Pray for Peace

10-29-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

The escalation of violence in the war in the Holy Land weighs heavily on our minds and hearts, and those of all people of good will. There is fear that other countries will be drawn into this conflict and that it could result in a world war. Pope Francis said last Sunday after praying the Angelus, "War, any war that there is in the world -- I also think of the tormented Ukraine -- is a defeat…" "War is always a defeat; it is a destruction of human fraternity." He pleaded, “Brothers, Stop! Stop!" Later in the day, the pope spoke with President Biden in a 20-minute phone call to discuss "situations of conflict in the world" and "the need to prevent escalation in the region and to work toward a durable peace in the Middle East." Pope Francis called for prayer, fasting and penance – imploring God for peace in the world.


Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-22-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

On October 4, Pope Francis published a follow-up to his Encyclical, Laudato Si, entitled Laudate Deum. After eight years since the initial publication of Laudato Si, Pope Francis once again makes a prophetic call to conversion in light of the looming challenges of the climate crisis that have only worsened. Laudate Deum addresses people of goodwill, admonishing the human family that has neglected its relationships with creation, one another, and above all, God – calling all people to repentance and reparation.


Respect Life Month

10-15-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

As the Church celebrates Respect Life Month in October, I draw your attention to some recent news about the sad death of a pregnant woman’s unborn baby who was struck by a stray bullet while the mother was riding on a public bus in Holyoke about two weeks ago. The mother, eight months pregnant, was rushed to the hospital. She survived, but despite efforts to save the unborn baby, the baby died.


Pray for the Synod

10-08-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deeham, V.F.

The 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops began at the Vatican this past Wednesday, October 4 and will continue through Sunday, October 29. This is the first of two sessions, which will be spaced apart by one year; the second session is scheduled to take place in October 2024. The decision to have two sessions stems from Pope Francis’ desire that the theme of a Synodal Church might be the subject of prolonged discernment not only by the members of the Synodal Assembly, but by the whole Church because of its breadth and importance. This choice is in keeping with an ongoing “synodal journey,” as the Pope described it, understanding that the Synod is not an event, but a process in which the whole People of God is called to walk together toward what the Holy Spirit helps it to discern as being the Lord's will for his Church.

Therefore, this Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will also take on a study of the processes involved in this consultation, configuring itself as "a journey within the journey" to foster more mature reflection for the greater good of the Church.


Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-01-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

It’s been brought to my attention recently that some programs and workshops being offered to the general public in our community are delving into potentially spiritually dangerous areas that Catholics and all people of goodwill should avoid. They often sound interesting and harmless, sometimes billed as “fun and lighthearted.” However, whenever they involve harnessing “energy,” contacting spirits, consulting mediums/psychics, reading Tarot cards or tea leafs, caution is advised. In light of such activities taking place around us, I offer the following references from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) for your information below. As we pray to our heavenly Father in the Lord’s Prayer, “deliver us from evil,” we need to do our part to avoid the many insidious ways the spirit of evil can enter our world these days – some very subtle and others, not so subtle. In 1 Peter 5:8, we read, “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”


Holy Moments

09-24-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Have you read the book, Holy Moments by Matthew Kelly? Our parish has continued to share copies over this past year and many people have ordered their own copies to give away – so impactful has it been to them. The book helps a person explore, what Matthew calls, one’s “soul-potential” by inspiring a person to collaborate with God in everyday life. A Holy Moment is a time when you open yourself to God and make yourself available to Him, setting aside personal preference and self-interest for one moment, and choose to do what you prayerfully believe God is calling you to do.


2023 Celebration of the Priesthood


On September 14, the Archdiocese of Boston held their annual Celebration of Priesthood dinner. Each year, they create a video message recognizing a few parishes and highlight the good work that those parishes and priests are doing in their communities through out the Archdiocese. The theme of this year's dinner was "Bringing Light into our Communities."


24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-17-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

As we resume our “normal” schedules and routines now that summer is ending, I take this opportunity to encourage each of us to renew our commitment to regular participation at weekend Mass. I’m saying this not only as a reminder to attend Mass every Sunday, but particularly, to renew our commitment to an active, engaged and whole-hearted involvement of our minds, hearts, souls and voices in the worship we are providing to God. What draws me to remark about this is my noticing rather weak spoken responses and spotty participation in the singing from members of our congregation at Mass.


Three Doors to Jesus

09-10-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

In a homily in May 2014, Pope Francis spoke about the best ways to get to know Jesus. He said we need to open three doors in order to know Him. “The first door is praying to Jesus. You must realize that studying without prayers is no use. We must pray to Jesus to get to know him better. The great theologians did their theology while kneeling. Pray to Jesus! By studying and praying we get a bit closer… But we’ll never know Jesus without praying. Never! Never! The second door is celebrating Jesus. Prayer on its own is not enough, we need the joy of celebration. We must celebrate Jesus through his Sacraments, because these give us life, they give us strength, they nourish us, they comfort us, they forge an alliance with us, they give us a mission. Without celebrating the Sacraments, we’ll never get to know Jesus. This is what the Church is all about: celebration. The third door is imitating Jesus. Take the Gospel, what did he do, how was his life, what did he tell us, what did he teach us and try to imitate him.”


Labor Day

09-03-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Our Catholic social teaching is a rich resource of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents. The depth and richness of the tradition can be understood best through a direct reading of these documents. On this Labor Day weekend, I summarize for you one area the Church has addressed: The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers, taken from Themes from Catholic Social Teaching from the USCCB, Publication No. 5-315. “The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected – the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property and to economic initiative.”


A Summer Prayer

08-01-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Warm Summer Blessings!

I share with you a prayer from the book, The Circle of Life, The Heart's Journey Through the Seasons by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr (p. 119 – 120). I hope it inspires within you some helpful reflections on this special season. – Fr. Bob


Something to think about this summer...

07-02-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

It’s wonderful to have warmer temperatures and more leisurely time to enjoy a slower pace, to have fun with family and friends outdoors, and maybe to embark on some exciting adventure traveling or just to relax at a favorite summer getaway. Whatever you find yourself doing this summer, why not include becoming a “wandering contemplative” by looking under the surface of the people you encounter, the places you go, and the things you see and do – to make connections with where God’s goodness, creativity and providence seem evident.