On this Feast of the Holy Family, I share with you a reflection by Fr. Bob Sherry, Spiritual Advisor to Dynamic Catholic. (FrBob.Sherry@dynamiccatholic.com) How do you and your family handle disagreements? Do you look for how God might be leading your family to a "greater good"? Maybe these three words will help:
Prayer: Always pray. Use the Prayer Process (below) and talk to Jesus. Talk to God the Father and ask the Father how he sees the situation or the other person. And pray for the other person, too!
Empathy: See if you can satisfactorily articulate the argument of the other person. Ask the person to give you at least three tries. Sometimes we argue on different wavelengths. No wonder we get heated!READ MORE
Cardinal Seán O'Malley has declaring a Year of the Eucharist for the Archdiocese of Boston. The year will officially begin on Holy Thursday (April 9, 2020) and end on the Feast of Corpus Christi (June 6, 2021). He explains what prompted his decision in a letter dated December 10. Excerpts are included below.
"A recent Pew Study entitled "What Americans Know About Religion" reported that only 31% of Catholics believe that the bread and the wine consecrated during the Mass actually become the body and blood of Jesus, and that only half of Catholics know of the Church's teaching concerning the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. In order to help people gain a better understanding of the Eucharist, on Holy Thursday 2020, the Archdiocese of Boston will begin a Year of the Eucharist. It is my hope and prayer that through this spiritual initiative we can invite and encourage our brothers and sisters to find the consolation of the Lord through participation in the celebration of the Eucharist and in times of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament."…READ MORE
Mary Anne fell ill with pneumonia at the age of eighty-seven. She survived but the recovery has left her bedridden. She is weak, no longer able to carry out the daily demands of feeding, washing, and dressing herself. She has gone from being an incredibly active and self-sufficient woman to depending completely on those around her. Mary Anne has struggled with this transition in her life. Her self-worth was wrapped up in her ability to give. "What's the purpose of living life stuck in a bed?" she would ask God. For the first time in her life, she has grappled with despair. Nearly every day, despite an hour-long commute each way, Mary Anne's daughter bursts in the door with a huge smile and a story to tell. Danielle has her mother's energy and joy for life. Mary Anne's despair has met its match in Danielle. Together they laugh and talk through the hard reality of Mary Anne's new life. Danielle helps keep some semblance of normalcy for her mother by dyeing her hair to cover the gray and painting her nails so she has something pretty to look at when the nights get lonely. When asked by her husband why she feels the need to visit her mother so often Danielle responds by saying, simply, "As a kid I went to bed every night knowing I was loved because of my mother. She deserves to feel the same way now." That's beautiful mercy.READ MORE
If you haven't already, I ask that you sign-up and come to our parish Dream Event which will take place this Monday, December 9 from 7 – 8:30 pm here at Holy Family Church. As the inaugural event of Matthew Kelly's Dynamic Parish initiative, we'll have guest, Tony Ferraro, lead us in a unique exercise intended to engage our imaginations to dream about a bigger future for ourselves, our parish and our Church. Collaborating with God on a bold vision for the future and then doing what we can to make that dream a reality has the ability to animate the human spirit in a way nothing else can! Share this engaging evening with family members, friends and fellow parishioners and sign up at Duxbury.Eventbrite.com or register in the narthex this weekend. To get an idea of what the Dream Event will be like, visit vimeo.com/dynamiccatholic/review/365287546/58303abba4. Bring your smart phone to the Dream Event and see what you have in common with other dreamers! I look forward to joining you at this special evening kicking off Dynamic Parish – the five-year partnership our parish has begun with Dynamic Catholic to help us bring about a bigger and better future for Holy Family.READ MORE
The Church is waiting to be reinvigorated. It's time for Catholics to step it up a notch—work together and take our parishes to the next level. It's time to boldly envision an incredible future for the Catholic Church in America and get to work, invoking the inspiration and grace of the Holy Spirit. I believe our future can be bigger than our past. I have great hope that Holy Family Parish can become everything God intends it to be. That's the reason I have accepted the wonderful offer we've been privileged to receive to be part of Matthew Kelly's new initiative, Dynamic Parish, to help us accomplish this goal. It begins with dreaming together and becoming excited about the possibilities for ourselves, our parish and the wider Church.READ MORE
What or who do you take for granted? I know, it's hard to think about something you don't think much about! But try… especially at this time of Thanksgiving. There are certainly people and things you and I depend upon that we just expect to be there for us. Maybe it's the person who delivers the newspaper or those who provide emergency services. Mindfulness is important in the process of being thankful. With our busy, frenetic lives, we can go from one thing or person to another and just take, utilize and enjoy without much thought about who and what is behind it's availability and convenience. The immigrant laborer who picked the vegetable or the poor single mother of three who packed your box of chocolates are just two examples. Then, there are those in our own family, parish and neighborhood who serve us in ways we don't think much about – the person(s) who put food on the table, the one who always remembers your birthday, the individual who makes life just a bit easier, cleaner, and more comfortable. May your Thanksgiving be filled with mindfulness, which engenders an uplifted spirit, a sincere gratitude, and a respect for all those whom we might take for granted in the course of our busy lives. I include below a special Thanksgiving Grace, which you can pray before your Thanksgiving meal.READ MORE
What would you like the Catholic Church to be like in 20 years? What would you like Holy Family to be like in 20 years? Many of us would say, I'd like a Church overflowing with bold, generous, committed men, women and children who understand the genius of Catholicism and are striving to live it in every area of their lives. The role that you, your fellow parishioners, our staff and I play here at Holy Family today, tomorrow and in the days ahead will determine what the Church will be like in the future.
