Weekly Parish Newsletter - Sunday March 21st
The Catholic Parishes of Stoughton Weekly Newsletter
Sunday, March 21st
Message from our Pastor Father Carlos D. Suarez:
As I was preparing the homily for this weekend, the following phrase from the gospel leaped out at me, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” Some Greeks encountered the disciples and made that request. The disciples then went and brought the request to Jesus. (Jn 12:20-22) In the words of those Greeks who went to Philip asking to see Jesus, we have the embodiment of the deepest desire of every human heart, whether the person knows it or not. In fulfilling the desire present in that phrase we also have our mandate as disciples of the Lord and members of the body of Christ.
Our mission as Christians is to bring others to an encounter with Jesus. This is what I mean when I speak about evangelization. Evangelization is one of these big and weighty words whose importance we grasp, but I think that many of us would admit that we’re not quite sure how to put it into action. To evangelize effectively we need to be the open hand that lifts someone up and the bridge by which someone comes from wherever they are to a relationship with Jesus. How do we do this? The full answer to that question takes a long time to unpack, and it is my hope that we’ll do so in the many years that God will allow us to journey together. A beginning answer is found in an anecdote from my time as a priest in Brockton. The parishes in Brockton at the time had a strong RCIC program. RCIC is a program of religious formation for children who have reached the age of reason, around seven years old, and have not yet been baptized. My first year in Brockton a ten-year-old boy named Jeremaya was enrolled by his mother in the RCIC program. Jeremaya took the RCIC program very seriously and he was overjoyed when he was baptized at the Easter Vigil. The real testament to Jeremaya taking his encounter with Jesus seriously is that every year after he went through the RCIC program and was baptized he convinced one or two of his relatives or friends to enroll in the program. If a ten-year-old can understand the gospel and invite others to discipleship the rest of us can certainly find ways to do so.
Evangelization is not about finding the latest program or the latest popularizer of our Catholic faith and sharing everything they put out. Evangelization is about meeting Jesus, discovering what He has to say to us, and then being moved to share that good news with others. We are surrounded by a sea of people who want to see Jesus. They want to discover the source that will satisfy the deepest desires of their heart. As much as God can directly touch any human heart, He often uses us as the disciples that help make these encounters happen.
Through the sacraments, each of us is provided with the spiritual framework that makes us into fruitful disciples. However, that is just the beginning. We need to take what we receive from the sacraments and pair it with our personal prayer life in order to create a space in our hearts where Jesus can speak to us showing us our gifts and how he wants us to share them with others. The more we do our part to make space for Jesus the more that relationship He calls us to will simply pour forth and guide us in our other relationships without us even having to worry about how we’re going to make it happen. Remember, we’re members of the body of Christ. Our mission is to allow Him to live in us and through us. How He makes it happen is up to Him. —Fr. Carlos
Enquanto eu preparava a homilia para este fim de semana, a seguinte frase do evangelho me cativou: " “Senhor, quiséramos ver Jesus”. Alguns gregos encontraram os discípulos e fizeram esse pedido. Os discípulos então foram e trouxeram o pedido a Jesus. (Jo 12: 20-22) Nas palavras daqueles gregos que foram a Filipe pedindo para ver Jesus, temos a expresão do desejo mais profundo de cada coração humano, quer a pessoa o saiba ou não. No cumprimento do desejo presente nessa frase, também temos nosso mandato como discípulos do Senhor e membros do corpo de Cristo.
