Dear Brothers and Sisters,
During the short time that I have been here in Marlborough, I was amazed to learn about the history of our community. From the construction of the church, and later the school, their expansions and renovations, to the history of the parishioners and the many people who have served IC over these 150 years. Looking at all the good and the sad, it makes me wonder how the words from St. Paul became a reality among us. In his letter to the Galatians, he writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for YOU ARE ALL ONE in Christ Jesus.” Today looking into the IC community, we can say that we are truly one body. In recent months we have been tirelessly working together to reopen our church, you could see the Irish, Italian, Polish, French, Hispanic, Brazilian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Indian and many more other ethnicities standing side by side. Reciting the same prayers, adoring the same God, praying together as ONE in our parish. On the evening of January 20, 2019, when the news about the fire in the church was made known, we were all concerned about our spiritual house. The morning of the following day, we all were grieving about our loss and thanking God that a greater disaster had not happened. This weekend we come together once again, as one body, in prayer, thanking God for allowing us to be back in our Church. Hopefully, these occasions of bringing the whole parish together can increase more and more as we go forward.
Besides being one, our mission statement states that we are also “a community that strives to be authentic witnesses to the Church: one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” This weekend we can visually see that present among us. The presence of Cardinal Sean O’Malley, certainly manifests the apostolic tradition, as he is a successor of the apostles. As we gather together from all the different corners of the world, it shows how our parish is universal, that is, Catholic. We come together in prayer, asking God for us to be Holy! That is always a work in progress! But if in this process we have harmed or neglected someone, or those who came before us, we ask for forgiveness. There is nothing that should separate us from our faith or one another. In the same, as Cardinal Sean has gone out of his way to create communion, so should we. Reaching out to the far away, helping the needy, and keeping the doors of our heart wide open to receive the gifts that God wants to give us.
Let us ask the intercession of the Immaculate Mary, that She may help us in our mission of creating communion and accompany us in our journey to holiness.
Father Steven Clemence