Our Parish Mission Statement:
To Live and Preach the Gospel through the Example of our Lives

Father John's Page

From the Pastor's Desk June 16, 2024

I wish a very happy and blessed Fathers’ Day to all of our fathers, grandfathers, Godfathers, and stepfathers. Thank you for all that you are, and all that you do for us. May the Lord bless you always.
We are preparing to celebrate the first Euchatistic congress in the USA in 83 years. It will take place July 17-21 in Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana. It will be televised on Catholic television stations. Each day will include exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, religious speakers , beautiful music, prayer and Mass. Most of us are not able to travel to Indianapolis in person, but we can take part in these holy days of Eucharistic renewal at home, watching on television. We are told that only a percentage of Catholics today believe in the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. The Blessed Sacrament is often the subject of jokes and redicule. Many young people receive their First Holy Communion and seldom receive the Lord after that. Schools schedule sports and activities on Sundays regardless of the importance and sanctity of the Lord’s day. We desperately need a Eucharistic revival. May the Eucharistic congress bring a renewal of faith to all of God’s people.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 16, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk June 9, 2024

Welcome back to Ordinary Time. We began Ordinary Time after Christmas, and took a break for Lent and Easter, and after Pentecost we returned to this beautiful season, which celebrates our life with God.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 9, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…Why are only some people saints?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. It is true that only certain people are officially listed as saints by the Church. They are generally well known holy people who have lived good, courageous lives. They serve as examples to encourage us. They made it to Heaven, so can we. God wants all of us to be in Heaven with Him, and He gives us everything we need to get there. We hope that everyone who has ever lived is now in Heaven with God. We never say that anyone is in hell. God is so loving and forgiving that He can save anyone. We need to do our best each day to follow Jesus’ advice and example. We need to be faithful to the Church and its teachings. We need to seek the Sacrament of reconciliation when we have done wrong, and work on perfecting ourself, and then when this life comes to an end, we stand the very best chance of going to Heaven, spending eternity in perfect happiness with God, thanks to His great mercy.

From the Pastor's Desk June 2, 2024

I wish you and your loved ones a blessed feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord.
Over one hundred years ago Pope Saint Pius X lowered the age of First Holy Communion to the age of reason. The celebration of First Holy Communion is always a day of great joy for the entire parish. Every time that we receive the Body of Christ it must be as exciting as our first time. We must be sure that we are free of sin before we receive the Lord. An act of contrition removes our venial sins, but to clean our soul of serious sin requires reconciliation.
We must fast for an hour before receiving Holy Communion. Sister used to say that we must stop eating by the time we leave home to go to church. As we approach the priest or Eucharistic minister, we bow in honor of the Lord, and when we hear the words “The body of Christ” we answer “Amen” Then we clearly indicate if we prefer to receive Jesus in our hand or on our tongue. After we have received we should pray to the Lord. What a sacred time to spend with our savior who loves us. We thank our Eucharistic ministers, and our sacristans, and altar servers who minister to the Lord at each Mass. Come, Lord Jesus, fill us with your love.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 2, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk May 26, 2024

I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Memorial Day weekend. We pray for all who gave their lives for our country. We are so grateful for their ultimate sacrifice, and pray that they rest in peace with God.
After the civil war loved ones began the tradition of decorating graves of the fallen. Soon a national holiday to honor our deceased military began. Today many people take this opportunity to visit cemeteries. When I was young every year I would go with my grandfather to visit, and plant flowers, at the graves of his parents. We would pray for them, and use an old pump to water the flowers. On the way home we would stop for lunch. I loved that tradition. Our parish cemeteries are sacred ground. In recent weeks we have had visitors to the cemeteries who drove over graves, let their pets go to the bathroom on graves, and left trash around. How disrespectful this is. We thank everyone who takes care of our cemeteries each week. Mowing, trimming, and beautifying the resting place of our loved ones is a difficult job, but it is also a sacred duty. May our loved ones rest in peace.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 26, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk May 19, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 19, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…What is a deanery, and what is included in our deanery?

Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. Our parish belongs to the Upper Valley Deanery. It is a region of the diocese which is served by the dean, who is presently Father John. Our deanery includes all saints parish, and St Mary’s parish in Claremont, St Patrick’s parish in Newport, Sacred Heart parish in Lebanon, St Helena parish in Enfield, St Mary’s church in Canaan, Our Lady of Fatima parish in New London, Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, St Denis parish in Hanover, Dartmouth College - Aquinas House, and Dartmouth Hitchcock health care Catholic Chaplain. The dean visits each of our parishes and ministries each year. He represents our region in meetings with the Bishop and diocesan ministries. He assists the priests and people of the deanery, and has regular meetings with the priests and staff in our parishes and ministries. The deans meet with the Bishop several times each year. Our last meeting was at the end of our recent convocation. If you have any ideas that will assist our deanery or diocese please let Father John know. Thank you.

From the Pastor's Desk May 12, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 12, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

From the Pastor's Desk May 5, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 5, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk April 28, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 28, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk April 21, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 21, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…What is a doctor of the Church?

Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. In order to become a Bishop a priest must have a doctorate in theology or philosophy. It is important that they are well educated to be able to lead a diocese. The doctors of the Church are saints in the Catholic Church whose writings and teachings are of great importance. Their works are considered to be very important, true, and timeless. Doctors of the Church have been recognized since the early years of our faith. They come from Armenia, the Netherlands, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Italy, N Africa, Portugal, Rome, Spain, Syria, and Turkey.
The Church has traditionally had three requirements for a saint to be considered a doctor of the Church… holiness, eminence in doctrine and writing, and formal recognition by the Church. All saints, including the doctors of the Church, are in Heaven with God. They are praying for us, and adoring God. We enjoy reading the works of the doctors of the church. They have written about faith, morality, church history, the sacraments, the catechism, the Bible,…. We are deeply grateful to the Church doctors for teaching us about our faith.

From the Pastor's Desk April 14, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 14, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…Is it permissible for a Catholic to join the shriners?

Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. According to their website, all shriners are masons. Catholics are not allowed to become shriners or masons under pain of excommunication. There was some confusion about this following the Second Vatican council, but the Church continues to forbid membership in the Masons because Masonic rules and ituals are irreconcilable with Catholic doctrine. We find that freemasonry is a religion in itself. It includes temples, altars, a moral code, worship services, vestments, feast days, a hierarchy of leadership, initiation, and burial rites. Several guilds of freemasons united in 1717 in London, England to form the grand lodge of freemasons. The rituals of the order are contrary to the Catholic faith. The two ennemies of freemasonry are listed as the roaylty and the papacy. When one reaches the 30th degree in the heirarchy of Masons they crush the symbol of the pope’s tiara and the royal crown. A former leader refered to the papacy as a “deadly, treacherous ennemy.” Since 1738 Catholics have been forbidden to join the Masons.

From the Pastor's Desk April 7, 2024

I hope that you and your loved ones had a very happy Easter celebration. Thank you for all that you did to make our holy week and Easter ceremonies so beautiful.
This weekend we celebrate the great mercy of God. At any time we can go to reconciliation and receive God’s forgiveness of any sin. Our sins are forgiven and forgotten by God. Plus we receive the Lord’s strength to avoid sin. How blessed we are to be able to avail ourselves of God’s great love. It is a humbling privilege for priests to be able to administer, and give an outward sign of, God’s forgiveness. Being a fellow human, the priest can understand our weaknesses and give his compassion and kindness. Plus he will help us to make a good confession. If we forget the act of contrition, or forget how to go to confession Father will assist us with great patience. Do not worry if it has been a long time since you have been to confession, or if you might forget a sin. We should examine our conscience before we go in to the reconciliaton room. If we forget sins by accident God forgives us anyway. Our confession is confidential. Father cannot mention what he has heard in confession.
Come to confession and receive God’s merciful forgivenes today.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 7, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk March 31, 2024

I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Easter celebration. The Lord is risen. Alleluia, alleluia. May His peace be with you always.
When I bought my vehicle a couple of years ago they gave me a warranty for ten years or 100 thousand miles. The warranty tells us how long we can trust the car and its makers. Unfortunately vehicles and all machines wear out after awhile. In the miracle of Jesus’ resurection He shows proof that life is eternal. As He rose from the dead, so we will live forever. God who loves us so much will receive our souls when our eathly life ends, and when the world comes to an end someday, He will resurect our bodies and perfect them so that we will enjoy a new Heaven and a new earthly paradise. In heaven there is no pain, no anger, no selfishness, and perfect joy. Thank you, Jesus, for opening Heaven for us. Thank you for loving us so much that you died for us. Thank you for showing us how to live for God and for others. Thank you for washing away our original sin which prevented us from being with you. Thank you for forgiving our sins over and over again. May your blessings be upon us as we rejoice in your resurection. Alleluia.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 31, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk March 24, 2024

May the Lord bless you during this holiest of weeks.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 24, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…Is it OK for me to throw away old sacred objects?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. As you know, sacred objects include relics of saints, pieces of The Holy Cross, written material that contains the word of God, and blessed objects. It is inappropriate and sacriligious to throw them in the trash, and it is sinful to sell them for money. If the objects can be repaired that should be done. If they can be given to someone who will appreciate them, that is wonderful. They can be donated to the parish, and either the parish will use them or donate them to others who will appreciate them. If the objects are beyond repair, they must be burned and their ashes buried in the ground, or the object must be buried in sacred ground, such as a Catholic cemetery, or on the grounds of a Catholic church. If it is not possible to bury them in sacred ground, they may be buried in your yard. In my parents’ parish the high altar was taken down, and buried on the church grounds. Old blessed palms can be burned, (We use burned palms to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday) or buried. May the Lord bless you during this Holy Week.

From the Pastor's Desk March 17, 2024

May the Lord bless you during this holy season of Lent.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 17, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…What does “Lord of Hosts” mean?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. In the Bible, God is called the Lord of Hosts, meaning that He has all of the angels at His command. In the book of revelation the rebellious angels of Satan are defeated by St Micheal, the archangel and all of the good angels of Heaven. The phrase Lord of Hosts occurs 261 times in the Old Testament. In the sanctus at Mass we pray “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts…” The first part of this prayer is the hymn of the angels in the book of Isaiah, and the second part is what the crowd cried to Jesus during His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday

From the Pastor's Desk March 10, 2024

May the Lord bless you during this holy season of Lent.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 10, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…How does the Church feel about the recent Alabama supreme court decision on frozen embryos?

Dear Friend, thank you for your timely question. On February 16th the alabama supreme court decided that embryos held in frozen preservation are legally equivalent to living children. As you know, this is our belief. Once an egg has been fertilized it is a living human being with full human rights. In vitro fertilization is not moral because it removes the “process” from the natural love of mother and father, and also if a number of eggs are fertilized some are destroyed in the process. A fertilized egg is a human being, and the right to life must be respected at all stages. We applaud the Alabama decision in support of life.

From the Pastor's Desk March 3, 2024

May the Lord bless you during this holy season of Lent. During these forty days we concentrate on God and other people, especially the poor, and we examine our conscience, and use reconciliation and the Eucharist… to grow more and more Christ like.
I wish to thank everyone who has helped me over the last six weeks during my medical treatment. I deeply appreciate your kindness and friendship and assistance getting to and from appointments, and your prayers which are priceless. I have completed my radiation treatments, and now they will give me a rest for a couple of months. I am deeply grateful to my medical team for all that they are doing for me. Above all, of course, I thank the Lord for His gift of healing so that I can have more years to serve Him and to serve you.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 3, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…What are the traditions of Lent?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. The traditions of Lent are prayer, fasting, and alms giving. These actions unite us to the Lord in His unselfish suffering, and love, and help us to care for our brothers and sisters in need. What special Lenten traditions do you observe? It is the perfect time to strengthen our faith.

From the Pastor's Desk February 25, 2024

I hope that the holy season of Lent is off to a great start for you. During these forty days we concentrate on God and other people, and we examine our conscience, and use reconciliation and the Eucharist… to grow more and more Christ like.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 25, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…What is Easter duty?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. Today most Catholics receive Holy Communion on a regular basis. However, years ago receiving Holy Communion was a rare occurance. Many Catholics spent months and even years without receiving the Lord at Mass. Therefore, a rule went into effect which stated that, in order to be a Catholic in good standing, we had to receive Holy Communion at least once each year. Since Easter is our highest holy day Catholics were asked to receive Holy Communion during the Easter season. The rule stated that from the first Sunday of Lent until Pentecost Sunday one had to receive Holy Communion. Of course, you had to receive Holy Communion in the state of grace, so a yearly confession preceded our yearly Communion. Today the Church recommends that we receive the sacrament of reconciliation monthly.

From the Pastor's Desk February 18, 2024

I hope that the holy season of Lent is off to a great start for you. During these forty days we concentrate on God and other people, and we examine our conscience, and use reconciliation and the Eucharist… to grow more and more Christ like.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 18, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…What is an indulgence?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. An indulgence is the forgiveness of the temporal punishment that we owe for our sins. Mortal sins are forgiven through the sacrament of reconciliation or last rites. To receive an indulgence one must do a good work of piety, charity, or penance, say specific prayers, or make a pilgrimage to a holy place. Indulgences are granted based on the merits gained for us by Jesus on the cross.
Indulgences cannot be applied to future sins. An indulgence may be plenary, which removes all punishment due to sin, or partial, which removes part of the punishment due to sin. To gain a plenary indulgence one must be in the state of grace, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father. When we receive indulgences ourselves, we can apply them to the souls in Purgatory, which assists them to get to Heaven.

From the Pastor's Desk February 11, 2024

On Wednesday we will enter the holy season of Lent. During Lent we have forty days to prepare ourselves for Easter. We examine our conscience and use the Sacrament of Reconciliation to let God purify and strengthen us. Here are some questions to ask ourselves as an examination of conscience..
Do I seek to love God with my whole heart and soul?
Do I ever receive Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin?
Do I hesitate to go to confession, or withhold information from the priest during my confession?
Have I used the name of God in vain?
Have I wished evil on anyone?
Have I missed Mass on Sunday or holy days deliberately?
Do I try to keep Sunday as a day of rest?
Do I honor and obey my parents?
Do I care for my parents in their old age?
Do I neglect my family obligations to my spouse and children?
Is prayer an important part of my life?
Do I actively participate in the Mass?
Have I physically harmed anyone?
Have I encouraged anyone to have an abortion?
Do I abuse alcohol or drugs?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 11, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk February 4, 2024

In today’s Gospel Jesus heals the sick. How blessed we are to receive excellent health care. We must make full use of our God given knowledge about how to maintain our health, and heal from all that ails us. At the same time, we know that all healing comes from God. We pray to the Lord each day for His gift of healing and rely on Him to restore us to life.
The holy season of LENT begins on Wednesday, February 14th. On Ash Wednesday morning Father John will have a very important doctor’s appointment, so, unfortunately, there will be no morning Mass at St Catherine’s church on that day. We will have a parish Mass with ashes at 7pm in St Peter’s church. Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation. However, we encourage you to attend Mass on that day in St Mary’s church, Claremont or in St Mary’s church, Springfield, Vermont, or in St Charles church, Bellows Falls, Vermont.
During Lent we will pray the stations of the Cross in St Peter’s church on Fridays at 6pm, after our 5:30 Mass, and in St Catherine’s church on Mondays at 6pm.
We encourage everyone to receive the Sacrament of reconciliation during the holy season of Lent-experience God’s love, mercy and forgiveness.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 4, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk January 28, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 28, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…Could you help me to understand the creed that we say each weekend after the homily? (CONT'D)

Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Nicene creed continues with the paschal mystery. Jesus became man in order to accomplish the work of our salvation. It was for us that Jesus was crucified. The phrase “under Pontius Pilate” is included to emphasize that the crucifixion was a historical event. Also Jesus truly rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. Forty days after Easter Jesus ascended by His own power to Heaven, and there He reigns at the Father’s right hand, the place of honor and power. He will come again when the world comes to an end. He will judge everyone and true justice will be accomplished. At that time Heaven and earth will pass away, and Jesus’ everlasting kingdom will begin. The third person of the Blessed Trinity is the Holy Spirit. He is the breath of God. He gives life, and sustains our life. He is glorified and loved as God. He inspired the prophets. The Trinity is a great mystery, but we know that God loves us unconditionally, and wants us to be with Him in eternal life. We thank God each day for His amazing gifts and we use them to make our world a holy, loving place.

From the Pastor's Desk January 21, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 21, 2024

Dear Father, I was wondering…Could you help me to understand the creed that we say each weekend after the homily?

Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Nicene creed is professed every Sunday and holy day. It is also professed in the Orthodox church and in many Protestant churches. The only difference in the creed as stated in the Orthodox and Catholic churches is that we believe the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father AND THE SON. The Orthodox church states that He proceeded from the Father. In our creed we state that we be live in one God, who is Father, Son, and Spirit He draws us into a relationship with Him, and loves us unconditionally. We believe in Jesus, who is truly God and one with the Father, and He is fully human. The early Church fathers were very careful to combat the Arian heresy which claimed that Jesus was created, so the creed emphasizes that He is God from God, light from light, and true God from true God, one in being with the Father. Also the creed emphasizes that all things were created through Jesus. By the Holy Spirit, and by the free choice of Mary, Jesus became one of us, taking on flesh (We bow during these words out of respect for the incarnation.)….

