Spam Emails / Holy Week / Patrimony Summary

04-01-2022Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

I have been told via email or in person that some folks are getting emails from me asking if they have some time to help me. These emails are fakes and really are fraudulently seeking money from you. I get anywhere from two to ten a week with various parishioner’s, family or friend’s names with the same request etc. I always delete them without reading them or sending them back to the alleged sender. Never open them always delete them, never send them back. Just delete them.  You do not need to get a computer virus. The scammers target the public email of priests in parishes. When in doubt, delete and do not open.

We are approximately one week away from Holy Week, the most sacred time of our church year. We will soon be shouting “Hosanna in the highest!” as Jesus enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. We will then gather on Holy Thursday to celebrate the Commemoration of the Lord’s Supper, on Good Friday to offer the Service of the Passion of the Lord, on Saturday to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord at the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday to celebrate the great Resurrection of the Lord Jesus with Easter joy. Thursday, Friday and Saturday: all evening services or Masses are at 7:30pm in the upstairs church and are Live-streamed. Because of the processional nature of the Stations of the Cross, they will not be Live-Streamed. Stations are at 3:00pm on Good Friday in the upstairs church. Easter Sunday Masses are at 7:30am and 10:30am and 12:00pm in the upstairs church and live-streamed to the lower-level Chapel and Sacred Heart Hall if need be along with being Live-streamed on the internet website.

Although the Pandemic has changed the pace and style of many activities of our Parish, our Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) has continued to meet many times by ZOOM and last week by its first in-person meeting in about two years. As you know from praying together the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass, our PPC has been deliberating for over two years on how our patrimony (201 Main Street…the old school building and the grounds) could support the Mission of our Parish in the long term in sustaining our faith community. (FYI: there is a much more detailed step by step description of the long process on our website found on its own page called “The Patrimony”), but I am writing a brief summary of the process.

You may recall that the PPC started the process with three public meetings to solicit any and every suggestion a parishioner or neighbor wished to make. Dr. Bernard Swain, an outside consultant for Parish Life was retained to help direct and facilitate this process and all the many discussions to take place. Over 120 ideas, suggestions or recommendations were offered. Over time the PPC discussed all these issues and sorted them out according to similarity or distinct differences to make the discussion process easier. The PPC then found there were four ways forward and ultimately after many discussions reached the consensus that we needed to develop 201 Main Street to help support the Mission. The PPC also asked that an expert in real estate and Town of Franklin Building Zoning issues be involved so that the PPC would ultimately be offering suggestions that had possibilities of becoming real. Matthew Kelley was asked to take on this role as a volunteer councilor to the PPC. Last Tuesday night, March 21 the PPC recommended to me that we develop 201 Main Street by reserving some of the land for building our own purposes, a building for Faith Formation, Meeting Space and Parish Office Area along with parking roughly the same as at present and some other various needs of possibility with the rest of the land to be leased or sold to support as much as possible this new Faith Center. With the unanimous recommendation of the PPC I now turn to the Parish Finance Council (PFC) to help me with the next steps. We will also have to meet the requirements of the Archdiocese in taking this vision of the PPC to the practical level. There are financial rules, both canonical and civil that must be followed. The PFC will recommend to me the next practical steps to keep this all moving along. I will be contacting the Archdiocesan Real Estate Department for its direct assistance in all the next many steps. I am grateful for the long and hard work of the PPC in hearing all the suggestions, praying over all of our concerns and suggestions and dreaming and thinking about what would be best for the Mission of the Parish over all. There were many meetings and much discussion to get to the very best recommendation. There still will be many more hours of hard work and discussion with planning etc. to happen. At various points I will continue to keep you up to date on where the process is at that time.

Weekend Mass attendance continues to grow consistently and constantly. This incremental growth is a good sign that the Pandemic is abating in various ways. We welcome you whenever you are able to return to Mass. The weekend Masses will continue to be live-streamed every week even post-Pandemic. The Main Street side of the church is kept socially distanced in order to offer a choice for folks.

Both the Catholic Women’s Club and the Sacred Heart Knights Council are offering scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Please read our website to learn more and for applications. The Knights’ will also be offering a Stop and Shop Card Drive on Palm Sunday after all the Masses. This is just a short time away. The Knights are also raising funds for the Ukraine people with a match in funds. See our website for particulars. Your faithful support of the Saint Vincent de Paul and its charitable work is impressive. They list in our bulletin their special needs for Easter. I am also most appreciative of your faithful support of our Parish. Like you, our gas and electric and general costs have climbed up and up. Your support by online giving, mail in or drop by envelopes and the collection baskets at the doors of the church make a difference.

Just two reminders: The Monday Night Rosary at 7 PM is conducted a la ZOOM. Please look at our website to learn how to connect. Also, the Stations of the Cross Service is at 7 PM on the lower level of the church in the chapel.

As you know I have obtained the “best ever palm” for our Parish for Palm Sunday! Other parishes are jealous of the quality of our palm!  As a convenience for everyone, on Palm Sunday, blessed palm will be available at all the Masses and also at the ground level Rocco elevator lobby for those who would like to have some. (7:30 AM through 6 PM on Palm Sunday).

Let us continue to pray for peace in the country of Ukraine and for its victims and refugees. In making our intercession through Mary, Mother of God and our Patroness, we know that Our Heavenly Father will hear our prayers. We also ask that our Saint Rocco bring hope and healing to those who are ill, especially our young.