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Harvest on Vine News

Dear Volunteers,
Thank you for your outstanding service in February. You treated our clients with love and respect, and they walked away feeling good about the experience –– all because of you, the best volunteers on the planet.

March Dates
Friday, 3/9, 4:00 PM, set-up
Saturday, 3/10, 9:45 AM, distribution

NOTE CHANGE: TUESDAY, 3/27, 12:00 NOON, set-up and distribution: Easter hams, 400 spiral hams.

Save the Date: Harvest on Vine spring fundraiser, Thursday, April 19, 6:30 PM, Knights of Columbus Hall, 545 Medford Street, Charlestown. The night includes a catered meal, entertainment, music, auction items, raffle prizes, cash bar.

Table of ten, $500
Individual seats, $50

Tom 617-990-7314


Our parish is joining Cardinal Sean O’Malley and parishes throughout the Archdiocese for this special event in honor of Our Lady. We invite young and old to participate with us for this event. If you are interested, call the Parish Center at 617-242-4664 or email Dianne Ludy at
The event will take place at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 1545 Tremont Street, Boston, MA.
Join Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., on Divine Mercy Weekend for a multicultural procession through the streets of Boston with Mary, our Mother who points us to Christ and His Divine Mercy.
2:00 PM Gather at the Basilica
3:00 PM Holy Hour and Multicultural Divine Mercy Chaplet Recitation
3:30 PM Marian Procession through the streets of Boston
5:00 PM Address by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap.
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM Confession, Praise, Prayer and Devotions

Catholic Appeal 2018

Though we are many, we are one Church.

Next week, Catholics across the Archdiocese will be invited to pledge their support to the ministries supported by the Catholic Appeal that directly benefit St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish. Thank you for your prayers and support for a successful 2018 Appeal.

What is the Catholic Appeal? The Catholic Appeal is the annual campaign that supports the 50 central ministries carrying out the mission of our Church in the Archdiocese of Boston.

What are the central ministries? Central ministries help to serve the needs of all 289 parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston. While enriching parish life, central ministries also strengthen families, educate and inspire future generations, and help advance Church leadership.

How much funding does the Catholic Appeal provide for the Archdiocese of Boston? The Appeal provides about half of the funding. Funding also is provided through fees, endowments, and major gifts. The budget for the Archdiocese is available at under “Annual Report.”

Look for more info in next week’s Bulletin on Appeal Weekend, including a special video homily from Cardinal O’Malley during Mass.

Return of the Gallagher Lecture

Publisher Robert Ellsberg discusses the amazing life of Dorothy Day on April 3

The Gallagher Lecture returns to St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish on April 3 with “Dorothy Day: A Saint for Our Time”, presented by Orbis Books publisher Robert Ellsberg.

Praised by Pope Francis in his 2015 speech to Congress, Dorothy Day was among the most accomplished social activists and publishers of our time. Day was also referred to by Pope Benedict XVI as a model of conversion, for her lifelong mission to protect the disenfranchised ran parallel with her exploration of the Catholic faith.

Robert Ellsberg worked with Day during the last five years of her life. He served for two years as managing editor of The Catholic Worker newspaper?founded by Day in the 1930s?and is active in promoting Day’s cause for canonization.

The Gallagher Lecture series, named in honor of beloved priest and Charlestown native Henry Gallagher, has brought outstanding presenters to the Parish, including John Allen, Sr. Helen Prejean, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

Parishioners are invited to save the date for this wonderful event on April 3 at 3:00 p.m. in St. Mary’s Church on 55 Warren. Admission is free. Contributions to Harvest on Vine Emergency Food Pantry are welcome.

Learn more about the life and accomplishments of Dorothy Day at


Fasting gets at the root of our self; the urge for self-satisfaction, self-gratification, and self-indulgence.

The other day I met a friend whom I had not seen in a few months. I commented that he had lost some weight and hoped his health was good. He replied that he was feeling well and that his doctor had put him on a salt-free diet. He found that he was eating less because food tasted so unappealing without salt. I quickly wondered if I should cut down or eliminate salt from my diet too! We live in a crazy, upside-down world where a small percentage of the population is fastidious about diet and weight, spending millions on weight loss products while the majority of the world does not have enough to eat. In the middle of this reality, Lent asks us to fast as one of the three pillars of our Lenten practices.

Fasting usually is associated with weight control and not asceticism. Further, it is almost always about food and drink although the concept behind fasting does not limit its application to this alone. At the root of this ancient practice is the understanding that self-denial, sacrifice, “giving something up” that is desirable, are actions that bring us out of ourselves a bit and help us to focus more clearly on God. Fasting gets at the root of our self; the urge for self satisfaction, self gratification and self indulgence. Denial of self has a way of freeing one to become more aware of others and the presence of God in the world.

While fasting usually implies giving something up, it can just as well achieve its end by taking something on. For example, the choice to visit someone in need, thus putting aside one’s own agenda to be of service to another, could include that element of self discipline that helps us grow. Choices that place another’s need over one’s own are similarly incentives to grow in awareness of God and others. One of the most precious commodities that we have is time. To give another time is a huge gift especially when it is time I would rather use for myself.

As the Lenten journey looks ahead, maybe there is a collective “fasting” we can all do together: on Saturday morning, March 19 at 9:00 AM , we are inviting families and individuals to come to St. Mary’s Church for a major cleaning (benches, floors, walls, stations, stairs … everything). We would like to ask folks to come to work together so that every corner of the church sparkles on Easter! So, please plan to come join us. There will be coffee and refreshments available from 9AM on and we hope everything will be finished by noon. Plan to bring clean cloths, good furniture polish, and any other cleaning material you have on hand.

