Weekly Parish Newsletter - Sunday May 17, 2020
The Catholic Parishes of Stoughton Weekly Newsletter
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Message From The Pastor - Father Joseph Mazzone
Happy Easter, everyone! In this time of upheaval and uncertainty, may we always put our trust in the Risen Jesus.
Normally around this time, my friends, we’d be preparing for (or would already have experienced) many “rites of passage.” First Communions. Confirmations. Weddings. Graduations. This week, we would have been celebrating ordinations to the priesthood here in Boston. (It has since been moved to August.) We feel many things in times like these. Frustration. (“I was so looking forward to this.”) Perhaps anger. (“I’m really upset that I am being denied this.”) Perhaps fear. (“When, if ever, will things return to normal?”) Even a sense of dislocation, that we are not where we should be right now. (“I should be walking down the aisle at my wedding right now.” “I should be enjoying these last carefree days of high school with my friends at the beach, or at a party.” In general, a sense of “I should be anywhere but where I am right now, social isolated in lockdown.” Even if Gov. Baker eases restrictions, it will only happen in phases. It will not be an immediate return to large social gatherings — graduations, weddings, parties, not to mention the most important gathering, the celebration of the Mass — but rather a gradual easing of restrictions. This is prudent, especially given the nature of the virus and how easy it is to contract and spread. Stoughton has been particularly hard-hit. We have one of the highest rates of infection in the Commonwealth. (In the last release of figures, Stoughton was hovering around the top ten.) I personally have performed burial services at the rate of three or four a week, with about 1/3 having died from coronavirus. (Please keep the families of the deceased in your prayers. I am sure you can imagine how difficult it is at this time when the normal rites and rituals — the vigil (wake), the funeral Mass — which bring such comfort, are not able to be celebrated in the usual way.) And so, my friends, we are feeling many emotions; frustration, dislocation, anger, fear. But perhaps the most predominant one, whether we know it of not, is grief.
There was an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review several weeks ago. Its title was “That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief.” (
). We’re grieving what we have lost — for starters, a sense of normalcy and control — and for our uncertain future, what we
losing. This is a very strange and unsettling way to be. Think of those first few days, weeks, and months after you have lost a loved one, how surreal and unpredictable they are. Grief is a wily sort of animal. It hits, hides lays in wait, and then hits again when we least expect it. People often ask me after a loved one has died, “Father, what should I expect?” I often tell them, “It usually gets worse before it gets better. But it does get better.” That is the beauty, the hope of our faith in the Lord. Even when things seem to be going from bad to worse, they always turn around. There is a Resurrection for every Good Friday. And when we come through the other side, we have a wisdom and a sense of gratitude and perspective that we might not have had before. I encourage all of us to open our hearts to this. Now, more than ever, may we all keep the faith. May we keep the faith through these difficult times — it will be a great source of strength, I assure you — and may we keep the faith in another way, too; keep praying, keep watching the Mass, keep all that our Catholic faith teaches us so that we will not fall away from the faith but return with an even greater force in the future. May God bless all of you and your loved ones. “Keep the Faith."
The "Risus Paschalis" (Easter Laugh)
A turtle was crossing the road when two snails mugged him. The police showed up and asked the turtle what happened. “I don’t know,” the turtle replied. “It all happened so fast.”
Fifth Sunday of Easter Mass
with Father Will ~ May 17, 2020
SMAC will be airing our Sunday Mass on
Sunday, May 10th at 8:30 am on
Comcast Channel 9 and
on Verizon Channel 28!
Why Do we do that?
Catholic Life Explained:
Sign Before the Gospel
I have been going to Mass for years and have always wondered: why do we make the three signs of the cross before the Gospel?
Certainly, many people go to Mass or other devotions, doing and saying things out of habit or reverence and not really understanding the reasons behind some of these things. But everything we do has a meaning or purpose that helps us to worship better, proclaim our beliefs, or focus the attention of the people on something that has a greater importance or significance. A review of the meaning of various gestures and practices can help us have a deeper appreciation for what we do.
There is a little prayer that goes with the three crosses before the Gospel: “May the words of the Holy Gospel be on my mind, on my lips and in my heart.” In standing to hear the Gospel, we acknowledge that Jesus is present, and the words of the Gospel are addressed to us. All of the gestures and special postures we adopt before the Gospel are intended to help us prepare for hearing the Word as well as act on it. The incense, the Alleluia, the deacon or priest, and the special dialogue and announcement that introduces the Gospel help us focus our attention on the Good News we are about to hear. The three signs of the cross show our desire and good intention to hear and live the Gospel.
Sixth Sunday of Easter
We hope for many things: passing an exam, finding our true love, securing sustainable work, or surviving an illness. We often seek to have God be a part of what we hope for and desire, almost trying to convince Him that our agenda is what is ultimately important. While our particular hopes may appear to be what needs to be achieved in order for us to be happy, they really are not. Our lesser, more personal hopes can distract us from true hope.
When God became a human being, a powerful message was sent: all that is authentically human is found in the divine. As the human Jesus lived and died in order to show us that he truly is the universal Christ, we have to keep our sight focused on our eternal truth and destiny and who we truly are. We have to be careful when we allow our earthly concerns to distract us. True hope is found when we place our trust in Christ’s promises and don’t rely on our own strength. True hope focuses on striving toward the fulfillment of God’s promises and not simply on achieving what we think we need in this life. Hope always travels with two friends — faith and love. In this trio of virtues, we find the very presence of God born in every human being. These are God’s greatest gifts, and they lead us to the fullness of His presence.
As with faith and love, we cannot see hope with just our human eyes. We don’t carry this virtue within us to use solely for our own personal agenda. Hope is not something that simply comes with the human package. As with faith and love, hope is a gift that is given to us to draw us closer to our eternal truth. Faith, hope, and love are signs that there is something far greater going on in us and something greater to persevere in obtaining. The true divine gift of hope is what will endure any hardship we encounter, especially those that will come from authentically living the Gospel. With all that is happening in our lives, in our church, and in our world, what is the reason for our hope? Ask God for the fortitude to see His eternal gift as the reason we get up in the morning and do the things we do.
Gospel Coloring Pages for May 17th
I Spy With My Little Eye Game
How to make an Edible Rosary!
Click on the image below!
On Sunday, May 17,
will air a special Baccalaureate Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. in recognition of the thousands of Catholic high school seniors who are graduating this year but are unable to gather due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mass will air on
Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 11:00AM
from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Many thanks to all of our parishioners who have so generously supported our Parishes during these extremely difficult times. So many have signed up for online giving, mailed in your donations, and dropped them off at the parish office. Your outpouring of support is very much appreciated and enables us to continue to minister to our parishioners and also to those in need in our town.
If you would like to sign up for online giving please click on the image below.
Eternal Rest Grant unto Them O Lord
Mary Ruggerio & Martin Wyndham
Visit our Website and Facebook page for daily updates!
on Saturday, May 16 at 4:00PM