Every year for the last 3 years at St. Mary's, during Lent, we schedule a Lenten meal packaging program with an organization called Rise Against Hunger. They are affiliated with Catholic Relief Services. Check out the photos from this year's event held on Saturday, April 6th.
Congratulations to the 21 adults from our parish who participated in last weekend’s Light of the World Retreat. We continue to pray that this experience will renew and deepen your faith in Jesus Christ as we prepare for Holy Week and Easter.
Here are a few photos from our Lenten Soup Supper and Stations of the Cross last night. We invite you to join us next week for a simple meal of soup and bread at 6:00 PM and stay for the candlelit Stations of the Cross at 7:00 PM. Hope to see you there!
The St. Mary Fish Fry Committee would like to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers and attendees for their part in the largest Lenten Fish Dinner to date! Thanks to a team of more than 100 volunteers, we served 880 meals which included 430 pounds of fish, 28 large pizzas, 120 servings of mac&cheese, 3 sheet cakes, and 700 cookies! We hope you enjoyed your meal!
This winter certainly has not been the worst one we have endured here in New England, but it sure is hanging on with these smaller storms. Even without any blizzards, however, when the month of March arrives we all seem to be more than ready for Spring. The Red Sox spring training camp is well underway in Florida, and this week on Ash Wednesday we will begin our spiritual “spring training camp” as Christian disciples. The 40 days of Lent each year give us all the opportunity to get back into spiritual shape.
Massachusetts bishops are addressing the state’s Catholics prior to the Feb. 21-24 Vatican Summit on the sexual abuse crisis. It is a crisis, they say, “that has again enveloped the life of the Church.” “The Summit Meeting, convoked by Pope Francis, will involve the presidents of over 180 Episcopal Conferences from throughout the world; along with (Boston) Cardinal (Sean) O’Malley, participating in his role as President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children. The goal of the Summit Meeting, as stated by the Holy Father, is ‘catechesis’ of the episcopal conferences,” the bishops said in a letter to the people of the Commonwealth, published below.
We are still in the Christmas season of giving and receiving gifts - all done in imitation of our God who gave His Son, Jesus, to the world. There are so many different cultural traditions and customs surrounding this season, but “gifts” seem to be the common denominator in every land. Last Sunday on the Feast of the Holy Family I shared an ancient Jewish folktale and was asked to share it again with you in my January blog.
We extend our thanks to Yli & Marilyn Vallejo for coordinating our second SIMBANG GABI Mass at St. Mary's last Saturday afternoon. This Filipino Christmas tradition celebrates the nine days of waiting for the coming of Christmas with the "Misa de Gallo"- Mass of the Rooster each morning at 4:00 am. Thank you to our Filipino parishioners and their friends who provided the music and prepared and cooked for the reception following the Mass. We will look forward to celebrating this Mass again next year.
Last weekend we had our annual Blessing of the Outdoor Nativity a St. Mary's tradition that started 13 years ago. In the Fall of 2003, Fr. Dennis O'Brien came up with the idea for the outdoor nativity and coordinated purchasing the set and building the stable. Through generous donations from several parishioners, it didn't take long for our nativity set to be complete! Each statue was purchased by individuals or families in memory of a loved one. A plaque with each donors name is in the Church.
THANK YOU to all the parishioners who supported our Giving Tree this year. We were able to fulfill exact Christmas gift wishes for 600 children! Your thoughtfulness will allow each child to experience the joy of Christmas through the receipt of these special presents. All gifts will be delivered to St. Anne’s Human Services and Catholic Charities today. A special thanks to Maryanne Damico who coordinates this for our parish every year as part of our Outreach Ministry.
Children and parents share the special meaning of Christmas while participating in the pageant each year. Family involvement is needed as we bring the Christmas story to life during Mass on Christmas Eve. Join us for rehearsal on Monday, December 17 and Thursday, December 20 at 6:30 in the church. Costumes will be provided. Contact Jamie Horvath at 719-322-3532 if you would like to participate. There will be sign-up sheets in the sacristy.
Nearly 200 Saint Mary Parish families, friends and neighbors of all ages gathered in the Parish Hall for a wonderful evening of Christmas carols, storytelling and community. This Saint Mary tradition is a wonderful way for all of us to slow down during Advent and prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus.
Given the continuing questions about sexual abuse of minors by members of the Church and issues which arose before and during the November meeting in Baltimore of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, we sat down with Bishop Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, to ask what is happening in the Diocese of Worcester. His responses are endorsed by the Diocesan Review Committee, members’ names are listed at the end of this interview.
"Please silence your cellphones" we are often told before the beginning of a concert, play, movie or lecture. We know the reason why - so that we will not disturb people around us. But we also silence these necessary how-did-we-ever-live-without-them devices so that we ourselves will not be disturbed and so we can focus our attention on what is happening before us.
This coming weekend we begin a new liturgical year, the first Sunday of Advent! Just as Jesus' parents, Mary and Joseph, patiently and joyfully awaited the birth of their baby boy thousands of years ago, we are a people waiting in joyful anticipation for the arrival of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Listed below are a few ways to help us prepare our hearts as we wait, to make ready and to receive Jesus this Christmas.
Wishing you and your families a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day. We began our Thanksgiving Day at St. Mary's by giving God thanks around the Table of the Eucharist and received again the gift of God’s love and abundant blessings. Thank you to all who brought a bag of nonperishable food with you to Mass.
This past summer, St. Mary parishioners Nancy Hughes, Jack Collins, and Cecile and Jerry Cote participated in a humanitarian trip to Uganda where they delivered feminine hygiene kits. The kits were then distributed to girls through the program Raising Up Hope for Uganda (RUHU.). Read more in this article from the Community Advocate Newspaper.
A Vatican-requested delay in adopting practices that are expected to boost accountability among U.S. bishops in their response to clergy sex abuse will not be voted on during the bishops' fall general assembly going on now. “I was disappointed, but not surprised,” Bishop McManus said Monday. “The laity are looking for the bishops to be held to the same accountability as the priests.
In early November as we celebrate the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls and turn back our clocks, we mark the transition into a new season of the year. It is November and Thanksgiving is just two weeks away. The shorter days and longer nights are with us again.