Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This week I would like to give you an update on the Church Restoration Projection. First of all, I would like to thank you for your patience and your cooperation during the time in which we are celebrating at St. Mary’s Chapel.
Soon after the fire happened back in January, I recall being somewhat overwhelmed with the thought of what we had to accomplish to bring the church back for our use. I asked the archdiocese insurance representatives how quickly “all the work” can be completed, imagining that it would only take a few months. Naively, I might have mentioned publicly that after the summer the church would be ready. They all chuckled out of respect to me, but they knew that it would take much longer than that. Once the work began, a more realistic timeframe, although still wishful, was projected for November by our committee. The response to my question at the meeting was actually, “Father, if the church is ready within the year that would be miracle.”
We have explored many options to improve the church while being mindful that all work must proceed in a financially responsible and liturgically appropriate manner. Recently, the Archdiocese provided direction on how to proceed. The final program involves improving the lighting system, updating the sound system, upgrading the sacristy, removing the fans, painting the ceiling, refinishing the pews and replacing the flooring. Restoration of the pews and replacement of some of the light fixtures will not be completed until mid January.
We are working diligently to be able to have a Christmas Miracle this year, that is, to celebrate Christmas in the Upper Church. We will need to rent chairs for use in the Upper Church until the pews are ready in January. You will notice a lot of activity in the Upper Church between now until Christmas. The next steps include putting down new flooring and electrical work for the upgraded lighting package.
The current approach is to have the church ready for decorating by December 19th. If everything goes according to plan, and the Big Boss up there continues to help us, we should make it!
I ask you to keep the whole project and the workers in your payers. I take advantage to remind you all about our 24 hour adoration starting this Sunday evening and going through Monday evening.
Let us pray for all of those the Lord has called this year.
Robert E. Bennett, III Ann Romanazzi James Breen
Patricia Correia. Lucille P. Langevin Dolores “Emmie” LaFreniere
Paul H. Connor, Jr. Lorraine Y. Rochefort Edith W. Remick
Lorraine E. Foley Susan Terenzoni Claire Hartmann
Adnan Saman Patricia F. McManus Patricia Pazzaneze
Barbara Keating Phyllis Bradway John D. Drummey, Jr.
Claire Belmonte Ann Gove Michael F. Farrell, Sr.
Steven W. Turcotte Frances Sullivan Robert E. Durand
Diane Chimera Frances O’Reilly Francis P. O’Connell
(Joseph) Michael Buttiglieri Donald Zanca John Michael Yanchewski
Elsie M. Wellington Donald G. Ackroyd Lorraine LaForte
Juanita Shaughnessy Mark Cabral Donna Brita
Franics J. Kane Priscilla J. Richardson Sabina Palange
Rich Berte Norman Cole Alfred Sandini
Dorothy J. Breen Theresa St. Maurice Theresa Grasso
Paul Fricault Sheila Bourdeau Ann Riva
Ernest W. Thebado, Sr. Jane Correia Charles Callahan
Divino Simias da Costa Fabiana Alicea Alfred J. Foley, Jr.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in Peace, Amen.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in Peace.
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
There are many important things that I need to bring to your attention. From the annual financial statement of the parish and the school, the process of the collaborative or disciples in mission, the updates from the upper Church. However, I would like to focus on the most important thing out there. This past weekend, as I mentioned at some masses, I participated in the Annual Pro-Life Gala Dinner of First Concern, another agency that helps women in Marlborough besides Birthright. The honoree was Abby Johnson, the famous person who worked for Planned Parenthood for so many years and now promotes life in many ways. After introducing herself, and explaining that she was raised in a pro-life Protestant family in Texas, she also spoke about the clergy that barely spoke about abortion. She continued saying that abortion is not the root of the problem, but ignorance about it. She said that “a lie said many times, becomes true.” This is how she was swayed towards helping to provide abortion. What I want to point out is that we all need more education about our faith, our beliefs, our sins, so as to understand WHAT WE ARE CALLED FOR.
Last week, Fr. Przemek and I ran a retreat for our IC Middle School students. After much prayer, thinking and deliberating, we thought to center the retreat on vocations. In order to get to the different vocations of life, we needed to start from the first one, namely, the UNIVERSAL CALL TO HOLINESS. Sometimes we forget that that is our goal in life. We wonder about the meaning of life, why we must suffer or endure trials. This week when the school boiler died (a 4 year old boiler) I did ask myself, what is the point of being here and everything breaking down and going from bad to worse (besides no one understanding why the boiler had problems, and most likely it will not be covered by the insurance). Thanks be to God, the following day I was asked to help at a Charismatic Retreat and it helped me tremendously to refocus my ministry, my vision as the pastor, and above all, the meaning of my life, that is TO BE HOLY! It may sound obvious, or even a cliché, but imagine organizing your day, centering your efforts on becoming a saint! This coming week we will have the solemnity of ALL SAINTS! We have myriads of men and women who discovered the secret of life, or the secret to happiness! Jesus says, whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life FOR HIS SAKE will find it! (Mt 16:25).