From the Pastor's Desk January 14, 2024

Welcome to Ordinary Time. With last weekend’s feast of the Epiphany we bid farewell to the brief Christmas season. Each year we celebrate two great feasts – Easter, our highest holy day, the day of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead for us. Easter is followed by a seven week celebration, and Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ birth among us. Christmas has a two week season during which we recall the events of Jesus’ birth and young life. Easter is preceeded by Lent, six weeks of prayer and penance and self examination in preparation for Easter, and Christmas is preceeded by Advent, several weeks of prayer and penance. The rest of the year is ordinary time. Ordinary Time celebrates chronological events of Jesus’ life. Normally we are not doing penance or celebrating, but living our regular, “”ordinary” life. However, as a Catholic, can life ever be truly ordinary? We live in the year of the Lord, God is always performing miracles, answering our prayers, amazing us with His mercy and love. During this season we wear green as our liturgical color, representing life, especially eternal life. We keep our gaze fixed on God, and work each day to make our world better and better. May the Lord bless you throughout Ordinary Time..

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 14, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk January 7, 2024

Thank you for all of your wonderful Christmas gifts and beautiful cards. (I deserved to get coal this year) We are grateful to everyone who serves our parish throughout the year. I am so grateful. The Lord will reward you.
• Do you have a question about our faith? If you would send it to Fr John he will do his best to answer it in a timely fashion, anonymously.
• How can we reach out to other churches in our area? We would like to get to know our area non Catholic parishes better and work with them serving the poor, the sick, the young and the elderly in our area.
• This weekend we celebrate the feast of the epiphany. The good news that God has become one of us cannot be kept a secret. Strangers from the East arrive and welcome Him with gifts of gold, frankinsense and myrrh. Jesus is king of the universe, and we all belong to His family. I wish you A Blessed and Very Happy New Year. May 2024 be a year of renewed faith, good health, and happiness for you and your loved ones.
We end Christmas season with today’s great feast and begin Ordinary Time on Monday.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 7, 2024

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk December 31, 2023

I wish you A Blessed Christmas celebration. Thank you for your wonderful Christmas cards. Here are a few that I have received May the Lord of peace give you peace at all times.
Feel the joy, share the faith, live the love of Christmas
May you receive God’s blessings this Christmas and always
May the gift of faith, and the blessings of hope be yours this Christmas and always
May you be blessed with every happiness this Christmas season and throughout The New Year
His joy and peace to you at Christmas
May your Christmas blessings stay true and your New Year be a very special one
Wishing you a merry Christmas full of Christ’s love and grace
May the joys and blessings of the season be yours
Wishing you a joyful heart, a hoeful spirit and blessed peace as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Wishing you peace, health and happiness this Christmas season and throughout The New Year
May your day be filled with sweet blessings that God loves to send from beginning to end. These are my wishes for you

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 31, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk December 24, 2023

I wish you A Blessed Christmas celebration. Thank you for your wonderful Christmas cards. Here are a few that I have received May the Lord of peace give you peace at all times.
Feel the joy, share the faith, live the love of Christmas
May you receive God’s blessings this Christmas and always
May the gift of faith, and the blessings of hope be yours this Christmas and always
May you be blessed with every happiness this Christmas season and throughout The New Year
His joy and peace to you at Christmas
May your Christmas blessings stay true and your New Year be a very special one
Wishing you a merry Christmas full of Christ’s love and grace
May the joys and blessings of the season be yours
Wishing you a joyful heart, a hoeful spirit and blessed peace as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Wishing you peace, health and happiness this Christmas season and throughout The New Year
May your day be filled with sweet blessings that God loves to send from beginning to end. These are my wishes for you

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 24, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk December 17, 2023

HAPPY THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT
This weekend we will light the third Advent candle, which represents joy. One of my classmates, Ira, was such a joyful person. He was always smiling, laughing, and he had a great gift of being able to find the bright side of things, and to give hope. One day another classmate’s aunt was seriously ill. Ira said “I will pray for her each day, and God will bless and care for her.” He had the best attitude. Ironically his name was Ira, which means anger in Latin. He was the least angry person that I ever knew. Most of us are joyful when things are going well, and sad when things are going sour. To have a general attitude of joy is a gift from God. Since we have a deep faith we always turn to God, and trust in Him to help us. Watching the news each day can be a great source of discouragement, as we see what a mess the world is in. It would be great if the news contained a joyful story for every sad story that they present. The light of our joy is not extinguished by current events. God has the world in His hands. He has filled us with His gifts and sent us out into the world to do our best to bring joy to all around us. Joy is contagious. May we spread our joy around today.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 17, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk December 10, 2023

HAPPY SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT
This weekend we will light the second Advent candle, which represents faith. Faith is a virtue, and a gift from God. We give thanks for the gift of our faith. When all is well, and we are doing very well we must give thanks to God, and when times are difficult for us, we pray to God, and ask for His help. Our faith allows us to see God present in our daily life, and we realize that our spiritual life means everything. During these busy days of advent we take time to pray and worship and examine our conscience. This is the best preparation for Christmas.
Are my thoughts, words, and deeds Christ like? Do I show my love of God and His people each day? Do I take time to pray every day? Do I pray for my enemies and try to forgive them? Do I donate to my church and to holy, charitable causes? Do I visit the sick and pray for them? Do I respect the sacrament of marriage, and encourage cohabiting couples to marry? Do I speak up for my beliefs with courage? Do I reach out to help my neighbors? Do I encourage others to come to church with me? Do I frequently use the sacrament of reconciliation? Do I point out the good that others do? May the Lord bless you.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 10, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk December 3, 2023

HAPPY NEW YEAR. This weekend we enter our new church year. It is known as B2. Year B is the year of St Mark. During this year we will read through, and study, the life, death, and resurection of Jesus according to St Mark. Also we will read another third of the bible in the first and second readings, and the psalms at each Mass. We begin our new year with the season of Advent, a holy time of preparation for the birth of Jesus. It can be a time of hustle and bustle, since Christmas is only 3 short weeks from Monday. However, we are encouraged to make these days a time of prayer, and hope, and joy, and love. The theme of the first week of Advent is hope. As we watch the news we can get very discouraged, but we need the Lord today more than ever. The Lord is coming soon with His offer of life everlasting. He is with us each day, and answers our prayers, and fills us with His blessings. This is a perfect time to examine our conscience, and resolve to turn our life around, and share our hope, love, and joy with those around us. This is a great time to make use of the sacrament of reconciliation, and to practice works of charity for the poor and needy. I hope that you had a very blessed Advent as we wait in hope for our savior’s birth

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 3, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk November 26, 2023

I hope that you had a very Happy Thanksgiving celebration.
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, the last weekend of the church year. This great feast was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. At the time it was celebrated in October. After the Second Vatican Council the feast was moved to the end of the liturgical year. According to St Cyril of Alexandria, Jesus has dominion over all creatures by His very essence and nature. When the feast was established there were many earthly kingdoms. Most kings exercised absolute authority over their subjects and were paid unconditional obedience and servitude by their people. Many were known for their brutality and thirst for power and prestige. Jesus, our King, is remarkable for His unconditional love for all of us, and His willingness to suffer and die so that we may have eternal life. In 1926 Pope Pius XI gave his consent for the founding of the first church in the United States dedicated to Christ the King, in Cinncinnati, Ohio. As we receive the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Communion and in our adoration of the Blessed Sacrament we give honor to our King. May the Lord bless you

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 26, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk November 19, 2023

I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving celebration. May the Lord bless you and your loved ones as we pause to give Him thanks for His many blessings.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 19, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… I miss receiving the Precious Blood. Are we receiving all of Jesus when we only receive the Host?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. The consecrated Host is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus. When we receive the Host we receive the whole of Jesus. At the consecration during the Mass, the Host and the Precious Blood are consecrated. For many centuries, due to the danger of spillage and abuse, the Church witheld the Precious Blood from the people. Only the priest received from the Chalice. When covid arrived, the Bishops felt that it was too dangerous to share the Precious Blood, and allow everyone to drink from the chalice. Recently Bishop Libasci has said that it is most appropriate for us to share the Precious Blood on special occasions through the year, so for Christmas Masses, I propose that we share the Precious Blood. We will need to have two extra Eucharistic ministers for these special Masses. We may also share the Precious blood at Easter Masses.

From the Pastor's Desk November 12, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 12, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… How should I examine my conscience?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. Frequent examination of our conscience is a wonderful way to become more and more Christ like. Here are some questions to help us…” Do I spend enough time each day in prayer? Do I go to confession on a regular basis? Do I use vulger language, or take the name of God in vaine? Do I attend Mass on the Lord’s day and holy days, and do I participate actively in the Mass? Do I honor my parents, my spouse, my children, and other family members? Am I angry or resentful of others? Do I fail to respect human life in all stages? Am I faithful to my marriage and do I respect the marriage of others? Do I evangelize and speak highly of my parish? Do I steal what is not mine? Do I pay my debts promptly? Have I lied or gossiped? Do I speak badly about people behind their backs? Do I give in to impure thoughts? Do I behave inappropriately with people of the opposite sex? Am I jealous of what others have? Am I greedy or selfish? Do I prioritize money or material goods above all else?” Frequent examination of our conscience and frequent confession are essential for a healthy soul.

From the Pastor's Desk November 5, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 5, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… When and why did we start to have standard time?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. Welcome back to standard time, which we enter at 2am this Sunday. Standard time was established in the 19th century to help with weather forcasting, steam ships, and train travel. It was applied globally in the 20th century. Standard time was first used by British railways on December 1, 1847. Trains in the USA used their own time schedules. In 1870 Charles DF dowd proposed four time zones for N American railroads. In 1883 the leaders of the major railroads met in Chicago to standardize US time zones. Standard time was enacted into US law in 1919

From the Pastor's Desk October 29, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 29, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… When and why did we start to have lectors and Eucharistic ministers?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. After the Second Vatican Council in the late 1960s the Bishops wanted to help our people to be more involved and active in the church. While only priests can consecrate the body and blood of the Lord, holy lay people can proclaim God’s word and bring the Body of Christ to His people. Lectors and Eucharistic ministers should be holy people. They must be confirmed, and Catholics in good standing in the church. They must be carefully trained in their ministries, and must practice their ministry with dedication. Lectors must prepare well, and learn the proper pronunciation of each word, and read slowly and clearly. Eucharistic ministers must try to live a holy life. They come up to the altar at the time of the lamb of God, show the Host to each person, and say “The Body of Christ.” Wait for the person to respond “Amen” and carefully place the Host on the tongue or in the hand. Bring the Lord to people in church who cannot walk well, and place your hand on the head of those who cannot receive Communion

From the Pastor's Desk October 22, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 22, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… What can we do to help the people of the Holy Land during this very difficult, tragic crisis?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. We are all praying for the people of the Holy Land each day, and our prayers are very meaningful as God is listening, and He answers each prayer. Besides that, many people choose to fast or abstain from meat one or more days per week and offer their sacrifice for the people of Israel. We can attend Mass and offer our Mass for the suffering people of the Middle East. You are welcome to come to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour or more to pray before the Lord for peace and justice. -
Donate money to Catholic relief services. They assist the poor and the victims of violence in Isreal and Gaza. We can donate to Catholic Relief Sevices by phone or by mail. Their phone number is 877 435 7277 and their address is Catholic Relief Services, PO Box 5200, Harlan, IA 51593-0700
May the Lord bless the people of the Holy Land, and grant them peace and justice.
What suggestions do you have? How can we help the people of Israel during this very difficult time? What sacrifices, prayers, and spiritual activities do you suggest?

From the Pastor's Desk October 15, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 15, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… I would like to go to confession, but it has been such a long time since my last confession I cannot remember what to say.

Dear Friend, thank you for your question, which is a common one. Do not hesitate to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, even if it has been a long time. Father will help you. Before you enter the reconciliation room, examine your conscience. What have I said, done, thought, or failed to do, think or say, that is wrong? You may write down your sins if this is helpful. As you enter the reconciliation room greet Father. Make the sign of the Cross, and say “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been () since my last confession, and these are my sins… (Mention each sin, and how often you have committed this sin. At the end say “I am sorry for these and all of my sins.” Father will encourage you, and give you a penance. Then you say an act of contrition. Then listen as Father prays the prayer of absolution. Father will say “Go in peace.” Then you may leave, and remember to do your penance as soon as you can. We should go to confession about once per month, and after any serious sin before receiving Holy Communion again.

From the Pastor's Desk October 8, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 8, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the latest news about the synod??

Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. The present synod on synodality is called to discern how the Holy Spirit moves through and with the Church. It is a two year process of praying, listening, dialogue and discerning It examines the form, the style, and the structure of the Church. The general assembly of the synod began this past Wednesday, October 4th, the Feast of St Francis, following a two year process. The synod will include the participation of 363 voting members, including lay men and women. Some members are representatives of local bishops’ conferences, while others have been appointed personally by Pope Francis, and others are attending as delegates, spiritual assistants, or experts and facilitators. Delegates gather in Rome this month. Their discussions will conclude in 2024. They will explore the very nature of the Church, and how we can effectively live and operate as the Church in the world. This synod is unique in that it is a two year process involving the whole people of God. It will explore our common Communion, participation, and mission. May the Lord bless all those who take part in it.

From the Pastor's Desk October 1, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 1, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the latest news from the deanery and the diocese?

Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. Recently we had a Deans’ meeting with Bishop Libasci. He would like us to remind our parishioners of the Eucharistic celebration which will take place in Indianapolis next July. For several days Catholics from around the country will celebrate, and learn more about, the Eucharist. Also the Bishop would like to visit each of our deaneries and celebrate Mass and have dinner with us. We are planning for this great occasion now.
We are about to have our first deanery meeting of the Fall. We enjoy getting together as priests and parish staff to discuss what is going on in our western region, and what is happening in each parish. Along with the Bishop’s Mass and dinner, we hope to announce Advent penance services and prayer services in our area. We bid farewell to the LaSalette Fathers who are leaving our region. Our parishes work together visiting our sick, visiting our county jail, caring for the poor and needy, and replacing priests who are ill or on vacation. I enjoy hearing about the ministry of each parish.

From the Pastor's Desk October 1, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 24, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the latest on the Latin Mass?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. Recently Pope Francis made some rules “in defense of the unity of the Church.” In the traditional Latin Mass the priest faced the altar, some prayers of the Mass were limited to the priest alone, and Holy Communion was received on the tongue only,... Pope Francis defended the changes that came about at the end of the Second Vatican Council saying “to doubt the council is to doubt the Holy Spirit Himself.” According to the Holy Father, bishops must determine that those who attend the traditional Latin Mass do not deny the validity of the second vatican council. Priests who wish to celebrate a traditional Latin Mass must make a formal requst to their Bishop. The Bishop must then consult the Vatican before granting the request. The celebration of Confirmation and ordination must not be administered in a Latin Mass. The intent of the new restrictions is “to re establish in the Catholic church, a single, identifiable prayer which expresses our unity” according to the liturgical office. Father John may not celebrate the traditional Latin Mass without permission.

From the Pastor's Desk September 17, 2023

HAPPY CATECHETICAL SUNDAY
This weekend we celebrate, and pray for, our religious education students and teachers. In religious education class, in Catholic school, and in every Catholic home, the faith is passed on from one generation to another. Children learn their faith in classrooms, but they see it in practice in daily life on the streets. We are so thankful to Michael and Jeffrey who pass their faith on to our young people in our wonderful religious education classes. We are also so grateful to our Catholic school teachers who teach our faith, and we are so grateful to our parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, who teach and give practical examples of living out our faith in the family. May the Lord bless you all.
At the Last Supper when Jesus said “This is my body, and this is my blood” He gave us the Most Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharist allows us to become one with the Lord in this life as it will be in Heaven. Next summer all Catholics in the United States will experience a Eucharistic revival. It will consist of several days of Masses, adoration, and Eucharistic talks in Indianapolis, Indiana. The experience will be live streamed. We look forward to this life changing event.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 17, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk September 10, 2023

I wish you blessings as we remember the tragedies of September 11th. I believe that terrorism is one of the worst evils that Satan has come up with. Savage attacks against the innocent who are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. September 11th was one of those days when you remember where you were when you heard the horrible news. So many of us knew (or knew of) victims of the tragedy. Bishop Angel, who was bishop of Vermont at the time, lost his brother in one of the planes. One of our school teachers in our Catholic school lost his cousin in the world trade center. Since the First World War we have fought the enemy over there, in a foreign land, but now terrorists have brought evil to our shores. We pray for all of the victims of September 11th, and their families. We pray for our country and our world, that we may live lives of peace, and we pray that there might be better understanding among races, cultures, and religions. God wants all of His children to live in peace with each other. Human weakness and the influence of the Devil, lead to violence and terror. Lord, grant us your blessings. Teach us to live in love with one another, and put an end to violence and hatred once and for all. Help us to love one another as you love us.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 10, 2023

Dear Father, Is there a patron saint of schools?

Dear Friend, Yes, the patron saint of schools is St Thomas Aquinas.

