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One-day retreats for hope and healing

During the Year of Mercy, Project Rachel extends a special invitation to women suffering from the pain of abortion to experience God’s Mercy at a one-day retreat for hope and healing. Retreats will held at confidential locations on Saturday February 20, March 19 and June 4.

Referrals for sacramental reconciliation to specially trained priests are also available throughout the year. For more information, contact Project Rachel at 508.651.3100 or help@projectrachelboston.com.

Come and Experience God’s Loving Mercy

One Day Retreat for Hope & Healing After Abortion Winter/Spring Dates:

Saturday, February 20, 2016-Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday, June 4, 2016

9:00AM-5:00 PM

This  one-day  retreat  is designed  to  help women  hurting  from  past  abortions experience the personal love of Christ and find hope for healing. It will offer a loving and confidential environment to:

  • hear stories of post abortion healing
  • share Scriptural stories of Christ’s healing love
  • spend quiet time in prayer before God
  • receive Sacramental Reconciliation (Confession) and the great gift of Christ in the Eucharist

Sponsored by the Project Rachel Ministry of the Archdiocese of Boston. Location is confidential. Requested donation of $10 to cover lunch cost. Pre-registration is required. Limited to 10 participants. For more information, contact Project Rachel at (508) 651-3100 or e-mail help@projectrachelboston.com.

Our final push for the Grand Annual Campaign!

To date, parishioners have contributed $93,781.50 to this major effort to cover the maintenance and operational costs of our wonderful Parish. For those who have the means, the Parish is asking for a donation of $650. And for those who can do more, please do so as there are surely those whose gift will be a sacrifice at a lesser level. We believe these combined amounts will yield a balanced budget.

There are many ways to make a contribution if you have not yet done so! You can scan the QR code here for a Paypal donation link, or visit the Grand Annual section of stmarystcatherine.org to learn more. For all your help, we are humbled and deeply grateful! If you have any questions, please ask for James  in the Business Office at (617) 242-4664.

Mass on MLK Day

Join us for Mass on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at 9:00 a.m. in  St. Catherine of Siena Chapel, with  entrances at Winthrop and Soley under St. Mary’s Church. The Parish Center will be closed on Monday,  January 18 but reopens on Tuesday, January 19.

How parishioners and CRS can change the world

“I dream of a ‘missionary option,’ that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.” – Pope Francis

The Pope is quoted from an exhortation called The Joy of the Gospel, in an aptly-named section, “The Church’s Missionary Transformation”. The Pontiff encourages local parishes to devote their energies to missionary conversion?reaching out of their comfort zone for the greatest in need. Action and service reward us with “a constant desire to go forth” and “elicit a positive  response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with him.” A missionary impulse keeps the Church in touch with people, adaptive to their lives and needs, and invigorates the entire community.

Continue reading How parishioners and CRS can change the world

What is a CRS Rice Bowl?

“Lord, help us to be instruments of your peace.”

Catholic Relief Services is one of the busiest international relief agencies in the world. CRS relief workers can be found attending to Syrian refugees, earthquake victims in Nepal, and other hot spots where disasters, disease, and strife have brought suffering to many. A Rice Bowl is a time-honored tradition for Catholics  to live out the Lenten pillars of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting in solidarity with our poorest brothers and sisters. Seventy-five percent of CRS Rice Bowl donations help people overseas, and twenty-five percent goes to local poverty and hunger alleviation projects in our area.

Rice Bowls are available for families in Church and the Parish Center. You can find more prayer, educational, and family resources at crsricebowl.org and the CRS Rice Bowl app.

MLK Day events

Holiday Mass is celebrated in St. Catherine of Siena Chapel in Charlestown at 9:00AM.

The Office for Black Catholics will hold its annual MLK Day Prayer Breakfast at Saint Katharine Drexel Parish beginning at 9:00AM.

The South Boston-Seaport Catholic Collaborative will celebrate a special Mass for Peace at Saint Peter Parish, South Boston at 12:00PM.

