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A day of prayer this Sunday

for the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

On 8 October, 2013, Pope Francis announced that in October 2014 there would be an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on topics related to the family and evangelization. Subsequent communications made clear that the Extraordinary General Assembly would be followed by an Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2015, on the same topics.

Sunday, 28 September is to be set aside as a Day of Prayer for the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, scheduled to take place on 5-19 October to treat the topic: The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.

Particular churches, parish communities, institutes of consecrated life, associations, and movements are invited to pray for this intention during Mass and at other liturgical celebrations, in the days leading to the synod and during the synod itself. In Rome, in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, prayers will be recited each day in the chapel of the icon, Salus Populi Romani. The faithful, individually but above all in families, are invited to join in these prayers.

† Prayer to the Holy Family for the Synod

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendor of true love, to you we turn with trust. Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic Churches. Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection and division: may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing. Holy Family of Nazareth, may the approaching Synod of Bishops make us once more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, graciously hear our prayer. Amen.

Learn more on the Prayers and Reflections page.

October in the Parish

Dates to remember … fun events in our community!

5 October: Blessing of the Animals in Thompson Square. Sunday at 9:30 a.m.—An important festivity in our Charlestown community is the Annual Blessing of the Animals. Please bring your pet, stuffed animal, or a picture of your pet—great or small—to Thompson Square for this annual tradition!

5 October: Annual Block Party at St. Mary’s Church. After the 10:30 Mass—After Mass we will gather on Soley Street in front of Mary’s Peace  Garden and pray a prayer for peace. Then we will enjoy good food, music, and fun activities for the children. If you don’t attend the 10:30 Mass, please arrive around 11:20. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your parish friends and to make new ones. We’ll meet you there!

13 October: Columbus Day Mass. Monday at 9:00 a.m.—Parishioners and guests are welcome to join us for Columbus Day Mass at 9:00 a.m. in St. Catherine of Siena Chapel. (Entrances located on Winthrop and Soley streets.) Please note that the Parish Office will be closed for business on Columbus Day but reopen on Tuesday, October 14.

26 October: Good Shepherd School 5th Anniversary. Sunday from 12:00-3:00 p.m.—Families, siblings, and alumni are invited to celebrate GSS’s fifth anniversary! The afternoon’s festivities include a blessing from Fr. Ronan, catered food, art  projects, a magic show, and a chance to visit the classrooms. To learn more, please call (617) 242-8800.

26 October: Performance by the Choristers of Saint Paul. Sunday at 3:00 p.m.—The flagship choral ensemble of St. Paul’s Choir School will perform at 3:00 p.m. on Oct. 26 in St. Mary’s Church. Don’t miss this wonderful performance! For more information, please visit or contact Daniel Sauceda at

27 October: Seniors Trip to CatholicTV with Mass and breakfast. Leaving Charlestown at 8:00 a.m.—Seniors are invited on a trip to CatholicTV in Watertown for a televised Mass with Fr. Ronan, studio tour, and breakfast at the International House of Pancakes! The trip is expected to run approximately four hours. Space is limited to 20 people, so please contact the Parish Center at (617) 242-4664. (A donation of $10 will cover the cost of breakfast.)

A helping hand: Family Caregiver Support Program of Boston

The Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP) of Boston offers caregivers assistance and support to ease the strain and reduce the challenges of caregiving. Caring for a loved one can often be difficult and frustrating. We recognize this potential emotional, physical, and financial strain of caregiving, as well as its rewards. Our FCSP empowers caregivers by providing information, education, support, and services that enhance the quality of life.

What services are provided by FCSP?

? Information and referrals to assist caregivers in accessing services and resources

? Advice to assess needs and identify short-term goals, as well as long-term planning for home care

? Respite care for temporary relief

? Education and training

Who is eligible?

Caregivers providing care for family or friends who are 60 years of age or older, or individuals of any age with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD). Caregivers who live in Boston or provide care for a Boston resident are also eligible for our services.

How can I learn more?