From the Pastor's Desk September 3, 2023

I wish you a very happy Labor Day weekend. Labor Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the first Monday of September to honor the American labor movement and the contributions and work of laborers in the development and acheivements of our country. Beginning in the late 19th century trade unions and the labor movement proposed a day set aside to celebrate labor. The first Labor Day parade was held in New York City in 1887. In 1894 Labor day became a federal holiday. By then thirty states officially celebrated the holiday. Canada also celebrates Labor day on the first Monday in September. More than eighty countries celebrate international workers’ day on May 1st each year. May 1st celebration had its origin at the 1885 convention of American labor which passed a resolution calling for an eight hour work day, effective May 1, 1886. May 1st is the feast day of St Joseph the worker, patron saint of workers. President Grover Cleveland was afraid that the May 1st celebration could be confused with socialist and anarchist movements which celebrate that day, so he publicly supported September Labor Day in 1887. May the Lord bless our labor and all who serve the Lord and His world each day.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 3, 2023

Dear Father, Is it OK to use Ouija boards, lucky charms, knock on wood, fortune tellers, and games of chance?

Dear Friend, No.

From the Pastor's Desk August 27, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 27, 2023

Dear Father, What is an indulgence?

Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. An indulgence is a favor from God. It is the remission of the temporal punishment in purgatory due to venial sins (our personal weaknesses) After our sins have been forgiven we still are sorry for our fallen nature.. For example, if I have a short fuse, a bad temper, and I am often angry with others, I am sorry for this, and confess my sins which are the result of my anger, and I am forgiven. There are no souls in heaven who suffer from a bad temper. They are all loving and kind. So before I can enjoy the blessings of Heaven I must get rid of my anger. In Purgatory God helps me to let go of this flaw. Plenary indulgences allow us to avoid Purgatory and go directly to Heaven. A plenary indulgence is granted for: receiving the Pope’s New Year blessing, taking part in a spiritual retreat, participating in World Day of prayer for vocations,…, taking part in the week of prayer for Christian unity, receiving the sacrament of reconciliation, (attending Mass, receiving Holy Communion, and praying for the Holy Father), receiving the sacrament of the last rites,…. Lord, help us to grow more like you day by day.

From the Pastor's Desk August 20, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 20, 2023

Dear Father, What is the Camino?

Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. The Camino, or Camino de Santiago is also known as the Way of St James. It is a network of pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Glaicia in northeastern Spain. In this cathedral are the remains of the Apostle St James who ministered in Jerusalem and was exiled across the Mediteranean. He was ship wrecked off of northwestern Spain, and walked to northeastern Spain where he encountered friendly people whom he converted to the Faith. Many devout Catholics follow his route as a retreat for spiritual growth. It is also popular with hikers, cyclists, and organized tour groups. In the beginning of the ninth century the relics of St James were discovered and the Way of St James became a major pilgrimage route. During the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492 Pope Alexander VI declared the Camino to be one of the three great pilgrimages of Christendom along with Jerusalem and Rome. Since 2013 the Camino has attracted more than 200,000 pilgrims each year with the number increasing.

From the Pastor's Desk August 13, 2023

On November 1, 1950 Pope Pius XII defined as a truth revealed by God that the Immaculate Mother of God, when her earthly life was concluded, was taken up, body and soul, into Heaven. This is the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which we will celebrate on Tuesday. It is appropriate that Mary, who was conceived without sin, would enjoy eternal life in paradise with her Son. She died, as we all do, but she would not decay in a grave. Almighty God received her into Heaven where she prays for us, intercedes for us before God, and has appeared to us many times over the centuries. Mary, Our Blessed Mother, sets the example of holiness for us to follow, and prays for us constantly, and prays in a special way at the hour of our death. So many people around the world, are devoted to The Blessed Mother, and religious orders are dedicated to her. Just before our ordination, our spiritual director said “The Blessed Mother is praying for you, and through her prayers, may the Lord bless your ministry and your vocation.” O Blessed Mother in Heaven, you pray for us every day, and for our loved ones on earth and in purgatory. May we follow your holy example and give you honor.”

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 13, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk August 6, 2023

The Church of the Transfiguration is a Franciscan basilica on Mount Tabor, Israel, on the site of the miracle of the Transfiguration. The current church was built in 1924, built on the ruins of an ancient church from the 4th century, begun by St Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, who legalized Christianity. That original church was replaced by another one in the 12th century by the crusaders. There is also a Greek Orthodox church on the site. The present church contains three grottoes, each with its own chapel and altar, called tabernacles, representing the three huts which St Peter desired to build, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. In the upper part of the church is a beautiful mosaic on a gold ground representing the Transfiguration. On August 6th the sun strikes a glass plate set into the floor, so that the golden mosaic is illuminated. The architect created a roof built of alabaster panels, meant to let in as much light as possible, however, the alabaster roof could not be made water tight, and had to be covered with a common, non translucent roof. Today the Lord appears in glory with Moses and Elijah. We are His witnesses. May we radiate His love by our lives of faithful service.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 6, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk July 30, 2023

The Cullinan Diamond is a 3106 carot diamond which was discovered in the premier mine #2 near Pretoria, South Africa in early 1905. The diamond was taken to England by ship inside a plain cardboard box where it was evaluated, and cut into 105 smaller diamonds, including the 530 carot Star of Africa diamond, and the 317 carot Cullinan II, among the largest diamonds in the world. They can be seen today in the scepter and in the cross of the British king. Today Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to such a treasure. The kingdom of Heaven may seem to be buried in the secular world in which we live, but have no doubt that the Church is alive and well, and growing. When the kingdoms of this world come to an end, the kingdom of Heaven will be given to you who devoutly follow the Lord and proclaim Him to the world.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 30, 2023

Dear Father, Do blessed candles have to be composed of beeswax?.

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. The Church asks that candles used in church must be composed of at least 51% beeswax. Oil is added to the beeswax to allow consistent burning and to prevent tunneling.

From the Pastor's Desk July 23, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 23, 2023

Dear Father, Recently I saw something about the fires of purgatory. I thought the fires were in hell. Please help.

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. According to church scholars, Hell is a state of eternal punishment after death due to unrepented sins. In hell we are tormented by Satan and his devils. We are cut off from God.
Purgatory refers to the state of the soul after death in which we are purified from venial sins, or our human weaknesses. The fires of purgatory refer to the process of burning off our weaknesses. It is not a fire of God’s wrath, but a fire of God’s love. Out of love God burns off our human weaknesses so that we can enjoy the fullness of His presence in Heaven. For example, if someone spends a lot of their life being angry with others, they are sorry about this, and go to confession, or receive last rites, and are forgiven by God for their sinful anger. In heaven there is no anger. So before the person can fully, unconditionally, love God and the other souls in Heaven, they need to let go of their anger. Purgatory gives them time to understand, work throgh, and let go of, their anger and other human weaknesses, as they are purified by God.

From the Pastor's Desk July 16, 2023

I hope that you are having a great summer so far. Sorry about all the rain. I have seen pictures of the flooding this past week. I hope you, your family, and property are OK. – Thank you to our Knights of Columbus and volunteers for all of your hard work on our yearly yard sale. We deeply appreciate your donations.
• Yard sale weekend is my anniversary. I came to the parish on the Wednesday before yard sale weekend in 2016. The first thing I saw arriving at the rectory were the tents and items in the back yard.
I have finished my application and orientation as a prison chaplain. I am looking forward to serving in the Vermont and New Hampshire state prison system.
• We have only one student left in our religious education program. We are looking for people who would like to join our parish. Feel free to bring your friends and neighbors to our wonderful church with you for Mass.
I will be on a stay cation from July 24 through August 7th. I will be praying for you the whole time. I hope that you are able to get many days of r and r this summer.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 16, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk July 9, 2023

From Father Tony…
The Mayo clinic recently announced a sure cure for stress… Tests reveal that people today are chronically tired because we live unbalanced lives. Dr. Richard Clark Cabot of Mayo Clinic gave us the famous formula: work, pray, love, and worship. These are the ultimate duties of life that must be held in proper balance. Whenever one or more of these are given too little attention the result is unhappiness, fatigue, stress, and poor health. Thus a working man or woman may spend many hours at the job, even after coming home from the office, working on the computer, or on the phone. So much time at work leaves little time for God, and little time for family, and for recreation, and for rest. The long term result is lack of prayer and worship, deteriorating relationships with loved ones and friends, unhappiness, and ill health. The old saying was “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” This saying is psychologically sound. Our goal is to live a well balanced life, with plenty of time for God, and for our family, and for our exercise, and for our job. Summer is a great time to get some r and r, and take stock of our life. Am I in balance? Do I spend enough time on the right things?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 9, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk July 2, 2023

From the Christian Joke Book for Pastors. Thank you Altar Rosary Society…
At what time of day was Adam created?
• A little before Eve.
Which Bible character had no parents?
• Joshua, son of Nun
The husband and wife were arguing about who should get out of bed to make the coffee. The wife said “You should. It is in the Bible. It says “Hebrews.”
Which animal could Noah not trust?
• The cheetah.
Sister taught her young students how God made Eve from the rib of Adam. That afternoon little Johnny was lying on the kitchen floor holding his side. His mom asked “What’s wrong?” Johnny said “Oh, Mom, I have a pain in my side. I think I am having a wife.”
What was Moses’ wife Zipphora known as when she gave dinner parties?
• The hostess with the Moses.
Which Bible character was super fit?
• Absolom
After Mass a man asked Father if he would pray for his hearing.
Father placed his hands on the man’s ears
And prayed and prayed. He asked “How is your hearing now?
The man said “It is not until Wednesday.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 2, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk June 25, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 25, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… Is it permissible for a Catholic to donate their body to science?

Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. In 1956 Pope Pius XII gave an address to eye doctors, and said “to donate parts of our body in the interest of those who are suffering does not violate the reverence due to the body.” Thus organ donation was allowed in the Catholic church. St John Paul II taught that it is morally allowed to remove organs of a deceased person as long as the person is certified to be dead. Thus autopsies can be performed for legal purposes and for scientific research. The intent of the donor must be to serve the needs of other human beings by making a gift of the body. We are thus allowed to donate our body to medical science, but we may not sell our body for profit. Once the medical school has finished, our remains must be placed in a casket, and may be cremated or not according to the person’s wishes. A Catholic funeral should be held, and the remains must be buried in consecrated ground. Donation of organs, and donations of our bodies for medical research, are highly praised by the church, and encouraged.

From the Pastor's Desk June 18, 2023

I wish you all a very happy Fathers’ Day celebration. May the Lord bless our fathers, and reward them for all that they do for us.
My father had so many part time jobs. He enjoyed painting houses, and, as a school teacher, he would spend summers painting. He had a number of regular customers. Just by word of mouth he would get new jobs, and people driving by would stop and ask him to give them a price for painting their house or garage,…. One summer he began to paint a large house for a kind widow. She would bring out iced tea or lemonade and snacks during the day. When he finished painting her house she asked him to do some repairs inside the house, then paint her large garage, then paint her brother’s house,…. He helped her and her family all summer. My dad was a jack of all trades. He worked with carpenters, roofers, electricians, and learned a lot about the trade by asking questions and copying what they did. My parents would come to my parishes to visit and dad would ask “What needs fixing around here?” He would paint the rectory, or repair something, do some carpentry….. He enjoyed helping. Our dads mean so much to us. They teach us by their words and their great example, and we thank them and pray for them today.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 18, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk June 11, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 11, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… Each week in the bulletin we see the parish income, but what does the parish pay for expenses?

Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. Each month the parish pays Father’s salary, and employee salaries (housekeeping, and landscaping), property insurance, Father’s health insurance, oil heat for our buildings, electricity, cemetery lawn care, liturgical supplies, expenses of the diocese for which we are billed each month, Catholic schools, diaconate program, office supplies, water, sewer (St Catherines), Water/sewer (St Peter’s),, building repairs, visiting priests, engaged encounter, postage, cable/computer, missalettes, Hosts, wine, building repairs, St Peter’s church housekeeping, winter salt and sand, church supplies, payroll taxes, liability insurance, flowers, music ministry, second collections, equipment repair, dues and subscriptions, contracted services, workers’ compensation, online giving fees, bookkeeper, parish calendars, envelopes, weekly bulletins, magazines, Payroll expenses,…. Thank you for your support of our parish We are so grateful for all that you do for us.
Your donations help to meet our expenses.

From the Pastor's Desk June 4, 2023

For my anniversary I received a joke book for pastors from the Altar Rosary Society. Here are a few jokes for you
What kind of cell phone did Delilah use? - Samson.
What do they call pastors in Germany?
- German Shepherds
How long did Cain hate his brother?
• As long as he was Abel.
Why couldn’t Jonah trust the ocean?
He just knew there was something fishy about it.
How do we know Peter was a rich fisherman?
By his net income
Why didn’t Noah ever go fishing?
He only had two worms.
Who was the smartest man in the Bible?
Abraham. He knew a lot.
What kind of person was Boaz before he got married?
Ruthless
Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
Samson. He brought the house down.
Which servant of God was the worst lawbreaker of all?
Moses. He broke all of the commandments at once.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 4, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk May 28, 2023

I wish you a blessed Memorial Day weekend. The unofficial start of summer. Let us pray for our faithful departed on this weekend, especially all who gave their life for our country. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
Memorial Day began after the civil war as loved ones decorated the graves of their fallen soldiers. Growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts, I would help my grandfather care for the graves of his parents before Memorial Day. We are so grateful to all who care for our parish cemeteries.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 28, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a high Mass?

Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. A high Mass is celebrated with full ceremonial form in which the celebrant is assisted by a deacon, acolytes who serve at the altar, a thurifer, who holds incense, and a choir. The Mass parts are sung, or chanted, all candles are lit, and holy water may be used. The high Mass is generally celebrated on Sundays or holy days. The Third Roman Missal, which we are presently using for Mass, encourages us to sing or chant as many of the Mass parts as possible, and it can be used to celebrate a high Mass or a low Mass. Both high and low Masses have equal divine power

From the Pastor's Desk May 21, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 21, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a synod?

Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. The First and Second Vatican Council were meetings of Bishops from around the world with the Holy Father. The participants enjoyed this experience, and wanted it to continue. So since the early 1970s regular meetings of Bishops from around the world with the Holy Father have occurred every 3 years at the Vatican. Also the Bishops of each country meet together regularly to discuss religious issues that affect their local people. The next international synod will take place in October of this year. Unlike previous synods, in preparation for the upcoming synod, all people from around the world (lay people, deacons, priests, and bishops) have been invited to provide input to the synod. Parishes, Religious Orders, parishioners, and Catholics who no longer go to church, may comment on the agenda. We may even send our comments directly to the Vatican. It will be very interesting to see the comments and ideas of Catholics around the world.. The Holy Spirit speaks through everyone. Representatives of our deanery parishes met some months ago and gave their ideas. May the Lord guide us.

From the Pastor's Desk May 14, 2023

May the Lord bless our mothers with a wonderful Mothers’ Day celebration. Thank you for all that you do for us. You teach us to love by your perfect example.
…………………………………………………………………….
Have you ever seen the “praying hands”? In 1940 two young friends, Albrecht Durer and Franz Knighstein were poor, struggling artists. They worked to support themselves while studying art, but they could not earn enough money to survive. Finally they agreed that one of them would work while the other finished school. Then when the one had finished school, he would pay for the other friend to study. They drew lots. Albrecht won, and began to study while Franz worked very hard to support them both. Albrecht finished school and became a famous artist, but he did not forget his good friend. However, he was shocked to see that his friend had worked so hard that his fingers had become stiff and twisted. He could no longer work as an artist, but he was so happy that Albrecht had become a famous artist. One day Albrecht saw Franz kneeling with his twisted hands in prayer. He sketched what he saw, and painted the masterpiece “praying hands.” –
Ted Camp.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 14, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk May 7, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 7, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… Why do we say thee and thou when we pray the Lord’s prayer and the Hail Mary?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. The word “thou” is the intimate, familiar form of the old English word you. In old English there were formal ways to address someone and familiar ways, just as in French and Spanish. We use the familiar form of the word to address God and Mary. When the Bible was translated into English in the 1500s they tried to maintain the singular and plural distinctions found in the original Greek and Hebrew prayers. Everyday English speakers began to use the word “you” for singular and plural as well as familiar and formal. So we say “you” whether we are addressing Pope Francis or our next door neighbor. And we use the word “you” whether we are speaking to one person or to a crowd. In old English more than one person would be addressed as “ye”. As we pray to God or to Our Blessed Mother we try to maintain a respectful language, while we realize that we may speak personally and intimately to them in our prayers. May we spend as much time as possible each day praying to God and to Our Blessed Mother. They are listening, and answering every prayer.

From the Pastor's Desk April 30, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 30, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… Why do we pray the prayer to St Michael at the end of each Mass?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. The prayer to St Michael was prayed at the end of every low Mass from 1886 until the Second Vatican Council reforms, which eliminated the low Mass. In the Fall of 2018 Pope Francis encouraged all Catholics to pray the prayer to St Michael at the end of each Mass. As you know, St Michael is the Archangel who fights against the devil and evil. Today the Church, and holy men, women and children, are under attack from many sides. Evil, temptation, and secular life put our faith and our church to the test every day. It is most appropriate for us to call upon St Michael to fight for us, and defend us against the devil and evil in the world. Pope Francis blames the devil for the evil and disunity which is found in the church and in the world today. Our battle is against human sin and weakness, and supernatural evil as Satan tempts and imspires thoughts, words, and actions which are weakening and dividing the Church, pitting us one against the other.
Our best weapons against evil are the sacraments, prayer, and devotion to the saints.

