From our Pastor

150 150 Charlestown Catholic Collaborative

From our Pastor

150 150 Charlestown Catholic Collaborative

And all I ever have to be is what You’ve made me.
Any more or less would be a step out of Your plan.
As You daily recreate me, help me always keep in mind
that I only have to do what I can find,
and all I ever have to be… is what You’ve made me.
From All I ever have to be written by Gary Chapman

Sometimes we take for granted what each of us gives to the world or has the capacity to. It’s so easy for us to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others who might have gifts or skills that seem to be more attractive, more valuable, or more helpful. As adults we’re even harder on ourselves, as we see others excel in A or B and we seem to fail, though we may excel in C or D.

St. Paul understood that tendency when he writes about the parts of the body in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 12:14–26) and Jesus illustrates it perfectly in today’s Gospel in the story of the talents (He uses the term in two ways, because a talent was also considered a monetary term). God has given us gifts- differently, not more or less to make something extraordinary come about, and it may seem so simple, but maybe that’s the point behind it all. I love how St. Paul writes how the Church is comprised of living stones and we build each other up- we need one another. It’s not always the quantity, it’s the quality that’s the point.

There are so many out there who may think they are not worthy or have nothing to give, but the truth is it is God who gives us what we need and makes us worthy, not any of us or this world. May we rejoice in a God who loves us as we are and calls us to develop and share His gifts with one another and the world. The world needs you.

Prayer taken from the Catholic Household Blessings, Revised Edition, Copyright 2007, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.

From our Pastor

150 150 Charlestown Catholic Collaborative

From our Pastor

150 150 Charlestown Catholic Collaborative

I hope we start seeing forever, instead of what we can gain in a day.
I hope we start seeing each other, because don’t we all bleed the same?
I really hope someone can hear me, that a child doesn’t bear the weight of a gun.
I find the voice within me to scream at the top of my lungs

From Hope, written by Emeli Sande

November is my favorite month, a time to remember our beloved dead, the souls and saints who teach us by their extraordinary lives and love what this is all about, through our remembrance of the courage and grace of the heroes in our midst on Veteran’s Day, to gathering in thanks for all that we’ve been given, celebrating the King of Peace, Christ our Lord and looking forward to the beginning of our journey to Bethlehem.

Our hearts are heavy with worries of violence and war across our world and around us, and we bring them to Christ. The powers of this world, as awesome as they can seem, bow, trembling before God. May we find courage, surrounded by the whispers and rumors around us, in the truth that we hold deeply in our hearts and speak out boldly for truth, justice, and mercy.

Introducing Gospel Delights!

Dear Friends in Christ,
Greetings from Fr. Britto (Dhinakaran Savariyar)! I am extremely happy to introduce Gospel Delights (, which is my new blog page to share my reflections on everyday gospel text, including solemnities and feasts. The blog has the picture of four evangelists as its featured image. By God’s grace, I would like to continue this new ministry I have taken up.

Kindly pray for me and get back to me with your helpful comments and feedback.
I thank Fr. John for his generous initiative to introduce my blog page to you.
Let us be united in the love of Christ!

From our Pastor

150 150 Charlestown Catholic Collaborative

I want to leave a legacy; how will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to you enough to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering- a child of mercy and grace,
who blessed your name unapologetically… and leave that kind of legacy.

From Legacy, written by Nichole Nordeman

It’s interesting that it seems when anyone meets someone famous, one of the first things they tell others is what a “regular person” he or she is, they say that the star is kind or down-to-earth, or something like that, that it’s amazing, somehow. In reality, we’re all called to be that way to others- always. Muhammad Ali once said that when he was at a restaurant with someone: “I don’t trust anyone who’s nice to me but rude to the waiter, because they would treat me the same way if I were in that position.” It’s refreshing to encounter someone quite naturally kind, patient, and understanding with everyone, and I hope we all try to be that way.

That’s what Jesus is calling each of us to be in today’s Gospel, to put God, and the presence He is in everyone first, and ignore what the world tells us to think- He calls out the best in each of us to everyone in every way, not just when it’s convenient or because when we’re supposed to, but so it becomes second nature and without any reservation. May we be reflections of God’s presence in our world, putting Him first. He will change us- through us, person by person, He will change our world.

Nov. 1st is Feast of All Saints, a holy day of obligation. Masses will be offered on Wednesday at 9 am at St. Francis de Sales Church and at 6 pm at St. Mary’s Church. Please join us!

As we walk into the giving season, there are so many ways we can give our time, talent, and treasure- listen to your heart and hear God’s voice to give generously. Anne Frank wrote that “no one ever became poor by giving.” Let’s give!

