This weekend we celebrate the SECOND WEEK OF LENT! Last weekend I suggested we take the next five weeks to read the first five books of the Old Testament. This past week we began the story of God’s encounter with man in the Book of Genesis and read about the story of creation. You may have noticed some of the verses had footnotes, and most of your bibles may have had a brief introduction about the book itself including historical information and some reference to the author. If you can these are beneficial parts to read, but not necessary to understand the particular book itself. Actually I have several biblical commentary series which break down every verse in the bible, explaining issues of translated words, and how the verse relates to the overall story. I hope this does not intimidate you. Actually I have been approached by a few folks to consider offering an instructional meeting as to how to read the bible, and I am in the process of setting a date.

The Archdiocese of Boston’s Office of Risk Management in conjunction with the Office of Liturgy had sent a risk alert relative to the flu and has asked Pastors to refrain (for the time being) from providing Holy Communion under the species of the Precious Blood. They have also suggested that at the exchange of peace, that folks refrain from shaking one another’s hands and just bow to one another. This of course is your decision, do with that which you feel comfortable. The office also spoke to reception of the Eucharist on the tongue, stating, “While the faithful retain the option of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue or in the hand, all ministers are advised to distribute Holy Communion with care, being cautious to not touch the tongue or the hand of the communicant. Ministers should also wash their hands before Mass in preparation for the distribution of the consecrated hosts.” All of this is sound practice, and be assured that our minsters use hand sanitizer before distribution. While I would agree that it is safer to receive the Host in your hands, I do respect one’s personal acts of piety. Come April the worst of the flu is over and we will resume Communion under both species.

Bathroom update: We have replaced the wallpaper in the bathroom with paint and have added chair rails and nicely appointed trim and accessories. One of the reasons for the update was because a few children were peeling back the wallpaper and one little tyke used a marker to put their imprint on the wall. We are replacing the holy water font in the hallway and should have that installed in the coming weeks.

Almsgiving update: This past weekend we collected toothpaste, brushes and floss for the Homeless Vets. Wow, you should have seen the smile on my face when I saw that one of our blue tubs was filled with your donations. I have left that tub up front so you too can enjoy the gift we will be sending to the vets. You will also see another blue bucket on the opposite side filled with white socks courtesy of two parishioners…they wanted to get a jump on this week’s collection of socks. Everything we collect for the Vets will be distributed to Vets through shelters in Quincy and Boston. I can’t thank you enough for these offerings and am reminded of Jesus’ words in scripture, “What you do for the least of these, you do for me..”. If it is helpful most of these items can be purchased inexpensively at Job Lot and the Christmas Tree Shop. May God Bless your kindness-generosity.

Mariam Talis, a summer resident passed away last week. Please pray for her husband Bill and boys Zach and Matt. I was also saddened to hear of the passing of one of our town fixtures, Roy Kirby. There will be a Memorial Service for him at MacDonald’s Funeral Home on Sunday 3/4. I will miss both of them greatly.