Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Since I became Administrator at Immaculate Conception Parish last June 1st, 2018, I have done my best to assume my responsibilities as Pastor and to learn about our Parish and the pastoral needs of our parishioners. As you know, part of my responsibilities is Immaculate Conception School, which has been serving and imparting intellectual formation to generations of students since its founding by Fr. Lowney in 1910. I write this letter to inform you and to ask for your help, as together we may face the future of our school guided by the light of faith and God’s wisdom.
Over the years, Immaculate Conception School has encountered different problems – and in each generation God has inspired those in charge with the wisdom and the love to guide it until today. The school that Fr. Lowney opened in 1910 to provide Catholic Education to the people in Marlborough faced a problem of lack of space in the 1950’s and, in a decisive move, Msgr. Evers purchased the land where the New Building/Middle School was opened to continue preparing its students for the future. Today, we find ourselves again at a crossroads as we evaluate the current situation of the School and the possibility that it may continue its mission forming our children and imparting spiritual and intellectual formation to them.
Shortly after arriving in Marlborough, I began to review the financial situation of the school and discovered a steady decline, both in enrollment and financially. Our School had gone from 211 students in 2013 to 140 last year! Last year the school ran a debt of $100,000 and we are currently looking at a projected loss of another $160,000 by the end of June 2019. Faced with these numbers, I first approached some members of the School Board and the School Administration to express concern about the current situation and I told them that we could not continue to operate the school in the terms in which we were running it. As time went on and as the efforts of the Administration to improve results proved insufficient to run the School, I then brought the matter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley and to the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Mr. Thomas Carrol. Working together, we decided that without an immediate and urgent intervention to change the course of the school, Immaculate Conception School would not be able to open its door in the Fall of 2019. We then drafted a plan that called for a replacement of the leadership team in the school to begin a rebirth that will make Immaculate Conception School once again, vibrant, inspiring and successful in its mission of schooling the children of Marlborough for the future.
To this end, at the request of Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Reed wrote a letter to the school parents encouraging them to attend a meeting that was well attended, and during which I introduced the new School Principal and Academic Coordinator. Both of them shared their vision for Immaculate Conception School and I believe that their inspiration, doctrinal formation and enthusiasm is key, not just to impart sound spiritual and intellectual formation to our children but also to contribute to the rebirth of Immaculate Conception School.
Finally, in spite of all the difficulties of the past few weeks, I am happy to tell you that two anonymous benefactors have already come forward donating a total of $85,000 for our school. Make no mistake: I am passionate about our school and I am totally committed to our students and to our faculty. I believe in strengthening our academic program to attract more families and to put the school on a strong financial footing capable of helping, especially large families as they face hardships, yet remain committed to giving a Catholic formation to their children. I also value your commitment to our School, and I treasure that you have entrusted your children to us. Together, with the blessing of God, we can help our school.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
With the recent changes we have had in our bookkeeping, I wanted to publish our weekly offertory and special collections for the months of March and April. Moving forward, we will do our best to publish our offertory amounts weekly in the bulletin. Below is the offertory including on-line giving for the months of March and April. Thank you for your generous support.
Date: Amount: Date: Amount:
March 3 $15,298.10 April 7 $13,879.00
March 10 $10,963.49 April 14 $17,649.00
March 17 $15,928.89 April 18 $2,952.00 ~ Holy Thursday for St. Vincent dePaul
March 24 $17,592.93 April 19 $3,185.00 ~ Good Friday for the Holy Land
March 31 $16,857.00 April 21 $14,111.00 ~ Easter for the Clergy Benefit Trust
March $6,169.00 ~ St. Vincent dePaul April 28 $10,948.00
March $6,100.00 ~ Maintenance & Devel. April $6,929.25 ~ St. Vincent de Paul
March $4,124.27 ~ Catholic Charities April $6,154.00 ~ Maintenance & Development
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today (and everyday) we celebrate Mother’s day. We give them flowers, bring them to restaurants, give them drawings or crafts, listen to their favorite song or artist all day. We pray to God in thanksgiving for the person through whom we were brought into the world. We, as a parish, need to pray and support all mothers in the ever increasing challenge of raising children in today’s DNA. However, today is also a difficult day for many people as well. I invite you to add to your prayers our brothers and sisters whose mother passed away, the mothers who are grieving for their children both born and unborn, those whose hearts are heavy because their children are sick or facing some other difficulties.
Please join me as we lift all of them in PRAYER as we say:
“All loving God, we give you thanks and praise for mothers young and old;
We pray for young mothers, who give life and count toes and tend to our every need;
May they be blessed with patience and tenderness to care for their families and themselves with great joy.
We pray for our own mothers who have nurtured and cared for us;
May they continue to guide in strong and gentle ways.
We remember mothers that are separated from their children because of war, poverty, or conflict;
May they feel the loving embrace of our God who wipes every tear away.
We pray for women who are not mothers but still love and shape us with motherly care and compassion.
We remember mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers who are no longer with us, but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love”.
By Heidi Busse
Dear Parish Family,
It is with sadness mixed with joy that I write to you. When more than three years ago Cardinal Sean assigned me to IC as parochial vicar, I really felt like the luckiest priest on earth. IC has been my home since I came to the USA in 2007. I was here as a seminarian, as a deacon, and even as a priest. I always felt welcome by everyone and, I hope, the feeling was reciprocal. I know that I have not been perfect in these years, yet, I always had the right intention, always feeling part of this caravan headed toward Eternal Life.
Today, I announce to you that Cardinal Sean has asked me to accompany “another caravan”. I was appointed as Administrator of St. Joseph in Lynn, starting on June 1st. It’s very hard for me to leave a place I call home, people I consider family, and a great staff that works well together. Nevertheless, we are pilgrims on this earth, and, ultimately, we shall all meet at the very same destination. I am consoled by the fact that St. Joseph is a great parish as well, very active, and I am joyfully taking on this new mission.
I just ask you one thing: to accompany me with your prayers. I know that my family back in Italy has accompanied me in these years at IC. Even though they are far away, they always felt close. I ask you to do the same and accompany me in this new mission with your prayers. I really need your help. On my part, I promise to keep you always in my prayers.
On May 19th I will celebrate my last “official” masses here at IC. I will celebrate the 9 am in English and the 12:30 pm in Spanish. Both masses will be followed by a Parish event next to the Lower School. I hope you can join me in giving thanks to God and to you for these years of grace and mercy that the Lord has granted me.
Father Steven Clemence