Let’s not be afraid (as Saint John Paul II said many times) of giving your lives to God, helping a person in need, forgiving, baring wrongs patiently and all the other works of mercy. If we do something wrong, or sinful, seek confession and start again. That’s the beauty and awesomeness of God. He allows us to start from scratch one more time, no matter what was done. Through the sacrament of reconciliation (confession), you can be forgiven, and be made Holy again! Let’s then first pray to see which path God wants us to lead, and ask him for courage to take it! Yes, it will be difficult, there will be challenges that seem unsurpassable. To be Holy may sound impossible for us, or too far for us to get. Many saints said that one cannot be a Christian by himself. Indeed, it was the community that helped them to overcome the obstacles, and who were also praying for them. We are not in this journey alone. We, as a community, a parish, THE BODY OF CHRIST together can make it happen. We priests pray every day for each one of you. On Veterans' day we will have an opportunity to come together as a parish to pray for one another.
I conclude with the words from St Paul that "I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished." (Phil1:6)
Message from Fr. Przemek
Some of you recently saw me on TV and were asking me about the project of sending instruments to the Republic of Kiribati. During my formation at the seminary, I was sent for three years as a missionary to the Pacific (Kiribati). The capitol (Tarawa) is a little atoll which is very small and narrow. However, in this little place are more than 40,000 people. It was a wonderful possibility of announcing Good News to the people. In my time of the mission, I have experienced a lot of love from God and people. This love that I received for free, now in return, I want to be able to give for free, in my ministry, to the others. This is what happened to Bo Warren (traveler around the world) who stepped into Kiribati. I arranged his reception with brothers and sisters from the communities of Kiribati. There were 150 children waiting for him at the airport. He was hosted by one of the families. He received a lot of love from many people. This was one of the last countries that he visited, and he said that he has never received such hospitality. This is what true Christian love is that is passed on from Christ to others. He said that it was amazing. As you can see one act of charity does not stop; right now Bo Warren wants to help the local youth to praise God in a more expressive way. He noticed (something that I also perceived during my time there) that the Kiribati people are extremely musical. Their culture is music. The only thing is that practically they do not have any instruments. Therefore, Bo Warren together with me and the help of the other people want to send more than 300 instruments to the Republic of Kiribati. If you want to be a part of this circle of charity you can visit www.gofundme.com and you will find more information including the interview that was done by Boston 25 News. I found a lot of enthusiasm from you, regarding this project, therefore thank you for your support and please pray that this project might come into fruition! May God bless you!
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Many of us are familiar with the funeral reading from the book of wisdom “there is a time for everything “. That is very true! We are in a time to PRAY! There are many needs all around us, both personal and worldwide. We all have our personal struggles, which includes members of our families. Our parish also needs many prayers to increase vocations (to the priesthood, consecrated life, holy matrimony), increase of holiness, also to help us persevere through this difficult time of waiting until the Church is ready and going through the changing of priests, to pray for those who grew up coming to our parish, but today are home bound, and those who no longer attend mass. We also need to pray for our school, our teachers and students. Our society also needs lots of prayer as we go through local elections, political turmoil nationwide, change of values and increase of disrespect for one another. Worldwide, many Christians are being persecuted, conflicts and wars that are devastating many nations, and so on. In addition to that, some parishioners have approached me asking to have an all night vigil praying in front of the blessed sacrament. That’s been my personal desire for a long time as well. Well, NOW IS THE TIME!
We have mentioned in some Masses I celebrated this past weekend about having a 24 hour vigil with the blessed sacrament exposed. It will start after the Brazilian Mass on Sunday, November 10th and it will go until 8pm on Monday, November 11th (Veteran’s day). Since it’s a holiday, it will give an opportunity to many people to come over and pray in front of Jesus! We are still planning the final details of this time of adoration, but some details are already narrowed down. On Monday at 12pm we will pray the rosary in all 3 languages. Then at 3pm we will pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy also in the three languages. The vigil will conclude with solemn evening prayer. Some of the details we are still working on is to dedicate different hours to specific intentions (Veterans, vocations, Pro-Life), also we priests would like to provide 24 hours of confessions as well. On a different note, some groups have asked to “sponsor” an hour to pray, such as the charismatics so that some music of worship and praise will be done. If you or a group would like to “sponsor” an hour, please contact Lee Ann who will be coordinating among the groups of the parish.
Please join us at your availability in this critical moment in which we are facing as parishioners, Catholics, citizens, and men and women of good will.