Browsing Pastor's Corner

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 9, 2019

A very happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers in the Parish today. We appreciate the great sacrifice you make for your children and to family life. May God bless you and help you know the support of our parish community.

It can be a bit of a bittersweet day though for mothers who feel they have failed in that role. It can also leave a sting on the hearts of women who have never been able to conceive a child. Some of the most pathetic stories in the Bible are of women praying to God for help to conceive a child. My sister-in-law was never able to have children. Last winter she was reading Pope Francis’ encyclical Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love-On Love in the Family. In it Francis writes of the pain women without children often feel. My sister-in-law said it was one of the first times she felt as if her church understood her suffering. So, in expressing your appreciation for your mother today remember in your prayers those women who, through no fault of their own, were never blessed with a child.

“See All the People” 78th Annual Catholic Charities Appeal
The 2019 Catholic Charities Appeal began on May 1st and will continue through June 30th. The CCA is the one time each year the Diocese of Fall River asks all the Catholic faithful to financially support the diocese’s many charitable and social service agencies. Many of these agencies work right here on Cape Cod. They are St. Joseph’s House in Hyannis, the only full-service homeless shelter on the Cape. They are St. Clare House in Centerville a transition home for former female inmates from the Barnstable House of Correction and the Catholic Social Services office in Hyannis that provides family and other counseling services based on Christian principles.

Last year 220 Holy Redeemer Parishioners donated $51,519.75, to the Appeal. As of Tuesday ---parishioners donated _____ to the 2019 CCA. It would be a great sign of love for the needy if every parish household were to donate to this year’s appeal.

Last Saturday after the 4PM Mass a parishioner approached me. He told me that he really liked what I wrote about the Appeal in the bulletin the weekend of April 27-28. I had written a reflection on how St. Francis of Assisi had been praying in the dilatated Chapel of San Damiano outside of Assisi. Francis felt the figure of Jesus on the cross speak to him. It asked Francis to rebuild my Church. Francis thought God meant the physical chapel of San Damiano. He set about gather stones to do the rebuilding.

As he listened more closely to God Francis realized that God wasn’t telling him to rebuild a building but the spiritual church. That is what Francis spent the rest of his life doing. He rebuilt the spiritual Church through his work as the founder of the Franciscans. Today we are in a similar situation. The Church is in disrepair because of the clergy sexual abuse scandal and the growth of secularism. That has caused some people to feel reluctant to donate to the Church. They are angry at the bishops and want to punish them. While I understand people’s anger not donating to the Catholic Charities Appeal doesn’t really hurt the bishops it hurts the needy.

After reading my words the parishioner told me that even though he had already made a donation he was going to donate more to the Appeal. That was very gratifying to me. I too have decided to increase my own personal donation to the CCA to $2,000 this year. It is my small gesture of faith to show I too am working to help rebuild the spiritual Church by reaching out to the poor in the name of Jesus.

Our Lady of Fall River Prayer Cards Available
Cards with the depiction of Our Lady of Fall River and a prayer for her intercession for the work of strategic planning for the Diocese of Fall River are on the table at the back of the church. You are invited to take one. The image of Our Lady of Fall River was painted by the Russian-American artist Feodor Zakharov in 1943 and presented to then Bishop James E. Cassidy by Mr. & Mrs. Charles R. Crane, summer residents of Woods Hole. It hangs today in the Residence of Bishop da Cunha. Please pray the prayer to Our Lady for the work of the various commissions working on the diocesan strategic plan, Rebuilding in Faith and Hope.

Parish Summer Event Meeting Sunday
The parish is planning a Summer Fun-raiser for Sunday, August 25, 2019. That is the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the original dedication of Holy Redeemer Church back in 1916. The event will include a cookout, raffle to benefit the work of the Holy Redeemer Woman’s Club, entertainment, games and anything else you can think of that might be fun. We will need lots of help! The Woman’s Club, Knights of Columbus and several parishioners are all onboard. It will be fun to work together as a parish community to make this event a success. Our next planning meeting will be held on Sunday, May 26, 2019, at 4:00PM. Come share your gifts and make this a fun event.

Parish Survey
The Parish Pastoral Council has prepared a Parish Survey that will be distributed through the mail to all registered parishioners later this month. We would like every parishioner to fill it out individually. There will also be copies available in the pews. It will evaluate several areas of parish life. Please plan on filling the survey out and getting it back to us promptly. We are looking forward to your responses.

Summer Help Needed
As we walk down Main Street, we see quite a few “Help Wanted” sign in store windows. We’ll be needing extra help here in the parish this summer too. If you are a seasonal resident and are a Eucharistic Minister, Lector, Altar Server or some other ministry in your home parish we could use your help while you are here at Holy Redeemer. Don’t take the summer off completely. Call the Parish Office (508) 945-0677 so we can tell you what you need to do to help out here at Holy Redeemer. We will also need extra help with collectors and ushers as we expand our Mass schedule. Masses at Our Lady of Grace Chapel will be Saturday Vigil 4:30 PM, Sunday morning at 7:30 & 9:30 AM for July 4th to Labor Day weekends. An additional 12 Noon Mass will be added at Holy Redeemer Church from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend.

Let Your Voice be Heard
The Bishops of Massachusetts recently released a joint statement expressing their strong opposition to two proposed bills that would expand abortion in Massachusetts. Bishop da Cunha has asked that it be shared with parishioners to help call attention to the extreme provisions of this legislation and the radical consequences that would follow their passage into law. In their statement, the Bishops of Massachusetts “call on our elected officials to carefully consider the consequences that the bill would bring…” and they urge all people of good will, regardless of what faith they practice, to vigorously oppose these extreme measures.” Bishop da Cunha is appealing to all members of the Diocese to contact their state legislators. The Massachusetts Catholic Conference has resources on its website at www.macatholic.org see (Let Your Voice be Heard) to help do this. It is imperative that our voices be heard to stop this legislation!

A couple of weeks ago Fr. Sullivan wrote in the bulletin how New York State has recently passed similar legislation that would allow abortion right up to the time of birth. Their law would not require emergency assistance to a child born alive as the result of an abortion and several other radical provisions that make abortion more available later in a pregnancy. These laws are being proposed because of the fear that a more anti-abortion leaning US Supreme Court will strike down the Roe Vs Wade decision.

Unfortunately, many legislators who claim to be Catholics hide beside the claim that while they are personally opposed to abortion, they can’t impose their ethical and moral opinions on others. Actually, that is what they do on every issue. Or they say they have to vote the opinions of the majority of their constituents. That is abrogating their responsibility as leaders. In actuality the majority of people in our country only favor the availability of abortion to rather strict circumstances. Please contact our state representatives in the General Court to register your opposition to this very radical legislation.

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