I hope that many of you had the opportunity to participate in the God Loves Dedham Service project and Field Day. It was a great moment for the various faith communities in town to come together, and we look forward to doing it again!
Speaking of which, I had a kind note from the Dedham Food Pantry, thanking us for the way many teens and parishioners assist there each week, as well as the food that so many parishioners provide and transport. Pope Francis has certainly stressed for us the significance of charitable service to our brothers and sisters as an expression of the Gospel, so let’s do all we can both within and outside of the parish.
I was also happy to receive the news this week that St. Mary’s will have two seminarians with us for part of the summer. As plans get completed, I’ll be filling you in. Please pray for them and for all our seminarians, and for those discerning a call to the priesthood.
Let me highlight some of the things in other parts of this bulletin, especially Dr. Spinello’s course on John Paul II’s book Love and Responsibility being held here at St. Mary’s, my cards available in the Parish Center, and the need for Eucharistic Ministers to visit our nursing homes and the homebound.
Please continue to check out our website and to register at www.flocknote.com/stmarysdedham for up to the minute news.
This weekend we celebrate the great Solemnity of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, came upon the disciples and the world to bring about a fire of faith on the earth. The Spirit moves still. Pray that each of us, and this parish, and the whole Church will be ablaze with Love.
I want to thank the Dedham Times for doing such a great story on our Life Teen program and the coverage it gave to our celebration on the Odyssey boat cruise last week during this 15th Anniversary year. The event was a great success with present and past members coming together. Frs. Chris Hickey, Matt Williams and Bill Lohan were all there to add to the festivities, and are looking well.
We are very fortunate to be offering a tremendous learning opportunity. Dr. Richard Spinello is a professor at Boston College, a published author, and parishioner. Dr. Spinello generously has offered to give a 3 night course here at St. Mary’s which will talk about Blessed John Paul II’s book Love and Responsibility, which addresses the broad topic of human love, sexuality, dignity and the common good. If one were to take this course at BC or another college, it would cost thousands of dollars. Please join us and take advantage of this wonderful learning opportunity. (3 Wednesday evenings 7:00-8:30 starting May 29.)
I’m very happy to congratulate parishioner Marie D’Eon, who is being honored on May 18 by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary for her exemplary support, friendship and dedication to their mission. Marie is also very active here at St. Mary’s, and she is a wonderful example to us all of faithful and loving witness in the Church. I’m happy that several parishioners will be at the dinner to represent the parish.
The With One Voice Capital Campaign continues on. We are hoping that those who have not yet taken the opportunity to be part of this great work will do so as soon as possible, especially before May 19, when we will recognize those who have already participated and will begin a new phase in the project. The success of our campaign rests not on the amount that each person gives, but rather, that every family participates.
We have major reconstruction of the front stairs of the church ahead of us during the first two weeks of June. It is an $85,000+ project. The archdiocese is helping with more than half of the cost, but the rest we must finance ourselves. Any financial support or ideas for support are gratefully received.
Details about the God Loves Dedham Field Day on Saturday, May 18 are being finalized. There will be a service project in the morning and activities in the afternoon.
Finally, given the complicating construction issues with the front stairs and the scheduled parish celebration for my 25th Anniversary being held on June 23, we have decided to postpone the parish BBQ. If there is interest, we may host it closer to August 15, the Feast Day of the parish.
And last, but certainly not least, congratulations to our First Communion students and their families, and a blessed and happy Mother’s Day!
Wednesday, May 8th @ 7:00pm
Thursday, May 9th @ 7am & 12:10pm
This past week, I began my fourth year as pastor here at St. Mary’s. Time sure does fly! These have been good years with much accomplished due to the kindness and generosity of so many parishioners. When I arrived, I had a three year plan (beyond preaching the Gospel and celebrating the sacraments!): to bring the renovations of the property to completion, to balance the budget and to begin the Capital Campaign to reduce the debt. With God’s grace, all of these have been tackled. There is still a lot to do (the Capital Campaign is still in its early stages, the front stairs of the Church have to be rebuilt, among other things) but we are ready to go. I hope to take some time to read and pray this summer, as well as have good conversation with Fr. Paul and other parish leaders, to discern more clearly what the Lord has in mind for the parish and how to bring it to fruition. I know that it will involve engaging more and more people in friendship with Christ through the life of the Church here at St. Mary’s, but the how is yet to come! Please pray!
