Parish Newsletter - Summer 2015

Stories from our Parish, Ministries, Events and School

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary’s,

Even though we have been winding our way through the “lazy hazy days of summer” these past two months, St. Mary’s has still been an active and busy place.  Summer seems to be the natural time when some important transitions in our lives take place.  Students have hopefully started  their summer reading as they prepare for a new year, a new grade and perhaps a new school.  College students are busy with summer jobs and those going away for the first time are gathering together all the necessities of life that they will need when they move out of their home.  Families are packing and unpacking as they head off or return from vacation.

At the end of June, we celebrated with Fr. Marcin as he completed his four years at St. Mary’s and sent him on his way to Templeton where he has now begun his new ministry as pastor of Holy Cross and St. Martin parishes.  As August begins we are welcoming our newly ordained associate, Fr. Juan Escudero.  Every day is a new and exciting learning experience for him as he meets new people and celebrates a sacrament as a priest for the very first time.  Now the pace of parish life will pick up again as plans for the new school year and religious education programs receive their final touches.  And of course,  I hope you are already planning to join us and even volunteer for the annual St. Mary’s Family Festival weekend from September 18-20.

Continue to enjoy these summer days – truly meant to be a gift from God.  God bless you.

Msgr. Michael Rose

Stewardship Prayer

Creator God, Life is Your gift to me.  Through baptism, You invite me to share the gift of my life in service to others. Be with me as I choose each day to show Your Presence in our world. Give me the courage and generosity to respond to Your love, to Your call.

I pray especially for those who serve You in ministry throughout St. Mary's. May we bear the “Good News” to those in need. Keep us close to You. Open the minds and hearts of many other men, women and young people that they may accept Your challenge to build the Kingdom in our parish, our community, and our world.

For if not us, who?   If not here, where?   If not now, when?  If not for Your Kingdom, why? We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.

Parish Day of Service

Our 3rd annual Day of Service was held on Saturday, April 25th.  This year we had 300 volunteer parishioners of all ages that served over 20 different agencies in and around our community.  

Our morning began by gathering in the parish hall for registration before heading up to the church for a special blessing from Msgr. Mike and Fr. Marcin.  Parishioners then departed for projects - some of which included Habitat for Humanity ReStore, The Friendly House, Marie Ann Center, Shrewsbury Public Library, Mercy Centre, Veteran's Inc., Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, St. John's Food Pantry, St. Anne's Human Services, Visitation House to name a few. Volunteers worked together to clean, organize donations, paint, bake, served lunches, cleaned up outdoor gardens, and make small repairs.  

Upon completion of service projects, parishioners were invited back to the parish hall for lunch and to share their experiences.   Special thanks to the planning team and team captains who worked together to confirm service projects and planned this special day.

Farewell Reception for Fr. Marcin

A farewell reception was held on Sunday, June 28th after the 5:30 Mass for Fr. Marcin.  Many parishioners came out to wish him well, but to also let him know that we will miss him very much!  We are grateful for the many good works and spiritual guidance he has shared with us over the last four years and wish him well in his new assignment as pastor of Holy Cross Parish in East Templeton and St. Martin Mission in Otter River.

Good luck Fr. Marcin!  We will keep you in our prayers.

Ministry Update:  Haitian Covenant Ministry

In commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of our twinning relationship between the Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Les Cayes, Haiti. the Haitian Apostolate Ministry is inviting all of us to join Bishop McManus at this special celebration on Saturday, October 3rd at 10:00 AM at Cathedral of St. Worcester.  The same Haitian choir from Mattapan that visited St. Mary's in May will also be singing at this special Mass.  The St. Mary's Haitian Covenant Ministry will be involved in preparations for the Mass and reception as well as for some events that will take place in the weeks leading up to Oct 3rd.   Immediately following the celebration, all in invited to a reception.  

In addition to this celebration,  another celebration will take place in Les Cayes, Haiti. We are hoping that some of us from St. Mary's will be able to travel to Les Cayes then,or sometime soon after. 
Teams of Our Lady:   Family Retreat

May 2015: Held at the Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunk, Maine 

Teams of Our Lady is a Catholic Marriage Ministry. A team is a group of five to seven couples and a spiritual advisor who meet once a month over a simple potluck meal to share, pray and discuss challenges of living a Christian marriage and life.   
We held our first Family Retreat this Spring in Maine at the Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunk, Maine.  We arrived to kick off the weekend celebrating an early evening Mass with our very own pastor, Fr. Mike.   We dined over a simply prepared buffet meals as families.  We all (especially the children!)  enjoyed the immense green beautiful grounds, playing for hours, taking walks on the paths and visiting all of the statues and the chapel.  We enjoyed a full beautiful sunny day at the beach!  We engaged in an adult spiritual session and a family spiritual discussion/session over the weekend.  We nourished our faith, marriages and families with the help of the Holy Spirit, Jesus and our Mother Mary during this weekend.  

