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.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
October is a beautiful month not only in New England with the foliage (I'm sorry for those who have to rake the leaves), but also in the Life of the Church. In the past, October has been associated with the month of the Rosary, because of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. In recent years, the Church has instituted October also as the Month of the Missions in the Church, mainly because of its patron saint of the missions, St Therese of the Child Jesus, whose feast day is observed on October 1st. For some, it can be difficult to understand how she could be the patron saint of the missions, if although she dreamed of becoming a missionary, she never left the convent. Pope Francis, in 2013, said that the Church was wise in choosing St. Therese, who was “humble, small, trusting in God, meek," the patron saint of the missions, because the strength of the Gospel was present in her humility. He continued speaking of the need of bringing the strength of the Gospel to the whole world. This includes the missions in remote and difficult places, for which we will have two collections this month (this week and next week). It also includes the need for a new evangelization, reaching out to people who already have heard the Christian message. How do we do that? We will have soon (January and February) an opportunity to attend a day-long workshop on becoming evangelizers.
For now, let’s commend the missionaries all over the world, including those who evangelize in our midst to the care of our Blessed Mother, so that she can always lead everyone to her Son.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This weekend, our parish celebrates Our Lady of the Rosary in a very special way. You may have noticed the image of Our Lady, usually, at the back of the church in a glass box, and wondered why we have that image. Many members of our Hispanic Community are from Guatemala and they have a great and historic veneration to Our Lady of the Rosary. Patron of Guatemala, her holiday is celebrated on October 7. The devotion to Mary under the invocation of the Virgin of the Rosary, dates back to the Middle Ages with Saint Dominic (1209) and gains strength during the Renaissance. The celebration of the Rosary worldwide has its origin in the battle of Lepanto, on October 7, 1571. According to the Popes St. Pius V and Gregory XIII, the help of "Our Lady" and the revelation that through the Rosary the battle would be won were the spark to institute the feast in the life of the Church.
In Guatemala, with the early establishment of the Dominicans, the tradition of the Rosary prayer quickly began to spread. The first brotherhood of the Rosary was founded in 1559, only 30 years after the first European expedition in Guatemala. Francisco Marroquín, the first consecrated bishop of America, urged the people of Santiago, today Antigua Guatemala, to establish religious houses so that “there may be such a holy devotion. The original statue of the image displayed in Church was carved back in 1592 by an anonymous artist in Guatemala. This beautiful and unique baroque image represents Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her queenship represented by the Imperial Crown, the Mace, and her royal mantle. The moon under her feet symbolizes her immaculate purity.
This month in which we also observe the prayer for the respect of life and the Missions of the Church all over the world, let’s entrust these intentions, and our own, under her care. During these 30 days, there will be blessed rosaries at the back of the church and a brochure explaining how to pray the rosary. Let us pray for one another, especially those who most need the Mercy of God.
Father Steven Clemence