Religious Freedom Week
Jun 18, 2018
Religious freedom is one of the founding principles of our country and fundamental to our national identity. Unfortunately, in our increasingly secular society for some religious freedom has come to mean freedom from religion. This week the Bishops of our country ask us to celebrate Religious Freedom Week. Religious Freedom Week actually began last Friday, June 22 and will continue until this coming Friday. Religious Freedom Week began symbolically on the Feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher. These were two prominent Englishmen who were martyrs for standing up to King Henry VIII. They stood for the sanctity of marriage and against royal control over the Church. The week comes to a close this Friday on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is, “Serving Others in God’s Love”. This year a major concern is the freedom for child welfare service providers. The bishops note that the opioid crisis is putting a strain on the foster care system. In several states including Massachusetts Catholic Charities, despite their excellent track record, has been shutout of the process of recruiting and assisting foster families because they refuse to compromise their religious values.
This year the bishops ask us to reflect and pray on a different aspect of religious freedom every day. They include not forcing people of faith to choose between serving their neighbor and being true to their faith. The bishops see that threat in Catholic participation in Child Welfare. They encourage the passage of the federal Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act. They ask us to defend the right to speak openly about our faith and to talk about religious freedom with others.
Today Christians are among the most persecuted of all religious groups. The bishops encourage us to work to end the persecution of Christian minorities throughout the world. Issues of immigration and migration are forefront in the news and the bishops ask us to speak out about fair treatment and justice those forced to uproot themselves because of violence and economic deprivation.
The need to protect the rights of people not to be forced to participate in actions that they feel are detrimental to the sanctity of life is another important concern. Catholic schools are another important concern. Education is one of the central aspects of the Church’s mission. For generations Catholic schools have shared a values-based education with children and young people of all backgrounds but especially the poor. That mission to teach according to gospel values is threatened. The bishops ask us to contact our Congress members and ask them to pass the First Amendment Defense Act to help preserve our religious freedom. To learn more about Religious Freedom Week you can go to the website www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek.
Special Anniversary Monday
Monday, June 25 is the 102nd anniversary of First Mass being celebrated here in Holy Redeemer Church back in 1916. How about celebrating the occasion by attending our daily Mass tomorrow at 8 AM?
Frank Aldridge Men’s Prayer Group
Men of Holy Redeemer are invited to participate in the Frank Aldridge Men’s Prayer Group. Join them to pray the rosary, view and discussion a religious video and engaging in faith sharing with men of faith. The group is facilitated by Deacon Steve Minninger and meets on Thursday afternoon from 4:30-6:00, at Holy Trinity Church, Rte. 28, W. Harwich. Call Martin Buoniconti at (508)-945-1834 for more information.
77th Catholic Charities Appeal Nears Close
The annual Catholic Charities Appeal will close this Wednesday, June 27, 2018.
Thank you to the ---- generous parishioners who have contributed $------ to this year’s Appeal. We are moving towards our goal. The Appeal is the only time each year that we are asked to help support the charities and apostolates who help the poor and needy throughout all of our diocese.
A gift of $50 is $1 a week. A gift of $100 is just $10 a month. A $300 donation is less than $1 a day. Prayerfully, consider your gift to the needy in the name of Jesus. You can charge your donation to a credit card. MasterCard, Visa, AMEX and Discover cards are all accepted by the Appeal. Some employers offer matching gifts for their employee or retirees charitable gifts. Maybe you can double your gift.
Collection for Latin America
Today a special second collection will be taken up for the Church in Latin America. For many Catholics in Latin America and the Caribbean, rural terrain and a lack of ministers are obstacles to practicing their faith. Your support to the collection provides lay leadership training, catechesis, priestly and religious formation, as well as other programs to help share our faith with those who long to hear the Good News of Christ. To learn more, please visit www.usccb.org/latin-america.
Social Media Committee
Last summer the parish established a Social Media Committee. Its purpose was to establish and maintain the parish website, a Facebook page and a presence on other social media platforms. Since then we have been successful in establishing our social media presence but now we need to continue to maintain it. We need more people willing to lend a hand to help. If you enjoy maintaining your own social media presence or that of your business or social organization please offer to help with our parish presence. Many hands make light labor! Please call the parish office (508)-945-0677, to offer to help.
Share the Value of Catholic Education
On Friday, July 13, 2018, The Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Education, or Face will hold its annual Summer Gala from 6 pm-10 pm, at the Willowbend Country Club, 100 Willowbend Drive, Mashpee. FACE helps raise scholarship money to help provide a Catholic education to needy students in the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Fall River. Many parishioners tell me how they received 12, 16, maybe even 18 years of Catholic Education. Help a new generation to be able to do the same. If you would like ticket information please contact the Parish Office (508)-945-0677.
Cape Cod has three Catholic Schools. St. Pius X School, S. Yarmouth, offers a full preK-8 curriculum. St. Francis Preparatory in Hyannis offers a middle school and St. Pope John Paul II a high school curriculum. Please support our local Catholic schools.
Permanent Deaconate Information Nights
Informational nights for a new class of Permanent Deaconate candidates to begin in the spring of 2019 are planned for Tuesday evening June 12, 2019, and August 28, 2019. Both meeting begin at 7:00 p and will be held at Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Center, 121 Mt. Pleasant Street, New Bedford, 02740. If you have any questions, please contact Deacon Frank Lucca or Rev. Robert Oliveira, Co-Directors of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate at firstname.lastname@example.org or call their office at 508-990-0341
Electronic Giving on the Way
Soon the parish will be offering the opportunity for electronic giving. Parishioners will be able to arrange to have their donations to all parish collections be withdrawn automatically from their checking account or charged to their credit card. You’ll be able to just “Set It and Forget It!” The system will offer contributors a receipt that you can drop in the collection basket. So, feeling awkward about not having something to drop in the basket as it goes by should not be a reason not to sign-up for electronic giving.