Browsing Pastor's Corner

Wishing you “Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaiobh” – Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

Mar 12, 2019

Oh, if only Gene Clancy were here to read this headline! The blessings of the Christian patron of Ireland on all members of Holy Redeemer Parish. There are few saints as famous as the patron saint of Ireland. While St. Patrick is well-known, we don’t know too much about him. He left two writings. The longer of them is his “Confession” or short autobiography. In this book Patrick tells his life story. He also wrote “Letter to Coroticus” in which he reprimands a marauding British king and his army who had savagely attacked and taken into slavery some of Patrick’s Christian converts. Patrick also wrote his beautiful prayer called St. Patrick’s Breastplate.

Patrick was not born with that name. Historians believe Maewyn Succat was his name in his youth. In his Confession Patrick states that his father was a Christian deacon and his grandfather a priest in the days before clerical celibacy. Despite his clerical heritage Patrick claimed that he wasn’t a believer himself.

At the age of sixteen Maewyn Succat, the future St. Patrick, was captured by Irish raiders and enslaved in Ireland. There he was sold to a farmer and put to work as herdsman. During those years he was called both Magunos, meaning “servant-lad” or Succetus, meaning “swineherd”. Very utilitarian names. It was during those six years of enslavement that he turned to God in prayer and experienced conversion. In those bleak days his faith blossomed.

After six years Maewyn Succat escaped from his master and was able to return to his family in Britain. After a short time Maewyn Succat left home to go to modern day France to study to become a priest. He did that at Tours. A legend is that St. Martin of Tours was an uncle to him. By this time Maewyn Succat was in his mid-twenties. As a consequence of his youthful years spent as a slave, he never really gained proficiency in Latin. In his Confession Patrick regretted this shortcoming. For him it was a great deficiency and caused him ridicule from some of his contemporaries.

It was after being ordained as a priest that Patrick became known by that name which has its roots in the Latin words for “father figure”. Patrick claimed that his desire to return to Ireland as a missionary came from a dream he had. In the dream people he had known in Ireland appeared to him pleading for his to return and share the Christian faith with them. It was only after several years of entreating the pope that Patrick’s request to return to Ireland was granted.

St. Patrick is known as the apostle to Ireland but he probably wasn’t the first Christian missionary. Before him Pope Celestine I had sent a man named Palladius to be the first bishop of Ireland. Some scholars contend that the legendary figure that became St. Patrick was a blending of the heroic actions of the two men or even a few other early Christian missionaries. Regardless, the Christian faith was well received in ancient Ireland. It is the only European country where the faith was accepted without a long list of martyrs.

So, have a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I hope to see many of you at the St. Patricks’ Day Dinner on Sunday evening when we all can Hail Glorious St. Patrick!
Congratulations to Our Confirmation Students
Bishop Edgar DaCunha, Bishop of Fall River conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on confirmandi from the lower and outer Cape Cod parishes at St. Joan of Arc Church in Orleans Saturday, March 16, 2019 @ 10 AM. Our six confirmandi; Charlotte Blute, Katherine Gabri, Katherine Kennard, William Nicolai, Evelyn Sheeran and Riley Whalen were among them. Please pray for these newly fully initiated young Catholics. Ask God to help them be open to the Holy Spirit so they will become truly missionary disciples who spend their lives coming to not only know about Jesus but to know Jesus.

Celebrating the Season of Lent
The second week of Lent is beginning. Lent is a forty-day retreat preparing every Catholic to spiritually celebrate the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ during the Easter Triduum. It is meant to be a time where Catholics reflect on how God is calling each member of the Body of Christ to become more faithful missionary disciples. During Lent we reflect on how Jesus is calling us to come to know him more faithfully and encourage others to do the same.

Lent is a penitential season where we practice the disciplines of fasting, almsgiving and prayer to help us be more aware of the needs of the poor and our need to imitate the example of Jesus Christ more fully.

The parish is offering several opportunities to put the Lenten disciples into action:

Lenten Folders-Parishioners on our mailing list received a Lenten Folder before Lent began. We ask you to put aside a quarter a day for a total of $10 over the entire Lenten season. Your donation will be combined with those of other parishioners’ and sent to Food for the Poor to build a modest home for a family in Haiti. The cost of a home is $3,600. Last year parishioners donated $4,000. A poster with a picture of the Montrevil Family of Plaine Du Nord, Haiti in front of the house we built for them is at the front of the church by the baptistry. Come take a look. How about building two homes this year? Additional Lenten folders are available to be picked up at the back of the church.

Friday Program-On the Friday afternoons of Lent we recite the devotion of the Stations of the Cross in the Church at 4:30PM. Each week a different parish ministry will lead the recitation of the Stations. The version of the Stations used will reflect the theme of their work. This Friday the Stations will be led by members of the Holy Redeemer Ministry to the Sick and Homebound. They will be leading Praying the Stations of the Cross for Seniors. Praying the Stations usually lasts about thirty minutes. After the Stations you are invited to share a simple supper of soup, bread and beverage. Following the meal, a short twenty to thirty-minute presentation of a segment of Bishop Robert Barron’s program, Priest, Prophet, King, will be offered. This week’s presentation is entitled, “Adoration”. Come join us for all or any part of the program.

Dynamic Catholic Best Lent Ever- “Don’t Give Up Chocolate for Lent”. At least don’t make that the extent of your Lenten sacrifice. Again, this year the Dynamic Catholic website is encouraging us to sign up for their series of daily on-line Lenten reflection, Best Lent Ever. Every day of the season you can have a short reflection sent to your computer or other electronic device. Sign up at Have a good Lent.

Upcoming Marriage Encounter Dates
Several weeks ago, Ginny and Joe Vatelli spoke at the masses about Marriage Encounter Weekend. A weekend is planned for April 13-14, 2019, at Our Lady of the Cape, Brewster. Ginny and Joe left some application on the table at the back of the Church. If you would like to participate in a weekend please take one or register at or call 800-710-WWME (9963).


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