Please encourage someone you love to join you for Mass. We miss all those who are away and wait in joyful hope for them to come home. You can help. All you need to do is pray for them and ask them. You may be surprised at the answer.

From our Pastor

150 150 Charlestown Catholic Collaborative

Cold is the morning, warm is the dream… chasing the answers ‘til I can’t sleep.
Will I be stronger, or will I be weak when you’re not with me?
Who am I without my armor, standing in my father’s shoes?
All I know is that it’s harder to be loyal, brave, and true

From Loyal, Brave, and True written by Crabtree, Hartman, Golan, Gregson

In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us to focus on who we belong to, the world or to God. We can be so easily seduced by our culture, our society, and our world to give into the temptation to turn away from what our conscience knows what is right- we can show indifference to the call for each of us, by our words and actions, to be instruments of peace, we can ignore the plight of the poor and the struggling in our midst, we can turn our eyes and our ears from the cry that each human life is sacred and has dignity, from the moment of conception to natural death, we can turn away from our calling as Christians, and particularly as Catholics, to be make a difference in this world.

Beyond our citizenship in this country and our world is our membership- by our baptism- in the Body of Christ, and our Lord makes this truth crystal clear. We are blessed to live in this free land, with all our rights and responsibilities. Jesus doesn’t deny the importance of governance in this world, but He, as we celebrate later next month, is our true King, calls us to something greater than this world can ever give, and ever know. Our King is calling us today and every day, in every moment, to be loyal, brave, and true to Him- in every way. May we hear the clarion call- may we find the courage to follow it- and live it.

From our Pastor

150 150 Charlestown Catholic Collaborative

Wandering the road of desperate life… aimlessly, beneath the barren sky.
Leave it to Me, I’ll lead you home.
So afraid that you will not be found… it won’t be long before your sun goes down.
Just leave it to Me, I’ll lead you home.
So let it go and turn it over to the One Who chose to give His life for you.
Just leave it to Me, I’ll lead you home. Leave it to Me, I’ll lead you home.

from I’ll lead you home, by Michael W. Smith

Today’s Gospel is such a revelation- something that we all need to hear, about a King who wants so much to share his generosity with all of us, and how many people reject this invitation to the feast. I’m sure all can feel the sadness and frustration of the King as he sees how so many folks turn away from his invitation- especially when we see empty pews in our churches. As Catholics,
we have a responsibility to spread the Good News of Christ, and reach out to the lost sheep in our midst and bring them in.

So many people- family members, friends, do not join us at Mass- folks that we love so deeply who for one sad reason or another choose not to receive the Word of God, the Body of Christ, the community of his faithful. We need to address this sad circumstance and address it NOW please join me and encourage someone you care about- a family member, friend, coworker- this week, to come to Mass with you. Your invitation may be the very words they need to hear. You don’t have be an expert to do this- be yourself. The Holy Spirit will give you the words you need.

As we begin now to look up and look ahead at a season of change and renewal, this is a perfect
time to personally take your baptismal calling and proclaim the Good News- it may seem awkward
at first, but the change that will take place will be worth the effort- be the one who leads them
home to the feast!

From Our Pastor

150 150 Charlestown Catholic Collaborative

Looking up. Looking ahead.

Join us on Sunday, Oct. 29th at 6 pm at St. Mary’s Church, and Sunday, Nov. 5 at 9:30 am
at St. Francis de Sales Church for special Masses of Remembrance for those
who have gone before us, particularly in the past year at our parishes.

Wednesday, Nov. 1st is All Saints’ Day, a holy day of obligation.
Mass will be offered at 9 am at St. Francis de Sales, and at 6 pm at St. Mary’s Church.

Work is beginning on painting the inside of St. Francis de Sales church,
courtesy of Painters Union Local 35. What a blessing this is for us!

I will be out of the state Nov. 13-17.

From our Pastor

150 150 Charlestown Catholic Collaborative

One moment someone whispers, “Thank you!”
Just then, another heart cries, ‘How could You?’
When Jesus, who sees us, He says, ‘I hear you. I’m near you.’
It may be miles and miles before the journey’s clear.
There may be rivers, maybe oceans of tears.
But the very hand that shields your eyes from understanding…
is the hand that will be holding you for miles.

From Miles written by Nichole Nordeman

There are moments in life when we don’t know why things happen- we may never know why. One of the most important things I’ve learned when I walk through these times with people is not to even try to explain why- there are no answers often, and we have to struggle with the darkness and pain. These are the moments when faith takes over, when we don’t give up, but we let go and we find Christ in the midst of our questions, doubts, and fears, when we move from, ”Why me?” to “What now?”