Cardinal Seán’s New Year’s Message for 2016

“We begin 2016 with the gift of Pope Francis having established this as a Jubilee Year of Mercy.  Throughout the year we welcome the Catholic community and all people of good faith to visit the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston’s South End, to receive the graces and blessings of the Holy Year and experience the cathedral’s magnificent architecture and inspiring beauty.  We pray that the coming year will be a time of reconciliation and peace in our local communities and throughout the world.”

Follow the Cardinal’s blog at bostoncatholic.org

Photo: CatholicTV YouTube

The impact of Faith on your life

Please spread the word! Many adults who have been Baptized and have made their First Communion in the Catholic Church have never had the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Maybe. . . it’s time

To deepen your relationship with God who loves and cares about you.

To re-engage your world again as a Catholic more informed about your faith and its impact in your life.

To re-new yourself and others through the unique power of the Holy Spirit who guides us in Love and Truth.

Candidates 18 years of age or older will attend eight 90-minute classes beginning Wednesday, January 13 at 7PM to prepare for this Sacrament. The Sacrament of Confirmation will be conferred on Sunday, April 24 at the 11AM Mass.

If you are interested in more information or would like to register for these classes, please call Sr. Nancy at the Parish Center at 617-242-4664 or email ncitro@stmarystcatherine.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

“’Put on Christ!’ in your life, and you will find a friend in whom you can always trust; ‘put on Christ’ and you will see the wings of hope spreading and letting you journey with joy towards the future; ‘put on Christ’ and your life will be full of his love; it will be a fruitful life.”

Pope Francis, World Youth Day, Rio 2013

January is Poverty Awareness Month

Join U.S. Bishops, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and the Catholic Community in the United States in taking up Pope Francis’ challenge to live in solidarity with the poor.

“I want a Church which is poor and for the poor.” – Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium)

Continue reading January is Poverty Awareness Month

If one suffers, we all suffer

I guess it happens to all of us. We read or hear about some tragedy in our town like a shooting and a death, feel concerned about it for a while, maybe even go to a meeting or two clamoring that something must be done about it, looking to professionals and law enforcement providers to solve the problem. And then we move on with our lives.

It’s understandable.  Everyone’s life is busy.  We all have so much going on, and we become overtaken by more immediate responsibilities. Perhaps we even feel overwhelmed by a sense of powerlessness over the situation, not knowing how we can make a difference. In many ways, we end up with a perfect climate for the crises of drug and alcohol abuse to prosper.

A number of years ago, when the crisis seemed especially acute, some residents came together and took action. Organizations such as CHAD (Charlestown Against Drugs, 1993) and CSAC (Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition) were formed, and various recovery programs were created and/or strengthened. Educational initiatives in schools, social, and athletic programs were launched. MGH became more involved through the Clinic on High Street and in other ways.

Despite these concerted efforts, the reality is we are still burying our young from substance abuse. Families are being damaged and lives harmed. Parents are mourning their children and grandparents are raising orphaned grandchildren. Where violence is present, inevitably, drugs are the motivation. The statistics are daunting, and Charlestown continues to be a place where residents unanimously consider substance abuse the greatest problem we have in the community.

My experience, like that of other “service providers” in our town, is this disease does not discriminate: no matter one’s education, income, race, ethnic background, language, religion or other variable, all are at risk and suffer from this illness and its secondary effects on the community at large.  And so this epidemic affects us all.

The fundamental issues of substance abuse will not be effectively resolved in one or two meetings or by the rigorous efforts of professionals and a few of our residents.  Something more fundamental is called for. We need a different mentality. By that I mean, we need a conscious and active awareness of the depth and extent of the problem. With that in hand, each of us and all of us together, can change the mindset in our community toward the disease of addiction that plagues us.

Simply to reduce the deaths from opiate overdoses is not enough. We need to stop them. A goal of this magnitude is only possible when a full community puts its mind and heart into making it happen. Eldridge Cleaver once said, “If you are not a part of the solution you are part of the problem.”

So, be part of the solution and join me and many neighbors and friends at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Medford Street on Monday, January 11 at 5:30 p.m. (light dinner) for a very important discussion. And come prepared to learn how to become part of the solution.

Fr. Jim Ronan

Photo: FreeImages.com/Marcin Jochimczyk