Pastor’s Columns

November 25, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

I can’t believe we have already had our first bout of sub-freezing cold weather, first snowfall and first sightings of twinkling lights on trees around town. Nonetheless, the jolly old man in the big red suit atop his reindeer sleigh enlivened parade goers in New York City’s Harold Square and viewers young and old in person along the famous parade route and millions watching from the cozy comfort of home Thanksgiving morning.  I shared at the Interfaith Prayer Service two Sundays ago that I have watched that parade faithfully for the past 45 years.  Well, I least remember the last 41 times.  It is what my family did to begin Thanksgiving Day with hot chocolate for the kids and coffee for Mom and Dad.  Back when I was a kid it really did begin the holiday season.  Nostalgically it still does even though I have seen Christmas decorations in stores for almost a month already!

‘Tis the season now ready or not. Hopefully our annual Holly Fair will help get us in the mood next weekend.  I know the elves are working feverishly creating gift baskets and silent auction sheets from so many generous parishioner and business donations, bakers are getting ready for the cookie stroll, others are looking forward to trying their luck picking a snow flake, buck-a-bag or pulling an upgraded bottle of wine.  All of us look forward to greeting the big man himself during Santa’s Breakfast.  You better watch out he will definitely be keeping an eye out for who’s been naughty or nice.  Don your red and green, bring family and friends and join in the fun and support Holy Cross Parish.

Next weekend is also the beginning of the short Season of Advent. This year it is only three weeks and a day.  It is a beautiful season of prophecies and peace, hope and joy, simplicity and glory.  We try to balance the busyness of the anticipated Christmas Season with being attentive to God’s invitation for graced prayer, reflection, and contemplation of the coming end of time and preparing ourselves for the celebration of the Word of God’s Incarnation into our hearts anew.  Please take home Five Minutes with the Word Advent reflection booklets and use them in your personal and family prayer.  Consider making an Advent wreath at home and follow the increasing light amid the growing darkness of our days as winter begins.  Listen to some Advent music on ITunes or YouTube and challenge yourself to not let one season preclude the other.  Consider reading online the Advent Mass readings if you cannot make it to daily Mass and ponder the progression toward Christmas.  You all remain in my prayers as we enter into one of the holiest and hopefully happiest times of the year.

God Bless,

Fr. Brad

November 18, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

Preparing for the celebration of Thanksgiving coming up Thursday causes me to reflect on my gratitude to all of you as parishioners of Holy Cross Parish. Many of you have made or will make a donation toward the gift baskets for our Holly Fair and will volunteer at the Fair itself. A large number of you will take a tag from the Giving Tree to help those in need. At the same time, many of you continue to provide our monthly meal at MainSpring Homeless Shelter, and to make donations toward our monthly Outreach Sunday collection or to our St. Vincent de Paul Society. And of course I give thanks for all who are helping to support the parish through Sunday offerings, our Parish Special Appeal, Sponsor-A-Day, October Bingo, the Golf Tournament, and who support the pastoral ministries of the Diocese through the Catholic Charities Appeal. Without your dedication we simply could not do all that we do, and would not be the active     mission driven parish that draws so many families to our parish community.

In the Sunday bulletin we often include a brief Thank You to various parish groups and organizations that offer vital service to our parish community. I’m sure that I have inadvertently left out a particular parish group that deserves recognition or, worse, the name of a parishioner active in that group. If so, I sincerely apologize, and hope that someone will alert me to the oversight. I wish I could acknowledge by name all the parishioners who dedicate so much of their time, talent, and treasure to our parish. Please know how grateful I, and the pastoral team, are for all you do and are for Holy Cross Parish.

One parishioner I would like to acknowledge at this time is Kevin Brennan, who is receiving the Marian Medal from Bishop da Cunha at this Sunday’s Marian Medal Award Ceremony at the Cathedral which has annually taken place since 1968. Each year the Diocese     honors one outstanding individual from each parish with this special recognition. While there are many parishioners here at Holy Cross deserving of this award (you may recall that Donna Cunha received the Marian Medal last year), the pastoral team nominated Kevin in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to our parish.

Kevin is best known as the parish liaison on the Social Action Commission for My Brother’s Keeper. Kevin instituted our parish   housewarming drives for MBK two years ago that take place in January and July. He is an extraordinary minister of communion at our Sunday Masses and helps sacristan for our 4:00 p.m. Saturday Vigil Mass and joins other parishioners serving parish funerals. Kevin and his wife Penny are regular volunteers at many parish events. Just this past week Kevin joined other parishioners in volunteering to staff the secretary’s office as Gail is away on vacation. Please join me in congratulating and thanking Kevin for his humble and dedicated service to Holy Cross Parish.