This weekend’s readings call us to an understanding and acceptance that there is a bigger plan than we can see, and although it’s only human and perfectly natural to question why things so often as they are, we’re called to let go of our doubt and trust His will. Mary did- so can we.

In exceptional gratitude

Please allow me to share a word of sincere gratitude to everyone who worked very hard to bring last Sunday’s installation celebrations about- those prepared the church and the hall, those who led us in the Mass by sharing their gifts in welcoming, word, song, service, and sacrament, those prepared, served, and cleaned up after our reception, Sr. Nancy, James Santosuosso and our incredible collaborative staff and councils, Bishop Mark and the concelebrating priests, our many guests and friends in the Town, family members, and many more who joined us online and shared our joy. It was a special day, and I hope everyone experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit.
There is much to do, there is much to share. Let’s get to it!

Mass Schedule change

In light of the heating season starting soon, beginning on Oct. 16, Daily Mass will be held at St. Catherine’s Chapel, Monday through Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 9 am. It will allow us to save heat at St. Francis, since the St. Mary Church building is already being used. Funerals, holy days, and weekend Masses will be held as usual at St. Francis. Thank you for your understanding as we look up and ahead.

Come to the Waters of Healing
A Retreat for Post-Abortion Healing

“I had never heard about Project Rachel until I read the blurb in my parish bulletin. If it hadn’t been there, I shudder to think where I would be now. It’s not just a ‘blurb’, for me it was life changing. The retreat was an experience I will take with me for the rest of my life. I received back the grace of God within me and felt a true sense of peace and self- forgiveness.”

-A Retreat Participant

Saturdays: Sept. 23, Nov. 11 9 am – 5 pm
Location is confidential. Pre-registration is required. Limited to 10 participants.
Call (508) 651-3100 or
Sponsored by the Project Rachel Ministry – Archdiocese of Boston
-Fr. John is a Project Rachel priest.

Looking up. Looking ahead.

Please note that I’ll be out of the state Oct. 1-7, at a Catholic Stewardship conference.

Join us on Sunday evening, Oct. 29th at 6 pm at St. Mary’s Church for a special Mass of Remembrance for those who have gone before us, particularly in the past year at St. Francis and St. Mary- St. Catherine.

Wednesday, Nov. 1st is All Saints’ Day, a holy day of obligation. Mass will be offered at 9 am at St. Francis de Sales, and at 6 pm at St. Mary’s Church.

Work is beginning on painting the inside of St. Francis de Sales church, courtesy of Painters’ Union Local 35. What a blessing this is for us!

I’ll be out of the state, on retreat, Nov. 13-17.

Fr. John

From our Pastor

150 150 Charlestown Catholic Collaborative

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings, there’s not a day ahead You have not seen.
So, in all things be my life and breath, I want what You want, Lord, and nothing less.
When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move,
when You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through,
when You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You. I will trust in You

from Trust in You, written by Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren, Paul Marbury

I’m often asked if I wish I knew what lies ahead for the future, and my answer is always no.
Today’s readings point us to see that God’s plans and dreams for us
may be very different than what we often imagine them to be,
and we’re called to keep focused on what is around us and on what lies ahead.
Who knows what the future brings? We know.
Will there be disappointments, heartaches, and pain? Yes, there always have been,
but there will also be joys, victories and dreams achieved we never imagined!
Our faith gives us the courage to walk through the changes in our lives to accept God’s will even though we may not understand or even welcome it to see God’s hand in all that is in our midst, to learn the lessons from the moments in our lives
and, above all, to keep going.
We are called, each of us, as ambassadors of Christ, to look up and look ahead,
just as this Collaboration is all about, to have the courage to let go of what was,
and have the faith to plan for a new generation. We can do this for them. We owe it to them.
As we begin a new era together in Charlestown, may our Blessed Mother point us to her Son,
the Hope of our world, and may we run- without hesitation- to what He is calling us to.
Blessed Mother, St. Francis de Sales, and St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

Thanks, Most Rev. Mark O’Connell, Vicar General of the Archdiocese, my classmate,
and friend. Thanks to the concelebrating priests today, our many guests,
those who lead us today and every day in word, symbol, song, and service, reception hosts,
setup and clean up teams, our Collaborative staff, parish councils and volunteers, friends,
and everyone who is joining us in many ways.
Look up. Look ahead. There is cause for rejoicing!


Registration for RCIA classes is now open. This program is for those who have been baptized Catholic but have not received First Communion and Confirmation and for those who would like to become Catholic.

Orientation is on Monday, September 25th at 6:30 at the Parish Center, 46
Winthrop Street. Please call Sr. Nancy if you are interested: 617-242-4664 or email
her at

September 29 is the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”

St. John Paul II

Clergy Trust

Clergy Trust video featuring Fr. Ronan