From the Pastor's Desk April 23, 2023

I hope that you are enjoying a blessed Easter season.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 23, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… Why is the date of Easter different in the Orthodox church?

Dear Friend, thank you for your timely question. The Orthodox church and the Catholic church use different calendars to calculate the date of Easter. Our two traditions were united until the year 1054. At that time, the Julian calendar was used. It was invented by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, and featured 365.25 days in a year. In most of the world the Julian calendar was replaced by the Gregorian calendar, created by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. It proposes that there are 365.2425 days in a year. The Catholic date for the celebration of Easter is calculated according to the Gregorian calendar, and the Orthodox date for Easter is calculated according to the Julian calendar. The Catholic date of Easter each year is the Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. The Orthodox date for Easter is the Sunday after the first full moon after passover. - It fell on April 16th this year. Next year, 2024, Catholic Easter will take place on Sunday, March 31st and Orthodox Easter will take place on Sunday, May 5th.

From the Pastor's Desk April 16, 2023

I hope that you had a Very Happy Easter celebration. The Lord is risen from the dead. Allelulia, alleluia.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make our Holy Week and Easter celebrations so beautiful and meaningful.
I am so grateful to everyone who serves our parish throughout the year.
May the Risen Lord fill you with His blessings
Happy Divine Mercy weekend. This week we celebrate the great gift of God’s mercy. Jesus, who died for us, and opened Heaven to us, is always anxious to forgive and forget our sins. This type of love reminds me of the love that a parent has for his or her child. Jesus has given the power to forgive sins to the Church. In reconciliation, when the priest says the prayer of absolution, God Himself forgives us and forgets our faults. AND He fills us with His grace to avoid sin in the future. We must always remember the great gift of God’s mercy, and we must avail ourselves of the opportunity to experience God’s reconciliation. The Lord spoke to St Faustina and asked her to spread the good news of God’s great love and mercy for sinners. How He longs to forgive us and fill us with His blessings.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 16, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk April 9, 2023

I wish you a Very Happy Easter celebration. The Lord is risen from the dead. Alleluia.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make our Holy Week and Easter celebrations so beautiful and meaningful.
I am so grateful to everyone who serves our parish throughout the year.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 9, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the building fund?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. Just about every week we receive donations through envelopes and random donations for the building fund. The money received is used to repair our buildings, both large and small repairs. It is also used for plumbing repairs, furnace repairs, elevator repairs, and fire extinguisher inspections. The new floor in St Peter’s hall was paid from the building fund. We also pay our deductibles to the parish insurance from the building fund before the insurance pays their portion. When St Peter’s rectory and St Catherine’s church flooded a few years ago we paid a five thousand dollar deductible each time, and that money came from the building fund.” -TS Thank you for your support..

From the Pastor's Desk April 2, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 2, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… Do we know what happened to the Cross and the crown of thorns, and the nails of Jesus?

Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. In the fourth century St Helena discovered the Holy Cross buried near Golgatha, the place of the crucifixion. Through a miraculous healing she realized that she had the true Cross. A chapel was built at the site of the finding of the Holy Cross. The chapel was replaced by a larger one, and then a larger one,…. Two churches were built – one over the site of calvary where Jesus died, and another over His tomb. Eventually the two churches were incorporated into one church, called the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Crown of Thorns was also discovered by St Helena buried near the Holy Cross. She took the crown back to Constantinople, and honored it in a beautiful chapel. Before the 7th crusade, St Louis iX of France bought the crown of thorns from Baldwin II of Constantinople, and brought it to Paris. Today the crown is kept in the Louvre museaum in Paris. The nails used to crucify Jesus have been found in a box inscribed “Jesus is king” in the first century burial cave of Caiaphas, the High priest. Have a Blessed Holy Week.

From the Pastor's Desk March 26, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 26, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… When and why do we cover the statues in church during Lent?

Dear Friend, thank you for your question. Crosses and statues may be covered beginning on the fifth Sunday of Lent. Crosses remain convered until the end of the celebration of the Lord’s passion on Good Friday, and statues remain covered until the Easter vigil Mass. Covering the crosses and statues alert us to the special sacred time that we are in Also, they focus our attention on the Passion of the Lord, and veiling the crosses and statues heightens our anticipation of the joy of Easter Sunday. The veiling reminds us that we live in a secular world in which the sacred is ever present, but only seen with the eyes of faith until that glorious day when we will be with the Lord in Heaven
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE Holy Tuesday night the Chrism Mass will be celebrated at the cathedral. Holy Thursday the Mass of the Lord’s supper 7pm St Peter’s church, Good Friday Stations of the Cross 3pm in both churches, The Passion 7pm St Catherine’s church. Easter Vigil Mass 7:30 pm St Peter’s church, Easter Sunday: 8:30 Mass St Peter’s church, 10:30 Mass St Catherine’s church. Please join us.

From the Pastor's Desk March 19, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 19, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… How can I examine my conscience? (continued)?

Dear Friend, thank you for your question. Lent is a great time to examine our conscience, so you present a timely question. When we examine our conscience, we are trying to uncover our sins and weaknesses so that we can work on them and eliminate them. We sin in our thoughts, words, and deeds, or in our failure to think, to speak, or to act when we should. Finally we must examine our actions. A few years ago there was a popular question “What would Jesus do?” this is a good way to judge our deeds. Our primary law is to love each other. So: are my actions loving? Do I use physical violence toward others? Do I drive agressively or dangerously? Am I abusive to others? Do I help people when they need a hand? Do I write or email or text in anger? Do I push others away either physically or mentally? Do I share my talents, and my time to help my neighbors? Do I lend a hand to help my church? Do I show appropriate affection to those who need it? Do I show my love to my family? Do I steal what belongs to others? Do I cheat others? Do I cheat on my marriage, and cause others to cheat on theirs?

From the Pastor's Desk March 12, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 12, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… How can I examine my conscience? (continued)?

Dear friend, thank you for your question. Lent is a great time to examine our conscience, so you present a timely question. When we examine our conscience, we are trying to uncover our sins and weaknesses so that we can work on them and eliminate them. We sin in our thoughts, words, and deeds, or in our failure to think, to speak, or to act when we should. After our thoughts, we must examine our words. Do I take the name of the Lord in vain? Do I speak without kindness? Do I say mean things about people behind their back? Do I spread rumors or engage in gossip? Do I raise my voice, yelling unnecessarily? Do I tell the truth, even when it is difficult? Do I correct others who tell lies? Do I say whatever pops into my head without asking myself if it is hurtful? Do I swear, curse, and use harsh language? Do I do all of the talking, and fail to listen to others? Do I pray out loud, and speak with God from my heart? Do I participate in the Mass by speaking and singing at the appropriate times? Do I apologize, and verbally accept the apology of others? Do I explain myself sufficiently, and speak up for myself?

From the Pastor's Desk March 5, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 5, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… How can I examine my conscience?

Dear friend, thank you for your question. Lent is a great time to examine our conscience, so you present a timely question. When we examine our conscience, we are trying to uncover our sins and weaknesses so that we can work on them and eliminate them. We sin in our thoughts, words, and deeds, or in our failure to think, to speak, or to act when we should. Beginning with our thoughts, we ask ourself “Do I think about God, and love Him above all else? Do I have unloving thoughts? Do I think bad thoughts about people, or make negative judgements about them, or do I think only of myself, and forget the needs of others? Do I think of doing harm to myself or others? Do I think of ways to get even, or ways of getting revenge? Do I plan to spread gossip or rumors to make others like me better? Do I dwell on past hurts, or find it difficult to let go of my past faults or the past sins of others against me? Do I worry about the future, and about things that I do not have the power to change? Do I dwell on what others think of me? Do I spend enough time in prayer, and in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament?

From the Pastor's Desk February 26, 2023

I hope that Lent is off to a great start for you. We have forty days and forty nights to step aside from the hustle and bustle of our everyday life, and be on a religious retreat with God. During this sacred time we will examine our conscience. What do I think, say, and do, and how closely do my thoughts, words, and deeds imitate those of Jesus? Do I fail to think, speak, or act when I should? What have I given up for Lent? I usually give up something that I really love for Lent, and then I realize how much I miss what I gave up. Giving up something for Lent is a sacrifice that can help me to set my priorities, and make time for God. Many people love to do something extra during Lent. So we may do a good deed each day, or say a kind word, have a good thought about someone, or say some extra prayers, perhaps we can go to Mass an extra time each week. Each of these make us better people, and bring us closer to the Lord and to each other. Spiritual reading is wonderful during Lent. We can read a story from the Bible and reflect on it for a few moments, or read a biography, or a classic like the works of St Francis de Sales. The work that we do on our spiritual life will bring us benefits in this life and in the next. I wish you A Blessed Lent.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 26, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk February 17, 2023

On Wednesday of this week we will enter the holy season of Lent. We will have forty days and forty nights to prepare for the celebration of Easter. As you know, Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon, after the spring equinox. The Sundays of Lent are not included in the days of Lent, because Sunday is always a feast day, celebrating the resurection of Jesus. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence. St Patrick’s day falls on a Friday this year, and Bishop Libasci has issued a dispensation, allowing all Catholics to eat meat on St Patrick’s day. I pray that Lent will be a holy time for you. A forty day religious retreat for us all. A time to pray more, to come to Mass more often, to pray the stations of the Cross, and do more spiritual reading. I enjoy reading the biographies of the saints. Lent is a perfect time to experience the sacrament of reconciliation. Easter duty is the obligation to receive Holy Communion at least once per year. As Catholics we must receive Holy Communion (and reconciliation if necessary) between the first Sunday of Lent and the seventh week of Easter. Lent is the perfect time for our faith to come alive, and grow with new vigor

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 17, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk February 12, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 12, 2023

Dear Father, I was wondering… When I was young I comitted many sins. I do not remember if I have confessed all of those sins, or not. Now when I go to confession should I mention all of my past sins, and how often I comitted them? I am afraid that I will not be forgiven unless I do this.

Dear friend, Thank you for your excellent question. Before we go into the sacrament of reconciliation we must examine our conscience, and try to recall all of our sins (mortal sins) and how often we have comitted them. (frequently, or infrequently) since our last confession. We may write down our sins if that helps us to remember them, but we have to be sure to get rid of our list after confession. When we have made a good confession, and have tried our best to remember all of our sins, God forgives all of our sins, those we remember and those we forget. God already knows the full list of our sins, and He forgives us in the prayer of absolution. Therefore, it is not necessary to recall every sin that we have comitted long ago. If we have doubts about whether we are forgiven or not, we can simply say “I am truly sorry for the sins I confess today, and for all of my past sins.”

From the Pastor's Desk February 5, 2023

Have you heard that the prayer of absolution in the Sacrament of Penance is changing very soon? The prayer of absolution which the priest says, and by which God forgives our sins, has been re translated, so it will be slightly changed. The new translation will be: “God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son, has reconciled the world to Himself, and POURED OUT THE HOLY SPIRIT among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church may God grant you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The new translation came about as an attempt to have a more precise translation of the Latin text. I will have to practice this new translation. Maybe I should give out a prize to the penitent every time I make a mistake in the wording. As we approach Lent we focus more and more on this beautiful sacrament of forgiveness and God’s love. We should receive the Sacrament of reconciliation about once per month, and as soon as possible after we comitt a mortal sin.
Thank you Lord, for your gift of forgiveness and love.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 5, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk January 29, 2023

Thank you very much to everyone who put on our wonderful receptions after Masses last weekend, and thank you to all who attended them. It is so nice to be able to get together again, and to enjoy good food and fellowship. When can we do it again?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 29, 2023

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Now that the mandate for covid is over, is the Bishop going to start to share the Precious Blood?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. We are so anxious to get back to normal, and to have restrictions lifted as soon as possible. At the same time, our Bishops are very cautious and concerned for the well being of our people. For this reason, the Church is slow to relax our rules that were put into place due to covid. We are still not allowed to bring up the gifts at Mass, and we may keep a distance from each other, and wear a mask, and sanitize. The Bishops are particularly hesitant to share the Precious Blood, afraid that drinking from the same cup could easily spread covid, and the flu and colds,….
We will have a Deans’ meeting with the Bishop in the near future, and I am sure he will address this important issue. I will keep you posted if there are any changes.

From the Pastor's Desk January 22, 2023

Monday of this week would have been the fiftieth anniversary of the supreme court decision Roe vs Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the country. Every year so many holy people march in Washington to defend the right to life, and to pray for the end of abortion. In recent months the Supreme Court has struck down Roe Vs Wade, however, the decision to save innocent children in the womb now falls to each state. A number of state legislatures have voted to protect life in the womb. At the same time a number of states have voted to allow abortion, and even to make abortion legal in their state permanently. So our work is far from done. Our prayers and support of children in the womb are so important. We should teach the sanctity of life in school (even public school), in religion class, and in the home. We look forward to the day when no one would think of aborting their child, and no doctor would imagine performing an abortion, and the sanctity of life would be proclaimed and celebrated throughout our land of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all of God’s children. May that dream become a reality in the very near future. Adopt. Do not abort.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 22, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk January 15, 2023

Welcome to Ordinary Time. This past weekend we ended our celebration of Christmas season. Ordinary time lasts thirty four weeks. It will be interupted by Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22nd, and by Easter season. Easter Sunday will be celebrated on April 9th this year. Advent and Lent are seasons of prayer and penance in preparation for Christmas and Easter. Christmas and Easter are our two great feasts, each of which has its own season of celebrating and joy. Ordinary time is neither a time of penance, nor a time of feasting. In ordinary time we reflect on events of Jesus’ life and ministry, and grow closer to God each day.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 15, 2023

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… When did priests begin to wear colorful vestments at Mass?

Answer: Dear Friend, thank you so much for your great question. The priest’s vestments come from the everyday clothes of ancient Rome and Greece. Church leaders began to wear distinctive clothes in the 4th century. By the end of the thirteenth century the liturgical colors were established throughout the universal church. May you enjoy the green vestments of Ordinary Time.

From the Pastor's Desk January 8, 2023

I wish you and your loved ones a Very Happy New Year.
Thank you very much for your wonderful gifts and cards which we received this Christmas. It is a blessing and a joy to serve you in your wonderful parish.
Sadly, at Christimas, the furnace in St Catherine’s rectory, which heats the rectory and the church, developed serious problems. It was decided that we need a new furnace. As I write this, I am expecting to have a new furnace installed this week. This is a very large expense for the parish, and if you would like to donate to the cost of the new furnace, we will be most grateful. Your donations are tax deductible.
It was so nice to see so many visitors at Christmas. I am sure they enjoyed our beautiful churches and devout Christmas Masses, and that they felt welcome in our loving parish family.
I hope that you were able to enjoy your loved ones and friends at Christmas. I got the chance to go to visit my loved ones on Christmas day after our last Mass, and I stayed overnight. It was so nice to share gifts and catch up, and to see my neice and nephew. May the New Year be filled with the Lord’s blessings for you.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 8, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk January 1, 2023

I hope that you and your loved ones had a wonderful Christmas celebration. I was blessed to be able to stay overnight with my sister and brother in law. It was so nice to share gifts, chat, enjoy great food, and have a laugh or two.
Thank you to all who joined us for our Christmas Masses. A special thanks to everyone who decorated our churches so beautifully this year, and all who made our Masses so meaningful. It was a joy to celebrate the Lord’s birth with you. We appreciate your great generosity to our parish.
I wish you a very happy and blessed New Year. As we begin the year 2023 we are filled with hope and joy. I pray that this year will be a time of deepened faith, health, and prosperity for everyone. We enter The New Year rejoicing that God has sent us a savior, and we go forward with the prayers of Mary, the Mother of God. Having so much going for us, we will do our best this year to serve the needy among us, sharing our blessings. May our Newborn King fill you with His love and peace. Thank you to everyone who does so much for our parish throughout the year. God will reward you for all that you do.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 1, 2023

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk December 25, 2022

I wish you a very happy and blessed Christmas celebration. May our Newborn King fill you with His love and peace. Thank you to everyone who has done so much for our parish throughout the year. It takes many holy people to make the parish flourish. This year we have been blessed to have five holy altar servers who have faithfully served God at the altar every week. May the Lord bless you, and your families: Chuck, Cam, Zane, Joshua, and Kyle. We deeply appreciate our holy parishioners who count and deposit our collections every week. They do a fabulous job, and they receive no reward for their hours of labor. May the Lord reward them.
Our lectors and Eucharistic ministers serve the Lord at each Mass. They use their God given gifts to announce the word of God, and to bring the Lord to us in Holy Communion. May God bless them for their unselfish ministries to our parish.
Our Knights of Columbus and Altar Rosary Society serve the parish with love and devotion throughout the year. Their love for God and His church is evident in all that they say and do. May God bless them and their loved ones.
Our ushers welcome us warmly, and collect our donations with unselfish service to God.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 25, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk December 18, 2022

