Welcoming the Stranger

February, 2017

Over the past two weeks cheers and jeers have greeted every presidential tweet, appointment, and executive order.  This new reality clearly reflects the deep polarization of the divided country in which we now live.  People are filled with new fears and uncertainty of what will come next.  [READ MORE]

New Year's Resolutions & Invitations

January, 2017

Happy New Year!  The echoes of new year greetings remain in the air even a week later.  People who are in the custom of making New Year's resolutions have done so by now.  Perhaps some have already been broken. (If so, don't worry.  Lent is right around the corner and a perfect time to start over again).  The beginning of a new year always provides us with the opportunity to think about what we want for ourselves, our families and our lives.  [READ MORE]


When Getting Becomes Giving

December, 2016

Recently I was talking to a grandmother who had observed a major shift in her young grandchildren while they were at the St. Mary's Holly Fair last weekend. Expecting that the children would be looking for gifts they hoped to receive, they were actually excited about what they were going to buy for one another and for their parents. They had "turned the corner" with the realization that Christmas is about GIVING as much as it is about GETTING. [READ MORE]


Prayers & Support for St. Michel's Parish

November, 2016

Thursday, September 29th was a great day for the people of St. Michel' s in Roche-a-Bateau. It was their parish feast day . It was the Feast of the Archangels - Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. As is their custom each year, the parish church was filled with people who had come to celebrate Mass with their pastor, Fr. Serge. They continued the celebration in the parish hall next door with a meal served to several hundred people. It was a day of great joy for the people with music and dancing at the Mass and the reception. Just five days later while the people of Roche-a-Bateau hunkered down and sought shelter from the winds and rain of Hurricane Matthew, they did not know what was happening to the parish buildings where they had celebrated just a few days before. [READ MORE]


Assisi

October, 2016

Two weeks ago Pope Francis traveled to Assisi marking the 30th anniversary of the day when Pope John Paul II first gathered there with religious leaders from around the world for a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace. Every year since that time the leaders of the world's main religions have come to Assisi to pray for peace and to renew their commitment to work together to attain it. [READ MORE]


St. Teresa of Calcutta

September, 2016

Mother Teresa (as we have known her throughout our lives) becomes St. Teresa of Calcutta today. This Sunday morning in Rome she is officially proclaimed what we have always known her to be - a true Saint. The Canonization Mass in St. Peter's Square is expected to be Pope Francis' largest celebration for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. How very fitting indeed! Throughout this holy year Pope Francis had directed our attention to the great gift of God's mercy which is revealed in the most visible way in Jesus. With St. Teresa of Calcutta we have one more incredibly visible face of mercy to inspire us. [READ MORE]


Relax, Recharge, Read

July, 2016

That was the billboard sign I saw outside an elementary school in Worcester as I drove by the other day. It was an obvious reminder about what many are able to experience during the weeks of summer with a slower pace and a more relaxing schedule. It also served as a reminder to students of how important it is to read throughout these summer months. Although they will agonize over their summer reading until the last page has been read, everyone knows how important it is for young people to keep on reading even when school is out. [READ MORE]


All in the Family

June, 2016

What an incredible weekend we had here at St. Mary’s as we celebrated with Diego Buritica at his Ordination to the Priesthood on Saturday at St. Paul’s Cathedral. That experience of joy grew as Father Diego celebrated his First Mass of Thanksgiving in a packed St. Mary’s Church on Sunday at 11:00 am followed by a Reception in the parish hall. And what a special grace it was for us to be able to welcome Diego’s parents (his father is 93 years young), brothers & sisters, nieces & nephews, and other relatives and friends from Colombia for these celebrations. [READ MORE]


Kayed & Kelly - Our Holy Land Guides

May, 2016

Our group of 50 Pilgrims who recently returned from the Holy Land were truly blessed with a knowledgeable and faith filled guide.  Kayed met us at the airport when we arrived in Tel Aviv and brought us on an incredible journey as we traveled in the very footsteps of Jesus.  [READ MORE]