God has given us the gift of being able to dream, to look into the future and imagine something different than today, and then, to return to the present and work to make that richly imagined future a reality. It's up to each of us to do that!READ MORE
Dynamic Catholic has been inspiring Catholics to rediscover the genius of Catholicism through the development of world-class resources and life-changing events for a decade. They will spend the next decade helping parish communities like ours grow and thrive through an initiative called Dynamic Parish. They have invited us to pilot this program in our parish for five years at no cost to us. There are over 15,000 parishes in America and ours is one of just 61 that was selected! During the five years, Dynamic Catholic will invest more than a million dollars in our community through engaging and energizing events, programs, and resources. Parish consultants will walk alongside me and our parish leaders, share best practices and support us at every turn. If you didn't have a chance to view the video from Matthew Kelley and receive the booklet detailing this new initiative, click here. We also have copies of the booklet at the doors of the church for you to take home and read.READ MORE
Today our parish is announcing the beginning of an exciting new initiative called Dynamic Parish. Dynamic Parish is an effort to help every parish in America not just survive, but to truly become a dynamic parish. It comes to us from the Dynamic Catholic Institute, which was founded in 2008 by Matthew Kelly with the mission of re-energizing the Catholic Church in America through developing world-class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism. Dynamic Parish seeks to help parishes become truly dynamic through the adoption of best practices and the distribution of these excellent resources. It is designed to help each of us grow in a personal relationship with Jesus, deepen our appreciation of the treasures of our Catholic faith, and strengthen our ability to share the faith with others. Holy Family Parish is only one of 61 parishes across the country to have been selected! In exchange for being part of the first group of parishes, Dynamic Catholic will provide over a million dollars of world-class resources in books, programs, parish best practices, and regular coaching for the parish leadership team for the next five years – all at no cost to our parish.READ MORE
For the last several years, Holy Family Parish has passed out books and promoted resources from Dynamic Catholic. The Dynamic Catholic Institute was founded in 2008 by Matthew Kelly with the mission of re-energizing the Catholic Church in America through developing world-class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism. It seeks to help parishes become truly dynamic through the adoption of best practices and the distribution of these excellent resources. Matthew has dedicated his life to helping people and organizations become "the-best-version-of-themselves." Born in Sydney, Australia, he began speaking and writing in his late teens while attending business school. In fact, very early in his career, Matthew came here to Holy Family and spoke on two occasions. Since then, four million people have attended his seminars and presentations in more than fifty countries. Today, Matthew is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and business consultant. His books have been published in more than twenty-five languages, have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists, and have sold more than twenty million copies. He oversees 3 organizations: Dynamic Catholic; Floyd Consulting, a Chicago based management consulting firm; and Wellspring Books, which publishes books that inspire individuals to become the best version of themselves.READ MORE
This past week, the Church marked two important occasions among the many activities and feasts going on within the Church around the world. The first took place last Sunday, October 13 when Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman was canonized a saint. St. John Henry Newman was one of the most beloved and well-known preachers of his time. Originally, an Anglican priest, Newman converted to Catholicism and became a Catholic priest and cardinal. Known for his beautiful prose and captivating preaching, Newman has long been a source of inspiration to many both inside and outside the Catholic Church. Newman's masterful knowledge of the lives of the saints, Catholic doctrine, and, above all, Sacred Scripture, has helped many Catholics deepen their faith, and appreciation of the bible and the liturgical seasons. His writings are numerous and varied; and, since he wrote in English, they are very accessible. An interesting bit of trivia about Cardinal Newman is that the miracle attributed to his intercession, which led to his beatification (step just before canonization), was the healing of a local Permanent Deacon, Deacon Jack Sullivan, who lives in Hanson. You can learn more about this miracle by visiting www.deaconjacksullivan.com.READ MORE
How's your faith? Strong, weak, or in-between? For many of us, it can waver. Bishop Robert Baron recently provided an interesting reflection on Luke's account of Jesus' amazement at the Roman centurion's faith. "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." (Luke 7: 1–10) Bishop Baron writes, "Faith is an attitude of trust in the presence of God. Faith is an openness to what God will reveal, do, and invite. It should be obvious that, in dealing with the infinite, all -powerful person who is God, we are never in control. One of the most fundamental statements of faith is this: your life is not about you. You're not in control. This is not your project. Rather, you are part of God's great design. To believe this in your bones and act accordingly is to have faith. When we operate out of this transformed vision, amazing things happen, for we have surrendered to 'a power already at work in us that can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.' (Ephesians 3:20) Even a tiny bit of faith makes an extraordinary difference." (Word on Fire - Daily Gospel Reflection 9/16/19)READ MORE
As you may know, our parish has recently entered Phase 7 of the Archdiocese of Boston Pastoral Planning Process called Disciples in Mission. A number of parishes have been chosen in stages to enter the process over the last 6 years, and it is now our turn to begin planning in a particular way for the mission of evangelization, the work of reaching out to our brothers and sisters, and drawing them more fully to Jesus Christ and to His Church. With the help of our parish Evangelization Commission, Holy Family has been already undertaking several evangelization initiatives, including offering periodic witness talks at Mass, having a Welcome Weekend for people who do not ordinarily attend Mass here regularly, Ash Wednesday – Day of Open Doors, among other efforts. As we formally begin our participation in Disciples in Mission, we will position ourselves more solidly for the task of evangelization, always keeping in mind the mission given by Jesus to the Church: "Go and make disciples." (Mt. 28:19) Each element of the planning process is aimed at enabling parish communities to fulfill this Gospel mission.READ MORE