Friday, April 28, 2017

CATHOLIC CHARITIES APPEAL BEGINS MAY 1st

Where there is charity there is God:  The highest virtue – even greater than faith and hope, which are essential to the Christian life, is charity.   Why, because faith and hope are needed here and now to keep us believing in God and longing for a life in perfect union with Him, but when we get there, these virtues will no longer be necessary, that is why St. Paul tells us that it is charity that will remain, and so it is the greatest virtue of all.  Charity is not pity, it is love, not the romantic love which is the predominant notion of love in our contemporary culture, but the self-sacrificing love revealed in the Mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption, in that Christ forgoes his glory and humbles himself to be one with us, and goes even further in that he then lays down his life for our sake, accepting even death on a cross.  This is the highest form of love, the love that gives without expectation of return, the love that sacrifices all for the good of the other.  This love is not easily practiced nor frequently is it perfectly achieved, and the only hope that it will be so is that we as disciples of Christ exercise it as often as possible.  Every year the local church that is the Diocese invites us to exercise such charity by responding to its request that  that we support the  pastoral, educational,  social, and charitable activities of the church in this portion of the Lord’s vineyard which includes Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands.  This is charity because we are being asked to give even though what we give is not necessarily going to directly benefit us, or even others whom we may know but it will surely be used to instruct the ignorant, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, and welcome the stranger, and so much more besides.  In imitation of Christ we are being asked to sacrifice for the good of others from whom we can expect nothing in return except perhaps their gratitude.   Having been personally involved over the course of my priesthood in Hospital Ministry and the Spanish Apostolate both of which directly and nearly completely depend on the funds raised from this appeal, I can assure you that your donation is going toward efforts that are not only worthwhile but necessary to undertake for any community that wishes to be called Christian.  So let us begin discerning now how to make whatever sacrifice would be necessary to stretch our charitable capacity a bit more by giving something in addition to what we might be comfortable giving!  When we do we can be assured that God is in the mix, touching the lives of those who benefit from our generosity, but also as His life is increased in us through the virtue of charity.

Fr. Edward Healey

Friday, April 21, 2017

Control The Dragons

Who wants to resist happiness?    All of us, according to Matthew Kelly in his 2016 book, “Resisting Happiness.”  Father Healy provided this book during Holy Week, and all the copies were donated by a generous parishioner.

According to Kelly, “What is resistance?  It’s that sluggish feeling of not wanting to do something that you know is good for you; it’s the inclination to do something that you unabashedly know is not good for you; and it’s everything in between.  It’s the desire and tendency to delay something you should be doing right now.”

He goes on to say that resistance wears a thousand masks: “laziness, procrastination, fear, doubt, instant gratification, self-loathing, indecision, escapism, pride, self-deception, friction, tension, and self-sabotage.”  Quite the list!   “These are just some of the ways resistance manifests its ugly self in our lives and causes us to settle for so much less than God has imagined for us.”  Kelly calls resistance our enemy, and he insists “we must slay it like a dragon and slay it anew each day.”

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lonely Giant

Earth Day is almost upon us, and a USA Today piece just caught my eye.  A few children’s books about the beauty of our Earth are described.  One is “The Lonely Giant.”   Now with three grandchildren, I’ve got to spend some time finding those “good reads” with meaning for the little ones.   Although I’ve long been aware of “The Lonely Giant,” it never was on my “must read” list.

Being a giant living in a forest, he rips up trees.   The animals living in the woods start to disappear.    When the giant finds himself in a wasteland and finds one last yellow bird, he cages it.  But the bird grows sad and no longer sings.  He releases the bird and decides to replant the forest.  The animals return.

It’s a simple story with an important message for young and old.  Our destructiveness is the result of lack of unawareness and thoughtlessness.   The giant is saved by a little bird that shows him love.  There is no scolding.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Good Friday Redux

Jesus said, "I thirst." There was a vessel filled with common wine.  So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished."

This part of our Gospel [Good Friday] contains two of the seven last words of Jesus – seven sayings attributed to him as he hung and then died on the cross.  In order, the seven are:

(1) “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Jesus was whipped.  His hands and feet were nailed to a cross. Jesus was being crucified.  Despite his suffering, he gave us our marching orders – our mission to forgive.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Vigil

Ana and Nazanin were front-and-center at our Easter Vigil.   Nazanin was baptized.   She and Ana were confirmed and then received the Eucharist.   Two wonderful women who inspired me and the RCIA team to help them better understand and embrace our Catholic faith.