I wish you a very peaceful Fourth week of Advent. This year we enjoy four full weeks of Advent which is unusual. During most years Christmas comes during the fourth week of Advent. We have four full weeks to prepare for the Lord’s birth. I pray that Advent is not stressful for you, but a time of prayerful, joyful preparation for the Lord’s arrival at Christmas, and at the end of our lives.
I feel that this is the most wonderful time of the year. The lights and decorations on the houses, the beautiful Christmas trees, families and friends getting together, and an over riding spirit of joy and good will help us to prepare for the Lord’s arrival.
Once my cards are written and my gifts are bought, I feel less stress and more peace. My daily prayers take on new significance, and our sacraments are so meaningful and enjoyable.
At the same time, we are well aware of all who are suffering… the sick, the poor, the imprisoned. We reach out to them, and share our blessings with them.
Thank you for all that you do for our parish throughout the year. Thank you for sharing your wonderful faith. May you have a Christmas that is full of blessings and joy and may the Lord answer all your prayers.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 18, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk December 11, 2022

I wish you a Happy Gaudete weekend. We have been preparing for the birthday of the Lord through penance and good works, and today we rejoice because in just two weeks the Lord will be born for us. I find there is not enough joy in the world, or in our lives. If we watch the news, or follow social media, we can focus on all that is bad around us. I used to visit my parents in southern Florida in the winter, and we would watch the news. The first half of the news was jokingly titled “gloom and doom.” The announcer would bring us all the latest crime, corruption, trials, and sadness of the region. It was very depressing. We do not wear rose glasses. We know that our world has more than its share of sadness and suffering, but we proclaim the good news that Jesus will be born soon for us. He will teach us how to love God, and how to love each other. How to forgive and forget, how to reach out to the needy, and brighten their lives, and how to live an unselfish life of loving service. Our goal is to put smiles on the faces of all around us. If we cannot help them in person, we pray for them, and God’s blessings abound. Thank you for being an ambassador of God’s love and joy this week. May the Lord who will soon be born among us fill your hearts with joy.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 11, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk December 4, 2022

I will be back on Tuesday from my stay cation. It has been enjoyable spending some time with loved ones, and friends, and enjoying some down time.
I pray that Advent is not stressful for you, but a time of prayerful, joyful preparation for the Lord’s arrival at Christmas, and at the end of our lives.
This week we will resume our daily Mass schedule. On Thursday please join us to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Mother. I was praying for you day and night during these past two weeks.
I hope that you and your loved ones had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.
HAPPY ADVENT. This weekend we begin our second week of holy preparation for the Lord’s birth. The second week of Advent represents peace. Jesus is coming as our Prince of peace. Peace in Hebrew is Shalom, which means completeness, and well being. Jesus came to bring us peace with God, peace within ourselves, peace with fellow Catholics, peace with other religions, and nations, forgiveness of sins, and Eternal peace in Heaven. Let us share God’s peace this week, and pray for Ukraine, and all areas of our world where anger and war have the upper hand.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 4, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk November 27, 2022

I will be “away” for a stay cation this week. There will be no daily Mass in our parish during this time, and holy, devout, scholarly visiting priests will be here during each weekend. I will be praying for you day and night during these two weeks.
I hope that you and your loved ones had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.
HAPPY ADVENT. This weekend we begin our holy preparation for the Lord’s birth. Advent is a time of reflection, and prayer to strengthen, and focus on, our spiritual life so that we will be Christ like when we welcome Him at Christmas. Advent comes from a Latin word which means “coming.” Scholars find that Advent was a time of preparation of adults who were entering the Catholic church on the feast of the Epiphany. During this time of preparation candidates would pray and fast and do penance for forty days. By the sixth century Roman Catholics tied Advent with the second coming of Jesus as judge of the world. In the Middle Ages advent became associated with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. The Advent Wreath began in 1839 in Germany. The first Advent candle, which we light this weekend, represents hope. We look forward with hope to Jesus’ birth among us

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 27, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk November 20, 2022

I will be “away” for a stay cation this week and next week. There will be no daily Mass in our parish during this time, and holy, devout, scholarly visiting priests will be here during each weekend. I will be praying for you day and night during these two weeks.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 20, 2022

Dear Father, I was wondering… Where in the Bible can we find that our Blessed Mother was born without original sin? How can we convince non believers of this? (continued from last week)

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. Catholics differ from many other christian denominations in that we accept sacred scripture and our 2000 year tradition as inspired. Mary’s immaculate conception was solemnly defined on December 8, 1854 by Pope Pius IX in his document called ineffabilis Deus. Mary’s conception was celebrated in England in the 11th century. The Oxford Franciscans, John Duns Scotus and William of Ware defended and defined this dogma. In 1476 Pope Sixtus IV decreed that the solemnity of the Immaculate conception must be celebrated each year. If the Blessed Mother were tainted with original sin, then Jesus would have inherited it as we all do since He was fully human and fully divine.

From the Pastor's Desk November 13, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 13, 2022

Dear Father, I was wondering… Where in the Bible can we find that our Blessed Mother was born without original sin? How can we convince non believers of this?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. Catholics differ from many other christian denominations in that we accept sacred scripture and our 2000 year tradition as inspired. Mary’s immaculate conception is found throughout our tradition, and the Bible does not contradict it. Mary’s sinless nature has been taught and written about, and preached throughout our church history. It was defined as a church dogma in 1854. Mary was preserved free of the original sin of Adam and Eve so that she could be the physical mother of Jesus. If Mary had original sin then Jesus would have inherited this human weakness from her, since she is His natural mother. When Elizabeth greets Mary she says “Hail full of grace.” Mary is full of God’s grace, and free of sin. This explains Mary’s assumption into Heaven at the end of her life. She does not need to go to purgatory or wait in the grave for Jesus’ second coming, but is rewarded for her sinless life, given her place with God where she prays for us, and appears to us to strengthen us on our way to Heaven.

From the Pastor's Desk November 6, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 6, 2022

Dear Father, I was wondering… Why is there an image of a pelican on the front of the main altar in St Peter’s church?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. The Christian tradition of the pelican is an ancient one. The image shows a mother pelican feeding her young. As the story goes, in times of famine, the mother pelican would wound herself, striking her breast with her beak, to feed her young with her blood to keep them alive even at the cost of the mother’s own life. Given this story, we can see how the early church used the pelican as an image of our savior to represent the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus who gave His life for our redemption and atoned for our sins in His passion and death. We were dead due to sin, and have found new life through the Blood of the Lord shed for us. Moreover, Jesus continues to feed us with His holy Body and Blood in the Sacred Eucharist each day. In early times tabernacles were often suspended over the altar, shaped like pelicans. Another symbolic example is the phoenix, which gives its life, and rises on the third day from the ashes, symbolizing the Lord who died for our sins, and rose on the third day.

From the Pastor's Desk October 30, 2022

This week we enter the month of November. November 1st is the feast of all saints, a holy day of obligation, and our parish feast day. In the early days of the Church saints were acclaimed as they were well known for their holiness and love. Today saints are formally proclaimed by the church after proof of two miracles due to their intercession. However, we all know of very holy people who have died. We are sure that they are with God in Heaven. Tuesday’s feast celebrates these unknown saints. Even though we may not remember them they are with God, and praying for us. We honor them on the feast of all saints, and resolve to live a holy life as they did.
Wednesday is All Souls Day. It is not a holy day of obligation. On that day, and throughout the month of November, we pray for our Faithful Departed in Purgatory. These souls have been forgiven of their sins, but they still cling to human weaknesses that plagued them in this life, and God purifies them of these weaknesses. (venial sins) Our prayers and Masses, and the prayers of the saints help them to find their way to Heaven. It is wonderful to pray for our Faithful Departed, and to offer Masses for them

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 30, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk October 23, 2022

The month of October is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, and to prayer for our brothers and sisters in the womb.
On Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 24/25
Fr John will be away at the priests’ convocation. In the spring and the fall, all of the priests of the diocese get together with the Bishop for a couple of days of prayer, talks, and socializing. It is so nice to see all of the priests. Since we are always busy, and we have different schedules,… we seldom get together. It means that our parish is without a priest for 48 hours, but these rare occasions allow our priests the chance to support each other, share ideas, and learn from the guest speaker. It is a good chance to chat with our younger priests, encourage them, and get to know them better. Many retired priests attend, and it is great to see them, and catch up with them. It is also a chance to speak with priests who are stationed far from our parish and deanery. The time flies by. Our two or three day convocation goes by in a flash. Also, our get togethers always end with a deans’ meeting with the Bishop. It is fascinating to hear the Bishop’s ideas, and to be able to share the needs of our parish and deanery with him.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 23, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk October 16, 2022

The month of October is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, and to prayer for our brothers and sisters in the womb.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 16, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What does VF after your name mean?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your question. VF stands for vicar forane. (Not very fat.) Forane is Latin for outside. It refers to a priest who is entrusted by the Bishop with service to a region of the diocese. The vicar forane is also called a dean. He serves his parish as pastor, and serves the parishes and ministries of the area. Our region is called the Upper Valley. It includes All Saints Parish, plus the parishes of Claremont, Newport, Lebanon, Enfield, Hanover, and New London, as well as Mount Royal Academy, Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital, and our region’s hospitals, and nursing homes, and Catholic charities. The dean holds regular meetings, visits the parishes and ministries, installs new pastors, provides spiritual growth opportunities, and workshops. The deans meet with the Bishop on a regular basis to discuss the needs of the diocese, and communicate the Bishop’s ideas to the deanery, and communicate our needs to him. I am honored and humbled to serve as your dean of the Upper Valley Deanery.

From the Pastor's Desk October 9, 2022

The month of October is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, and it is dedicated to prayer for our brothers and sisters in the womb. O Holy Mary, pray for them.
How to receive Holy Communion… (a reminder for all of us) Before receiving the Lord in Holy Communion we are to go to confession if we have committed any sin. Preparing to receive Holy Communion is the perfect time to pray. Make a good act of contrition, and ask the Lord to come into our lives and hearts. Before arriving at the priest or minister to receive the Lord we are to make a reverent, respectful, bow. We may kneel or stand still to receive Him. Clearly indicate if we wish to receive on the tongue or in the hand. The minister or priest will say “The body of Christ.” We respond “Amen.” Open our mouth wide, or make a little cup with our left hand over our right hand. Place the Lord in our mouth as we stand still before the altar. Do not take the Lord down the aisle in our hand. Consume Him standing before the altar. Reverently return to our pew and spend time in prayer to the Lord whom we have just received. If we are not able to come to Mass, call the rectory to ask to receive Holy Communion at home. Receive the Lord Jesus with great love and respect

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 9, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk October 2, 2022

The month of October is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, and it is dedicated to prayer for our brothers and sisters in the womb. Recently I watched the film The Silent Scream. An obstetrician explains the process of abortion. I think it should be shown in every high school in the world. We Catholics should be allowed to teach students about the sanctity of life from conception, the dignity of being co creators with God, and the absolute evil of abortion. As significant as the recent supreme court’s decision to overturn the Roe Vs Wade decision was, it now depends on the voters in every state to determine the life and death of children in the womb. It is God who decides when and where to conceive us, and we may not vote against the will of the Almighty. The only solution to unwanted pregnancy is to give birth to the child, and give him or her up for adoption. There are so many couples in the world who would love to welcome the child into their homes and provide a wonderful upbringing for him or her. I presume that all Catholics know this already, but it is up to us to pray and work for an end to abortion in the world. The good news of human dignity must get out to people everywhere. Blessed Mother, pray for us.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 2, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk September 25, 2022

We are praying for all of our Catholic brothers and sisters who are attending the Eucharistic revival in Guilford this weekend. What a wonderful way to deepen and strengthen our devotion to the Blessed Sacrament along with thousands of other devout men, women, and children. May the Lord bless all of the participants, and bless us all with a deep and sincere devotion to the Lord in The Blessed Sacrament.
When I came to this wonderful parish I was so impressed by your Generations of Faith program. Once each month Father would meet with parishioners of all ages to share our faith, learn more about our beliefs, and pass the Good News on from generation to generation. Now that, hopefully, we are getting past the most dangerous days of covid, we would like to have time after Mass to chat about our faith, and enjoy sharing with each other. This informal meeting can easily become a parish bible study, or a study of our church history, or a study of our Catholic customs and traditions. It is called “Coffee with Father,” but that does not mean that food cannot be included. As my professor used to say “When you meet, eat.” Good advice. Please join us this Sunday at 11:30 in St Catherine’s for our first meeting.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 25, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

From the Pastor's Desk September 18, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 18, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How can we help more people to have a sincere love of the Eucharist? ?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. It is very sad that so few people today recognize the presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I do not know why this is… perhaps people are not remembering their religious education First Communion classes, or perhaps they do not go to church often, and they live a secular life, or could it be that receiving Holy Communion has become such a ritual for them that it seems to have lost its meaning? Maybe people feel that all Christian religions are basically the same, and their belief in the Real Presence has been watered down? I do not know. We who have a sincere devotion,and love of Jesus in the Eucharist are excited about sharing this good news with everyone around us. Next Saturday thousands of Catholics are gathering in Guilford, New Hampshire for special Eucharistic talks, adoration, Mass, processions, and reconciliation. We pray for, and with, them. May our Love of the Lord present with us grow ever stronger, and may our devotion spread to all who know us – God’s family united around His holy altar.

From the Pastor's Desk September 11, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 11, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How can we make good use of St Peter’s rectory?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. It is a shame that the rectory in N Walpole is empty most of the time. Since the Holy Sisters left it has been unoccupied. We have used the building for religious education classes and parish meetings. Female missionaries who have visited the parish have stayed there. Father John has spoken with the diocese and with retired priests and Religious asking if they know someone who could live in the building. Rectories are supposed to be used for housing priests and Religious, and holy uses. The church is tax exempt so if we were to rent the building out, and receive rental income, we could be taxed. If we sold the building we would have the new owners living right next to the church, which may not be desireable. We could tear down the building, but that is expensive, and we would lose the use of the building permanently. Father John has been asking Catholic Charities and non profit Catholic groups if they would like to use the building for meeting clients,… during the week. Meanwhile we continue to use the building as much as possible, and continue to heat, maintain, and repair it.

From the Pastor's Desk September 4, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 4, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… My cousin believes in lucky objects and ouija boards and bad luck and curses. What do you think about this?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. Many people do believe in these things. However, we know that God is in charge of Heaven and earth. Objects do not have power of their own. They cannot give us good or bad luck. Moses used a staff to divide the red sea. However, the power to do this was from God, not from the staff. The devil can tempt us in so many ways, but God is stronger than Satan, and as we worship and pray to God He protects us from evil. Ouija boards claim to answer questions, however, they do not have power of their own. We must not take their answers seriously. I would gently recommend to your cousin that they get to know Catholic sacramentals, such as the rosary, and statues, and prayers. As they come to understand the power of the Mass, and the prayers of the saints for us, and the holy rosary, they will realize that the love of God and His saints and angels is more amazing and wonderful than “dumb luck”. God has the whole world in His hands, and we are blessed everyday.

From the Pastor's Desk August 28, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 28, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why do some women wear veils at Mass?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. According to Dear Edith, an online religious column, since the 1970s women have not been obliged to wear head coverings in church. For Edith, wearing a veil is a reminder that we are in the presence of God. It helps us to pray and focus on the divine. It is also a sign of our submission to God’s will. We have a special vocation to receive life from God and nourish it. (through loving others, and seeking God’s will in all things.) In church the Eucharist is veiled from our sight in the tabernacle Likewise, covering our beauty directs our attention away from ourselves and toward God where it belongs. Veiling ourself shows our awe and reverence to the Lord in the Eucharist. In wearing the veil we are working on improving our relationship with God day by day. The veil is a sign of our humility and concentration during the Mass. The veil can deepen our prayer life, show our trust in God, and make our gifts and charisms grow and develop. Wearing the veil is not required. It is a personal choice, but so many of our holy women have found that wearing the veil brings them tremendous gifts.

From the Pastor's Desk August 21, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 21, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… When will we be able to receive The Precious Blood once again? Many of us miss this wonderful experience.

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. I have heard from many people that they are missing The Precious Blood at Mass. It has been stopped, as you know, due to the virus, and worry that we may spread the virus by drinking after each other. The full sign of participating in the Lord’s supper is to take and eat His body, and take and drink His blood as the apostles did at the Last Supper. We have been blessed to be able to share the Precious Blood for many years. Recently I read that the Bishops are discussing the possibility of bringing back the Precious Blood, while they remain extremely concerned about spreading all viruses. Someone asked if we could dip the consecrated Host in the Precious Blood. That has not been appoved in the United States, and someone asked if we could each receive The Precious Blood in our own container, but that has not been approved either, and, of course, the individual cups would have to be purified after Communion, which might be difficult. I will let you know if I hear of any changes in our present Eucharistic practice.