Several folks have been so kind in stepping forward to help care for the grounds of the parish. More are welcome. Could I once again enlist your help in pulling up the random weed in the parking lot or flower beds if you have a minute? We’re doing what we can to tame the critters, but help is always appreciated.
We begin our First Communion celebrations this weekend. Christ present in the Eucharist cannot be overestimated for its importance in our lives. Pray for these children and for their families, that together they will make a home for Christ nourished weekly by the Eucharist at Mass.
With the end of Religious Education classes and the first signs of summer vacation, could I remind us all that the weekly offertory collection has to be maintained in order for us to pay our bills and support the work of the parish. We’ve not yet decided how to address the $25,000 that this winter’s snow has cost the parish (we had budgeted $12,000), but we do need consistent offertory so we can plan well. Electronic giving and envelopes are the very best way to do this.
More information is coming about the May 18 God Loves Dedham Field Day. It will be great.
Be sure to make a shrine of some type in your home to our Blessed Mother Mary during this month of May.
Blessings to all during these beautiful days.
Three of the four persons killed at the Boston Marathon bombings were Catholic. The Cardinal has been very present to their families, and their parish priests (two of whom are very close friends of mine) have been unfailing in their kindness, comfort, and care, both emotional and sacramental. Also, the outreach of the Catholic community in each situation has been exemplary. We are the Lord’s own hands, feet, ears and voice, and it is a privilege, in season and out of season, in good times and in bad, to be Jesus for one another.
I am so grateful to our five parishioners who last week shared at Mass their experience and love for the devotion of Eucharistic Adoration. Their heartfelt witness and encouragement to all of us will bear much fruit. We will soon have available a booklet with excerpts from their reflections, as well as more information for your participation in this very holy endeavor. Praying even five minutes before the Blessed Sacrament will have an impact on your life and that of the parish.
God loves Dedham. We know that, but now we will have a chance to celebrate it!! Several months again, one of our Protestant brothers in town had the great idea to sponsor a God Loves Dedham Day. It will be held on Saturday, May 18 and will be sponsored by many of the religious groups in our community. Details are being finalized, and you’ll begin to see advertisement for this event around town and in our bulletin. It will be a kind of field day, with God specifically at the center! If you’d like to help with any of the doings of the day, please let me know.
You may remember that I’ve sold greeting cards with my original photos from all over the world (and lots from St. Mary’s.) The proceeds have helped to fund the parish music program. Well, I’ve decided to make the cards available year round now! With so many birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings and First Communions coming up, why not pass along your congratulations with a beautiful, unique, handmade card, while supporting the work of the parish! The cards are available in the lobby of the Parish Center every day. I hope you’ll enjoy sharing them as much as I enjoyed making them.
The tremendous sadness in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings cannot be overstated. The loss of life, the injuries to so many, and our city’s sense of safety have suffered a terrible and deep wound. It was a blessing to have had the long-planned concert here in our church on Tuesday night with the theme: Message of Hope. It was a healing balm for those who attended. But in the midst of the tragedy, signs of faith and sometimes selfless acts of courage and kindness reveal what the Easter Resurrection has promised: love is stronger than death and light stronger than darkness. The Archdiocese of Boston was privileged to host the inter-faith prayer service on Thursday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. How beautiful to see so many women, men and children come together to pray.
On Friday this week, St. Mary’s will be hosting a Mass of Anointing at 11:00 in Mary Hall. Anyone facing serious illness or upcoming surgery is welcome to be anointed, but all are encouraged to come and pray together. Please see the bulletin for full information.
I’m grateful to the members of our parish who will speak at each Mass this week to share the experience of Eucharistic Adoration. Please allow your hearts and minds to be open to this gift of Himself that the Lord offers us.
Easter peace to you all.
