Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,
We are quickly approaching Palm Sunday and Holy Week. In fact, next Sunday is Palm Sunday. Our Schedule of Services and Masses has been planned in light of the restrictions of the Pandemic and the Archdiocesan Protocols and Rules and also the successful pattern of Parishioner attendance and involvement on Christmas and Ash Wednesday in our Parish.
At Christmas the special Distribution of Holy Communion was very important to the spiritual life of hundreds upon hundreds of people. We wish to continue to support the faith of all our Parishioners, so from 10:30 until Noon on both Palm Sunday and Easter, Communion will be available on the Piazza di San Rocco. This Distribution of Communion (and also Palm on Palm Sunday) will be outside on the Rocco Plaza. You can walk up, receive, and then depart. You will not have to come inside for any reason. Palm will also be available to be picked up after the Noon Mass in the ground level Rocco Lobby from Noon until its runs out (or until 6 PM when the church building closes).
You will receive this coming Thursday (March 25) an email that will have the entire schedule all organized for you. This will replace the regular Friday email letter and spiritual reflection. The entire schedule is available on our Parish website all through the next two weeks, if you need to double-check any detail. It is important to read the schedule and its offerings so that you may participate in as much as you are able. Almost everything (except the outside 4 PM Vigil Easter) will also be live-streamed for those who wish to participate and be at home. Many, many hours of thought and preparation have gone into planning all of this for you because we wish to provide a very spiritual and graced Holy Week and Easter for you. This maybe a different Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, but it may very well be a richly graced and spiritually rewarding time for you and your loved ones.
I am happy to hear of the many Parishioners who have received their vaccination shots and that as things are moving forward more and more people are receiving them. I have received my two. I went to Gillette Stadium for them. It was quite the impressive operation. The Master Planners and Staff at Gillette are owed a great deal of praise and gratitude for the practical rollout on site. Hopefully as time moves on, this mass vaccination project for the good of one and all will happen smoothly.
I continue to express admiration and gratitude to the many Parishioners who continue to support our Parish financially. Your constant financial help is appreciated. I also wish to remind you that Cardinal Seán’s Annual Appeal (the Catholic Appeal) is now going on. Our Parish has an assessment of $65,346.00 and Parishioners so far have pledged $23,260.00. I am asking every household to pledge and contribute their share to help Cardinal Seán and also our Archdiocese and its many Ministries and Services. Please use the Parish online donation (accessed at stmarysfranklin.org) to contribute, or the Pledge Envelope that may have been mailed to you.
Our Saint Vincent de Paul Society is most appreciative of your continued support of the holy Mission to help the fragile and needy. Our Knights of Columbus have launched a “Stop and Shop Gift Card” Giving to help their work. You can help by going to our website and following the information and links. Both the Women’s Club and the Knights have Scholarships available for graduating seniors in high school. Please check out our website for details.
We have already started remote planning for next year’s Religious Education Program (September 2021-May 2022) for our young people. Karen Ackles has sent a survey to parents of First Communion 1 & 2 and the remaining Elementary Grades and also Deacon Stephen May has sent a survey for those coming into the Confirmation 1 and 2 Program. Your response will help us develop the best possible programs for this coming Fall as our lives continues to transition during the ending of the Pandemic. We ask parents to respond.
We continually ask the Intercession of Mary, Mother of God and our Patroness. We also ask that Saint Rocco, our special friend and intercessor, comfort and aid the sick, ill, and dying. Our faith gives us tremendous strength in these difficult times. We believe that the Light of Christ is brighter than the darkness which is what we celebrate in this coming Easter Season.