From the Pastor's Desk August 14, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 14, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Is it better to receive Holy Communion on the tongue or in the hand?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. We are quite certain that the Apostles received the Lord’s body at the Last Supper in their hands. The earliest custom of the church was to break bread and eat with the hands, so Holy Communion would have been received in the hand. Over the centuries receiving the Lord on the tongue became our custom. Pope Paul VI re introduced the option of receiving the Host on the hand after the Second Vatican Council. (1965) Is our hand holier than our mouth? The important point is that we use the sacrament of reconciliation to be cleansed of sin frequently, and we joyfully receive the Lord in the state of grace. We may receive Him in the hand or on the tongue, standing or kneeling. We need to be very careful not to drop the Host, and not to spill crumbs of the Host, as they are Jesus. Could we ask our altar servers to hold a patten under our mouths or hands as we receive Holy Communion? We should pray an act of contrition before Communion, make a respectful bow before receiving the Lord, and clearly indicate if you prefer to receive the Lord on the tongue

From the Pastor's Desk August 7, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 7, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the meaning of Novus ordo?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. Novus ordo refers to the Mass of Pope Paul VI which began to be celebrated after the Second Vatican Council. (1965) It is the Mass that we celebrate today. It was preceded by the Triditine Mass which was celebrated from 1570 to 1965. The novus ordo was created as an effort to modernize the liturgy and to allow more understanding of, and participation in, the Mass by the congregation. Beginning in 1965 the celebration of the Triditine Mass was banned until 1984 when Pope St John Paul II allowed limited use of the Latin Triditine Mass only with permission of the local Bishop. During the triditine Mass the priest faces away from the people, and the people do not read from the scriptures or distribute Holy Communion. How can we make our novus ordo Mass more beautiful and meaningful?

From the Pastor's Desk July 31, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 31, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Are we going to start to process in to the church soon?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. As you know, the Bishop asked us not to process in or out, and not to bring up the gifts or take up the collection during Mass due to the pandemic, and the fear of spreading the virus. Those rules have been loosened somewhat now. We are able to process in at the beginning of Mass and out at the end of Mass, and we are allowed to take up a collection. We are still not allowed to bring up the gifts. However, because of Father John’s leg ulcers and leg circulation issues, he is restricting his walking as much as possible. So, for now, Father John would prefer to begin and end Mass at the altar with no processions. This will change as his medical conditon improves. Hopefully we will be able to bring up the gifts and share the Precious Blood again one of these days. The Bishops are very cautious and concerned about spreading the virus.

From the Pastor's Desk July 24, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 24, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the meaning of bce which I recently read in a novel?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Gregorian calendar which we use is based on the approximate date of birth of Jesus. So the year 2022 means it has been about 2022 years since Jesus was born. We call the present year 2022 AD meaning “the year of the Lord” in Latin. A date before Jesus’ birth is designated BC meaning Before Christ. This dating system was first proposed in 525 AD by Dionysius Exiguus, a holy monk. CE stands for the Common Era, and BCE stands for before the Common Era. Jewish academics adopted these new terms in order to avoid reference to Jesus’ birth. Instead it refers to the common era of Christianity and Judaism coexisting. It has taken on widespread acceptance as a way to express the date, while many prefer to use the designations BC and AD. In writing a date BC should follow the date, such as 1,000 BC and AD should preceed the date, such as AD2022. In most written texts the AD is omitted. It is presumed that the year cited is AD. If the year was before Jesus’ birth then BC or BCE is written. Do you prefer the terms BC/AD or BCE/CE?

From the Pastor's Desk July 17, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 17, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What does the stained glass window represent behind the altar of St Peter’s church?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The stained window behind and above the altar in St Peter’s church depicts Saint Peter himself holding the key to the kingdom which the Lord gave him, and blessing with his right hand. On the left is a church and on the right is a mitre, the traditional head covering of the Pope. Peter is standing on rock. He is the rock on which the Church was built by the Lord.
Stained glass was created as far back as the 7th century. It is defined as glass that has been colored by adding metalic salts during the manufacturing process. In stained glass windows small pieces of glass may be arranged in patterns to form pictures or designs. They are kept together by strips of lead. Another technique, called enamelled glass is the process of painting colors onto the glass and then fusing in a kiln. Very often stained glass is used to tell a biblical story, or to create a holy theme.
How blessed we are to enjoy our beautiful stained glass windows. Which one is your favorite? Could we buy two more stained glass windows for the back of St Catherine’s church?

From the Pastor's Desk July 10, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 10, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why is the Cross upside down on the lector podium in St Peter’s church?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. I must admit that I have looked at that image before and after every Mass, and I did not notice that the Cross is upside down. The upside down cross is known as the Cross of St Peter. At the end of his life St Peter was crucified on Vatican hill in Rome. An ancient tradition states that he asked to be crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy to be crucified in the same way that Jesus was. So the cross of St Peter is an upside down cross. This cross was well known and used as a symbol of Christianity for many centuries. In the 19th century a satanic cult began to use the upside down cross as their own symbol. It was thought to be anti Christian and sacriligious. It was used as an anti Christian symbol by Black Sabbath rock and roll group in the 1960’s, and it has been popular in horror movies. Please take a look at our St Peter’s cross below the microphone as well as the beautiful painting of the crucifixion of St Peter by Caravagio in the stairway of St Peter’s church.
Saint Peter, pray for us.

From the Pastor's Desk July 3, 2022

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 3, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What are the regulations for caring for our deceased?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. Continuing from last week…
We are blessed to have two Catholic cemeteries in our parish: St Catherine’s cemetery is maintained by the town of Charlestown. The town has our cemetery records, and They sell cemetery lots for us. St Peter’s cemetery is maintained by the parish. The parish and local funeral directors have our cemetery records, and arrange for repairs as needed. There is no trespassing in our cemeteries after dark. We do not allow flowers, shrubs, or decorations because it is so difficult and time consuming to remove all of the decorations to mow and trim the lots, and then place the decorations back on the grave. Headstones are allowed, but writing or pictures on stones must be religious, dignified, and approved by the pastor.
Funeral and cemetery records must be carefully recorded and kept in a fire proof and water proof safe. Every Mass around the world is celebrated for all of the living and for our Faithful Departed souls in Purgatory. We treat our cemeteries with great dignity and care, and love.

From the Pastor's Desk June 26, 2022

UNAVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 26, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What are the regulations for caring for our deceased?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. Continuing from last week… The wake, the funeral, and the burial are one liturgical celebration. The wake allows the family and friends to comfort each other, and pray for their deceased loved one, and know that he or she is no longer suffering. The funeral Mass is the first Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul of the deceased. Eulogies are not encouraged, because the focus of the Mass is not what everyone thinks of the deceased, but God’s mercy and love. Eulogies are appropriate at a reception or gathering after the burial. Music for the funeral must be religious and approved beforehand. The body in the casket should be present for the wake and funeral Mass. Cremation can follow the funeral if necessary. One must remember that the body is sacred, so if it is cremated the ashes must be treated with great respect and honor. The body (or cremains) must be buried in consecrated ground as soon as possible after the funeral Mass, accompanied by prayers by a Catholic priest. Our two parish cemeteries receive perpetual care.

From the Pastor's Desk June 19, 2022

We wish our fathers a very happy Fathers’ day. May the Lord bless all of our dads and reward them for all that they do for us.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 19, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What are the regulations for caring for our deceased?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. First of all, as you know, when a person is elderly, or in poor health, they should be given the Sacrament of the sick, which can be given over and over to strengthen and heal the sick person. The Church recommends having a wake, funeral Mass, and burial of the body of the deceased. The wake, funeral, and burial are one liturgical action praying for the deceased, entrusting him or her to God, and comforting the loved ones. The body should be buried in consecrated ground with the prayers and blessings of the Church. Today cremation is very common. While cremation is allowed, it is important to maintain the dignity and sacred nature of the body. The cremated remains must be kept intact and buried with dignity in consecrated ground, not placeed on the mantle at home, and not sprinkled around. The funeral Mass is most important for the repose of the soul of the deceased, and Masses and prayers offered for the repose of the soul are very important.

From the Pastor's Desk June 12, 2022

We wish you a very happy Feast of The Blessed Trinity. Recently I received an email from one of our pastors asking me for urgent help. I emailed back, and got no response, I called him and got his voice mail, I called his parish number and got the answering machine which told me to “Press 1 if you want the Mass schedule,….” I left another message. I called a friend who lives in the pastor’s parish, and left a message, and repeated the above steps every few minutes, only to find out that all of this was due to an email scam. Hmmm. If that scammer would come into my confessional he could turn his life around with God’s help and a long and difficult penance. Ha ha.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 12, 2022

Question: NOT AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Answer: NOT AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

From the Pastor's Desk June 5, 2022

We wish you a very happy Feast of Pentecost. Today the Holy Spirit descends on the Apostles and they go forth courageously proclaiming the Gospel, and expanding the Church. In St Paul’s letter to the Galatians he lists nine gifts of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. The fourth century Latin vulgate also listed the gifts of goodness, modesty, and chastity. We receive these precious and powerful gifts in the sacrament of Confirmation. May we make full use of each of these gifts for our good and the good of the world.
I thank you for your generous support of our Bishop’s Fund collection. This annual collection will replace, and include, the following collections: Seminarians, Catholic education, Catholic Charities, Parish to parish support, Missionaries, Catholic University, parable magazine, and retired priests. May the Lord bless you for all that you do for our parish and our diocese

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 5, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the purpose of stained glass?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. Stained glass has always been used to show and teach scenes of the bible and our Church tradition. It also prevents us from gazing out the window during long sermons.

From the Pastor's Desk May 29, 2022

When I was young, every year during the week before Memorial Day, my grandfather and I would go to visit his parents grave about half an hour drive from Worcester Massachusetts. We would pray for them, and plant some beautiful flowers, and water them with water from an old fashioned pump up the hill. I loved this ritual. Mostly because I got to spend a day with Grandpa. May the Lord bless our faithful departed always. This weekend we pray in a special way for all who gave their lives in service of our nation. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. I wish you a blessed Memorial Day.
I thank you for your generous support of our Bishop’s Fund collection. This annual collection will replace, and include, the following collections: Seminarians, Catholic education, Catholic Charities, Parish to parish support, Missionaries, Catholic University, parable magazine, and retired priests. May the Lord bless you for all that you do for our parish and our diocese.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 29, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why was the speaker of the House recently excommunicated?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. The Speaker of the House was excommunicated due to her approval of, and support for, abortion after repeated attmpts to speak with her privately.

From the Pastor's Desk May 22, 2022

If you come to church in person this weekend or receive a bulletin at home, you will notice that we have a brand new parish bulletin company. Our former company has stopped printing bulletins. We hope that you will enjoy our new bulletin. Please be sure to use the services of our advertisers on the back page. They pay for the outside of our bulletin to be printed each week.
I thank you for your generous support of our Bishop’s Fund collection. This annual collection will replace, and include, the following collections: Seminarians, Catholic education, Catholic Charities, Parish to parish support, Missionaries, Catholic University, parable magazine, and retired priests. May the Lord bless you for all that you do for our parish and our diocese.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 22, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a national parish?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. Most of our parishes are territorial, meaning they serve people living in a certain area. A national parish is established to minister to people of a particular language or culture, such as an Italian parish, an Irish parish, a Hispanic parish,…. Sacraments are offered in the language of the parish, and activities are enjoyed in the culture of the parish. Where is the closest national parish to us? Would you enjoy belonging to a national parish

From the Pastor's Desk May 15, 2022

Recently I enjoyed our annual priests’ convocation meeting in Whitefield. Our Bishop and most of our priests were present. A seminary professor from St Charles seminary in Philadelphia was our excellent speaker. I got the chance to chat with so many priests, including those who are younger, and those whom I rarely see during the year. On Tuesday evening we celebrated a holy hour, Mass, and dinner in honor of our priests who are celebrating their 25th or 50th anniversary. A great time was had by all. Let us pray for vocations each day. We need more holy priests, deacons, and Religious.
I thank you for your generous support of our Bishop’s Fund collection. This annual collection will replace, and include, the following collections: Seminarians, Catholic education, Catholic Charities, Parish to parish support, Missionaries, Catholic University, parable magazine, and retired priests. May the Lord bless you for all that you do for our parish and our diocese.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 15, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How can I get a copy of my baptismal record from many years ago?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. If you would contact the church where you were baptized they will happily give you a certificate listing your baptismal data.

From the Pastor's Desk May 8, 2022

May the Lord bless our mothers on this Mothers’ Day. Every day mothers show us God’s unconditional love. One year I was in W Stewartstown, on the Canadian border, and my birthday came along. I was too busy to be with my family. About 5pm that afternoon I got a call from my mother. She asked me “Can you get away for an hour or so? Your dad and I drove up to take you out for a dinner and a little party.” They lived six hours away by car. I couldn’t believe it. What a wonderful surprise. The absolute love of a mother knows no bounds. Lord, bless our moms, and reward them for all that they do for us.”

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 8, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How can we show our appreciation to everyone who does so much for our church and parish?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. We can thank them in person, and pray for them, and offer a Mass for them, and offer to help them, or replace them when they need a break,….

From the Pastor's Desk May 1, 2022

This weekend we kick off our annual Bishop’s appeal collection. I hope that you have received appeal information and an envelope in the mail this week. I thank you for your generous support of our collection. This annual collection will replace, and include, the following collections: Seminarians, Catholic education, Catholic Charities, Parish to parish support, Missionaries, Catholic University, parable magazine, and retired priests. May the Lord bless you for all that you do for our parish and our diocese.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 1, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How do we use the holy oils that we receive on Tueday of Holy Week?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. The oil of catechumens is used to strengthen people preparing for baptism. The oil of the sick is used to heal all who are ill, and the oil of sacred chrism is used to anoint the newly baptized, the newly confirmed, and new priests.

From the Pastor's Desk April 24, 2022

I wish you A Happy and Blessed Divine Mercy Weekend. What a nice time to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and experience God’s mercy first hand. In this world we are used to unfair treatment, and anger and revenge. We are so blessed to have God with us who is loving and forgiving, and ready to reconcile with us, and quick to forget our faults and failings. He sets the example for us to follow when dealing with each other. May you receive the mercy of God, and share that mercy with others.
It bears repeating…

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 24, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Do we have to be quiet in church?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. The church is God’s house, and the tabernacle contains the real presence of the Lord. The altar is the sacred table on which the divine sacrifice occurs. In the pews people are praying, and preparing for Mass, or praying after Mass before they go out into the world again, so our silence is most appreciated.

From the Pastor's Desk April 17, 2022

I wish you A Happy and Blessed Easter celebration. May it be a day of joy, peace, and love for you. The Lord is risen alleluia, alleluia. Easter season will continue for seven weeks as we enjoy stories of the Lord’s appearances after His resurrection, and we rejoice in His forgiveness of Original sin and personal sin as well.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 17, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Do we have to be quiet in church?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question.The church is God’s house, and the tabernacle contains the real presence of the Lord. The altar is the sacred table on which the divine sacrifice occurs. In the pews people are praying, and preparing for Mass, or praying after Mass before they go out into the world again, so our silence is most appreciated. Sometimes we need to get someone’s attention urgently, or we need to tell someone something, but it is best to do so briefly and quietly. Extensive talking should be reserved for outside the church. Now if I can only remember this myself…

From the Pastor's Desk April 10, 2022

I wish you A Blessed Holy Week. During this sacred week each year we relive the last days of Jesus’ life on earth in real time. Our ceremonies will still be modified due to the virus, but will you please join us as we recall the events that led to our redemption?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 10, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the Chrism Mass?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. During Holy Week the Bishop celebrates a special Mass at which he blesses and consecrates our three holy oils for use throughout the year, and your priests renew their vows. Two of our parishioners will receive the holy oils for the parish. Traditionally the chrism Mass was celebrated on Holy Thursday, however, in recent years it has been celebrated on Tuesday night of Holy Week.

From the Pastor's Desk April 3, 2022

I wish you A Blessed Lent. Holy week will be April 9 through 17. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be at 7pm on Holy Thursday in St Peter’s church followed by the procession to the altar of repose. Our churches will be open for prayer on Good Friday from Noon to Three and at 3pm we will pray the stations of the Cross. At 7pm on Good Friday the Passion, veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion will be prayed in St Catherine’s church. Our Easter Vigil Mass will be at 7:30 pm in St Peter’s church. Please plan to join us as we relive and celebrate these most sacred days.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 3, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… When do we cover the crosses?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. Traditionally the crossses and statues are covered from the fifth Sunday of Lent through Good Friday.

From the Pastor's Desk March 27, 2022

I wish you A Blessed Lent. How do we offend God and others in our thoughts, words, and deeds?
Read through the ten commandments. Have I broken any of them? Have I wandered close to breaking them? For example, I have not killed anyone, but have I tried to ruin their reputation, have I ghosted them, or gossiped about them? Have I stretched the truth, or “borrowed” someone’s goods without giving them back,

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 27, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is Laetare Sunday?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. This Sunday is Laetare Sunday. It is meant to be a day to relax our Lenten sacrifices as Easter is around the corner. The priest and deacon may wear rose vestments on that day.

