Weekly Parish Newsletter - Sunday January 10th
The Catholic Parishes of Stoughton Weekly Newsletter
Sunday, January 10th
Message from our Pastor Father Carlos D. Suarez:
Last week I noted that the feast of the Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season. This is a widely observed tradition, but the Church calendar counts the days of Christmas until this weekend’s feast, the Baptism of the Lord. Yet another tradition observes Christmas until February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation. Counted this way the Christmas season lasts for forty days!
It may seem odd to celebrate Christ’s baptism before celebrating other events of His infancy and childhood, but today’s celebration links closely with the adoration of the magi as well as Christ’s first miracle at the wedding at Cana. These three instances are epiphany moments in the life of Christ. Epiphany moments make clear for us Christ’s divinity. These moments are essential to our faith because we can be tempted to focus solely on Christ’s humanity. Many people have done this from the earliest days of Christianity to the present day. They see Jesus as the good teacher, the great philosopher, or a prophet. Such a person could show people how to live the good life, but Christ came to do so much more than that. Were Christ a purely human figure he would have been worthy of respect as many historical figures are, but if Jesus was simply a human then He would not have the power to affect our relationship with God and any religion worshipping Jesus would be idolatrous.
Christ comes in lowliness. This lowliness makes it easy to forget the grandeur and majesty hidden within it. Christ is fully human, but He is also fully divine. It’s not easy to wrap our minds around this. It’s much easier to settle for simply a human Christ, but to do so would be to settle for less than what God wants to give us. The epiphany feasts invite us to go deeper. They remind us that in Christ God has become present in our midst, and thus He’s done for us what no human could do. He’s come not just to show us how to live, but rather to give us the possibility for eternal life. As we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord we’re reminded of the power contained in our baptism. Prior to Jesus’ baptism, baptism was a purely external act symbolizing a person’s repentance and desire for conversion. Some people, including some Christians see baptism as an external act reflecting an internal conversion, and that’s why certain places like Grace Church baptize people who have already been baptized elsewhere. However, we Catholic Christians understand that once Jesus was baptized, He changed the practice for those of us who follow in His footsteps. At our baptism we are cleansed from original sin, we’re declared beloved sons or daughters of God and we’re incorporated into the body of Christ in a way that can never be repeated and can never be undone. We may choose to turn away from that grace and head down paths that harm our relationship with God, but by our baptism we possess the grace is always there for us to turn back to it and live our true identities again as beloved children of God. This weekend let us thank God for his love and for having claimed us as His own through our baptism and let us pray that more of our brothers and sisters will be incorporated into the body of Christ. – Fr. Carlos
Na semana passada, escrevi que a celebração da Epifania marca o fim da temporada de Natal. Esta é uma tradição amplamente observada, mas o calendário da Igreja conta os dias do Natal até a festa deste fim de semana, o Batismo do Senhor. Ainda outra tradição observa o Natal até 2 de fevereiro, a Festa da Apresentação do Jesus no templo. Contado assim, o Natal dura quarenta dias!
Pode parecer estranho celebrar o batismo de Cristo antes de celebrar outros eventos de Sua infância e infância, mas a celebração de hoje está intimamente ligada à adoração dos magos, bem como ao primeiro milagre de Cristo no casamento em Caná. Essas três instâncias são momentos de epifania na vida de Cristo. Momentos de epifania deixam claro para nós a divindade de Cristo. Esses momentos são essenciais para a nossa fé porque podemos ser tentados a nos concentrar apenas na humanidade de Cristo. Muitas pessoas têm feito isso desde os primeiros dias do Cristianismo até nosso tempo. Eles veem Jesus como o bom mestre, o grande filósofo ou profeta. Tal pessoa poderia mostrar às pessoas como viver uma vida boa, mas Cristo veio para fazer muito mais do que isso. Se Cristo fosse uma figura puramente humana, ele teria sido digno de respeito como muitas figuras históricas são, mas se Jesus fosse simplesmente um humano, então Ele não teria o poder de afetar nosso relacionamento com Deus e qualquer religião que o adorasse seria idólatra.