In return, we came to appreciate how the Holy Spirit works to bestow gifts and fruits on all of us.  All we have to do is accept those gifts and then bear fruit - meaning we come to love God even more and to love our neighbors, even those who get on our nerves (family members as well).

Ana and Nazanin rose with us during the Vigil as we all renewed our baptismal vows.   Take the time to introduce yourselves when you see them.   The light of Christ now shines on them, and we share that light.

Deacon David Pierce     

Monday, April 17, 2017

Marathon Running

"Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples.  And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.”  This is the beginning of today’s Gospel, and it’s quite appropriate for Patriots Day and the Boston Marathon.   Hordes of runners will race, or simply run 26 miles to the finish line.

We’ve just run our short “marathon” called Holy Week, and all of us made it to the finish line on Easter.  We all ran a good race to announce the news that Jesus has risen.   Jesus met us along our way and greeted us at the checkpoints we call Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil.   

Jesus also made it to the finish.  In fact, on Good Friday his last words were, “It is finished.”  Of course, he went beyond our marathon to rise and carry on with all of us serving as his modern day disciples.

Carrying on requires enthusiasm, drive, and a refusal not to give up despite the obstacles and the hills we call heartbreak.   Throughout our Easter Season, let’s remember there are many more miles to run, and Jesus sets the pace.  We just have to keep up knowing if we fall, he’ll pick us up.

Deacon David Pierce

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Vigil


























Click to view Easter Vigil ~ Opening Procession, Exultet (English) Sung by Anthony Teixeira,
RCIA Candidates, Nazinin and Anna at the Easter Vigil or Photos




EASTER

The Week of Weeks:

Seven weeks of seven days adds up to forty-nine  days and then on the 50th day there is the feast of Pentecost. This is how Easter is celebrated, not as a single day, but rather  as  a  season  that  only  begins  today. Why? Because the redemption that has been won for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is news that deserves to be  repeated, further contemplated, more deeply believed each time we celebrate it.

Ironically, we as Catholics tend to be better at observing the forty days of Lent with prayer  and  sacrifice  than  we  are  celebrating the fifty days of Easter.

Would we consider making the effort to come to daily Mass for the season of Easter as we regularly do for the season of Lent? In the least, we must consciously keep the character  of  Easter  throughout  the  Fifty Days  –  lighting the Easter Candle each time we gather for the liturgy, and enthusiastically singing the joyful alleluias  and hymns  that  hail  wonder  of  the  resurrection of Christ!

Happy Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord and happy season of Easter!

Fr. Healey

Monday, April 10, 2017

Holy Thursday Collection of the Fruits of our Lenten Self-Denial

Depriving ourselves of sweets, treats, food, wine, liquor,  and other indulgences  during Lent is only a form of  self discipline and not much different than dieting unless it has enabled us to set aside that which we would have spent on our own enjoyment of  these  treats for the good of the poor.  So the day of reckoning is soon upon us with the end of Lent coming as evening falls on Holy Thursday this week.   At the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on April 13th  we will  take up the collection which should represent what we gave up for the sake of others during Lent.  Thus so if you gave up Scotch - then you ought to be putting  at least the price of a half gallon of your usual brand in the basket - or the cost of several quarts of ice cream or a box or two of chocolates, etc..  If we have denied ourselves nothing or not kept our promise to give something up  then perhaps we should double the cost of what we kept enjoying and put that in the basket. Truly putting in "a buck or two" for the poor as the fruit of an entire Lent falls far short of the increased charity we are invited to engage in through our self- denial during  this 40 day penitential season.   The charities which are designated to benefit from our  Lenten sacrifices are:


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul - for the poor of our local community. 

Catholic Near East Welfare Association- To aid our Christian Brothers and Sister throughout the Middle East.


Catholic Relief Services - for victims of disasters, disease, famine and war throughout the world.

The Students of St Aloysius  Seminary in Tanzania -who cannot afford to pay $600 for tuition.


Kindly place your offering as cash or check in a plain envelope marked LENT.  If you wish to designate which among the 4 charities you would like to most benefit, kindly list them on the front of the envelope, otherwise the parish will split your contribution evenly among the four.  If you cannot attend the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper then please return your envelope to the parish within the next week or two so that these charities may be receive their support.
 As we have been richly blessed by the sacrifice of Christ - may those in need in turn be blessed by our Lenten sacrifices!