From the Pastor's Desk March 20, 2022

I wish you A Blessed Lent. How do we offend God and others in our thoughts, words, and deeds?
And how do we offend by our lack of thought, word, or deed? In my words: Do I speak with anger? Do I spread gossip and rumors? Do I lie or stretch the truth? Do I swear? Do I take the name of God in vain? Do I spend too much time chatting when I should be busy elsewhere? Do I have the courage to tell people what they need to hear for their own good?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 20, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is Easter duty?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. To be a Catholic in good standing one must receive Holy Communion at least once per year from the first Sunday of Lent through Pentecost Sunday.
***Attendance at Mass is obligatory once again. This obligation was suspended due to the virus, but The Bishops have announced that all who can are required to physically attend Mass. Welcome back***

From the Pastor's Desk March 13, 2022

I wish you A Blessed Lent. It is a time to concentrate on our spiritual life, and renew our life, and examine our conscience, and make use of the gift of the Sacrament of reconciliation. How do I offend God and others in my thoughts, words, and deeds?
And how do I offend by my lack of thought, word, or deed? In my thoughts: Do I spend enough time thinking about God and the saints and angels? Do I think good thoughts about other people? Do I dwell on the past, or worry about the future?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 13, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What are examples of spiritual works that I can read during Lent?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. I enjoy reading the lives of the saints. Reading the lives of the saints can inspire, and encourage, us to live a good life. Also reading Gospel miracle stories is enjoyable and amazing.
** Attendance at Mass is obligatory once again. This obligation was suspended due to the virus, but all who can are required to physically attend Mass. **

From the Pastor's Desk March 6, 2022

Thank you to Our parish Knights of Columbus for the delicious FAT TUESDAY DINNER, and thank you to everyone who joined us for this fun, social event.
I wish you A Blessed Lent. It is a time to concentrate on our spiritual life, and renew our life, and examine our conscience, and make use of the gift of the Sacrament of reconciliation. How do I offend God and others in my thoughts, words, and deeds?
And how do I offend by my lack of thought, word, or deed?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 6, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What are the precepts of the Church?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. The precepts of the Church are… to observe the major feast days, to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy days, to confess sins once per year, to receive Holy Communion once per year, to pay tithes, to refuse to do anything that will result in excommunication.
** Attendance at Mass is obligatory once again. This obligation was suspended due to the virus, but all who can are required to physically attend Mass.**

From the Pastor's Desk February 27, 2022

Our parish Knights of Columbus invite you to a delicious FAT TUESDAY DINNER in St Catherine’s church hall at 6pm on Tuesday, March 1st . On the menu will be pancakes and breakfast items. The price will be a free will donation. Please join us for our first parish dinner in our repaired and restored church hall. It will be so good to get together and enjoy a happy evening before Lent begins. See you there.
I wish you A BLESSED LENT. This holy season begins on Wednesday. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence. We will pray the stations of the Cross on Mondays at St Catherine’s church and on Fridays at St Peter’s church at 6pm. How will we make Lent a holy time of self examination and spiritual growth in preparation for Easter?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 27, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why do we eat pancakes on Fat Tuesday?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your wonderful question. Pancakes are made with eggs, butter, and milk which were traditionally forbidden to eat during Lent, so one would use them up before Ash Wednesday by eating pancakes.

From the Pastor's Desk February 20, 2022

Our parish Knights of Columbus invite you to a delicious Fat Tuesday dinner in St Catherine’s church hall at 6pm on Tuesday, March 1st . On the menu will be pancakes and breakfast items. The price will be a free will donation. Please join us for our first parish dinner in our repaired and restored church hall. It will be so good to get together and enjoy a happy evening before Lent begins. See you there.
THE BISHOPS OF UKRAINE have asked us to pray for peace in their country. So the United States bishops request that we hold three days of prayer for Ukraine from this Sunday, February 20, through Tuesday, February 22. Would you pray for the Ukraine in a special way during those days?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 20, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How can we keep our young people in the church, and how can we bring more people in to our parish?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your wonderful question. Offering activities for young people will attract them to the parish. According to Pope Francis girls and boys may serve as altar servers at Mass. Young people can pass out bulletins and sing, and set up for Mass and organize youth activities with other parishes. What else?

From the Pastor's Desk February 13, 2022

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day. A great day to celebrate our love for God and for loved ones. St Valentine was a third century roman priest who ministered to Christian prisoners. His kindness and unselfish love inspired many to be baptized, and to be willing to suffer for the Lord. Recently in our second reading at Mass St Paul reminded us that love is patient, kind. It does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth…. Love never ends.”
May the love of God fill you this St Valentine’s day.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 13, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How can we keep our young people in the church, and how can we bring more people in to our parish?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your wonderful question. I ask myself these questions everyday. Certainly we can pray and ask God to increase faith in our community and to bring more people into our parish. Also we can live our faith in the world, by loving God and others, and brag about our wonderful parish. (to be continued…)

From the Pastor's Desk February 6, 2022

During many of my parish assignments I have been blessed to have a parish school, or a Catholic school close by. Catholic education is such a blessing. It is natural to learn about God and His creation together, and it is wonderful to learn in an atmosphere of Catholic prayer, sacraments, and moral values. Sadly we do not have our own parish school, but how blessed we are to have a few Catholic school students and teachers as our parishioners. We pray for our Catholic schools, encourage our families to send their young people to these holy schools, and we help to support Catholic schools in our second collection this weekend. Thank you for all that you do for Catholic education.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 6, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the difference between a hymn and a secular song?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your wonderful question. A hymn is a formal religious song sung or played to God by a congregation or musician to offer praise and/or prayer and/or thanks. Hymns that we use during Mass or public prayer are accepted by the Catholic bishops and found to be free of doctinal error.

From the Pastor's Desk January 30, 2022

Pope Francis has called for a special synod, or formal meeting, of bishops from around the world to be held in 2023. The First Vatican council, a meeting of Bishops from around the world with the Holy Father, occurred in 1869-1870. The Second Vatican Council was convened in 1962 and lasted until 1965. In recent years it has been decided that the Holy Father and Bishops should meet more often in what is called a synod. In these meetings the Pope and Bishops discuss issues facing the Church today. Pope Francis would like to invite all of us to give input into the synod process itself. In the near future our diocesan deacons will meet to begin this exciting adventure. May the Lord bless their discussions.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 30, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a proxy?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your wonderful question. To baptize a person two Godparents are required. To confirm a person a sponsor is required. It may happen that a sponsor or Godparent is not able to attend the ceremony. In this case a proxy can be chosen to stand in for the absent person.

From the Pastor's Desk January 23, 2022

This Saturday we remember the 1973 supreme court decision Roe Vs Wade. Recently I saw a story on a national secular network during which it was stated that the pro life movement has been a very strong, consistent voice for respect for life. We continue to pray, and speak out, for the blessings of God’s gift of life. Each year thousands of holy people march in Washington DC for the legal protection of the lives of those not yet born. In recent years our local deaneries have celebrated Mass and the roasary and other devotions in support of life. We need to teach our young people to respect life, and we need to vote pro life, and we must pray for an end to abortion, euthenasia, the death penalty, and all that opposes God’s gift of life.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 23, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the best way to adopt a child?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your wonderful question. Catholic charities will be glad to help you to begin the adoption process. They ensure that children are placed in good, loving, homes. The phone number for Catholic charities is 603-448-5151. Thank you for your willingness to adopt a child.

From the Pastor's Desk January 16, 2022

This weekend we have a second collection for our seminarians. We are blessed to have a number of men preparing to serve God and us as priests. A vocation, or call from God, is so wonderful and mysterious. I felt called to the priesthood from a young age, but my life would take many twists and turns along the way, which produces life experiences which are so useful in helping people in the parish everyday. We continue to pray for an increase in vocations. We encourage our people to consider entering the priesthood or Religious life. How great it would be to have a priest or Religious from our own parish once again.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 16, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What are secular orders?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. Secular orders are societies of Catholic faithful who try to deepen their holy lives. They are known as third orders as they are related to male and female Religious orders, while their members live in the world. In our diocese we have Third Order Franciscans.

From the Pastor's Desk January 9, 2022

I hope that The New Year is off to a a great start for you. May the Lord bless you throughout the year. As you know our Vicar General, Father Shawn Therrien, is being transferred to Manchester in the near future. Father Shawn has been in our area for many years, and has been pastor in our own parish. He has been my good friend and mentor since our days in the seminary. We thank him for his many years of service to God and His people. We thank him also for his years of service to the deanery and the diocese. May the Lord bless him in his new parish, and in his office as Vicar General.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 9, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How can I obtain a Papal blessing for my parents’ anniversary?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. I obtained a papal blessing for my own parents on the occasion of their fiftieth wedding anniversary, which they loved. If you would contact the rectory Father John can help you to obtain a papal blessing through our diocese. Please be aware that the blessing may take some weeks to arrive from the vatican.

From the Pastor's Desk January 2, 2022

I wish you and your loved ones A Very Happy and Blessed New Year. Thank you to everyone who made our churches so beautiful this Christmas. Thank you, also, to all who serve the parish throughout the year. We deeply appreciate all that you do for God and His church. As The New Year begins, please know that I am praying for you and your loved ones. May the Lord bless you always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 2, 2022

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How can I obtain a plenary indulgence?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. A plenary indulgence is the remission of all punishment in Purgatory due to our human weakness (venial sin) A plenary indulgence is obtained by: receiving the Last Rites of the Catholic Church, adoring the Lord for at least one hour, praying the Way of the Cross, piously reading the Passion of the Lord in one of the Gospels, participation in public recitation of five decades of the Holy Rosary. There are a number of other ways to obtain a plenary indulgence. Thank you, Lord, for your great mercy toward us.

From the Pastor's Desk December 26, 2021

I pray that you and your loved ones have enjoyed a Most Blessed Christmas celebration. Thank you to everyone who made our churches so beautiful this Christmas. Thank you, also, to all who serve the parish throughout the year. We deeply appreciate all that you do for God and His church. As 2021 comes to a close, please know that I am praying for you and your loved ones. May the Lord bless you always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 26, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… When was the first celebration of Christmas?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. In the fourth century the emporer Constantine was baptized and legalized Christianity. He allowed Christians to build churches and celebrate our religion openly. At the time there was a great Roman feast known as Saturnalia at the winter solstace to celebrate the sun god. This pagan feast was taken over by Christianity and became the feast of Jesus’ birth, or Christmas.

From the Pastor's Desk December 19, 2021

May you and your loved ones enjoy a Most Blessed Christmas celebration. Please join us for Mass on Christmas eve or Christmas morning. If you will be traveling may the Lord keep you safe and sound. Please note… there will be no 4pm Mass next Saturday, Christmas Day, as instructed by the Diocese. We are most grateful to everyone who make our churches and Christmas Masses so beautiful. Thank you for your many donations to the needy. You are always very generous. May the Lord bless you and your family this Christmas.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 19, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How did the tradition of the Christmas tree begin?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. In Germany, many years ago, the day before Christmas it was a tradition for parishes to perform plays about Adam and Eve and Original Sin. The tree of knowledge of good and evil was center stage. The children loved the tree, and the households cut and brought in evergreen trees of their own, which were kept for their Christmas celebrations.

From the Pastor's Desk December 12, 2021

I pray that you and your loved ones are having a Blessed Advent. It is so nice to be with you again after my recent “stay cation.” I hit the ground running as I buy gifts, write cards, and prepare for Christmas. Happy Gaudete Sunday. Originally Advent was a forty day preparation for Christmas. It featured fasting, prayer, and self sacrifice. About half way through Advent it became a tradition to have a day off from fasting. Gaudete Sunday is a day of rejoicing in the approach of Jesus’ birth. Our Advent penances are suspended as we rejoice in the approach of our savior very soon, with His promise of redemption.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 12, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How did the tradition of sending Christmas cards begin?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. The first known Christmas card was sent by Michael Maier to King James I of England and his son in 1611.

From the Pastor's Desk December 5, 2021

I pray that you and your loved ones are having a Blessed Advent. It is amazing that Christmas is only three weeks away. It is such an exciting time of joyful preparation for Jesus’ birth. At the same time it can be a time of stress and strain. We have the perfect antedote to that. Spend a few minutes in prayer in the morning, before each meal, and at the end of the day. Thank the Lord for His blessings, and pray for all the living, and the souls in purgatory. Attend Mass more often, and receive the sacrament of reconciliation during Advent. Bring a non perishable food item to church with you to be donated to our poor. Read the Gospel of Luke, one chapter each day. Read the life of a saint each day. Pray the rosary everyday. Bring a friend to church with you. When the Lord comes at christmas you will be truly blessed, and ready to receive Him with great joy.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 5, 2021

No Q & A this week

From the Pastor's Desk November 28, 2021

I pray that you and your loved ones had A Blessed Thanksgiving celebration. Mine was faith, family, food, and football. We are blessed to be able to pause to give thanks to the Lord for His many blessings.
This week we begin our Advent preparations for Christmas. In prayer, penance, and joy we await the birth of our Savior. This weekend we also begin a new church year -C2. During our weekend Masses we will learn about Jesus through the Gospel of Luke, which begins with the conception of John the Baptist and Jesus, and ends with the ascension of the Lord into Heaven. The Gospel of Luke was written in Greek. It is said that St Luke was a physician and a painter. In his gospel he presents beautiful scenes as if he were painting a holy picture. We believe that St Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. On weekdays we will study the half of the Bible that we did not read last year. May The New Year be filled with blessings for you and your loved ones.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 28, 2021

No Q & A this week

From the Pastor's Desk November 21, 2021

I wish you and your family A Blessed Thanksgiving celebration. We pause to give thanks to the Lord for His many blessings to us.
This week we will end our church year.
I hope it has been a blessed year for you and your loved ones. Next weekend we will begin Advent and church year C2. During our weekend Masses will will learn about Jesus through the gospel of Luke, which begins with the conception of John the Baptist and Jesus, and ends with the ascension of the Lord into Heaven. The Gospel of Luke was written in Greek. It is said that St Luke was a physician and a painter. In his gospel he presents beautiful scenes as if he were painting a holy picture. We believe that St Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. On weekdays we will study the half of the Bible that we did not read this year. May the New Year be filled with blessings for you and your loved ones.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 21, 2021

No Q & A this week

From the Pastor's Desk November 14, 2021

No From the Pastor's Desk this week

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 14, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Should Catholic politicians who support abortion be denied Holy Communion?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Bishops are debating this very question these days. Abortion is murder of the most innocent of people. It brings about an automatic excommunication for the person who has an abortion, the person performing the abortion, and those who directly assist in this horror. Excommunication is the most severe penalty the Church can impose. The excommunicated person is denied sacraments, and if they die in the state of sin their soul would go to Hell. So we impose excommunication very carefully and in recent years the bishops have tried to educate Catholics who are pro choice, and show them the sanctity of all human life, and implore them to vote to defend the pre born. Some Bishops would deny Holy Communion to pro choice politicians. Pope Francis has recently said that he has never denied Holy Communion to anyone. The debate continues.

From the Pastor's Desk November 7, 2021

We are so grateful for your support throughout the year. Our parish council, finance council, Knights of Columbus, and altar rosary society are holding a fabulous raffle to benefit the parish. Tickets cost $50 each, but there are only going to be a maximum of 400 tickets sold, and if all tickets are sold, the prize for the winner will be $10,000. The drawing will be held on December 18, just before Christmas. Imagine what a great pre Christmas present that will be. Please buy a ticket today, and help to support our parish, and dream of what you will do with ten thousand dollars.
We thank you for your support of our parish.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 7, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a corporal?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. A corporal is the square cloth on which we place the chalice and patten on the altar during the Mass.

From the Pastor's Desk October 31, 2021

We are so grateful for your support throughout the year. Our parish council, finance council, Knights of Columbus, and altar rosary society are holding a fabulous raffle to benefit the parish. Tickets cost $50 each, but there are only going to be a maximum of 400 tickets sold, and if all tickets are sold, the prize for the winner will be $10,000. The drawing will be held on December 18, just before Christmas. Imagine what a great pre Christmas present that will be. Please buy a ticket today, and help to support our parish, and dream of what you will do with ten thousand dollars.
We thank you for your support of our parish.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 31, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a chapel?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. A chapel is a small building for worship, or adoration, or prayer.

From the Pastor's Desk October 24, 2021

Every October we pray for God’s children who are not yet born, and we pray for respect for life from womb to tomb. In the last 25 years, 37 million Americans have died by abortion. (1200 million world wide), Almost half of women over age 40 have undergone an abortion. Euthanasia, suicide, the death penalty, and homicides have taken thousands from us. Lord, grant us a true respect for your divine gift of life.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 24, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a synod?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. Since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s it has been the custom for the Popes to meet with the Bishops often to discuss important issues facing the Church. The meeting is called a synod. The present synod will involve input from all of us: parishioners, priests, and bishops.

From the Pastor's Desk October 17, 2021

Magdalen College in Warner, New Hampshire, is holding an open house for prospective students on October 30/31. Join us and meet current parents of students, alumni, and our amazing community. Included: Sunday Mass, campus tours, class seminars, a faculty panel with questions and answers, a bonfire….
Register today at https://magdalen.edu/welcome-weekend-2021/.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 17, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Is there a prayer to my guardian angel?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. We may pray to our guardian angel in our own words, or the following prayer may be used: “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom His love comits me here, ever this day (night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen."

From the Pastor's Desk October 10, 2021

His Holiness, Pope Francis, has announced that a synod of Bishops from around the world will be held in 2023. The synod will be unique in that it will include the ideas of our holy Catholic people, priests, and bishops from around the world. In the near future we will hear more about this extraordinary synod, and how it will involve all of you. Please pray for success of this effort.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 10, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… When do we recite the Apostles’ creed?

Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. The Apostles creed is recited in praying the rosary, and in baptism. Generally we recite the Nicene creed, which was created in 325 at the Council of Nicea, at Mass, because it is the more explicit, and complete list of our beliefs.
The third Roman Missal has changed a few words in the creed, for example, we now say “consubstantial” and “incarnate.”

