Weekly Parish Newsletter - Sunday July 5 2020
The Catholic Parishes of Stoughton Weekly Newsletter
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Message from our Pastor Father Joe:
Greetings and Happy Fourth of July!
Usually at this time I am preparing myself to walk in the Stoughton Fourth of July parade, waving, tossing out candy and getting bombarded with water balloons. (Well, only by a few of you. You know who you are!) Of course, there will be no parade this year. I will miss it. I always enjoy coming up with a float idea . . . and getting other people to build it! They always do such a great job. Still, just because there is no parade does not mean that we can’t give thanks to Almighty God for the abundant blessings we have as Americans. May we always strive to be a welcoming country for all, a country of justice and peace, a country where all who live here or come here, regardless of race, of country of origin, of creed, will be treated with fairness and compassion. No country is perfect and America is no exception. But I have great hope for our country. May these difficult times bring out the best in us. As Cardinal Sean has said numerous times over these past weeks and month, “We need to take care of each other.” May we all treat others as Jesus would. I want to share with you the Opening Prayer from the Mass we celebrate on Independence Day.
“God of justice, Father of truth, who guide creation in wisdom and goodness to fulfillment in Christ your Son, open our hearts to the truth of his Gospel, that your peace may rule in our hearts and your justice guide our lives. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”
July 4th is also the feast day of a wonderful and holy man, Blessed Pier Giorgi Frassati. Pier Giorgio was born into a very wealthy family in Turin, Italy in 1901. His father owned and edited a newspaper there called
(one of the oldest newspapers in Italy and still being published today.) Pier Giorgio was handsome, athletic and very popular. When you see photographs of him, his is often either rock-climbing, hiking or whooping it up with his friends. His most important quality, however, was that he loved Jesus. For as much of a big-man-on-campus he could have been, for all the girlfriends he could have had, for all the money he could have thrown around, he was none of those things. There are wonderful stories of his generosity, testified to by many of his friends. For example, despite his family’s enormous wealth, Frassati donated most or all of his money to people he saw as more "needy" than him. He would do things like give his train-fare to the poor and run back home (all that mountain climbing helped) or ride in third class. Frassati died young from complications of polio. Many polio sufferers who die do so because the paralysis associated with the disease affects their throat and chest. They are essentially asphyxiated. It’s likely, then, that Pier died the same way as the Savior he loved so much, for crucifixion essentially asphyxiates someone to death. At Pier Giorgio’s funeral, considering his family’s exalted social status, it was expected that many of the city’s elite would turn out to pay their respects. They did, with thousands of others; poor men and women who had heard of this saintly man and many of whom had been the recipient of his kindness and charity, some of them, perhaps, wearing the very clothes Pier had given them, all in humble secrecy. My friends, Frassati understood that we are meant to be the hands, the voice, the face of Christ to others. May we all do so with the same fervor, humility and joy as he did.
"Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us."
FINANCIAL UPDATE FROM FATHER JOE
Greetings, all, and peace be with you!
I want to begin by thanking all you for you continued financial support of the parishes. It is especially vital at this time. The Finance Council and I are just about to submit our yearly budget to the archdiocese and, as you can imagine, we are facing some pretty formidable financial hurdles. The coronavirus pandemic has hit churches particularly hard. I understand that many of you are struggling, too. Please know that you are in my prayers every day. Please know, too, that every bit of support you can give to the parish helps.
I would like to share with you some figures regarding the weekly collections. As you may have surmised, the first several weeks of the pandemic were brutal. I sent a letter out to ask for your support and before long, your contributions began coming in. I am deeply grateful. On average, over the past 16 weeks St. James is bringing in about 79% of what it was before the virus. ($3,409 per week as opposed to $4,293 per week.) Immaculate Conception is averaging 57% of what it was before the virus ($5,249 as opposed to $9,175.) In Immaculate Conception’s case, this is in large part due to the fact that a higher-than-average amount of people give their donations in cash, as opposed to electronic giving or the mailing in of envelopes. I encourage everyone who is able to continue to financially support the parishes to the best of your ability. We are counting on it. We will be posting the weekly numbers soon. There will likely be a lag time of a week since the money cannot be counted earlier in the week. We have to leave it in sealed bags for at least two days and then it must be counted by at least three people, which is more difficult to do in these times. Thank you for your patience.
