5th Sunday of Lent

03-24-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

 Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s, 

Just a reminder that next weekend begins “Holy Week” with the Celebration of Palm Sunday. Palm will be blessed at the 4 PM Mass on Saturday and blessed Palm will be available at all the Masses. Extra additional blessed Palm will be available on the table in the elevator ground level lobby after all the Masses until Thursday at Noon or until all are taken. 

Time Change: Lenten Service for Ukraine: Praying for Peace (Sat, Mar 25 at 1:00pm) Note the revised start time of 1:00pm. Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church, 146 Forest Hills St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. Cardinal Sean O’Malley OFM Cap. and Bishop Mark O’Connell will be in attendance for the service. Parishioners are welcome to attend. 


Fr. Brian Manning

03-17-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

Saint Patrick’s Day – Friday, March 17th: Cardinal Sean has granted a Dispensation from the Lenten Fast and Abstinence on Fridays because of this feast being the Patronal Feast of the Archdiocese.

This weekend in our first scripture reading we read of the story of the journey of Samuel to Bethlehem to the house and family of Jesse. It is in this city that God informs Samuel that he should anoint the future king of Israel. Samuel met all the older sons of Jesse and concluded that they could each be sufficient to the role, but surprisingly none of them were the choice of God. God reminded Samuel that He as God, sees differently, namely that He can see into people’s hearts. Finally in the story the youngest son is summoned for Samuel, and this youngest son named David is the choice of God.


Fr. Brian's Retirement

03-10-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

In the last week I received a letter from Cardinal Sean in which he informed me that I will be able to retire from the role of Pastor of Saint Mary’s Parish and become a Retired Senior Priest around the early part of this coming June, 2023. I am over 74 years old and during this June I am rushing even closer towards 75 years of age. I am shocked to realize at this point that I have been a priest for almost 49 years and am now one of the “old priests” of the Archdiocese. I know that endings are necessary as are beginnings. I began my priestly service at Saint Mary’s almost 14 years ago. When and where did all the time go? Certainly my heart and head are caught up in a giant jumble of feelings and emotions.



03-08-2023Reflections and Resources

The liturgical season of Lent has long been associated with the preparation of catechumens (people preparing to become Christians) for the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist—at the celebration of the Easter Vigil. Lent also provides those of us who are already initiated into the Church with the opportunity to ready ourselves to deepen our commitment to our God and to each other, through the renewal of our own baptismal vows. On the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent this year, we hear gospel stories which have been deliberately chosen for the catechumens. Each of these stories is from the Gospel of John; they are the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (March 12), his healing of the man born blind (March 19) as well as his raising of Lazarus to life (March 26). We, along with the catechumens, learn from these stories that Jesus is the living water, the light of the world and the resurrection and the life. What a great opportunity to understand more about who Jesus is in our own lives, and in the life of the Church!


Second Sunday of Lent

03-05-2023Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

 The sacred scripture this weekend is actually about new beginnings and also transformations which start new beginnings. We can often get lost in the words of scripture because much of it does not easily scan with the modern mind, and as a result, we miss what the scripture is really about. I often think that scripture is like manuals which come with new electronics or new software programs. We know the words, and they are written in sentences, but what they really do mean is beyond us. People who write manuals are supposedly “technical writers” who are to give the reader and user a set of directions which are practical and can be followed. Yet, manuals like scripture often need someone in between to help to understand the written words. When someone starts to “decode” the first reading we learn that God had promised Abram (soon to be called Abraham) a rich heritage and numerous descendants and all he had to do for these promises was leave his home. In the Gospel, the Transfiguration is one of the most awesome changes or transformations recorded in scripture.