Change is Tough

150 150 St. Mary St. Catherine of Siena

We thought you might enjoy a
reprint of an article by Fr. Ronan

I was twenty years old and finishing my second year of college when my parents decided it was time to sell the family home in Dorchester. Some of my older siblings had already moved on and I was the youngest. The neighborhood had changed a lot and my Dad planned to semi-retire and make a move to a smaller home in the suburbs. I spent a lot of that summer cleaning, moving and packing, and remembering. What a great old house that was and how hard it was to say goodbye – to change and to move on.

My story and memories are no different then those of so many of you as well, I imagine. We have all gone through changes in life – it is simply part of the journey. And if there has not been too much changing in your life – just wait a minute – something will come along real soon! Changes in the Church are sort of like changes in our homes and families – they are so close and personal to us. Of course we all come to realize that change is inevitable in all but the most fundamental things.

For example, our faith that sustains us daily; the love we share in families and friendships and the hope that is ours for tomorrow and into the future. These are all constants and we depend upon them each day. Our faith, hope and love may grow, be challenged and be taken for granted – but they are cornerstones of our life. It seems so much else changes. People, relationships, experiences, work, institutions, products, places and on and on – all come and go, leaving us to cope with an ever changing landscape.

And how do we cope as men and women of Faith with the changes in our lives and world? Some see changes as conspiracy and are threatened by change. Others see changes as exciting and inevitable and positive. Some are indifferent, others passionate about holding on to whatever.

For me, 6 Percival Street is gone – forever. All that was important in my life that happened at 6 Percival Street is a part of me and my brothers and sisters and our lives. Saying goodbye was hard as it often is. But, saying goodbye usually means we are saying hello as well. And if my history is any indication of my journey, and maybe yours, God has always been active in both the goodbyes and hellos – sustaining, helping guiding. In fact, it is in exactly the act of letting go of what is comfortable and familiar that we are invited to trust in the God who knows us so well and loves us so much. Sustained by this trust, we can go forward with hope.

Fr. Ronan

Prayer for Labor Day

On this weekend, when we rest from our usual labors, loving God, we pray for all
those who shoulder the tasks of human labor—
in the marketplace, in factories and offices, in the professions, and
in family living.

We thank you, Lord, for the gift and opportunity of work;
may our efforts always be pure of heart, for the good of others and
the glory of your name.

We lift up to you all who long for just employment and
those who work to defend the rights and needs of workers everywhere.
May those of us who are now retired always remember
that we still make a valuable contribution to our Church and our
world by our prayers and deeds of charity.

May our working and our resting all give praise to you
until the day we share together in eternal rest with all our departed
in your Kingdom as you live and reign Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

September 8 – The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Church has celebrated Mary’s birth since at least the sixth century. A September birth was chosen because the Eastern
Church begins its Church year with September. The September 8 date helped determine the date for the feast of the Immaculate
Conception on December 8. Scripture does not give an account of Mary’s birth. However, the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James fills in the gap.
According to this account, Anna and Joachim are infertile but pray for a child. They receive the promise of a child who will advance God’s plan of salvation for the world. Such a story, like many biblical counterparts, stresses the special presence of God in Mary’s life from the beginning.
Saint Augustine connects Mary’s birth with Jesus’ saving work. “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley. Through her birth the nature inherited from our first parents is changed.” The opening prayer at Mass speaks of the birth of Mary’s Son as the dawn of our salvation, and asks for an increase of peace.