Kevin Brennan and Donna Cunha are representative of so many faithful members of Holy Cross Church who contribute to the life of our parish community. I give thanks for them and for all of you who contribute your faithful presence, dedicated service, and ongoing     generosity to making God known, loved and served at 225 Purchase Street and beyond. Let us all continue thanking God next weekend as we end the liturgical Year of Grace 2018 with the Solemnity of Christ our King.

God Bless,

Father Brad

 

November 11, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

Preparing for the celebration of Thanksgiving coming up Thursday causes me to reflect on my gratitude to all of you as parishioners of Holy Cross Parish. Many of you have made or will make a donation toward the gift baskets for our Holly Fair and will volunteer at the Fair itself.  A large number of you will take a tag from the Giving Tree to help those in need.  At the same time, many of you continue to provide our monthly meal at MainSpring Homeless Shelter, and to make donations toward our monthly Outreach Sunday collection or to our St. Vincent de Paul Society.  And of course I give thanks for all who are helping to support the parish through Sunday offerings, our Parish Special Appeal, Sponsor-A-Day, October Bingo, the Golf Tournament, and who support the pastoral ministries of the Diocese through the Catholic Charities Appeal.  Without your dedication we simply could not do all that we do, and would not be the active mission driven  parish that draws so many families to our parish community.

In the Sunday bulletin we often include a brief Thank You to various parish groups and organizations that offer vital service to our parish community.  I’m sure that I have inadvertently left out a particular parish group that deserves recognition or, worse, the name of a parishioner active in that group.  If so, I sincerely apologize, and hope that someone will alert me to the oversight.  I wish I could acknowledge by name all the parishioners who dedicate so much of their time, talent, and treasure to our parish.  Please know how grateful I, and the pastoral team, are for all you do and are for Holy Cross Parish.

One parishioner I would like to acknowledge at this time is Kevin Brennan, who is receiving the Marian Medal from Bishop da Cunha at this Sunday’s Marian Medal Award Ceremony at the Cathedral which has annually taken place since 1968. Each year the Diocese honors one outstanding individual from each parish with this special recognition.  While there are many parishioners here at Holy Cross deserving of this award (you may recall that Donna Cunha received the Marian Medal last year), the pastoral team nominated Kevin in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to our parish.

Kevin is best known as the parish liaison on the Social Action Commission for My Brother’s Keeper. Kevin instituted our parish housewarming drives for MBK two years ago that take place in January and July.  He is an extraordinary minister of communion at our Sunday Masses and helps sacristan for our 4:00 p.m. Saturday Vigil Mass and joins other parishioners serving parish funerals.  Kevin and his wife Penny are regular volunteers at many parish events.  Just this past week Kevin joined other parishioners in volunteering to staff the secretary’s office as Gail is away on vacation.  Please join me in congratulating and thanking Kevin for his humble and dedicated service to Holy Cross Parish.

Kevin Brennan and Donna Cunha are representative of so many faithful members of Holy Cross Church who contribute to the life of our parish community. I give thanks for them and for all of you who contribute your faithful presence, dedicated service, and ongoing generosity to making God known, loved and served at 225 Purchase Street and beyond.  Let us all continue thanking God next weekend as we end the liturgical Year of Grace 2018 with the Solemnity of Christ our King.

God Bless,

Father Brad

November 4, 2018

 

October 28, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

A very big THANK YOU goes out to the planning committee of last Sunday’s Patriot’s vs. Bears Game Watch Party: Kevin Dixon, Chris Goffredo, Mary Calhoun, Judith Jackson, Amy Siegel and Joyce Isiminger and the many more volunteers who made the event such a fun and relaxing time. Except when the power went out for 20 minutes shortly after the Patriot’s scored their first touchdown- of all the days for that to happen.  Congratulations to all the winners of the Patriot’s Basket, 50/50 drawing, Chili Cook-Off and Cupcake Wars.  I still have it in me – I managed second place in the Chili Cook-Off.  Thank you to all the parishioners who donned Patriot’s wear and the McGinnis family who proudly and bravely wore Bears colors.  A good time was had by all.

I am sure the younger parishioners are looking forward to this coming Wednesday, Halloween! Their parents are grateful Trick-O-Treating is early after likely staying up late on Monday and Tuesday nights for the first two games of the World Series 2018 – GO SOCKS!  November 1st is the Solemnity of All Saints and a holy day of obligation.  Our parish Masses will be 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. both in church.

Looking further into November, you have heard by now at Mass and in the parish emails that Holy Cross Church is co-sponsoring the 3rd Annual Race Against Hunger with Immaculate Conception Church for the Easton Food Pantry.  The 5K/3.1 mile run/walk takes place next Saturday, November 3rd at Borderland State Park with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the race at 10:00 a.m.  You can also register online at: https://iccefp.racewire.com or emailing: icc.efp.race@gmail.com.  The entry fee is $25.00 which includes all fees, a T-shirt, refreshments and more.  Please consider joining fellow Catholics and many others from town supporting this worthwhile cause as we all look forward to a good Thanksgiving meal later in the month.

