Wednesday, May 2, marks the Sixty-Third Anniversary of the establishment of Holy Redeemer Parish in 1955. WOW! That means the parish is older than I am! While Holy Redeemer is a relatively young parish its roots go back much further. The first record of a Mass being celebrated in Chatham was on February 2, 1856, but it wasn’t until the beginning of the Twentieth Century that a Catholic community began to grow here in Chatham. For several years Catholic Mass was celebrated during the summer and on occasion during the winter. In those days Mass was celebrated in the homes of several Catholic families. Among those homes were the Slavin home that is on the corner of Seaview and Highland Avenue. The Slavin family donated the land the church is built on. What a generous gift! Another home where Mass was celebrated in those days is our current Rectory. The original portion of our church was built in 1916. That building has undergone two extensive expansions and renovations.
Were you an original parishioner from back in 1955? If you are a “townie” or you are a longtime summer resident who was here in the early days please let me know. I’d love to hear your story. It would be great to compile an oral history of the parish. In August we will mark the history of our parish with a Legacy Sunday. The church was originally dedicated on August 27, 1916. Hopefully, we can mark it with a celebration.
St. Vincent de Paul Society Celebrating Ozanam Sunday
This weekend the Holy Redeemer Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society is celebrating Ozanam Sunday. It is our day to acknowledge the work of our parish Vincentians and pray for them. Ozanam Sunday is celebrated on the last Sunday of April. That makes the celebration close to several important dates in the formation of the society. April 23, is the date of the founding of the society at the University of Paris by Blessed Frederic Ozanam and six fellow students in 1833. Coincidentally, it was Frederic Ozanam’s twentieth birthday and also one day before the anniversary of the birth of the group’s patron St. Vincent de Paul born on April 24, 1581.
The early 1830s were difficult times for the poor of Paris. There was political uncertainty with uprisings against the regime and a serious cholera epidemic. Paris had many widows and orphans struggling because of the death of the family bead winner. Frederic Ozanam founded the charitable group that would become the St. Vincent de Paul Society to help meet these needs.
The early Vincentians were guided in their work with the poor by Blessed Rosalie Rendu. Sr. Rosalie was a member of the Daughters of Charity founded by St. Louise de Marillac, a coworker with St. Vincent de Paul. Together they are patron saints of those who work with the poor. Blessed Rosalie helped Frederic Ozanam and his co-workers focus their work with the deprived. Ozanam and his co-workers named their group the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and placed it under St. Vincent’s patronage.
The Vincentian Mission Statement is;
Vincentian ministry is a means for acquiring holiness, the ministry of a Vincentian to those and with those who stand in need is the powerful means that affects holiness of life for the individual Vincentian. Vatican II states that the principal means of holiness for bishops and priests is their ministry. This applies to the laity also, because, in attending to the needy and suffering, a Vincentian is ministering to Jesus Christ himself.
The work of the Holy Redeemer SVDP Conference is supported by the generosity of our parishioners and its friends. Donations to Holy Days of Obligation Mass Collections, the generosity of members, conference fundraising such as the summer raffle, Christmas Giving Tree and donations made anonymously to the SVDP Poor Box at the back of the church all support our parish conference. The Poor Box is located on the left just as you enter the nave of the church.
Please consider joining the St. Vincent de Paul Society? They are always ready to welcome new members whether you are old or young, male or female, experienced or unexperienced. What is needed is a heart open to the plight of the poor and the willingness to have direct interaction with the poor. Are your willingness to share your own time, talent and treasure to help the poor and the Kingdom of God to grow? If you would like to join please contact the Parish Office at (508)-945-0677.
77th Annual Catholic Charities Appeal Kicks Off Tuesday
For seventy-seven years the Catholic Charities Appeal has been a spring event. The appeal begins this Tuesday, May 1, 2018, and continues until June 27. It is the one time each year our Church asks us to support the remarkable charitable agencies and apostolates supported by the Appeal. These agencies are remarkably diverse.
They include housing for vulnerable populations such as teen who are aging out of the state foster care system, people recovering from substance abuse seeking a living quarters where they remain “clean” and female ex-offenders trying to learn to live a new life. Included in these facilities are the St. Joseph’s Homeless Shelter in Hyannis and St. Clare’s Residence also in Hyannis. Your donation to the Catholic Charities Appeal helps fund 24-hour Chaplain’s services at Cape Cod Hospital, campus ministry at Cape Cod Community College, partial funding for the weekly television Mass viewed by the homebound and those in nursing homes and many other services that help thousands of those in need throughout our diocese. 94c of every dollar contributed to the Catholic Charities Appeal goes to the meet the needs of those served by the Appeal’s agencies.
Last year parishioners of Holy Redeemer Parish generously contributed $54, 005 dollars to the CCA. This year we have set a parish goal to increase our donations by 5%. That goal is $56,705. We would also like to increase the number of parish household contributing to the 2018 Appeal by at least 5%. If you have never contributed to the Appeal please prayerfully consider doing so this year.
Registered parishioners should have received a 2018 Catholic Charities Appeal mailing from the parish this week. Please prayerfully consider making the most generous contribution you can make. If you did not receive a mailing it means that you are not a registered member of Holy Redeemer Church. We would love to have you on our list. In the pews today are extra CCA pledge cards and brochure with information on the good works of the Appeal. Please take one to use to return your 2018 CCA contribution.
No, I’m Not Too Busy for You
Pope Francis in one of his Holy Week Homilies “joked” that you can tell a priest who doesn’t have time for his people when parishioners say to him, “Father, I know you are busy.” It isn’t such a joke. It speaks to a real pastoral need. In past assignments I’ve tried to make a gesture to show my availability to parishioners by blocking off some time each week to be available if you feel the need to drop in to the Parish Office and talk with me. I’m making a conscious effort to renew that practice. I’ve blocked off Monday afternoons from 3 pm-5 pm as time I’ll always try to be free if you feel the need to just drop in to talk something over with me. Of course, you aren’t limited to this time slot and it’s always good to make an appointment but this is my small gesture to try not to have people say to me, “Father, I know you are busy.”
Lenten Folder Proceeds Sent to Food for the Poor
Raising at least $3,600 to send to Food for the Poor to build a house in Haiti was the focus of our Lenten Folder Almsgiving. Thanks to our parishioners we were successful! Our gifts amounted to $4,000 so the extra $400 was spent on four computer learning stations which cost $100 each. Maybe we can raise enough to build two houses next year? Thanks again!