Dear Parishioners:Wow! What a Superbowl we had last Sunday night. The most watched event in television history. Fr. Connors , myself and a few brother priests watched in the Rectory. We were all on our feet for the last few minutes and watched the incredible ending. Congratulations to the New England Patriots on their Championship!
Soon after the Superbowl Game the snow came again! It caused schools to close on Monday and I am sure the school kids love that but I say enough snow already! Monday’s storm made a real mess and the cold temperatures don’t help either. According to the groundhog we have another six weeks of winter and without a doubt more snow.All that is left to do is pray for the end of snow, cold, winter and the quick arrival of spring! Again I offer our thanks and gratitude to Paul Anderson and our OLM Maintenance Staff for their continued hard work and tireless effort in cleaning up after the snow storms. During these winter storms they work long hours throughout the night and day ensuring the parking lots are plowed, the walks cleared of snow and the sand and salt applied to the ice.
Last week we blessed throats in honor of St. Blaise and we hope and pray we are protected from diseases of the throat and other ailments. This week we mark the World Day of the Sick. First begun twenty-three years ago by Saint John Paul II it is a day to “turn to all who are burdened by illness and are united in various ways to the flesh of the suffering Christ, as well as to professionals and volunteers in the field of health care. “ It is celebrated on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Lourdes is one of the greatest pilgrimage sites in the world and a place of prayer and healing for the sick, infirm and ill. Pope Francis reminds us on this day: “Today too, how many Christians show, not by their words but by lives rooted in a genuine faith, that they are “eyes to the blind” and “feet to the lame”! They are close to the sick in need of constant care and help in washing, dressing and eating. This service, especially when it is protracted, can become tiring and burdensome. It is relatively easy to help someone for a few days but it is difficult to look after a person for months or even years, in some cases when he or she is no longer capable of expressing gratitude. And yet, what a great path of sanctification this is! In those difficult moments we can rely in a special way on the closeness of the Lord, and we become a special means of support for the Church’s mission.”
I hope you will spend time in prayer this week for all those who are sick and for those who care for them. There are many of our own parishioners and family members who quietly suffer in sickness and in solidarity we need to pray for them, for their healing and for their recovery. On Wednesday we should especially pray them on World Day of the Sick. The Prayer for World Day of the Sick is printed in this week’s bulletin. If you know of someone sick at home, a nursing home or a hospital please call the Parish Office and let us know. Father Connors and I are happy to visit and bring the Sacraments to them. Unfortunately due to privacy laws we are not notified by hospitals and other healthcare institutions and all too often we are never notified of a parishioner's hospitalization. Also, every Sunday our faithful Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion bring Holy Communion to those who are shut-in due to sickness or infirmity and those in our local nursing homes. If you know of someone who is ill at home, even temporarily, let us know and one of these faithful ministers will happily bring them Communion. In the meantime, we assure all of shut-ins of our prayer for them and our continued solidarity with them in their time of need.
It’s hard to believe but Lent is coming soon! Ash Wednesday is on February 18th. We are collecting old blessed palm branches to make our ashes. Please bring them to Mass next week and place them in the boxes at the doors. Thank you! Congratulations to our New England Patriots on a great win! Please pray for the sick and ill. God Bless.