The following Sunday evening, November 11th, the Easton Interfaith Clergy Group invites all congregations to a 7:00 p.m. Community Thanksgiving Worship Service held at Temple Beth Emunah located at 15 Plymouth Drive, South Easton 02375.  It is located in the complex on the other side of Dunkin Donuts.  I will be offering the homily, or message as others refer to it.  Please consider joining fellow faithful from various religious traditions giving thanks for the many blessings we all receive from God.  It will very good if Catholics are present since we asked to move the date from the Sunday before Thanksgiving since that has long been the our Marian Medal Evening Prayer service at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, you will be reading and hearing about the Easton Knights of Columbus’ 1st Annual Thanksgiving Pie Sale.  The pre-order only pies will be coming from Montilio’s Baking Company of Brockton for pick-up in the parish center on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving just in time for your Thanksgiving table.  You might also consider ordering one to be dropped off on that Wednesday before Thanksgiving for the on-duty Town of Easton Police, Firefighters and EMT/EMS, or for Fr. Bill’s and Mainspring House.  Pumpkin, Pecan, Mile-High Apple, and Blueberry pies are $15.00.  All proceeds support the ongoing charitable efforts of the Easton Knights of Columbus.

Be safe and enjoy Halloween, pray with us and the Saints on November 1st, and hopefully by then we can also get some more sleep and offer prayers of thanksgiving for the Red Sox winning their 9th world series!

God Bless,

Fr. Brad

October 21, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

We hear many times in the Gospels that Jesus often goes off to pray by himself to the Father. He needs this time of solitude, contemplation and meditation to stay balanced amid the many crowds, challenging religious leaders, various needs, and his own disciples who often worry more about themselves rather than learning to live more into God’s vision of justice and peace for all. Today’s Gospel is no exception. James and John want to skip right into the seats of glory with God and skip over learning to be servants of God. Prayer allows and invites us to gain perspective by putting our agendas aside and tuning more closely into God’s desire for each one of us. Communal and personal prayer afford us some time each day to focus in on what ultimately matters most, our life of faith.

A prolonged time of rest, renewal and prayer is commonly referred to as a retreat. Not a business retreat where the goal is still work and socializing, but a time to free ourselves to more fully experience God’s presence in our life. I know I have benefited immensely from various retreats in my life. My first prolonged retreat was as a first year student at Notre Dame. Flanner Hall, and our sister Hall, Pasquerilla West, joined for a three day, two night retreat on the shores of Lake Michigan. I remember it because it was the first time in a while thoughts resurfaced about priesthood. After the retreat, I actually sent in the brochure I picked up months before in the Basilica about priesthood and religious life, and the rest is pretty much history.

One well known and common retreat experience in our parish is the active three-day Cursillo experience featuring practical insights into an everyday Christian life of faith and service. It is a unique experience for each individual offering an opportunity to develop, nurture and deepen our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A fellow believer who has lived Cursillo sponsors those attending the retreat. The first Men’s Cursillo is taking place this weekend at the Holy Cross Retreat House behind the complex Fr. Jim and I live off 138. The other Men’s weekends for the year are January 24th-27th and March 28th-31st. The Women’s weekends this year are: November 15th-18th; February 21st-24th and April 25th-28th. For more information about Cursillo contact parishioners Diane Cheevers at dmcheevers@verizon.net / 508-230-3268 or Jim Lane at FallRiverCursillo@gmail.com / 508-238-0889. The following parishioners have all lived this spirit filled retreat:

Jim & Donna Lane
Dana DiMartinis
Kathie Tully
Lori Grant
Robert Farrell & Maryann Sullivan
Margaret Dwyer Hogan
Diane & Jim Cheevers
Chris Iannitelli
Eve Obas
Fr. Jim Preskenis, C.S.C.
Dave and Joan Mendes
Clare & Harold Smith
John Connor
Joe Kennedy
Bill & Brenda Sullivan
George & Nancy Zarella
Pat Brophy-Signori
Frank & Ruth Riske
Janice Nolan
Kevin & Lorianne Dixon
Gary & Nancy Donahue
Peg Malpiede
Jackie Blake
Sid Smith
Marty & Katherine Reynolds
Sid Smith
Roy Owens
Laura McIntyre
Claire Pachielat
Teresa Connors
Stephanie Coose
Deb Murray
Julie Meehan
Susan Sessler
Cathy Downes
Reena Bates
Frank & Maeve Paul

Maybe one day our names will be added to this expanding list. Consider signing up this year!

God Bless,
Fr. Brad