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From the Pastor

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Next Book Group on Doerr’s “All The Light We Cannot See”

The Book Group’s next discussion on Thursday, May 28 at 7PM in the Parish Center will cover Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.

The group’s corresponding secretary and parishioner Tom Annaratone calls this a real page turner, and also cautions that some in the group are becoming addicted to the book. This is the book you have been waiting for! Everyone is invited to join, enjoy a good read, meet your parishioners, and participate in lively discussions.

Past titles discussed are Scalia’s Strange Gods, Haase’s Catching Fire, and Yousafzai and Lamb’s I Am Malala. The group has also welcomed authors like Crossroads’ Paul Lakeland via Skype.

Enjoy the latest selection, and we hope to see you at our meeting!

Seminary Golf Tournament

The 23rd Annual Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary Golf Tournament is scheduled for Monday, May 18 at the Weston Golf Club. This premier charity event is held to benefit the educational program for seminarians. Tuition covers only half the cost of educating a seminarian and the proceeds from this tournament help bridge the gap and keep the cost of educating them affordable. The $250 player entry includes lunch at the Club, 18 holes of golf with cart, and door prizes; followed by a social hour, silent auction and dinner for each golfer and a guest at the seminary. To register, call 781-899-5500 or visit

Openings at Little Sisters of the Poor

The Little Sisters of the Poor of Somerville has spaces available in its Assisted Living Units. Please contact Mary Segalla for applications and admission: 617-776-4420 x317 or Little Sisters of the Poor is also looking for volunteers to help with activities with our elderly residents. Please contact Gina at 617-776-4420 x306 for more information.

For youth and young adults

Come celebrate with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from all over the Archdiocese of Boston as they receive their Catholic religious emblems and medals at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on May 15 at the 2PM Mass. Recipients of the Marian medal, I Live My Faith medal, Pope Pius XII, and Ad Altare Dei medals will gather at the Cathedral for Mass. Scouts who have already received the Family of God medal, Parvuli Dei medal, or Light of Christ medal in the past year are welcome to come and receive a certificate for their achievement.

All Young Adults and College Students are invited to gather on May 15 at 7:30PM for a “Jesus in Boston” event at St. Leonard’s in the North End for Eucharistic Adoration followed by Holy Mass and then a social gathering afterwards. It’s a great way to meet new people and strengthen your interior life. For more info, email

High school youth are invited to attend the Youth Conference coming to Boston this summer! Join a team of national speakers and musicians and thousands of other Catholic teens for this amazing opportunity. For more info, email

Vocation groups and events

Fiat for Discerning Women: Fiat is a discernment group for women in the Archdiocese of Boston who are considering a vocation to religious life. If you are interested, please contact Sr. Marian Batho,  Delegate for Religious, at or 617-746-5637.

Cursillo for men: Cursillo is a short course in Christianity. It is an encounter with Christ in a small community of the Church, in order to deepen your own faith and strengthen your ability to be witnesses of Christ in the world. For information, please check, call the Office of Spiritual Life at 617-779-3640, or email

St. Andrew Dinner: The  St.  Andrew  Dinner  evening  is  a  gathering  of  parish  priests, high  school chaplains, campus  ministers,  youth  ministers, seminarians, and Cardinal Seán for dinner and a short presentation. The event is casual and provides a time for conversation and discussion. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a closer look at the call to the priesthood! To learn more, contact Fr. Hennessey at 617-746-5949 or send an email to

The social work and activism of St. Catherine of Siena

Photo courtesy of Lee Eiseman

Many saints possess the honored title of Doctor of the Church—distinguished by writings and preaching that are valued pieces of the Christian foundation—yet when compared to other writers and saints, Saint Catherine of Siena was simply a powerhouse.

Catherine was born in 1347 in a district of Siena, Italy. At a young age, she was pleasant, idealistic, and passionately religious. She clashed with her family over their desire for her to marry, especially when she cut her hair instead of improving her appearance. Eventually, she was permitted to pursue a spiritual life. At the age of eighteen, she received the habit as a sister of the Order of St. Dominic.

Catherine was initially content to stay in prayerful solitude at home and only leave for Mass. A few years later, she went out to assist the ill and the poor. The ministrations of this social worker in homes and hospitals could not have come at a better time, for the people were struck by disease.

Her efforts drew a following from men and women alike, and she continued to learn and teach from home. People noticed her ecstatic, mystical connection to God which defined her entire life. Catherine was never formerly schooled but collected Christian knowledge with intensity. She is described by biographer Sr. Suzanne Noffke as “completely immersed in the main current of Catholic teaching.”

