the end of our Church's religious and liturgical year. Thus our readings this weekend focus on the end times of our world, which is the return of Jesus Christ in his Second Coming. This usually is not a topic we think about or talk about. Some do, however and they usually make it sound scary and frightening. Our readings today approach all of this differently, these readings call us to faith and draw on our faith to help us face the end times without trepidation.

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Approaching Thanksgiving & Advent

11-10-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

The march of time happens every day. Thanksgiving is shortly in the distance and then comes the wonderful Season of Advent for weeks and then our great Celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas. I suggest we just put one foot forward at a time and step along each day and we will end up having a wonderful and beautiful Winter Religious Season along with the gatherings of our families and friends.

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Giving to God and His Work

11-07-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

We witness the kindness and generosity of the poor in the two different widows in the first reading and the Gospel reading this weekend. In reading from the first Book of Kings, we learn about a very dire time of famine in Israel. The prophet Elijah in his travels met a pagan widow. We need to remember that Elijah had been told by God that there would be a great drought and a widowed woman would appear to help him. When Elijah saw the woman, he asked for a drink of water. Asking for a cup of water in a desert climate and place was quite normal. He, however, asked for a second cup He even pressed further before she had even answered and asked for some bread. This clearly poor widow had so little to give him; in fact, she did not even have any bread on hand. She was planning to bake the last of her supplies of flour and oil. In a dramatic way Elijah gave her a promise that if she gave what she had, she and her family would not go hungry during this terrible drought.

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Fall Events

11-05-2021Letter 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 yoREAD MORE