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Youth Movie Night

Please join us for a Youth Group movie night for ages 8 and up on Monday, November 10, 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Church Hall (downstairs of the Church). Pizza, snacks, and drinks will be provided. If you would like to join us or you would like more info about our Youth Group, please contact Anne Krane at akrane@stmarystcatherine.org. We will see you there!

Young Adult Group

We are looking for Young Adults who are interested in helping out with the Thanksgiving Distribution for the Harvest on Vine emergency food pantry on November 25 at 4:30 p.m.

If you are interested in participating at this important annual event, please contact Anne Krane at akrane@stmarystcatherine.org or call (617) 242-4664.

Protecting God’s Children Training

All volunteers at the Parish must complete a CORI background check and go through Protecting God’s Children Training. We will be holding a training on November 8 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. in the Parish Office. If you are currently a volunteer at St. Mary-St Catherine of Siena or you are planning on becoming a volunteer, please contact Anne Krane to sign up for this training. (akrane@stmarystcatherine.org)

Christmas Bazaar

Little Sisters of the Poor Annual Christmas Bazaar

Saturday, November 8, 9AM-4PM

Gift Items, Stocking Stuffers, Rafflemania, Games, Bakery including Irish Soda Bread and our famous Beef Stew!

186 Highland Ave. Somerville ? 617-776-4420

Mass of Remembrance

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them forever.

Sunday, November 2 at 6:00 p.m. in St. Mary’s Church

All parishioners are invited to participate in our Mass of Remembrance on November 2 at 6PM. At this liturgy, the names of all persons for whom a Funeral Mass was celebrated in our Parish during the past year are included in the Litany of Remembrance and a candle is lighted for each one. We also remember and light a candle to represent all family, relatives, and friends of our Parish Community who have gone to God and for those who have no one to remember them. Light refreshments will be served.

So that we may plan appropriately, please call our Parish Office (617-242-4664) by October 27 with the appropriate number of persons who will attend.

Values at risk on Questions 3 and 4

The Massachusetts Catholic Conference, which serves as the public policy arm of the Church in the Commonwealth, is urging citizens to vote Yes on Ballot Questions 3 and 4 in November’s state election.

The archbishop of Boston, joined by the bishops of Fall River, Springfield, and Worcester, warn about the values threatened by the launch of three major casinos and nearly one million people working today without earned sick time.

A Yes vote on Question 3 would prohibit casinos, any gaming establishment with slot machines, and wagering on simulcast greyhound races in Massachusetts. While a law for expanded gambling was passed in 2011, bishops note that the state has since outpaced the nation in economic recovery, and casinos, once seen as money makers, are more trouble than they are worth. “As the Commonwealth has recovered, other Northeast states where gambling is legal have seen troubling trends in a decline in revenue in their local gambling venues,” said the MCC in a September release.

Projected closures in New Jersey and dropping revenue in Connecticut support this view. Massachusetts bishops also speak of the growing problem of predatory gaming, where venues earn revenue from gambling addicts and the poorest in the community.

A Yes vote on Question 4 would entitle employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions. “The social teaching of the Catholic Church has long been clear on the essential nature of work for the maintenance of the dignity of the human person,” bishops remarked in an Oct. 16 statement. “Today, those without sick time are oftentimes forced to choose between going to work sick or losing a day’s pay, in many cases threatening the loss of their job. Tragically, many are forced to send a sick child to school to save their income or their job. These are the same individuals who earn the least amount and struggle to provide the basic needs for themselves and their families.”

The bishops, who also endorsed a fair wage initiative in March, believe the mandate will keep workers, family, and workplaces healthy.

The Massachusetts Catholic Conference (MCC) is the public policy office of the Roman Catholic Church in Massachusetts, and assists the bishops of the Commonwealth’s four Catholic Dioceses by giving witness to spiritual values in public affairs. To learn more about these and other current issues, visit macatholic.org.

Would you like to see a sample of your ballot or find out where to vote? Visit wheredoivotema.com or sec.state.ma.us.

Why we register

Why are you registered as a parishioner? There are many reasons!

Registered parishioners have access to Parish news and programs, as well as important events and happenings in Charlestown. It is one of the criteria for a person to be a godparent for Baptism or a sponsor for Confirmation. It is also a requirement for the sacraments of Baptism and Marriage.

More importantly, it is to belong to a community of stewards who take active ownership of their Parish!