Fasting offers an intriguing invitation to assist us to look more intently and listen more completely to God’s work in our days. May we all learn to look and listen more attentively to our good and loving God.

Fr. Ronan

World Marriage Day

Celebrated in our Parish at all Masses-Feb. 13-14

Marriage is a living sacrament. It is a sign to the world of the invisible God living in our midst?the living God who bears fruit in the lives of two people who have promised to live out their lives together in mutual support and love. On the weekend of February 13/14, we will celebrate World Marriage Day in our Parish. Married couples will receive a special blessing and will be invited to restate their vows at each of our Masses that weekend. We look forward to praying and celebrating with you!

How to make a good Confession

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain

Confession, also called the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation, is one of the seven Sacraments on our Church. In each Sacrament we believe Christ is active, a specific Grace is present which we receive as we actively participate in the ritual. Confession can be a road to transformation. Reviewing areas of my life in need of healing and forgiveness with the priest, who represents Christ, seeking to be the person God created me to be, and growing in the belief that God loves me unconditionally can lead you to living a more wholesome and authentic life.

While bringing oneself to go to Confession is difficult, Confession is not difficult, but it does help to prepare. Begin with a prayer, placing yourself in the presence of God and asking God to help you make a good confession. Then review your life since your last confession, searching your thoughts, words and actions for that which did not conform to God’s command to love Him and others through God’s laws and the laws of the Church. This is called an examination of conscience.

The Rite of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

•You may go to Confession face-to-face or anonymously, with a screen between you and the priest.

•The priest gives you a blessing or greeting.

•Make the Sign of the Cross and say: “Bless me father, for I have sinned. My last confession was…” (give the approximate number of weeks, months or years).

•Confess all of your sins to the priest. The priest will help you to make a good confession. If you are unsure about how to confess or you feel uneasy, just ask him to help you. Answer his questions without hiding anything out of fear or shame. Place your trust in God, a merciful Father who loves you unconditionally and wants to forgive you.

•Following your confession of sins, say: “I am sorry for these and all of my sins.”

•The priest assigns you a penance and offers advice to help you be a better follower of Jesus.

•Say an Act of Contrition, expressing your sorrow for your sins.

•Act of Contrition: God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to confess my sins, do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

•The priest, acting in the person of Christ, then absolves you from your sins.

•After he may say something like, “Go in peace.”

Each of know what sin is. Often I ask small children in Confession after they confess something, “And how did you feel after.…?” The child always responds something like, “I felt sad.” And so it is with our conscience. And yet this is a complex world and our days offer up so many choices and circumstances. So, formation of our conscience is not only important but also a real help in making the best choices and following Jesus’ call to live a life of authentic love.

In future articles in our Parish Bulletin, we will offer some models and resources to help inform and shape our consciences. And in the end it is always our intention that matters most?wanting to follow Christ and seeking the best way to do exactly that.

Fr. Ronan

“God’s forgiveness finds me no matter where I am. God’s compassion takes me where I ought to go” – Sri Chimnoy

Donate today!

Warm clothes

The Parish is accepting new or used hats, gloves, scarves, and mittens for adults and children in need. Donations will be sent to shelters in the immediate area. A drop-off bin is located in Church. Please stop by! Ace Hardware in the Bunker Hill Mall Shopping Center will also have a bin in the store. Many thanks for your generosity!

A force for good

Our Parish conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society has been a quiet force in Charlestown for decades. Vincentians respond to the poorest of the poor, regardless of religious affiliation, in a variety of ways. Please consider leaving a donation in one of the Society’s collection boxes in Church, and thank you for your support!

Breakfast foods for the Food Pantry

Harvest on Vine Emergency Food Pantry is in need of healthy, non-perishable breakfast items (i.e., cereals, oatmeal, toaster pastries, coffee) for its clients and client families. Donations can be delivered to the Church, Chapel, Good Shepherd School, or the Parish Center.

Celebrating World Marriage Day

Restatement of Vows

Couples (please face each other and repeat after the celebrant):

Husbands:  I have taken you ________, to be my wife.

I promise to be true to you in the good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Wives: I have taken you,  ________, to be my husband.

I promise to be true to you in the good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

World Marriage Day honors husband and wife as head of the family, the basic unit of society. It salutes the beauty of their faithfulness, sacrifice, struggles and joy in daily, married life.

The idea of celebrating marriage nationally began in Baton Rouge in 1981, when couples encouraged the mayor, governor, and bishop to proclaim St. Valentine’s Day as “We Believe in Marriage Day”. The event was so successful that the idea was adopted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s national leadership. By 1982, 43 governors proclaimed the day, and celebrations spread to U.S. military bases in several foreign countries. In 1983, the name was changed to “World Marriage Day”, designated to be celebrated each year on the second Sunday in February. WMD celebrations continue to spread to more countries and faith expressions every year.

The World Marriage Day Symbol speaks of the role and values of marriage. Husband and wife are symbolically seen as two candle-like figures, as a reminder that married love calls married couples to help enlighten the world. The couple is joined by a heart, focusing on love as the power that fosters unity within the couple and generates the capacity to be life-giving and inspire others to fruitfulness and unity.

The theme for WMD has been permanently adopted as “Love One Another”. This phrase is the commandment given to us by Jesus in John 15:12. It speaks to married couples in a simple but challenging way of how our Good and Gracious God who gave this gift to them, wishes them to live.

Loving one another is a daily decision—simple but challenging, and more likely to endure when the couple prays together, keeping God as the center of their lives. Praying together can bring the couple closer to each other and deeply reinforce their relationship with God.

Snow day update for Daily Mass

We still have a few more months of winter, so this is a reminder that when Boston Public Schools are closed, there is no morning Mass. Many thanks! Stay updated here on Facebook and at