Cristo vem em humildade. Essa humildade torna fácil esquecer a grandeza e majestade escondidas dentro dela. Cristo é totalmente humano, mas também é totalmente divino. Não é fácil envolver nossas mentes em torno disso. É muito mais fácil se contentar com simplesmente um Cristo humano, mas fazer isso seria se contentar com menos do que o que Deus nos quer dar. As festas de epifania nos convidam a ir mais fundo. Elas nos lembram que em Cristo Deus se tornou presente em meio de nos e portanto Ele fez por nós o que nenhum ser humano poderia fazer. Ele veio não apenas para nos mostrar como viver, mas para nos dar a possibilidade de vida eterna. Ao celebrarmos o Batismo do Senhor, somos lembrados do poder contido em nosso batismo. Antes do batismo de Jesus, o batismo era um ato puramente externo que simbolizava o arrependimento de uma pessoa e o desejo de conversão. Algumas pessoas, incluindo alguns cristãos, veem o batismo como um ato externo que simplesmente reflete uma conversão interna, e é por isso que certos lugares como a Grace Church batizam pessoas que já foram batizadas em outras igrejas. No entanto, nós, cristãos católicos, entendemos que, uma vez que Jesus foi batizado, Ele mudou a prática para aqueles de nós que seguimos Seus passos. Em nosso batismo, somos limpos do pecado original, somos declarados filhos ou filhas amados de Deus e somos incorporados ao corpo de Cristo duma forma que nunca pode ser repetida e nunca pode ser desfeita. Podemos escolher nos afastar dessa graça e seguir por caminhos que prejudicam nosso relacionamento com Deus, mas por meio do nosso batismo possuímos a graça que está sempre presente para voltarmos a ela e vivermos nossas verdadeiras identidades como filhos e filhas amados de Deus. Este fim de semana, damos graças a Deus por seu amor e por nos ter reivindicado como seus através do nosso batismo e oremos para que mais de nossos irmãos e irmãs sejam incorporados ao corpo de Cristo. - Pe. Carlos
SMAC will be airing our Sunday Mass on
Sunday, January 10th at 8:30 am on
Comcast Channel 9 and on Verizon Channel 28!
You can also view our weekend on our website.
Click here to view mass on our website.
The Baptism of the Lord
We need history. We need it in order to understand ourselves, personally and collectively. The pieces of our histories may not have always been the most positive, honest, exemplary, dignified, proud and best moments of our lives, but they are ours. We have to acknowledge, remember, accept, and often heal them. We cannot forget them or pretend that they never existed. As horrible as the atrocities of events like Auschwitz, brutal injustices committed throughout the human journey, or personal painful experiences in our own stories, we need to remember. These times when humanity in general or people in particular have lost their way are times that need to be reconciled and redeemed.
If we lose the memories, we will make the same mistakes again. The human soul needs a strong sense of affirmation, direction, and clear purpose. Without these essentials, we will easily run amuck and repeat the sins of our past. God’s voice throughout history has spoken precisely about this! We are reminded through the voices and example of many prophets and witnesses not to make the same mistakes again, come back to center, discover the purpose given to us by God, maintain a sense of proper direction, seek healing for wounds and be reconciled to our Creator.
Baptism is so incredibly important for the salvation of humankind, not only eternally but here and now. Our existence depends upon it. It gives us the affirmation we need from God by gifting us with the same intimate relationship Jesus had with the Father. We are blessed with the direction and clear purpose we need in order to be productive stewards and faithful Christians. Baptism calls us to remember, accept, and deal with the sins and inequities of our past regardless of how hurtful and serious. We consciously choose to turn away from them and put on the new life of Christ. To do this well, we must look hard and long at our sins and failings, listen to what they are saying and learn from them. If we ignore the past, collectively or personally, or pretend that it never happened, we will never grow. We will surely die.
People need to hear the message, lived and spoken, delivered by the baptized members of the Body of Christ. It is an essential message of hope that is layered with visions of justice, peace, reconciliation, redemption, blessing, and healing. It is a message that helps us remember what has gone before, the graces and the sins, and bring ourselves by God’s help where we need to be. We are called to do much more than sit home behind our closed doors. We have a message to deliver. Are we ready to do so?
Charitable Contribution Letters for the year 2020
It is that time of year to organize records for tax returns! Cash contributions that are not in a parish envelope cannot be tracked by the parish and will not be included in the year-end contribution statement.
Written confirmations of your 2020 donations will be available after February 1st.
To have your donation record sent to you, please contact:
Rachel Camarra at
Please include your full name, address, the way you contribute (envelope, online giving, loose check), and please allow one week for us to get your written verification to you.
We are looking for volunteers to help out with snow removal at both parishes, If you are interested in lending a hand in shoveling the entrance ways to the Churches or putting out ice melt we would greatly appreciate your help!
Please contact Rachel at
Parish Offertory Numbers
for the weekend of January 3rd:
Offertory Weekly Average: $9,175.00
January 3rd Immaculate Conception
Weekly Offertory: $6,612.00
Offertory Cash Shorfall: $-2,563.00
Offertory Weekly Average: $4,293.00
January 3rd St. James
Weekly Offertory: $7,175.50
Daily Morning Mass will be canceled if we receive more than 4 inches of snow. Please bear in mind that when there is even a physical inability to make it to Mass (such as hazardous driving conditions from too much snow), the obligation to attend Mass does not apply. Please use your best judgment in these circumstances.
Public Masses have Resumed for
The Catholic Parishes of Stoughton
Sign Up for Masses for the Weekend
of January 16th/17th will begin on Monday, January 11th at 10:00 am please visit our website to sign up for Mass.
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, January 18th. Parish offices will be closed this day in observance of the holiday.
Click here to view Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2019-2020
Visit our Website and Facebook page for daily updates!
on Saturday, January 9 at 4:00PM