May God bless all of you and your families. You are in my prayers daily.
Peace, Fr. Joe
The 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Sunday Mass with Father Joe ~ July 5, 2020
SMAC will be airing our Sunday Mass on
Sunday, July 5th at 8:30 am on
Comcast Channel 9 and
on Verizon Channel 28!
Prayer of Thanksgiving for Freedom
Freedom is enshrined in our US Constitution. The First Amendment of our constitution protects our freedom of speech. However, our speech may not infringe upon another's freedom. Freedom does have its limits. And we must protect everyone's freedoms, not just ours. On this 4th of July, let us remember from whom all our freedoms originate, our good and gracious God.
Let us pray...
God, giver of all good gifts,
Help us to be thankful for rest and food,
and remember that, in all we do or say,
you are with us, here this day.
We are thankful for all you do
and for everything you have given us.
But above all we are thankful for our freedoms
and the ability to protect others' freedom.
We are free because of you.
We ask for your continued blessing on all your creation.
Through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Question: Why do priests kiss the altar at the start of Mass?
Answer: Our churches and chapels are filled with symbols. We might think of the more common symbols (like the crucifix, statues, stained-glass windows, vestment color and altar cloths) as well as major symbols (such as the paschal candle and the baptismal font). But there are some things that we can take for granted in our sacred spaces, because unfortunately, they seem to just be part of the building, including three of the main symbols of our liturgy: the ambo (lectern), the chair for the priest celebrant, and the altar.
These three objects are placed in a specially designated area called the sanctuary. They are the places where the Word of God is proclaimed, where the priest prays and presides at the celebration, and where the bread and wine are offered by the priest during the Eucharistic Prayer. Although each of these objects is sacred because of the role they play in our worship, the altar holds a special place. In a document containing the rules and instructions for the Mass — the “General Instruction of the Roman Missal” — we read: “The altar on which the Sacrifice of the Cross is made present under sacramental signs is also the table of the Lord to which the People of God is called together to participate in the Mass, as well as the center of the thanksgiving that is accomplished throughout the Eucharist” (no. 296).
One of the ways that we recognize the importance of the altar is when the priest and deacon kiss the altar at the beginning of Mass. Kissing is an ancient act of devotion. Remember, we also kiss the cross on Good Friday, and the deacon or priest kisses the “Book of the Gospels” after the Gospel is proclaimed. This act of devotion reminds us that the altar is a symbol of Jesus, the “living stone” (see 1 Peter 2:4), the foundation stone of our faith. It is a symbol gesture, but it is a powerful reminder of the One on whom our faith is built and in whose name we gather as the “household of faith” (see Galatians 6:10).
To learn more, see the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (no. 1382-1383).
The flowers decorating the St. James altar this week were given by:
Bob & Nancy McNeil
For the glory of God and in honor of:
Robert George Beaumont
Richard Joseph McNeil
Public Masses have Resumed for
The Catholic Parishes of Stoughton
Given the social distancing restrictions, only 80 people are permitted in St. James per Mass. Parishioners must schedule in advance to attend Sunday Mass.
The deadline for signs ups is 5:30 pm the Thursday prior to that weekend's Mass.
Those without computer access can call the parish office at 781-344-2073 to sign up during office hours from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. We encourage you to share this information with those who do not have access to a computer.
Sign Up for Masses for the Weekend
of July 11th/12th will begin on Monday July 6th at 10:00 am please visit our website to sign up for Mass.
Join the growing number of people who have generously stepped up to support our parish given reduced offertory during the pandemic. Learn more at www.BostonCatholic.org/donate.
Gospel Coloring Page
Visit our Website and Facebook page for daily updates!
on Saturday, July 4 at 4:00PM