Call the Boston Senior Home Care information and referral line, Boston ElderINFO, at (617) 292-6211 and ask about our Family Caregiver Support Program.

Direct assistance is also available in Chinese, Haitian Creole, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and other languages upon request.

Vote “Yes” on Question 3

Pastors from St. John and St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena on city casino

The Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts have taken a definitive position urging citizens to vote YES on Ballot Question # 3 and stop the expansion of gambling. One of their statements put it this way: “There is too much at stake for Massachusetts to open the door wide to expanded gaming–Massachusetts can do better. Massachusetts can say “no” by voting “yes”. In the Episcopal Church, both dioceses in Massachusetts have recorded their opposition to any expansion of gambling in the Commonwealth.

Continue reading Vote “Yes” on Question 3

Pieces of peace: add to our banner!

Today in Religious Education, the students learned about how we can be peacemakers in our community. Our world is facing so much conflict and violence; it can be hard to think about how we can face these trying times with hope. We are called by Christ to be peaceful people, and inspire others to want to live peacefully as well.

In our faith formation groups, we brainstormed ways to promote peace in our homes, in our schools, and in our community. We also looked at different ways that we could find peace within ourselves when things become stressful or hopeless. All of these are pieces of the puzzle of creating peace in our world. We all can make a difference.

We created a banner that displays our ideas, and we would love for you to add your own thoughts and suggestions. Please feel free to add to our banner at the end of Mass. We can do this better when we work together!

Prayers for our Confirmation Candidates

On Saturday, September 20, our Confirmation II students will complete the Outward Bound Program for team building and leadership on Thompson Island.

Please keep these students in your prayers as they kick off this year of prayer, contemplation, and preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation!


Religious Education has begun for K-8! If you have any questions or would like to register your child or volunteer for our program, please contact Anne Krane at

Int’l Day of Peace

Prayer for Peace

Good and Loving God, grant us hearts that can feel the pain of others and the power to help lessen the pain.

Grant us wisdom to seek the truth.

Grant us courage to break the silence and take actions against injustice and inequality.

Grant us souls that will love all the living beings You created. Grant us voices to speak for the voiceless. Grant us the ability to listen with compassion, lend a helping hand, wipe a tear, lift a spirit, mend a broken heart and share our joys and sorrows with each other.

Grant us the strength to eradicate fear, poverty, hate, despair, division and violence. Grant us the courage to replace it with love, hope, inclusion and peace in your beautiful world. Grant us hope for a better world for all of us and our future generations. We need your divine intervention to help us forgive.

Please fill our hearts with joy, light, faith, love and peace. Grant us commitment, dedication and persistence so we can continue on the path you designated for us.
May we have peace in our lives and in our world. We ask this through Christ our Lord, The Prince of Peace.


Prayer for Those Who are Being Persecuted in Iraq and Syria

Lord, the plight of their country is deep and the suffering of Christians is severe and frightening. Therefore, we ask you, Lord, to spare their lives, and to grant them patience and courage to continue their witness of Christian values with trust and hope. We pray also for those of other minority religions who are being persecuted.

Lord, peace is the foundation of life; grant them all the peace and stability that will enable them to live with each other without fear and anxiety, and with dignity and joy. Glory be to you, O Lord. Amen.

Catholics keep faith with workers

Massachusetts Interfaith Worker Justice (Mass IWJ) is a ministry to the working poor. Our mission is to unite faith communities in Massachusetts around campaigns that will improve wages, benefits, and working conditions for low-wage workers. Our group focuses on service workers—janitors, fast food workers, hotel workers, and retail workers—people of color, and immigrant workers. We devoted the last 12 months to raising the state minimum wage and winning earned sick time (Question 4).

Continue reading Catholics keep faith with workers

Spiritual certification from St. Anthony Shrine

St. Anthony Shrine in Boston is offering a 3-semester Spiritual Direction Certification Program in January. This program is in conjunction with Cardinal Stritch University and a training site in Lowell. For more information and an application, please contact Nancy Nichols Kearns at or 781-704-1010.