Spring Into Lent

March 2016

The word Lent comes from an old English word "lenten" which means springtime.  Lent is that season that serves as a bridge which leads us from winter into spring. Lent brings us from all that is cold and dead and barren into a season which is  emerging with new life.  The warmer weather we gladly welcomed this week certainly shows us that we are well on our way out of winter and moving  into a new spring.  [READ MORE]


Don't Give Up Chocolate This Lent

February 2016

Don't give up chocolate this Lent?  But I've always given up chocolate for Lent......ever since childhood.....and candy and ice cream, too.  Why would a poster from Matthew Kelly's Dynamic Catholic encourage us not to give up chocolate this year and have our Best Lent Ever?  [READ MORE]


Thinking About New Year's Resolutions

January 2016

Now that it's January 3rd it's time to ask:  how are you doing with your New Year's resolutions?  The new year is certainly an appropriate and fitting time to reflect on the changes we want or need to make in our lives. Every year approximately one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. [READ MORE]


What Color Is Your Coffee Cup?

December 2015

It has been a month now since criticism first erupted over the red coffee cup that Starbucks introduced for this year's holiday season. Some Christians were outraged that Starbucks had taken one more step in secularizing the Christmas season.  [READ MORE]


From Transfer to Thanksgiving

November 2015

November 1 - the Feast of all Saints - marks the day 31 years ago when I was transferred from my first assignment as associate pastor at Christ the King Church in Worcester. I can still remember that day as if it were yesterday. [READ MORE]


All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir

October 2015

The words of this children’s song from a Summer Bible School fifteen years ago echoed in my ears this afternoon as we held the annual Blessing of Pets/Animals at St. Mary’s.  The lawn by the parking lot quickly filled up by 2pm with dogs and cats and even a couple of frogs, not to mention their owners and family members.  [READ MORE]


"I love Boston...even in the rain."

September 2015

“I love Boston…even in the rain.”  I can still remember these words that Pope (now Saint) John Paul II used to greet the crowds at Boston Common on October 1, 1979 as Mass began during his first papal visit to the United States.  I was among the crowd of 400,000  people who were there that day.  At the time I was a seminarian and studying in Rochester, New York.  [READ MORE]


I Think You Just Got A Promotion

August 2015

“I think you just got a promotion”, a woman said to me as she headed out of the church after Mass on Sunday morning a few weeks ago.  She had just overheard a 3 year old boy at my feet calling out and trying to get my attention.  “Hi God.  Hi God.” he repeated.  When I bent down to talk to him he asked, “Is Mommy going to have a boy or a girl?”  [READ MORE]


Salvation & The Ice Cream Cone

July 2015

One day this past week while returning from the cemetery after a funeral, I drove along Route 290 with Diego, St. Mary's seminarian intern. I stopped in mid-sentence when I noticed a huge billboard with three ice cream cones advertising Friendly's. "Look at that." I exclaimed. "Heaven on earth. Ice cream in the summertime. Salvation." [READ MORE]


Summer News

June 2015

This past Sunday’s celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi – the Body & Blood of Jesus – brought back memories of my First Mass 34 years ago at St. Bernard’s Church in Worcester. June is the month when many priests in our diocese celebrate their anniversary of ordination. [READ MORE]


What Do You Remember About Your First Communion Day?

May 2015

The good weather and a new spring have arrived here in New England, and on this Fifth Sunday of Easter it finally feels like Easter!  May is a busy month for so many families, especially those celebrating graduations, anniversaries, First Communions, Confirmations and Mother's Day.  May, the month of Mary, fills us with our own memories as we mark these important celebrations for family members and friends.  [READ MORE]


Happy Easter

April 2015

Happy Easter!  Alleluia!  It is the day of the Lord's Resurrection.  Death has been conquered by God's love.  The 40 days of Lent have ended and the 50 days Easter are now before us. The fasting is over and the feasting begins.  [READ MORE]


How Is Your Lent Going So Far?

March 2015

Even though this season of 40 days has just begun, we are already one quarter of the way through it.  Today on the Second Sunday of Lent and the first day of March we have a good opportunity to ask ourselves how this time of renewal and repentance is going for us.  The ashes placed on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday have long been washed away, but are we following Jesus aware of the call to carry our cross.  [READ MORE]