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From the Pastor

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“I want to be by myself.”

There are times in each of our lives when we don’t want to be with people—we want to be alone. Lots of reasons for that—and maybe each of us has a different way of experiencing this desire. I remember when I was coming close to the end of my six years in Guayaquil, Ecuador—one of the noisiest and busiest places in which I have ever lived, I yearned for quiet and alone time. I knew when I got home, that I wanted quiet and to be alone.

When we are upset and hurting, maybe grieving and suffering, sometimes we want to get away—be alone. It seems a natural thing to do. I have acted this way, perhaps you have as well. It seems that this time alone can be a time to “go inside” of oneself and remember, ponder, and wonder. For me, those moments often bring me to God. I find God when I stop, go away, and am alone.

When Jesus heard that his dearest friend, John the Baptist, had been murdered, by a vicious fool, we read that He wanted to get away to a deserted place. He wanted to be alone. I imagine He wanted to grieve and commune with the Father who would console Him and strengthen Him. Jesus, the human person just like us in His humanity, wanted and needed the same thing we would seek in a similar situation.

But it was not to be. Remarkably the people heard and or figured out His intention and rushed to get to the “deserted” place before Him. So Jesus found Himself faced with countless people who were hungry, broken, sick, and needy. His response was compassion—He ministered to them and fed them.

It seems there is an example in this for me and you. We may want to escape life from time to time, yet even if we do for a little bit, life goes on. There are needs and challenges that in one way or another we have to face. It seems the truth is that our God is not a remote and distant God. No. God is in the quiet and solitude, and God is also in the midst of the reality of our families, communities and world. There is no way we can separate God from one reality or the other. At times it may seem that God is only in the quiet places: the churches, monasteries, the mountains or seaside. Not so.

The God we meet in the quiet is the God who leads us back into the noise! For God is where we are. We need to seek Him and find Him in all places and moments. So, I look forward to getting off by myself in my little sail boat—alone. But, those moments just lead me back to the noise and busyness of my life, and there, God is waiting.

Fr. Ronan

Fr. Ronan is on vacation and will return to the Parish on August 13.

Good Shepherd, NEMPAC form music partnership

This Fall, North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) will expand their school partnerships to include the Good Shepherd School. NEMPAC will provide an in-school early music education program to Good Shepherd’s students, ages 2.5 to five years. NEMPAC music instructor Susan Davies will use innovative ways to further engage children through music education while following the standardized curriculum framework. Through this wonderful relationship, NEMPAC will expand its bond within the neighboring community through music education.

GSS Director Nicolette Clifford remarked,

“Good Shepherd School is thrilled to partner with NEMPAC beginning this autumn! I had the pleasure of observing Susan Davies’ Drum and Sing Program and was extremely impressed … Susan’s obvious passion for music as well as her skill in teaching young children is an exciting combination. NEMPAC follows the Pre-K standards in Music Education which correlates well with our curriculum at Good Shepherd School. This is an important addition to our program; we are excited to partner with NEMPAC and looking forward to a fantastic year!”

Davies will teach both Drum & Sing and Music & Movement classes at Good Shepherd once a week for the school year. It is estimated that over 50 children will be served per week through this program.

Social justice in action

At the Vatican, Mayor Walsh signed a joint-declaration with 60 mayors to fight human trafficking. (Photo: Mayor Walsh @marty_walsh)

From Rome to Boston, a shared mission to fight human trafficking

Pope Francis has gone to great lengths to teach how environmental damage and human trafficking lead to the same crisis. Last month, his efforts included Vatican workshops on modern slavery and climate change for more than 60 mayors from around the world, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

Continue reading Social justice in action

Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette to visit next week

The Parish will welcome Rev. John Sullivan, a missionary of Our Lady of La Salette, to celebrate Masses and speak to parishioners on August 8-9. The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette minister to people of every race, language, culture, and way of life–beginning at their shrine in France where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1846. Her final words to the children, Maximin and Melanie, were “Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people,” echoing Jesus’ Gospel mandate. It is little wonder that the La Salette Congregation has always been mission orientated. When called upon by the Vatican to preach in foreign lands, they eagerly responded. This spirit brought them to the poor in Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, India, Madagascar, Myanmar, the Phillipines, and many other countries.

A special collection will be scheduled on these days to support this proud and accomplished organization. With your help, the Missionaries will continue to provide spiritual and financial assistance to mission countries as they bring God’s reconciling message to the poor.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saturday, August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. The Church holds that, at the end of her earthly life, Our Lady’s body was assumed into Heaven before it could begin to decay. Universal celebration of the Feast can be traced back to about the 6th century. It is considered the most important of all Marian feasts because it commemorates Mary’s entrance into eternal life.

On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared “that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” Exercising papal infallibility, Pope Pius XII declared this belief as a dogma of the Catholic Church.

Catholics are invited to attend a Mass in our Chapel on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 9AM. We hope you can join us for this special feast honoring Mary, the Mother of God. Chapel entrances are located under St. Mary’s Church at Winthrop and Soley. (Handicap lift on Winthrop)

Funeral: Annmarie “Ann” (McCormick) Crilley

Read an obituary from the Carr Funeral Home. Handicap access via Soley Street gate entrance.

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week is a national educational campaign to celebrate God’s vision for marriage and promote the methods of Natural Family Planning.

The slogan for this year’s NFP Awareness Week was inspired by Pope Francis’ recently released encyclical Laudato Si, wherein the Holy Father emphasizes the beauty and importance of developing an authentic ecology that encompasses all of creation, including man: “Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology.” (LS 155)

Visit to obtain an NFP brochure and more information about Archdiocesan services and programs.

Catholic H.S. Entrance Test

St. Joseph Preparatory High School in Boston is a co-ed Catholic, independent school with shuttle bus transportation from area commuter rail stops

St. Joseph’s is now offering five-session Test Prep for Catholic High School Entrance Test (HSPT) for students seeking to maximize  performance for admission and scholarship opportunities. Registration on a first come, first serve basis on Nov. 7 and Dec. 5. (Forms at For more info, please call 617-254-8383, x 1109 or email

Come to the Waters of Healing

One Day Retreat for Hope & Healing After Abortion

Saturday, September 19

Saturday, October 17

Saturday, November 14

9:00AM – 5:00 PM

This one-day retreat is designed  to help women hurting from past abortions experience the personal love of Christ and find hope for healing. It will offer a loving and confidential environment to hear stories of post-abortion healing, share Scriptural encounters with Christ’s healing love, spend quiet time in prayer before God, receive Sacramental Reconciliation (Confession) and the great gift of Christ in the Eucharist.

Location is confidential. Requested donation of $10 to cover lunch cost. Pre-registration is required. Limited to 10 participants. For more info, call Project Rachel at (508) 651-3100 or email

Media spotlight: Cardinal’s Blog

Reflections and experiences from the Archbishop of Boston. This summer, read accounts from guest writers and new clergy Rev. Andrea Filippucci (St. Patrick’s, Lawrence) and Rev. Chris Lowe.