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!
Father Steven Clemence