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
Here is some inspiration for growth in wisdom and holiness from Pope St. John XXIII. It's called "The Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII." Happiness has a lot to do with our outlook and determination to live one day at a time. Following these steps will make a big difference. Pray for the grace to truly carry them out and see what happens!
You may have noticed recently some staff members and parishioners wearing white Holy Family T-shirts with our new parish logo and wondered what the words on the back of the shirt mean. The words imprinted there are: Foster – Transform – Empower. It comes from our Holy Family Parish Vision Statement developed by our pastoral staff and endorsed by our Parish Pastoral Council. It can be found at the bottom of the Welcome Message page on the I'm New dropdown tab of our parish website.
Here it is and what it means:READ MORE
A parishioner recently shared a disheartening story with me regarding an encounter her daughter had with a pro-abortion proponent. It highlights what young people can face these days on college campuses from some strident activists. While this parishioner's married daughter was working on a pro-life display, she left her one-year old son with her single sister. As she was holding the baby boy in her arms on the campus eating her lunch, a woman came up to her and handed her a card advertising an abortion clinic with her telephone number on it. She told the young woman to contact her the next time she gets pregnant so that "this (the child) does not happen again." Saint Mother Teresa addressed such callousness when she said, "The so-called right to abortion has portrayed the greatest gifts – a child – as a competitor, an intrusion and an inconvenience." And this attitude is being fostered by a "throw-away" culture.READ MORE
Our parish, like all families, sometimes struggle to make ends meet. This happens to be the case for our parish family. With a significant decrease in church attendance over the last several months, we've also experienced a decrease in the offertory collection income we depend on each week to meet our regular expenses. Certainly, many factors contribute to the drop in church attendance, not the least of which is a decline in the level of importance people attribute to the practice of their faith. Churches across all denominations are experiencing this same phenomenon. It can be a source of sadness for us all as we see fewer of our family members, friends and neighbors worshiping with us here at Holy Family. We miss them!READ MORE
Attending Mass is the most important thing Catholics do each week, but even the most committed can fall into a Sunday slump. So, consider these ideas to make the Lord's Day truly special.
Attend Mass somewhere new. Occasionally being in a different environment can help us look at Mass with fresh eyes and give us new perspective. We can be reminded that the Catholic faith is universal. There are people in small towns and big cities all over the world who come together at Mass to praise God.
Get away. Plan a day trip around attending Mass. There are churches that have mosaics, relics and amazing art. Find the closest basilica or cathedral, or a Catholic church with a history. Attend Mass there and then find other activities in the town to do.READ MORE
It's hard to believe that school begins this week. And, coming up in just a few weeks will be a new Faith Formation program here at Holy Family, entitled Bridge. The goal of this program is to help people of all ages to grow in their faith no matter what stage of life one is in. Our Catholic faith is meant to connect with the way we live our lives, to be a link to Jesus and others. We hope it will build bridges among generations as we learn and practice our faith together, and encourage each other to be true disciples of Jesus. Having successfully launched a program of faith formation for parents and children in Grades 1 and 2 here at Holy Family for the last couple of years with much positive feedback from parents, it was decided to expand this style of faith formation to include Grades K through 8.READ MORE
I hope you've been enjoying the summer whether it's a "stay-cation" here in the beautiful area in which we live or some special "get-away." Having a different schedule, a slower pace of life, time to relax with family and friends, and opportunities to have some adventures traveling, provide an opportunity to reflect on how precious our own life is and the lives of those whom God has blessed us with. It can be a time to make connections with where God is in those relationships, the beauty and goodness found in both the ordinary and the extraordinary around us. What you and I are able to enjoy in what we see and experience is fundamentally a gift not made by human hands. Why not acknowledge that and take time to count your blessings. A wonderful game you can play with your children or grandchildren is: "Where can you see evidence of God and His goodness?" Let their little minds and hearts wonder aloud and celebrate what God is doing in our world and in our lives. Discussions about the marvels of nature and God's loving care for us could become a cause for celebration!READ MORE