As we approach the 4th of July long weekend, what plans do you have? Many will take this opportunity to get away on a vacation, enjoy a cookout with family and friends or just sit back and relax at home. Understandably, we, here at Holy Family, see a decline in attendance at Mass on holiday weekends and in the summertime. A good number of parishioners who travel outside the parish find a Catholic church wherever they might be to worship God on Saturday eve/Sunday.READ MORE
I came across an interesting invitation to husbands/fathers offered in a recent parish bulletin of St. Ignatius Church in Hickory, Maryland. “As a Father’s Day gift to God our Father and our families,” these men are invited to participate in a public commitment to the following resolution before the Saturday vigil Mass this Father’s Day weekend. Consider taking this pledge or sharing it with someone you love. It has been found that a father’s faithful and active participation in the life of the Church has a profound, positive impact on the rest of his family.READ MORE
Jesus wants to help you in every aspect of your life. In order to allow Him to be a powerful influence in your life, you and I must listen for His inspiration or His prompting in SILENCE. I know it’s hard in our culture, but silence is the gateway to the soul. Commit to this discipline and once you reap the blessings, you’ll never want to let it go. As you make yourself available to Jesus in this way, invite Him to speak, incline and reveal Himself to you. Maybe what comes to you in your silent prayer is a word or name; perhaps it’s an insight or an overwhelming feeling of peace, or a reminder of unfinished business that you need to take care of with His grace to assist you. It might lead to a comforting reflection on the truth that you are never alone with Him at your side, or an insight about how blessed you really are, that in turn may influence how you go about your day or how you deal with others in your family or workplace.READ MORE
Many of our younger parishioners are graduating from either high school or college this spring. It’s filled with different emotions. There’s satisfaction in having accomplished one’s goal and achieved success. There’s gratitude for the many people who have been a support along the way, people who have helped in the learning and growth process – teachers, coaches, parents among others. There’s some sadness at leaving the familiar surroundings, the friends made at school, and the extracurricular activities enjoyed these past few years. There’s the excitement at the prospect of new beginnings and opportunities ahead. And there’s some anxiety over the uncertainty of what it will all be like and how things will turn out. Change is not easy. And still, it is a natural part of life at every stage.READ MORE
Do you really understand what the Mass is all about? For Catholics, it’s not just one option to choose from among many worship services offered at other Christian denominations. The Mass has biblical and theological roots that stem from the time of Jesus and apostolic times. It calls for a full, active and conscious participation beyond what most secular communal activities require – a mere passive observer involvement.READ MORE
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?” (Romans 10:13-15) These questions are relevant to us today — in our world and in our Archdiocese of Boston. Our world needs priests now more than ever. A priest is chosen by God to carry on the ministry of Jesus and proclaim the Kingdom of God. As a spiritual father, by leading people to heaven, a priest’s work will last for eternity. The Gospel transforms and gives life to those who believe and follow, but if there is no one to proclaim it, then the world will not be able to receive it. Priests exist to proclaim the life-changing and life-giving Gospel of Jesus Christ. But Saint Paul also asks: “How can people preach unless they are sent?” (cf https://vocationsboston.org/the-priesthood/)READ MORE
Happy Mother’s Day! I share with you some inspirational quotes and prayers for this special day in honor of mothers.
Bless All Mothers... In this intense nine months, when mothers-to-be are realizing that their life is about to change forever, bless them God, because they feel alternately elated and alarmed. Help each mother-in-waiting to understand that she has been carefully chosen, by both you and by her baby, to guide it through its early years on planet Earth. Let her know that she will never be alone in the process. Help her to remember that her baby is your own perfect creation, just as she, herself, is your own perfect creation. Thank you God, for making each of your creations uniquely perfect in its own way.
– from the book Honoring Motherhood: Prayers, Ceremonies & Blessings by Lauren McLaughlinREAD MORE
You may have noticed that the statue of our Blessed Mother Mary is crowned with a wreath of flowers. This is because of the long-standing tradition in the Catholic Church to dedicate the month of May in honor of our Blessed Mother Mary. She stands out among all of the saints because of her special role as the Mother of Jesus, whom we also call - Mother of God, as we recite in the Hail Mary prayer. Still, she also serves as our spiritual mother and mother of our Church. Mary is a role model for us all having accepted God’s call to be a unique instrument in His providential plan. While we continue to celebrate the Easter season in this month dedicated to Mary, I offer you a poem written by Bishop Mark O’Connell, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Boston.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.READ MORE