First Sunday in Lent

02-26-2023Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

As we begin 2023 Lent this Sunday, we start with a story from the very beginning of the Bible, and it is a story that talks about how “all our problems etc.” began. It is clear when we hear the story; Adam and Eve could not resist the seduction of the serpent. They did not realize that they were being tested, and unfortunately they failed. However, our later reading in the Gospel when Jesus is tested by the Devil with three ever so desirable temptations, namely food, celebrity status and power, He resisted. Our second reading this week is from Saint Paul, and it illustrates the differences between these two events. It is ironic that human disobedience brought about sin and death and then through human obedience we are freed from sin and death. Despite it all, we are truly blessed with the gift of salvation.


Parish Updates

02-19-2023Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Instead of a Pastoral Reflection this week, this is a brief letter to keep everyone in the loop on life here at Saint Mary’s Parish. Obviously the church year is spinning along with Ash Wednesday and Lent just around the corner. Soon, (yes soon!), it will be Holy Week with the most spiritual Services and Masses for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil & Easter Sunday. Hopefully during this special Season of Lent you will be able to grow spiritually by intentional practice and prayer. Perhaps you might consider coming to the Stations of the Cross Service each Friday at 7 PM in the Chapel (lower level of the church) during Lent. An intentional devotional prayer service during Lent is a graced way to grow in closeness to God and meaningful purpose in your life.


Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

02-12-2023Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

A common theme often expressed in our culture is that we are all special and equal, but then we also add silently “Well, I am extra special.” We tend to like to have positive thoughts that we are egalitarian in principle and thought, but in fact by practice we often think we are either “special” or “exempt” from the responsibilities or rules of life which other people should observe. Our topics in the scripture this weekend are a further set of reflections upon the meaning of the Beatitudes in that we must consider the spirit and letter of the (holy) Law and also our personal freedom to choose.


5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

02-05-2023Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

In this weekend’s Gospel, we discover a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount. The great Beatitudes “sermon” focuses on the inner qualities or dispositions of all people. The Gospel this weekend focuses clearly upon those who are followers of Jesus Christ. This means it is focused on us. This talk of salt and light is a talk about us being salt and light. Both these images have been commonly used through the centuries and cultures to describe good and decent people. Someone who is consistently good to others is often called “the salt of the earth”, Often, when a good person dies, it is often said that there is a little less “light in our world.”