Nossa missão como cristãos é levar outros a um encontro com Jesus. É isso que quero dizer quando falo de evangelização. Evangelização é uma dessas palavras grandes e pesadas cuja importância entendemos, mas acho que muitos de nós admitiríamos que não temos certeza de como colocá-la em ação. Para evangelizar com eficácia, precisamos ser a mão aberta que levanta alguém e a ponte pela qual alguém vem de onde quer que esteja para um relacionamento com Jesus. Como vamos fazer isso? A resposta completa a essa pergunta leva muito tempo para ser totalmente esclarecida, e é minha esperança que o façamos nos muitos anos em que Deus nos permitirá viajar juntos. Uma resposta inicial é encontrada em uma anedota de minha época como vicario no Brockton. As paróquias de Brockton na época tinham um forte programa RCIC. RCIC é um programa de formação religiosa para crianças que atingiram a idade da razão, por volta dos sete anos, e ainda não foram batizados. No meu primeiro ano em Brockton, um menino de dez anos chamado Jeremaya foi matriculado por sua mãe no programa de RCIC. Jeremaya levou o programa RCIC muito a sério e ficou muito feliz quando foi batizado na Vigília Pascal. A verdadeira prova de que Jeremaya levou seu encontro com Jesus a sério é que todos os anos depois que ele passou pelo programa RCIC e foi batizado, ele convenceu um ou dois de seus parentes ou amigos a se inscreverem no programa. Se uma criança de dez anos pode entender o evangelho e convidar outras pessoas para viver o discipulado, o restante de nós certamente pode encontrar maneiras de fazer isso.
A evangelização não é encontrar o programa mais novo ou o mais recente divulgador de nossa fé católica e compartilhar tudo o que eles lançam. Evangelização é encontrar Jesus, descobrir o que Ele tem a nos dizer e então ser movidos a compartilhar essa boa nova com os outros. Estamos cercados por um mar de pessoas que querem ver Jesus. Eles querem descobrir a fonte que irá satisfazer os desejos mais profundos de seus corações. Por mais que Deus possa tocar diretamente qualquer coração humano, Ele frequentemente nos usa como os discípulos que ajudam a fazer esses encontros acontecerem.
Por meio dos sacramentos, cada um de nós recebe a estrutura espiritual que nos torna discípulos frutíferos. No entanto, isso é apenas o começo. Precisamos pegar o que recebemos dos sacramentos e juntá-lo com nossa vida pessoal de oração; então, começamos a criar um espaço em nossos corações onde Jesus pode falar conosco, mostrando-nos nossos dons e como ele deseja que os compartilhemos com os outros. Quanto mais fazemos nossa parte para abrir espaço para Jesus, mais aquele relacionamento para o qual Ele nos chama simplesmente se derrama e nos guia em nossos outros relacionamentos, sem que tenhamos que nos preocupar sobre como faremos isso acontecer. Lembre-se, somos membros do corpo de Cristo. Nossa missão é permitir que Ele viva em nós e através de nós. Depende Dele como Ele faz acontecer. -- Pe. Carlos
Grateful Discipleship is a way to cultivate J.O.Y. - Jesus Others You
As you know, Immaculate Conception and St. James are now involved in The Grateful Discipleship Program.
In recent weeks our parish has been preparing for the Initiative by recruiting volunteer leadership, updating parish records, and producing initiative materials. Soon all members of Immaculate Conception and St. James will be invited to participate in The Grateful Discipleship Program. We hope you will respond positively and with generosity.
This program is an opportunity for all of us to take an active role in the growth of our parish and for each parishioner to practice the principle of intentional commitment — giving back a portion of our blessings to God.
On April 24th and 25th, each parishioner will be asked to make their commitments of time, talent, and treasure
to the parish.
Please pray about your participation in this important effort.
SMAC will be airing our Sunday Mass on
Sunday, March 21st 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.
Retreat Reflection Questions
5th Sunday of Lent - Are you asleep?
Today Jesus is called to the grave of a dear friend who had recently died. Martha cries out that if Jesus were closer, her brother Lazarus would not have died.
Remember from the First Sunday in Lent that death and sin are connected and that life is seen as living a faith-filled life? That is what is happening in this Gospel. Living as a disciple of Christ can give us the ability for life everlasting in the presence of God.
What in our lives needs to be uncovered, as Lazarus is unwrapped of his burial clothes and returned to live with his loved ones?
As we move closer to Easter Sunday, let us ask God to unwrap or unbind that which needs to be healed so that we may live a life that is pleasing to God.