Alleluia! He is truly Risen! I hope that Easter has begun well for all of you. We have 50 days to unpack this great season, so make each one count. There were so many folks who did so much in the background to make our Triduum and Easter celebrations so beautiful. A special thanks, to name just a few: to Steve Hern and Mike Scotton, who replaced all the lights in the chandeliers and sanctuary, and to St. Susanna’s Parish, for lending us the staging to get to the lights; to Tina and Rosaria and their family for the incredible restoration (by their own hands) of our baptismal fount and their gift of the Easter candle in the St. Joseph Chapel; to Life Teen, for the Passion Play; to the dozens of parishioners, including many young families, who came to clean and decorate the Church; to the servers, lectors, greeters, Eucharistic ministers and those who train and do the scheduling; to music director, Anthony Brown, for the programs and preparing the choir; to the choir members and cantors; to our parish seminarians, Kevin Rosa and Will Sexton, who assisted at various Masses; to Melanie and Maureen, who helped Fr. Paul prepare Amy and Patty for the Sacraments. As you can see, so much and so many for whom to be grateful!
This Sunday, April 7, is Divine Mercy Sunday. We will have a special prayer hour from 2:00-3:00 in the upper church. We can never know enough of God’s mercy! Also, put on your schedule a visit form the Koinonia Academy Choir, who will present a one hour program on Tuesday, April 16 at 7:00 in the Church.
A very close friend of my family, who had been quite ill, died last week in the middle of the night. One of his beloved grandsons, who has special needs, woke up twenty miles away and went into his parents’ bedroom and said: “Grampy just passed; I saw him.” When asked if he said anything, he replied: “Oh ya, he said ‘Thank You.’”
Let’s remember to thank others, but especially, to thank the Lord for enduring the Cross for us, and surrendering Himself to the Father so that we might, too, might share in the power of the Resurrection.
A Happy and Blessed Easter!! The snowy winter certainly added to the weight of Lent, but now we celebrate the great and glorious season of Easter. As we head more fully into Spring time activities, remember to see reflected in them the wonders of Jesus’s Resurrection for you and for the world. John Paul II reminded us not to be afraid; Pope Benedict XVI called us to live with joy, and now Pope Francis renews the call to service of one another for the sake of Christ. How blessed we are to have these examples!
Thanks to all who helped with our Holy Week and Easter celebrations. Servers, lectors, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, musicians, greeters, and all who helped to clean and to decorate: thanks from me and from us all. Thanks also to the Life Teen community for the beautiful portrayal of Christ’s passion. Without the cross, there is no Resurrection. Without the Resurrection, the cross is empty of meaning.
The central paschal symbol in our Church is the Easter candle. I am so very grateful to Mrs. Irene Carey who donated the beautiful Easter candle in memory of her son, Robert. This candle is used throughout the Easter season and at every baptism and funeral. We’ll remember to pray for Robert each time this candle is lit, reflecting Jesus’s own triumph of light over darkness.
I hope you can join us next week on Divine Mercy Sunday when we will pray from 2:00-3:00 in the Church that all the world might know the freeing mercy of God.
Live in the radiance and beauty of the Risen Jesus! Happy Easter.
God bless you.
And so we enter into the holiest of weeks. Please do all you can to participate in the services of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday night. These days plunge us into the very heart of God’s own love, and we are remade for the type of service that Pope Francis has already so eloquently preached.
In order to prepare for Easter, we have confessions available on this Monday from 12:45-2:00 in St. Joseph’s Chapel and on Wednesday evening, there will be four confessors in the main church from 6:30-8:00. (Please note: there are no confessions on Holy Saturday.)
On Good Friday and on Holy Saturday mornings, we will recite Morning Prayer together in St. Joseph Chapel at 8:00.
I want to thank all those who helped to make the Parish Mission so beautiful. The reflections by Dr. Clabeaux were wonderful and the music lovely. Special thanks to all who made the St. Joseph’s Table celebration so terrific. It looked like an Italian bakery had descended on Mary Hall! After our prayer in Italian, parishioners of all ages enjoyed one another’s good company, along with the goodies.
Each year, our Life Teen community inspires us with the Passion Play. This will be offered again this year on Palm Sunday at the 9:00 and 5:00 Mass, and on Good Friday at 7:00 in the evening. Come, walk with Christ and His companions through Jerusalem, to the Upper Room, to Calvary’s Hill. In doing this, we will know the power of Easter Resurrection with greater love still.
Can you help to decorate the Church for Easter? On Saturday morning at 9:30, we’ll be cleaning and setting up all the flowers and things needed for Masses. If you could give any amount of time, that would be so much appreciated.
Check out this video from Cardinal Sean!