Some of the most memorable times in my childhood and adult life have occurred at family celebrations with everyone gathered around the table to share a meal. For example my father loved to get our large family to Sunday Mass on summer mornings. Returning to the house after a stop at a special bakery, sometimes with relatives in tow, my mother would prepare breakfast for everyone. Holidays at the home of my grandmother always included a formal and wonderful meal with lots of seats around an over-laden table. Such shared meals hold special memories.
Over the years as a parish priest, I have enjoyed the privilege of being a guest at countless family dinners, invariably wonderful, lively, and fun times. Coming together to share a meal is such a fundamental and special experience for each of us. Perhaps it makes sense, therefore, that Jesus chose to share a meal with his friends the night before he died.
The Last Supper holds a most extraordinary place in our Catholic tradition. Each Holy Week, the Sacred Triduum begins with this commemoration on Holy Thursday night. We come together to REMEMBER. And as we come together, not only on that night, but also at every celebration of the Mass, Jesus Himself becomes present in that moment. He told us to “Do this in memory of Me.”
For more than 2,000 years, the Church has remembered. And the Mass virtually is celebrated in every language on the planet—in hovels and cathedrals, among the rich and the poor, the young and the old. Soldiers, prisoners, the sick, the healthy, enemies, and colleagues along with saints and sinners—all are welcome at the table of the Lord. And when we come to that table, what happens?
Some of us prefer to sit in the back, in the shadows and corners of our churches. Others choose to be in the middle, and still others prefer to sit right in front of the altar. What I hear from many is that coming to Church for Mass brings one a sense of peace. Others tell me that for all God gives them, they feel they should be able to “give back” at least one hour each week. Some come to simply pour out their heart’s pains and worries and still others come to celebrate, sing, and to give thanks with joy. In my own life, I can identify with every one of these persons and have found myself in each position.
What happens in one’s life if and when one chooses not to come to the Table? Maybe nothing will be immediately obvious. Yet, if absence from this meal is frequent, we shouldn’t be surprised if the joy of life is less. For you see, maybe it is a bit like being away from family gatherings and meals for awhile—one grows a bit disconnected…. Holy Week is the perfect moment to gather, once again, for THE MEAL. To recognize again the immense Gift we have in the Eucharist.
Pope Francis gave a special greeting to 150 homeless who were given a tour of the Sistine Chapel. Read about this special event.
The Official Vatican Network is your resource for news from Pope Francis and the Vatican, with archives, press releases, CTV, Vatican Radio, and more. Don’t forget to follow Pope Francis on Twitter!
Celebrate the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter with CatholicTV from the Vatican, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross along with Masses from the San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.
From March 30 to April 6 CatholicTV will bring you full coverage of the Holy Week and Easter liturgies led by Pope Francis. On Tuesday March 31st join the celebration of the Chrism Mass from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross with parishes from the Archdiocese of Boston LIVE at 11:30am re-airing at 8pm. Vatican coverage begins with Palm Sunday Mass, followed by Thursday’s Chrism Mass and Mass of the Lords Supper; the Sacred Triduum continues on Good Friday with the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion and the Way of the Cross.
For air times please visit the schedule page on CatholicTV.com.
Jesus in Boston
All Young Adults and College Students are invited to join us on Friday, April 17 @ 7:30pm for our monthly “Jesus in Boston” event. We will be at St. Leonard’s Parish 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 information please email Mike Drahos at MDrahos@rcab.org.
Steubenville East – Youth Conference
High school youth are invited to attend a youth conference that is coming to the Archdiocese for the first time this summer! Join Cardinal Seán, a team of national speakers and musicians, and thousands of other Catholic teens from the Northeast for this amazing opportunity. There is still availability through Faith Formation of Youth & Young Adults Ministry. For more info please email Kathy Stebbins at KStebbins@rcab.org.
Fiat: reflection and celebration
Fiat is a discernment group for single women considering a vocation to religious life in the Catholic Church. Join us for meetings on the last Wednesday of the month. To learn more, please contact Sr. Marian at 617-746-5637 or Sr_Marian_Batho@rcab.org. For more information, please check us out on facebook.com/FiatForDiscerningWomen.
The Samuel Circles
A coalition of Men’s Religious Communities serving in the Archdiocese of Boston hosts The Samuel Circles, evening gatherings each month for young single men who are looking into the possibility of joining a Religious Community. The name for these gatherings is taken from the story of the call of the prophet Samuel who heard his name called from God as a young man and was aided by the prophet Eli. For more information, search for Samuel Circles on Facebook or call Fr. Rocco at 508 429 2144. Don’t come alone. Bring a friend!
Jesus is anointed for burial
Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Mark 14:1-15:47
While [Jesus] was at Bethany…a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head…. [Jesus said], “She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial.”—Mark 14:3 and 8
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love. —Psalm 31:14-16
O Christ, grant us grace and hope as we prepare for Good Friday. By your crucifixion and resurrection, you overcome death and all the powers of evil. May this gift of new life inspire us to see that all people benefit from the abundance of God’s creation. Amen.
The weeks following Easter are an ideal time to explore how we can be agents of new life in God’s world. The spring recess is also a good time to meet with your representative in Congress when she or he returns to the home district. Visit bread.org to find suggestions about arranging these face-to-face visits with your Congressional representative or call 800-822-7323.
Ever since the bridge to Long Island Shelter was declared unsafe, hundreds of homeless persons were left displaced in Boston, and at the mercy of the cold and harsh weather. Many clients left the facility with the clothes on their backs, and as a result, other shelters and programs experienced an unprecedented demand for winter clothing. To help answer the call, parishioners contributed many pieces of warm winter clothing to the Friends of Boston’s Homeless (fobh.org), an organization that strives to move individuals from shelters to lead independent lives. Thank you for your kind donations during this important clothing drive!
The Parish Appeal campaign is off to a wonderful start! With $26,650.00 already pledged from 63 donors, we are at 41% of goal of $64,871.00. The early outpouring of support from so many helps sustain the important ministries that make St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena a vibrant place of worship. If you have yet to give, please pick up a pledge form at the back of Church, the Parish Center, or visit bostoncatholicappeal.org. Thank you for your prayers and support.
Your generosity makes possible 50 central ministries that serve 289 parishes and impact the lives of tens of thousands of people.
Priests from Regina Cleri
Good Friday’s collection for the Holy Land on April 3 is, in the words of Paul VI, “not only for the Holy Places but above all for those pastoral, charitable, educational, and social works which the Church supports in the Holy Land for the welfare of their Christian brethren and of their local communities.” Your assistance for the Holy Land Shrines on Good Friday is much appreciated!
The only collection at Easter Masses will be for the Clergy Funds: a critical program to support the retirement, medical, and financial needs of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston. In the 200-year history of the Archdiocese of Boston, over 3,000 men have answered the call to the priesthood and followed in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd. On behalf of all our priests, thank you in advance for your generosity.
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Saturday, March 28 – Vigil Mass for Palm Sunday
Sunday, March 29 – Palm Sunday: Masses at 8:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 6:00 p.m.
Don’t forget to join us for our Palm Sunday Organ Concert at 3:00 p.m. in St. Mary’s Church!