This ministry started in France in 1947 by Father Henri Caffarel and came to the US in 1958 where there are currently 700 Teams.  The Teams Ministry started here at St. Mary Parish in Shrewsbury in 2014 and is hoping to grow new Teams groups.  New Teams groups will be guided and encouraged on how to get started.  Please contact Jen and Chris Zerwas or Sue and Gerry Sullivan for more information at , 508-845-3883 or  508-845-2137.  Teams start in October and run through May with a summer break.

Ministry Update:  Helping Hands for the Homeless

The Helping Hands for the Homeless Social Justice ministry is focused on helping homeless families in the local area.  We are part of a network of faith-based groups that provide private support to qualified homeless families unable to qualify for state aid.  This network operates a safe, well-kept residence on June Street in Worcester for parents with children who are in shelter crises.  

Resident families have at least 1 employed parent and no drug/alcohol issues; they receive help in many areas such as budgeting, parenting and life skills required to successfully transition to permanent housing.  Goals are set and parents are compassionately guided to take the steps necessary to find a home and be self-sufficient.  

As a member of this network, St. Mary's sponsors two weeks each year, supporting the operation of the house and its residents.  Our support includes providing groceries and basic household supplies for this period, as well as augmenting the staff during non-working hours.  Evening volunteers share dinner with the residents, engage the children in play activities and connect with adult residents.  Overnight volunteers have a dedicated sleeping area and are present in the case of emergency.  

St. Mary’s will be covering the week of August 23rd- August 30th.  We are looking for evening volunteers from 5:00-9:00pm and overnight volunteers from 9:00pm-6:30am.  If you would like to learn more about this rewarding ministry or would like to volunteer for a shift, information, please email Brigid Rubin at

Ministry Update:  Young Adult Contemporary Ensemble

The music at the 5:30 Mass has a contemporary flair and includes liturgical music is written in a pop (sometimes rock!) setting. This group is comprised of young adult parishioners who are vocalists as well as instrumentalists. This group was formed in 2008 under the leadership of Paul Gannon and Harry Duchesne who saw and appreciated the musical talents of many young adults of our parish. In 2013, Paul's career took him to Seattle and his role was transitioned to Rick Zinkus who coordinates and works with the group today.

We have been blessed with many talented young adults; some live away from home now and come back to St. Mary’s during college breaks or vacations and continue to enrich our liturgies with their voices and talents.

The following parishioner vocalists and instrumentalists have been a part of this group over the years:  Lauren Bailey, Garance Buricatu (flute & vocals), Domitille Buricatu (violin & vocals), Monica Chen (cello), Kevin Chen (violin), Chiara Corazzini, DeAnne Duquette, Faith Duquette, Tim Evans (guitar), Kristen Fredricksen, Jessica Grip, Ben Hardwick (keyboard), Dave Jefferson (guitar), Caroline Kelly, Victoria Kelly, Teresa Kuruvilla, Jessica Lynne, Celine Mende,  Hayley Orciuch, Jack Palermo (guitar), Sam Palermo (drums), Jennifer Pegg, Sarah Quitadamo, Hannah Rubin, Ashley Ruggieri, Ryan Sinnott (bass guitar), Jill Vacaro, and Will Wright (trombone).

As students graduate high school and head off to college, we are always looking for new vocalists/instrumentalists to share their talents with St. Mary’s.  If you are interested in joining this group, you can contact Rick Zinkus at 508-450-1261 or

On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis’ long-awaited encyclical on ecology was released to the world. The encyclical, as has historically been the case, takes its name from the first few words of the encyclical: Laudato Si’ –  literally “Praise be to you.” These words, in turn, come from the opening line of the Canticle of the Creatures by St. Francis of Assisi, who continues to greatly influence the pope.  From, here are 13 things to know and share about Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical.

You can also read the entire document, here.

Jet Set

The Jet Set travelers left St. Mary's parking lot on July 27th for Saratoga Springs oldest and grandest racecourse, and an afternoon of the finest thoroughbred racing in the northeast.  The weather was perfect and the horses, as the track just opened the Friday before we arrived, were fresh and ready to race.