If you haven’t registered, are new to our Parish, or if you’d like to change your address or contact information, we invite you to make use of our Registration Form.

“I want a laity who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it. I want an intelligent, well instructed laity. I wish to enlarge your knowledge, to cultivate your reason, to get an insight into the relation of truth to truth, to learn things as they are.”

- Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

For whatever you want

Throughout my years of ministry, in places near and far, always I come to a place of amazement when persons in trouble, grieving, in need, and broken in spirit find consolation in hearing the 23rd Psalm. For thousands of years this has been true, even to this very time. The imagery is antiquated, the meaning ever-new.

The great Jewish King David, author of many of the Psalms and the author of Psalm 23, was once a shepherd boy. In this Psalm, he places the image of the shepherd at the center of his prayer and casts God in the role of Shepherd: “The Lord is my Shepherd.” The opening line is so familiar that when I quoted it at Sunday Masses, the congregation quickly recited the subsequent line using the most popular translation: “There is nothing I shall want.”

The Psalm continues on with the image of each of us as a sheep and God as our Shepherd. David, in a most profound and simple way, outlines a complete set of circumstances that address our human journey and needs. Our physical needs are well cared for: “green pastures and still waters.” Our very beings are refreshed and restored, and our direction in the journey made right: “He restores my soul. He guides me along right paths.”

Even in dangerous times, we are freed from fear because of the presence of the watchful, able Shepherd: “Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for You are with me.” Accompanied by The Shepherd, the journey holds amazing promise of blessings and even reconciliation with foes: “You set a table–perhaps even for my enemies to join me and my cup overflows.”

David concludes this prayer with an absolute profession in his belief in God’s loving care for him—and for us as we pray, “Indeed goodness and mercy surround me all the days of my life—and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The simplicity of Psalm 23 almost obscures how very sublime it is. The prayer speaks to the depths of the human heart.

While the popularity of the Psalm is widespread, it seems that the actual appropriation of the Psalm is very limited. By that I mean so many of us are fraught with the challenges of everyday life and have a sense of the heaviness of living. The worries and the stress, the long hours of work and planning, the saving and earning, the struggle to be healthy and finally to find happiness are part of the life of us all. Some of the younger members of the community feel this more intensely than others, for no one is exempt from the challenges of life.

So how can it be that we profess, “The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want,” but are not able to hold on to this reality in the midst of our struggles? Where is the disconnect?

It seems our faith and our prayers are put aside when we step into the reality of our life. And yet it is precisely there in the come-day go-day movement of our lives that our faith is most needed. If, in those difficult moments, we embrace and internalize the actual meaning of the psalm, then we will truly feel and comprehend what it means to have the Lord as my Shepherd and to want for nothing. And we will understand why Psalm 23 has been loved and prayed for so many centuries.

Fr. Ronan

jronan@stmarystcatherine.org

An Ecuador experience with Rostro de Cristo

Young Catholics in Boston are invited to join Rostro de Cristo for an Immersion Retreat on the streets of Guayaquil, Ecuador from November 23?29.

Rostro de Cristo is a Catholic Volunteer and Retreat program working on the margins of Ecuador’s largest city. (Our U.S. office is at the RCAB Pastoral Center in Braintree.) Our retreat offers you an opportunity to live the Gospel, deepen your understanding of the global Church, and make a difference by committing to service, faith and social justice. Live, work and pray in community; walk the dusty streets of Guayaquil with our volunteers; meet our neighbors and hear their inspiring stories; worship at the local Catholic parish; visit ministry projects serving those in need, and encounter Christ among the poor.

The cost is $1000 plus airfare (financial aid up to $400 is available for those who are unable to pay the full amount). The retreat opportunity is limited to adults who are able participate in 2?3 preparation meetings in Boston and who would continue to meet upon return.

Want more information? Come to an RDC gathering in the Church hall after this Sunday’s 6PM Mass. Take a look at rostrodecristo.org or send an email to evan@rostrodecristo.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

What you should know about hospice care

Every October, the Church in the United States observes “Respect Life” month as an expression of our commitment to the value of every human life from its beginning stages in the womb to the end of earthly life. This year’s theme is “Each of us is a MASTERPIECE of God’s creation.” The Secretariat for New Evangelization and the Pro Life Office have chosen four topics, one for each week in October, to help inform us about these critically important issues. The topics are: adoption, palliative care, health care proxies, and hospice care. The following is information on hospice care.

Continue reading What you should know about hospice care