Pastor's Corner

4th Sunday of Easter

04-30-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

For the next three weekends, at some of our parish Masses, we will welcome First Communion children around the table of the Lord. It’s been a tradition here at Holy Family for several years and in many other parishes to celebrate this important moment for these children, their families and the parish community in the context of the Sunday liturgy. As a Sacrament of Initiation, reception of First Eucharist marks the beginning of their full participation with us in our weekly community worship. It gives us all an opportunity to fittingly welcome these children and provide a loving witness and support as they begin partaking regularly in the Body of Christ.


3rd Sunday of Easter

04-23-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Here are two reflections on the meaning of Easter that I hope you find helpful. One that gives us hope in the difficult and regrettable episodes along our journey through life and one that gives us hope at the end of our journey.

“If Christ is risen, we can look with renewed eyes and hearts on each event in our lives, even the most negative. The moments of darkness, failure and even sin can be transformed and herald a new path forward. When we have reached the bottom of our misery and weakness, the risen Christ gives us strength to rise again. If we entrust ourselves to Him, His grace saves us. The crucified and risen Lord is the full revelation of mercy, present and at work in history.”

– Pope Francis.


2nd Sunday in Easter

04-16-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Happy Easter!

We continue to celebrate the new life of the resurrection of Jesus in this Easter season until May 28 – Pentecost Sunday. What goes on in our church sanctuary at every Mass is very special, sacred and life-changing. God becomes present to us on the altar in a miraculous way – the Risen Christ appears to us as our food for our journey in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Jesus is alive! He dwells within us; He walks with us, and gives us His new life! His power over sin, evil and death is a power we can tap into. Are you buried in a tomb of doubt, despair, loneliness, hardship, confusion, brokenness, or grief? Tell Jesus where you need His mercy, His healing, His hope and new life. Ask Him to release you from your tomb and invite His grace to give you freedom and peace. Maybe a priest, deacon staff member or fellow parishioner can help you roll away the stone from the entrance of your tomb. You are not alone in our community of faith. We seek to bring the presence of the risen Christ to all in need. I invite you to pray this Easter Prayer for yourself, your loved ones, our parish community and especially for those who need Jesus’ risen power and peace in a special way.


Easter Sunday

04-09-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Happy Easter!

In the course of life, many people end up asking themselves a profound question: “Is this all there is?” Have you ever asked yourself that question? It’s usually after a heightened awareness that what we’ve been “into” doesn’t really satisfy. There’s got to be more, something deeper that will offer hope and a new perspective and, in fact, a new life. That’s what Easter is all about. If you pondered our parish Vision Statement beside this column, it gives you a glimpse of what a vibrant faith in the Risen Jesus can offer – in terms of joy, community, meaning and purpose.


Holy Week

04-02-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

This week, Holy Week, is the most solemn week of our Church year. A schedule of all the offerings for this week can be found on the lower left side of this page. Particularly important among the liturgies of Holy Week are the celebrations of the Triduum - the three days leading to Easter. On Holy Thursday, we have the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper at 7:30pm. In this liturgy, we recall not only the institution of the Holy Eucharist, but also the institution of Holy Orders, and the great commission from Jesus to love one another as He has loved us - recounting Jesus' washing the feet of His disciples. On Good Friday, with the Solemn Commemoration of the Lord's Passion at 3:00pm, we recall what Jesus endured to bring about our salvation. At this liturgy, we have the opportunity to hear the story of Jesus' journey to Calvary proclaimed from the Gospel of John, and to venerate the symbol of His Cross as well as to receive Holy Communion.


Fifth Sunday of Lent

03-26-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Since we have heard references to “the Jews” in our New Testament scriptures recently, and we will hear similar references when the Passion is read at Mass this coming Passion/Palm Sunday as well as on Good Friday, it was drawn to my attention by a parishioner that it would be good to clarify the Church’s position on how we should regard our Jewish brothers and sisters when such references may lead some people to a mistaken understanding about them. This clarification is particularly important nowadays since there is a greater incidence of anti-Semitism in our country, which we detest and cannot tolerate. So, I include below a statement made a number of years ago by the United States Bishops about this issue, which is also printed in our Breaking Bread hymnals after the Passion reading on Good Friday (page 108).


Fourth Sunday of Lent

03-19-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

How are you doing in your daily prayer this Lent? Besides the formal or rote prayers you may say, I offer you two saints’ reflections on what they did when they prayed that were helpful to them. Maybe you do these things already; or, maybe there’s something new you can try. What strikes me is the very candid, familiar and personal ways each one spoke to God as well as their emphasis on listening to God. That part takes discipline to be silent and to wait. Don’t analyze. Be attentive especially to what is engendered within your heart. Look for opportunities our parish will offer to help you develop a prayer life of this kind that will allow you to grow in your personal relationship with God. This is a necessary step to become an intentional disciple of Jesus. Let me know if you are interested.


Third Sunday of Lent

03-12-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

You may see startling images of poverty in the media and, for a moment, are moved by the reality depicted. But, how often does what touches your heart on these occasions result in a change in attitude and behavior? This is a central challenge provided by the Lenten practice of almsgiving. How are you doing in your effort to grow in your habit of charitable giving? Is it something you think much about? There needs to be an intentionality to charitable giving that calls us out of ourselves and includes sacrifice. This Lent, as we seek to reflect ever more the image of Christ in our world, two questions arise that invite a personal response: “If not you, who? And if not now, when?” Here are some statistics that prompted me to pose these questions.


Second Sunday of Lent

03-05-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

How would you describe your approach to participation at Mass? Are you engaged with what’s being spoken and sung? Is your mind focused on prayer and worship, or is it somewhere else? Do you truly participate in the spoken and sung parts of the liturgy or just remain quiet during the parts that require members’ involvement? I admit, we can be easily distracted these days and look to be entertained any chance we can get. Unfortunately, that approach instills a passivity that more closely resembles going to the theatre or viewing a video on our devices – something very different than what is called for in church.


The Litany of Humility

02-26-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

St. Teresa of Avila once said, “There is more value in a little study of humility and in a single act of it than in all the knowledge in the world.” Since pride is often at the root of many of our faults and sins, which we strive to overcome during Lent, I invite you to make growth in the virtue of humility a particular focus by praying this prayer attributed to Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val (1865-1930). May this prayer and your efforts to grow in humility make a significant difference in your life and in the lives of those around you.


A Letter From Our Pastor

02-19-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

This Wed, Feb 22 is Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent. I encourage you to start your Lenten journey celebrating Mass that day. Masses will take place at 8:15am, and 6:00pm. In addition to Mass, our church will be open to welcome all people from 6:00am to 8:00pm, during which time they will be able to receive ashes, go to confession, or spend time in prayer alone before the Blessed Sacrament of Eucharist displayed in the chapel or pray/chat with a Stephen Minister who will be available to provide support to anyone who might need to talk. We’ll have several different pamphlets and books available for you to take and use for your personal prayer and reflection.


Radiating Christ

02-12-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

I came across these quotes from different authors that I thought I’d share for your reflection – mindful of what our community has been experiencing these last couple of weeks.


A Letter From Our Pastor

02-05-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Members of our community here in Duxbury and beyond have been devastated and heart-broken at the news of what has happened to the Clancy family who have been our fellow parishioners, neighbors and friends: Pat, the husband and father, children – Cora, Dawson and Callan, all of whom are now deceased, and their mother, Lindsay, who remains hospitalized.