05-27-2022Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

This coming Monday we will be honoring all those who have died in the service of our country. There will be prayers said at three of the Memorials for Deceased Military and Veterans in our Town (one of which is at Saint Mary Cemetery) and our Town Festivities and Parade will conclude with final prayers and speeches in honor our deceased veterans at the Town Common in the Memorial Area opposite the church. Memorial Day is a sacred day in many ways and is held close in the heart of Veterans and their loved ones. May we always be grateful to all those who have served in the military. Our Way of Life is protected by their service and sacrifice. We will also celebrate a special Mass at our Cemetery on Beaver Street this Monday, Memorial Day at 9:00am. The Sacred Hearts Knights of Columbus will be hosts and offer refreshments after the Mass. Please bring a lawn chair. In the event of rain, it will be in our Chapel on the lower level of the Church building. Everyone is invited to come and pray at this Mass.

On Sunday, June 5 at 5:00pm there will be a Town-wide Prayer Service for the people of the Ukraine at our Town Common. The Franklin Interfaith Council Members along with clergy from the Ukrainian Church will be offering prayers and reflections for all of us. A schola from Saint Mary’s Choir will also sing hymns of peace at this service. We must all lift up our voices in prayer and supplication for the suffering of the Ukrainian people and for the immediate end of all this violence and death. We must all pray that this war and all wars end and that people settle differences by communication and words. You are all invited to come and gather in prayer. Come and make a public stand for peace and offer a special prayer for peace.

Near the Prayer Wall in our church are the poster boards which hold the names, pictures and self-descriptions (edited to fit the space) of the nominees for our Parish Pastoral Council (PPC). They are there for this and next weekend. This information is also on our website (stmarysfranklin.org). We thank those who considered the nomination and especially those who have accepted. The PPC advises me as Pastor on how best to direct our Parish for the faith of the entire community. They help set and maintain our Parish Vision and Mission with insight and advice from their prayer, reflection and communication with other Parishioners. The election is next weekend, the first weekend in June, Saturday and Sunday June 4 and 5 at the Masses and also on our website.

At the advice of the Archdiocese Real Estate Director, we have obtained the services of an architect to help us envision how we want to develop 201 Main Street Property (the old school and land) for ourselves and our needs and also then for public development. We have retained “Butchie” Razoyk (ADC - Architectural Design Concepts, Inc.), the architect who helped us envision and build our new addition and improvements to our church building. He will help us “see” what we need to retain and develop for our Pastoral and Faith Center and parking and offer professional insight and practical advice. We have also retained an attorney to research our Title and Restrictions/Easements and also an Engineering Firm to survey our site. This professional and necessary work will be taking place over the summer. We have now entered a technical phase which requires due deliberation and attention to detail of law and all sorts of codes along with appropriate respect to our land and our neighbors.

On Monday night, June 13 from 7:00 until 8:15pm  there will be a meeting for anyone who wishes to participate in our parish level “Synod on Synodality”. Michael and Louann Swan are the Facilitators of this Parish Synod Process and Meeting. The Pope has asked that all of us on the grass roots level meet and talk about “listening”. How does the church, i.e. the Pope, all the various church hierarchies and all of us listen, and what does this all mean for us. The PPC met a week ago to discuss the question and it was a most interesting meeting. The members shared from their lives and their experiences. Listening is not an easy task and we realize that so many of us, including the cardinals, archbishops and bishops, priests, deacons and religious and also lay men and women really do not listen and as result miss so much and misunderstand greatly. Better decisions, obviously, come from those who do listen kindly, closely and without judgement. So please consider coming to Sacred Heart Hall (the lower level of the church building) to share and give your answer on listening. All the responses will be synthesized anonymously and sent to the Archdiocese which will then sent it to the Apostolic Delegate who will then do the same and submit it to the Paper Office for the Synod.

This past weekend the wonderful heat and sun have signaled us that we are now at summer. Besides the family which attend the Noon Mass this past Sunday there was less than 40 people at Mass. It is a very reasonable and practical decision to end the Noon Mass until the Sunday after Labor Day. Our wonderful Choir has also begun recess from the 10:30am Mass. From last September until now, they have spent many, many hours of their time in rehearsal so that the 10:30am Mass would have richly spiritual and uplifting music which is worthy of our God. Their yearlong sacrifice adds a grace and beauty to the 10:30am Mass for all of us. On behalf of all of us, I thank them and our dedicated and talented Music Director and Organist Terry Kerr.

Just a reminder: our Sacred Heart Knights of Columbus is sponsoring a Blood Drive to be held on Saturday, June 11 from 9:00am until 2:00pm in Sacred Heart Hall on the lower level of our church building. Please see our website to sign up for a time slot to be able to donate. Your precious gift of blood is every much appreciated by those who are ill and in need.
Your faithful financial support continues to help keep St. Mary Parish going. I know how everything has become quite expensive as our costs have climbed as proportionally as yours have. Your thoughtful and generous financial support is appreciated. Our Saint Vincent’s also acknowledges your constant help with their Pantry needs and financial needs. Thank you.

These sunny days bring a wonderful sense of life to all of us. May Mary, the Mother of God and our Patroness continue to intercede for all of us at the Heavenly Throne. We ask that Saint Rocco, Patron of Healer and our Special Patron intercede for those who are ill in mind, body or spirit, and most especially for our young.
God bless,
 Father Brian