Electronic Giving is Gaining in Popularity at Immaculate Conception and
St. James…Have You Signed Up Yet?
It benefits you and our parish!
Enrollment is friendly and trouble-free.
Never worry about writing checks to the church again!
Please visit our website
and click “Online Giving” or contact the parish office to receive more information.
Sign-up to host the traveling Good Shepherd Icon to pray for Vocations.
We are grateful to many individuals and families in our Parishes who have volunteered to host the traveling Good Shepherd icon for a week and made a special effort to pray for Vocations.
We are still looking for volunteers. Please sign-up through the links below if you are willing to host the icon for a week and join us to pray and promote Vocations!
To pick-up or return the icon, please see Barbara Sferrazza before or after the celebration of the mass every Saturday afternoon or Sunday. Please
to sign-up and we will contact you for further instructions.
To pick-up or return the icon to the back sacristy at St. James before or after the celebration of the mass every Saturday afternoon or Sunday. Please
to sign-up and we will contact you for further instructions.
In years past, the students and families in grades 1-10, had a decorated coin jar placed in their home to collect spare change during Lent and they would bring the filled jars to church on Palm Sunday. Due to COVID restrictions this year the church has decided to collect Lenten Jar donations online through our website. A decorated jar could still be a focal point at home to remind us as we journey through Lent, fill it with slips of paper with dollar amounts for each task/sacrifice we have made. We are asking that all families in our collaborative participate in the Lenten Jar program this year. The church has set a goal of 300 family’s participation, with an average donation of $60.00 per family. Our goal is $18,000.00.
You can make your donation weekly or on the weekend of Palm Sunday, March 27
/28th on our website.
All the money collected will go to the two food pantries in Stoughton
, St. Anthony’s Free Market, and The Ilsa Marks Food Pantry.
Parish Offertory Numbers
for the weekend of March 14th
Offertory Weekly Average: $9,175.00
Weekly Offertory: $6,298.00
Offertory Cash Shortfall: $-2,877.00
Offertory Weekly Average: $4,293.00
Weekly Offertory: $2,295.00
Offertory Cash Shortfall: $-1,998.00
Second Collection Schedule:
March 21st -
The Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
April 4th -
Clergy Benefit Trust
A Ministry of Consolation
We are forming a Ministry of Consolation for the Catholic Parishes of Stoughton. This group of lay volunteers will be trained to provide a compassionate presence to fellow parishioners who have lost a loved one. Tasks may include telephone outreach, assistance with funeral planning, serving at the funeral Mass, attending the wake and praying with the family of the deceased, as well as ongoing support. Do you have gifts of listening, compassion for others, emotional strength and the confidence to share your faith? Please discern whether God may be calling you to serve your fellow parishioners as part of our Ministry of Consolation. If interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Jane Griffin by email:
or leave a message for Jane at the parish office requesting a callback.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
As part of our Ministry of Consolation, we would like to be able to offer prayerfully knitted or crocheted prayer shawls to those in the parish who are seriously ill or experiencing the loss of a loved one. We are also looking for parishioners to support this effort by donating yarn. Patterns and prayer resources will be provided. If you knit or crochet and would like to find out more about this ministry, please email Jane Griffin:
or leave a message for Jane at the parish office requesting a callback.
2021 Catholic Appeal
A few weeks ago, we launched our annual Catholic Appeal, along with all the other parishes throughout the Archdiocese. Each year, the Catholic Appeal provides the faithful with a way to help support the ministries that support our parishes, our schools, and our communities. This is our Church, and every gift makes a difference. Your gift has an immediate impact on our parish and the work of our Church.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Visit bostoncatholicappeal.org to learn more or make a donation. You can offer your support by
Thank you for your support!
Public Masses have Resumed for
The Catholic Parishes of Stoughton
Sign Up for Masses for the Weekend
of March 27th/28th will begin on Monday, March 22nd at 10:00 am please visit our website to sign up for Mass.
Visit our Website and Facebook page for daily updates!
on Saturday, March 20 at 4:00PM