Lent begins this Wednesday, February 26 – Ash Wednesday.

02-23-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Lent begins this Wednesday. It is the time when we place ashes on our heads to remind ourselves that we are sinners in the need of repentance. It is a penitential act, which is why at Mass on Ash Wednesday, we skip the penitential rite and the priest prays the opening prayer immediately after the greeting. After the homily, ashes are then placed on the forehead of the penitent while the deacon or the priest recites one of two formulas. You will either hear the priest or deacon say, “Remember that you were dust and unto dust you shall return,” or “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Some people question why we cannot just receive ashes. There always is the possibility to have a celebration of the word with a homily and then the distribution of ashes. In Boston, the St. Anthony Shrine on Arch Street distributes ashes all day long to anyone who walks up to the sanctuary without any readings or homily. Even some Protestant churches in the last couple of decades have returned to the Catholic practice of ashes on Ash Wednesday.

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The Sacred Season of Lent starts in a few days

02-16-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

In ten days we will begin the sacred season of Lent. We begin with the evening before Ash Wednesday with a pancake dinner at St. Jerome Hall, the traditional feast before the fasting and abstaining of certain foods. Then on Ash Wednesday we will have three Masses with the distribution of ashes after the homily. On Thursdays of Lent we will have a soup dinner and discussion on the catechism of the Catholic Church led by yours truly. Fridays of Lent are a traditional time for the Stations of the Cross. We will follow what we did last year by having the stations at St. Jerome Church for the first three Fridays and St. Maurice Church for the last three Fridays. We also have the five minutes with the Word reflections from "The Word Among Us" to take at the entrances of the churches for your own spiritual growth during Lent.

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World Day of the Sick – Feburary 11

02-09-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

This Tuesday is February 11th, the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day for the Sick. Many miracles surround the apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes, France, when she appeared to St. Bernadette. Since St. Bernadette dug the spring of water that the Blessed Mother commanded her to do, the Lourdeswater has been instrumental in bringing healing to thousands of people. It was at Lourdes when the Blessed Mother called herself the Immaculate Conception, a term that St. Bernadette would never have heard or understood in her short life on this earth at the time. A wonderful movie about the apparition and St. Bernadette is The Song of Bernadette, starring Jennifer Jones in an academy award winning role as Bernadette. Charles Bickford (nominated for supporting actor), Vincent Price and Lee J. Cobb are three other actors that appear in the movie, and Gladys Cooper and Anne Revere were both actresses nominated for supporting actress for the movie. The movie was nominated for a total of 12 Oscars, including Best Picture, and won four. I highly recommend the movie to anyone who is looking for a movie that is family friendly and respectful to the Catholic faith. Let us turn to Our Lady of Lourdes and ask for her intercession for those whoneed healing.

Reading the Bible

02-02-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Last week I mentioned that there are a few different programs to use in order to read the Bible from cover to cover. In order to read the Bible, you must first make sure that you have a Catholic Bible because the Catholic bible has seven more books in the Old Testament. These books are Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus), Wisdom, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith and Baruch. Dr. Mary Healy, a Catholic biblical scholar and seminary professor, offers a plan for reading the Bible in 365 days. You can find her plan on the internet at the following address; https://brandonvogt.com/how-to-easily-read-the-whole-bible. There is also a plan at chnetwork.org that allows you to read not only the complete Bible but also the complete Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 days. This one takes more than fifteen minutes a day because you are adding the catechism to it.

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