Welcome. It is so nice to have our larger parish family with us as we celebrate Jesus’s triumph over death! Today we celebrate an event that would bring forth the virtue of Hope in a way that it had never been experienced before. While on Christmas Day we celebrate the birthday of Jesus, today we celebrate the birthday of Christian Hope. We know for those of us who follow Jesus, the way, the truth and the light, become a light in the darkness for so many who have lost hope. Next week we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, and on that day we recall St. Peter’s words that inform us that,
“By His great mercy we have born anew to a living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Turning to a contemporary successor to the Apostles, the late Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan; he speaks on hope and says, “The road of hope is paid with small acts of hope, along life’s way. A life of hope is born of every minute of hope in that lifetime.” The reality is that there are many in our community and country who have become indifferent, or bitter, rejecting God, acting as though God does not exist. We know different! Archbishop Jose Gomez, from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, adds, “We need to help our brothers and sisters to rediscover the beautiful plan of God for creation, His providence and love.” The Archbishop adds, “Let us pray for that gift of hope and let us ask our Blessed Mother Mary, our Lady of Hope, to help us to always stay close to Jesus following Him with love and being missionaries of His hope.” This Easter the parish is providing an Easter gift in the form of a Dynamic Catholic series book entitled, “Beautiful Hope: finding hope everyday in a broken world.” We will be handing out copies of this 115 page book. This book can be read in a two hour sitting, and then revisited as a road map to help us get through the pressure and anxieties of daily life. Our parish puts these words into action with the Missionary fervor we live out in our various outreach programs to the poor and needy. In two weeks, our Youth Missionaries will be travelling down to Long Branch, New Jersey, to work with the St. Bernard Project to help rebuild a house that was ruined in Hurricane Sandy. It is amazing to imagine that a place like Keansburg, New Jersey, is still cleaning up after that storm. Of course it is in the poorest areas of the Jersey shoreline that these efforts remain in greatest need. We have been going down to New Jersey for four years, and along the way we have made many friends and stay in contact with some of the families we have helped. As members of the baptized we bring hope to a group of people who feel like society has passed them by. Visit our website at www.stanns.net and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and consider joining us in our various missionary endeavors.
This weekend we will have one collection for the CLERGY HEALTH & RETIRMENT fund. This fund helps provide for the medical and retirement needs of our priests. This previous Christmas, the collection taken up throughout the archdiocese was down 20% because of a winter storm. While we may not be able to recover that lost income, we ask that you be mindful of that as you decide as to what would be an appropriate gift for this Easter weekend. I speak personally when I recall the many good priests at St Anthony’s in Allston who served my family throughout my childhood years, as well as the priests of St Ann’s in Neponset who served my mother’s side of the family. I hope you too have many fond recollections of your childhood parish and the fine men who served you faithfully.
Did you know that the most challenging week of the year for a pastor and the pastoral staff is Holy Week? I think you can imagine. As such, the PARISH OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED on Monday and will reopen on Tuesday at 9am. Happy Easter!