Newsletter, May 21, 2020


I respect and admire the scientists and medical professionals who have worked to inform and shape policies for us from the start of this pandemic. The numbers, the data, the percentages, and various indices have made us all students again. It is of special interest because most of us try to figure out where we fall on the different scales forecasting what is or might be going on.

Quantifying characteristics of human behavior is something all of us find interesting. As soon as we hear a statistic like, “25% of everyone working remotely gets a headache”, we think about ourselves and anyone we know working remotely. As the pandemic has engulfed us there are all kinds of statistics and many of them address the fear, grief, sickness, and death of this horror.

Are the consequences of COVID-19 only negative? In my own life, I have been thinking about how I am changing, for better or for worse. Maybe I am becoming lazy, I wonder, because of this open-ended schedule when I realize much ought to be tackled, yet I never quite get to it. Then I question if I am becoming indifferent to matters that previously seemed important and now don’t seem to matter that much. And the self-reflection goes on, perhaps with you as well.

How about this: what percentage of the population is more tolerant of others today than a few months ago? Is the fact that the pandemic affects everyone in some way or another with no exceptions a unifying factor? I think so. When we look around, read, listen, and share information, it quickly becomes evident our inconveniences, losses, and suffering may be matched, even exceeded, by another’s.

The counterpoint to the tolerance scale is an old all too familiar axiom of us vs them. The disease, worse than COVID 19, may be those who are putting forth divisiveness rather than unity, intolerance rather than acceptance, and indifference rather than empathy.

This is a pivotal moment for our community and world. I see and witness first hand edifying tolerance and acceptance in Charlestown and recognize it as the very best of the human spirit. We are all children of God and our prayer and our living must be at its best when it includes care for one another.

Fr. Ronan

Saint Mary Church diagonal view to Winthrop St. corner


It is with great joy that we are able to announce that our beautiful St. Mary Church will be reopening soon! 

We have formed a committee who will work with us to develop an appropriate plan for our Church setting in an effort to do our best to safeguard the wellbeing of all parishioners and visitors. We will follow the COVID-19 requirements set forth by our Archdiocese in collaboration with state and local officials. 

Because of the preparations needed, we hope that we will complete all of the necessary adjustments so that we may celebrate together on Pentecost Sunday, May 31. 

Cardinal Seán O’Malley has kept the dispensation to attend Sunday Mass in place as there may be some “at risk” individuals or others who are not able or do not feel comfortable attending at this time. 

We will continue to livestream our Sunday and daily Mass at Noon via Facebook and our website  The Masses will be recorded and posted on the website if you are not able to attend at Noon.

Next week, we will be issuing a special edition of our e-newsletter outlining our plans and the important part you will play.  While it will take more time to return to life within our Church as we knew it, we are sure that, together and with God’s grace, we will be able to celebrate in rich and meaningful ways.

Let us keep each other in prayer.

Fr. Ronan

Idyllic guest house front porch, rocker and afternoon tea table.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out

For some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice
meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.  – RUMI

The Women’s Group

Our Women’s Group will meet on Wednesday evening, May 27, 6:30- 8pm via Zoom.  We look forward to welcoming new members!

If you are interested in joining, please email Sr. Nancy so that she can send you a Zoom invitation.  The invitation will include a link for video participants and a telephone number to call for audio participation.

We will take time to check-in with all participants, given the reality of our times, and reflect on the Gospel for the coming Sunday.

We look forward to connecting with new members and reconnecting with existing ones.  God’s blessings and protection, Sr. Nancy