In her introduction to a reprint of Catherine’s famous Dialogue, Noffke believes the saint was a “social mystic” but “more properly a mystic activist.” From 1375 onward, Catherine dictated or wrote some 400 letters and prayers. Through correspondence or action, she intervened with mercenaries and political prisoners, but her greatest political involvement occurred just before the Western Schism that divided the Church.

Catherine advocated reform in a time when a succeeding line of French popes had lived in Avignon for decades. In a prodding letter to Pope Gregory XI, who was considering a return to Rome, she urged him to “sleep no longer, but wake up and raise that standard courageously. I am confident that by God’s measureless goodness you will win back the unbelievers and (at the same time) correct the wrongdoing of Christians, because everyone will come running to the fragrance of the cross, even those who have rebelled against you most.”

Catherine was everywhere at once: encouraging reform in Pisa, starting a monastery at Belcarco, preaching at Rocca d’Orcia, and practicing diplomacy in Florence. Even when cardinals left Pope Urban VI to form an anti-papal court in 1378, she went to Rome to convince officials of his authority and reunite the Church.

Sadly, she would not live to see this reconstitution. Years of prolonged abstinence led to serious medical complications. In 1380, she could not eat or swallow water and lost the use of her legs. She went to the Lord on April 29, 1380 at the age of thirty-three.

Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, patron saint of Italy and Europe, was canonized in 1461. Her feast day is on April 29.

Jeffrey Proctor

God has a plan

From time to time I find myself in a conversation with a young person who is trying to figure out what to do with life. Perhaps the individual has a good education, gifts aplenty, and lots of possibilities, yet the road ahead seems unclear. Not infrequently this quandary includes the search for a partner in life; is there someone for me, what should I do, how will I know—these and more questions emerge as one seeks to know what is on the road ahead. Anyone who is reading this column likely knows something of this experience—and it is not limited to the young. Statistics are compelling in relating that individuals in our society change jobs and careers with greater frequency than ever before. Even as individuals face retiring from their principle life’s work, trying to figure out what to do next can be a worry.

When I was in graduate school I once took classes in career counseling. One of the resources used are vocational tests—instruments used to measure a person’s interests and compare them with norms of people from various professions and careers. An interesting approach and, to be sure, such analyses can be a helpful tool pointing a person in one direction or another. Without diminishing this approach and other similar ones, now many years later, my approach to thinking about vocation is different.

You see, I believe that God has a plan—for you. Further, I believe that God created you, uniquely YOU—there really is no other, has never been or will ever be, another YOU. And, God chose this moment in human history for you to be born, and for a reason. And so, how do your figure out that reason?

Well, there is the trial and error approach—that might work. There is the, “This is what everybody else thinks I ought to do” approach—that might work as well. But, I think the real answer comes from inside, not from outside. It comes from one’s relationship with self and more—one’s relationship with God.

Relationship with self: by that I mean, what makes your heart sing? What is it that deeply, truly brings you happiness? Relationship with God: by that I mean your greatest joy, deepest fulfillment in life will be when you are living in harmony with God’s will for you. Now the two relationships are intertwined!

Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the late Father General of the Society of Jesus, put it this way:

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.”

Lest this “falling in love” seem too remote a goal—keep in mind that God has already fallen in love with you—from the moment God created you! Love only becomes fully alive, when it is recognized, accepted and returned.  And so you can guess that my advice to one who is seeking to know what to do in life is to—fall in love!

Fr. Ronan

Holiday Mass

Join us for a 9AM Mass on Patriot’s Day in St. Catherine of Siena Chapel!

Are you interested in vocations?

Fiat for Discerning Women

Fiat is a discernment group for women in the Archdiocese of Boston who are considering a vocation to religious life.

Our next meeting will be held on Saturday, April 25 from 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. We are hosting a Nun Run that will include visiting the Daughters of St. Paul, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, Little Sisters of the Poor and the Sisters of St. Joseph.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Sister Marian Batho, CSJ, Delegate for Religious, or call 617-746-5637.

Cursillo for men

Cursillo is a short course in Christianity. It is an encounter with Christ in a small community of the Church, in order to deepen your own faith and strengthen your ability to be witnesses of Christ in the world.

The dates for the Men’s Cursillo Weekend is April 23-26. The weekend runs from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon and is held at the Campion Center in Weston MA.

For information and registration, please check the Boston Cursillo web site: or call the Office of Spiritual Life at 617-779-3640 or email us at

Wedding Anniversary Mass at Holy Cross

His Eminence, Sean Cardinal O’Malley, OFM invites all couple celebrating their 25th or 50th wedding anniversary in 2015 to the Silver and Golden Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. The Mass will be celebrated on June 14 at 11:30 and will include a renewal of vows. Family members and friends are welcome to attend. For more information and to register, please visit Please register by June 1 to have your name included in the printed list of anniversary couples. A formal invitation and more information will be mailed to each registered couple in May.

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