After enjoying the excitement of the afternoon, we traveled to Verona, New York and spent the night at Turning Stone Casino.  Some took advantage of the many amenities at Turning Stone, including their Spa and Fitness Center and Olympic size swimming pool.  The Casino provided everyone with $65 free play.  So everyone took advantage of this and many were lucky and came home with money.

We returned home at 7:30 PM after a wonderfully exciting two days in beautiful upstate New York.

Religious Education:  2015 First Communions

This year there were 108 children who received their First Communion at St. Mary's.  There were 4 separate Masses to accommodate all these children. At each Mass every single First Communicant​ participated in a special way. 


Youth Ministry:  Summer Service Trips

This year St. Mary’s Parish sent six groups of high-school students to ME, NJ, DE, and Boston to volunteer for Young Neighbors in Action, Habitat for Humanity, and Camp Sunshine. For Habitat, our teenagers dug post holes, stained fence sections, laid sub floors, installed doors and windows, built interior walls, painted a mural, and even helped with building ladders for eaves of houses! For Young Neighbors, our teens volunteered at a nursing home, a summer camp for children from impoverished families, and a day camp for adults with intellectual disabilities. At Camp Sunshine, we were assigned to Oncology Week so our group volunteered with children and families affected by cancer.

On the last day of camp, there were many tearful goodbyes with campers in all of the camps sad to see us leave. There were many times when we were forced to step outside our comfort zones, but it was wonderful to realize that we could set aside all of our differences and develop an understanding of what it means to be part of one human family. And although at Habitat for Humanity our teens were working on low-cost housing for poor families, what was really being laid was the foundation for a lifetime of growing in the faith.

2015 Family Festival Update

The 2015 parish festival will take place Friday, September 18th through Sunday, September 20th. The festival is open to the St. Mary’s Parish family as well as to the community and fosters an atmosphere of community and fellowship. Opportunities to volunteer will be announced soon.  Please join us in 2015 and let’s make this year’s fun for everyone. Helping at the festival is one of the best opportunities to meet your fellow parishioners and make new friends .

For more information, visit the parish website Family Festival page.   

We still need more help in planning, set-up and during festival weekend  please consider joining our planning team.  If you are interested in joining our team, please  contact John Sliwoski at 508.353.2545 or

2015 Grand Raffle!

Have you purchased your 2015 Family Festival Grand Raffle Ticket?  Each ticket is $100 and only 800 Tickets will be sold!Prizes include:
  • GRAND PRIZE $ 15,000 
  • SECOND PRIZE: A Family Trip to DISNEYWORLD! 7 Days / 6 Nights at Disneyworld in Orlando, FL Includes Air Fare / Hotel / Park Passes / Ground Transportation (A $ 5,000 Value – Take the Trip or the Cash) 
  • THIRD PRIZE: 4 Tickets to our “Super Bowl Champion” NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS Regular Season Game of your choice (Donated by Kowloon Restaurant – Saugus, MA)
Thank you to our 2015 Grand Raffle Sponsors Heald & Chiampa and Scheffel Foot Center

St. Mary School

Grade 6 Food Drive

St. Mary School Grade 6 Students did an amazing job of promoting and collecting donation items for the Corridor 9 Food Drive.  As you will see in the attached photos, the students collected 3 boxes plus 54 grocery bags of donated items.  This surpassed their original goal of 50 bags for St. Mary School.
This was a perfect example of partnership between St. Mary School and Corridor 9.   Our Grade 6 students truly embraced this project and followed it through with enthusiasm and commitment. 
Second Grade First Communion

On May 14th, the Second Grade Students celebrated the Feast of the Ascension at morning Mass. This was a lovely way to recognize their recent First Communion celebration with our School and Parish community through their participation in the Mass.
St. Mary's Class of 2015

Congratulations to the St. Mary School Class of 2015! We wish our Graduates much happiness and success as they enter the following high schools this Fall: St. John's, Holy Name, Marianapolis, Notre Dame Academy, Whittinsville Christian Academy, and Shrewsbury High School.

"We send forth Graduates to function as intelligent, moral leaders in a constantly changing global economy." From: St. Mary School Mission Statement

Looking Ahead...
  • Jet Set Trip - Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Cruise - Wednesday, August 26th  
  • Saint Mary School Pancake Breakfast - Sunday, September 13, 2015, 8:00 – 11:00 AM  
  • St. Mary's Family Festival - Friday, September 18th through Sunday, September 20th  
  • 25th Anniversary celebration of Twinning Relationship between the Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Les Cayes, Haiti.  - Saturday, October 3rd 10:00 AM @ the Cathedral of St. Paul in Worcester