From the Pastor's Desk October 3, 2021

This week we honor God’s gift of life as we celebrate pro life Sunday. God has each of us in mind from the beginning of time, and creates us in His own image, and fills us with His gifts, and has a meaning and purpose for ech of us. We honor and stand up for the gift of life everyday, and pray constantly for our brothers and sisters who are not yet born. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our tax dollars went to support adoption and child support, instead of abortion?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 3, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What are the luminous mysteries?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. Pope St John Paul II gave us the luminous mysteries of the rosary. They are: Jesus is baptized, Jesus’miracle at the wedding at Cana, Jesus proclaims the kingdom of God, Jesus’ transfiguration, and Jesus institutes the sacrament of the Eucharist.

From the Pastor's Desk September 26, 2021

Last week we held a deanery meeting at Lasalette shrine. Several times per year priests and representatives of our local parishes get together to discuss issues that affect our region, and to tell what is going on in their parish and ministry. We have such wonderful parishes and ministries in our deanery which extends from N Walpole to Enfield, and includes Aquinas House at Dartmouth College, the chaplain of Dartmouth Hitchcock hospital, and Mount Royal academy. It is a great pleasure and honor to serve as your dean.
THIS WEEKEND, at all Masses, there will be a SECOND COLLECTION for the retired diocesan priests of our diocese. Thank you for your generosity.
Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Bishop John McCormack who died on Wednesday. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon him.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 26, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk September 19, 2021

Thank you very much to everyone who attended our recent ice cream socials. It was a great time to get together, and enjoy a cool, delicious treat. Thank you to David and the Ice Cream Machine, and thank you to our parish Knights of Columbus.
THIS WEEKEND, at all Masses, there will be a free will second collection for the people of Haiti requested by The American Bishops. Thank you for your generosity.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 19, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a ghost?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. A ghost is the soul, or spirit of a dead person that can appear to the living. 18% of Americans report having seen ghosts. According to the Old Testament God can allow souls or ghosts to return to earth to warn the living of the need to repent. Ghosts can also be demons who try to lead us away from God.

From the Pastor's Desk September 12, 2021

NEXT WEEKEND, at all Masses, there will be a free will second collection for the people of Haiti as they try to rebuild their lives after the recent earthquake. The Bishops have asked us to take this collection. If you would note your envelope number on your donation you will get credit for it. We thank you for your generosity.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 12, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Do we worship Mary and the other saints?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. We only worship God. We do not worship the saints. We honor them because they have lived holy, exemplary lives, and are with God in Heaven. They are heroic models for us, and we pray to them, asking them to pray to God for us. Mary is given special honor as the mother of God, and mother of the Church.

From the Pastor's Desk September 5, 2021

PLEASE JOIN US for a cool treat. THIS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, after our 4:00 PM Mass in St Peter’s hall we will enjoy our first annual ice cream social. A delicious, cool treat, and a chance to see, and socialize with, fellow parishioners
A sincere word of thanks to Sister Doreen for her missionary appeal last weekend. It was a great pleasure to have her with us. May the Lord bless her and her Missionary Sisters.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 5, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Are there any unforgivable sins?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. The unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Today this sin is committed by refusing to believe in the Lord, and refusing to have faith in Him, and dying in the state of unbelief. We must always pray for an increase of faith throughout the world.

From the Pastor's Desk August 29, 2021

We are happy to welcome the Sisters of St Joseph who will speak at each of our Masses this weekend about their wonderful missionary work. Our second collection will be for their Religious Order.
PLEASE JOIN US for a cool treat. THIS Sunday, August 29, after our 10:30 Mass outside St Catherine’s church and Saturday, September 4th after our 4pm Mass in St Peter’s hall we will enjoy our first annual ice cream social. A delicious, cool treat, and a chance to see, and socialize with, fellow parishioners

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 29, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What are the precepts of the Church?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. The precepts of the Church are… to observe feast days, to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy days, to confess sins once per year, to receive Holy Communion during Easter season, to pay tithes, to abstain from any act that has been forbidden by the Church.

From the Pastor's Desk August 22, 2021

Please join us for a cool treat. Next Sunday, August 29, after our 10:30 Mass outside St Catherine’s church and Saturday, September 4th after our 4pm Mass in St Peter’s hall we will enjoy our first annual ice cream social. A delicious, cool treat, and a chance to see, and socialize with, fellow parishioners Please sign up at the back of the church so that we will know how much ice cream to have on hand.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 22, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What are the acts of mercy?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. The corporal works of mercy are… feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit prisoners, bury the dead, and give alms to the poor. The spiritual works of mercy are… instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear with those who hurt us, forgive offenses, comfort the afflicted, and pray for the living and the dead.

From the Pastor's Desk August 15, 2021

This weekend we have the rare experience of celebrating the great feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven on a Sunday. At the end of her earthly life Our Blessed Mother was taken body and soul into Heaven where she prays for us with God. Mary has appeared so many times over the centuries in different places to encourage us, and give us a sign of eternal life. Through the prayers of Mary may you be blessed by the Lord

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 15, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Is it alright to believe in magic?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. The Church does not believe in magic because magic asserts that an unknown source exerts power over objects or people. Black magic causes evil to befall a person by casting a spell. Magic tricks for entertainment may be OK but we are not allowed to replace God with magic or luck or chance.

From the Pastor's Desk August 8, 2021

We are looking forward to another wonderful year of religious education for our young people and the Rite of Christian Initiation for adults who would like to become Catholic or learn more about our faith. The summer months provide a good time for us to evangelize. We may know someone who could ride to church with us, or someone who might consider becoming Catholic. Your great example can make all the difference.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 8, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is a devil’s advocate?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. The Devil’s advocate was a Church official who argued against the canonization of a candidate for sainthood. The devil’s advocate would present all possible objections to the elevation of the person so that each of them could be proven or disproven. This position was eliminated by Saint John Paul II.

From the Pastor's Desk August 1, 2021

Calling all holy travelers… Pleae join us for our exciting parish pilgrimage to Italy, March 6-13, 2022. We will visit Rome, Orvietto, Assisi, Siena, Loretto, and Lanciano. Our guided tour will be a deep religious experience. The trip of a lifetime. Details will be posted on our parish website, and as a bulletin insert.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 1, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is divine Grace?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. Divine grace is defined as God’s influence operating in us to create and sanctify us, to inspire virtue, and to strengthen us to resist temptation and to endure trials. It is a favor given to us by God, and a sharing in God’s life. It is free and unmerited by us. Our salvation is due to Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, and God’s grace.

From the Pastor's Desk July 25, 2021

Please join us for our meeting of the Third Order of St Francis, as we meet in St Catherine’s rectory at 11:30 am this Sunday. You will learn more about this wonderful order for lay people who wish to follow the holy life of St Francis.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 25, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Could we have a Latin Mass?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. After the Second Vatican Council it became common practice to be able to celebrate Mass in the local language of the congregation. Many people have expressed the desire to have Mass in Latin from time to time. We are allowed to celebrate Mass in Latin with permission of the Bishop, and we are allowed to celebrate the tridentine Mass that was celebrated before the Second Vatican Council with permission of the Bishop. Your pastor would have to practice his Latin before being able to celebrate a latin Mass.

From the Pastor's Desk July 18, 2021

A great word of thanks to everyone who joined us for our annual parish yard sale at St Catherine’s garage. Thank you also to our Knights and helpers for arranging and conducting this wonderful yard sale.
A good time was had by all. The money donated will help our Knights’ community projects.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 18, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…How much does it cost to have a Mass said for my loved one?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. The sacraments, including the holy Mass, are gifts from God, so we do not charge for any sacrament. We accept donations to cover the expenses of the parish. The diocese has set a recommended donation amount of ten dollars per Mass The celebrant may keep one Mass stipend per day for his expenses.

From the Pastor's Desk July 11, 2021

Please join us next Saturday, July 17 at St Catherine’s garage in Charlestown for our annual yard sale. People have donated such wonderful items. You will certainly find many treasures. A good time will be had by all. The money donated will help our Knights’ scholarship fund.
HONORING OUR BLESSED MOTHER
Will you please join us THIS SUNDAY, JULY 11 at Noon in front of St Catherine;s church, Charlestown as we honor Our Blessed Mother by praying the rosary to her? May the Lord bless you through the prayers of Mary.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 11, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is a relic?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. A relic is a piece of bone, or clothing, or an object owned by a saint.
A first class relic is a piece of the person, a second class relic is clothing that the person wore, and a third class relic is an object owned by the saint.

From the Pastor's Desk July 4, 2021

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEKEND

HONORING OUR BLESSED MOTHER
Will you please join us NEXT SUNDAY, JULY 11 at Noon in front of St Catherine;s church, Charlestown as we honor Our Blessed Mother by praying the rosary to her? May the Lord bless you through the prayers of Mary.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 4, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is a sacramental?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. A sacramental is a church tradition that leads us closer to the sacraments, and deepens our faith. It involves a blessed object or a blessed ritual. They include blessings, consecrations, and exorcisms. Examples are… rosary beads, scapulars, religious medals, religious images, non liturgical prayers, such as the stations of the Cross, litanies, and novenas. Non Catholics may use sacramentals, while they may not receive Catholic sacraments.

From the Pastor's Desk June 27, 2021

Please join us for our monthly meeting of the Secular Order of St Francis THIS SUNDAY, JUNE 27 AT 11:30 am in St Catherine’s rectory.
Parish trip to Rome. Would you be interested in traveling to Rome and Assisi? Please join us for our fabulous parish trip. call the rectory this week for more information.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 27, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What must I do to be a godparent for my little nephew who lives in Egypt?

Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your interesting question. In order to be a godparent you must be a devout, practicing Catholic in good standing. You also must be prepared to set a good, holy example for the child, and encourage the child in the practice of their faith. Also you must have a letter of recommendation from your pastor to give to the pastor of the parish in Egypt where the baptism will take place, and you must follow the instructions of the pastor there during the ceremony.

From the Pastor's Desk June 20, 2021

HAPPY FATHERS DAY… We wish our fathers, grandfathers, and godfathers a very happy and blessed Father’s day.
ROSARY CRUSADE… Thank you very much to all who joined to pray the rosary in front of St Peter’s church in honor of Our Lady of Fatima.
Parish trip to Rome Would you be interested in traveling to Rome and Assissi in October? Please join us for our fabulous parish trip. call the rectory this week for more information.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 20, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is the meaning of Ordinary Time?
Answer: Dear friend, during our church year we have great feasts like Christmas and Easter, and times of fasting and penance, like Lent and Advent, and then we have the rest of the year, which is Ordinary time. We celebrate the presence of the Lord in our everyday life. As a Catholic none of our days are ordinary. We experience God’s miracles and follow Him more closely day by day.

From the Pastor's Desk June 13, 2021

ROSARY CRUSADE… Will you please join us THIS Sunday, June 13 at Noon in front of St Peter’s church to pray the rosary in honor of Our Lady of Fatima? This powerful prayer and devotion to Our Blessed Mother and to God releases souls from Purgatory, brings about an increase in faith, and causes peace to break out throughout the world. Prayer is our most powerful weapon against Satan, and it is the best antedote to secularism. O Blessed Mother pray for us who have recourse to you.
PARISH TRIP TO ROME Would you be interested in traveling to Rome? Please call the rectory this week to let Father John know that you would like to go.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 13, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…My coworker says that Catholics pray to idols. Is this true?
Answer: Dear friend, we do not pray to idols. We pray to God. We also pray to the angels and saints to pray for us

From the Pastor's Desk June 6, 2021

ROSARY CRUSADE… Will you please join us NEXT Sunday, June 13 at Noon in front of St Peter’s church to pray the rosary in honor of Our Lady of Fatima? This powerful prayer and devotion to Our Blessed Mother and to God releases souls from Purgatory, brings about an increase in faith, and causes peace to break out throughout the world. Prayer is our most powerful weapon against Satan, and it is the best antidote to secularism. O Blessed Mother pray for us who have recourse to you.
Parish trip to Rome Would you be interested in traveling to Rome? Please call the rectory this week to let Father John know that you would like to go.
Third Order of St Francis Thank you to everyone who joined us last Sunday for our first meeting of the Third Order of St Francis. Would you like to learn more about the Third Order? Please call the rectory today.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 6, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk May 30, 2021

Bishop Libasci has announced new guidelines for our public Masses: We may now use holy water at Mass, we may accommodate more people in church, but social distancing is still required. We may have ushers and collections at Mass. Holy Communion will be distributed at the normal time of the Mass. We must still wear masks in church and keep a six foot distance between us. Our churches must be thoroughly cleansed after each Mass, and we may bring Holy Communion to the sick and to people at home with precautions.
Parish trip to Rome Would you be interested in traveling to Rome? Please call the rectory this week to let Father John know that you would like to go.
Third Order of St Francis Everyone who would like to learn more about the Third Order is welcome to meet with Sister Dymphna in St Catherine’s rectory on Sunday, May 30 at 11:30 am.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 30, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk May 23, 2021

Bishop Libasci has announced new guidelines for our public Masses: We may now use holy water at Mass, we may accommodate more people in church, but social distancing is still required. We may have ushers and collections at Mass. Holy Communion will be distributed at the normal time of the Mass. We must still wear masks in church and keep a six foot distance between us. Our churches must be thoroughly cleansed after each Mass, and we may bring Holy Communion to the sick and to people at home with precautions.
Parish trip to Rome Would you be interested in traveling to Rome? Please call the rectory this week to let Father John know that you would like to go.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 23, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk May 16, 2021

We are happy to announce that the first meeting of candidates for the Third Order of St Francis will meet with Sister Dymphna in St Catherine’s rectory on Sunday, May 30 at 11:30 am. The Third Order was created by St Francis to allow lay people to follow a holy and spiritual life while living their lives in the world. Please pray for our devout men and women who wish to follow St Francis while living in the modern world.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 16, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is the angelus?
Answer: Dear friend, the angelus is a Catholic devotion which commemorates the incarnation. It is traditionally prayed three times each day – at 6am, Noon, and 6pm. It is accompanied by the ringing of the angelus bell. The words are… The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Spirit… Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word… The word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”… “Pray for us o Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

From the Pastor's Desk May 9, 2021

We wish a very happy and blessed Mothers’ Day to all of our mothers, grandmothers, and godmothers. May you have a wonderful celebration, and know how much we love you.
Please join us THIS Thursday, May 13th as we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord into Heaven, or please be sure to watch the Mass on television.
A sincere word of thanks to Mr. David Twitchell of New Hampshire Catholic Charities who joined us last weekend to tell us about the great ministry of Catholic charities, We thank you for your support of this wonderful cause which helps the poor, the sick, and the elderly.
During the next few weeks our parish family will reflect on how we can share our time, talent, and treasure with our parish.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 9, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…How do I get in touch with Catholic Charities?
Answer: Dear friend, Please contact Catholic charities at 800-562-5249.

From the Pastor's Desk May 2, 2021

This weekend, at all Masses, we are blessed to welcome Mr. David Twitchell of New Hampshire Catholic Charities who will tell us about the great ministry of Catholic charities and will ask for your support of this wonderful cause which helps the poor, the sick, and the elderly.
During the next few weeks our parish family will reflect on how we can share our time, talent, and treasure with our parish.
****Father John will be away from the parish from May 3 through 5 for his annual convocation with the Bishops and other priests. He will be praying for you while he is away.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 2, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What should a Eucharistic minister say when someone comes up to Communion but does not receive?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. If someone comes up in the Communion line who does not receive Holy Communion they should bow their head, fold their hands, and the Eucharistic minister should say “May you receive the Lord In your heart.” They should not receive a blessing.

From the Pastor's Desk April 25, 2021

During the next few weeks our parish family will reflect on how we can share our time, talent, and treasure with our parish.
###Our church elevator in St Peter’s church has now been repaired. Would you like to be the first person to try it out? We will be praying for you.
****Father John will be away from the parish from May 3 through 5 for his annual convocation with the Bishops and other priests. He will be praying for you while he is away.
Do you know anyone who is not able to come to church who is in need, or would like to receive the sacraments? Father will be happy to visit them.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 25, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… I was wondering Who was St Catherine of Siena?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. St Catherine of Siena, one of our patron saints, was a lay Dominican, a mystic, activist, and author who had a great influence on Italian literature and the Church. She was canonized in 1461 and is a doctor of the Church.

From the Pastor's Desk April 18, 2021

During the next few weeks our parish family will reflect on how we can grow in love for God and neighbor. We will hear the call of Jesus to be God’s stewards. We will make a conscious decision about how we can further Christ’s mission by sharing our gifts of time, talent, and treasure with God and one another. Members of our parish community will conduct a presentation at all Masses next weekend to share with us how our parish utilizes the funds we give during our weekend Masses.
****Do you know anyone who is not able to come to church who is in need, or would like to receive the sacraments? Father will be happy to visit them.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 18, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the significance of the Easter candle?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Easter, or paschal, candle represents Jesus risen from the dead. It is lit for the first time during our Easter vigil Mass, and is lit during the Easter season, and at each baptism and funeral throughout the year. Our Easter candles this year are specially made in honor of St Joseph.

From the Pastor's Desk April 11, 2021

A sincere word of thanks to everyone who helped to make our Holy week and Easter celebrations so meaningful and beautiful. I wish you A Blessed and Happy Feast of Divine Mercy. Today the Lord gives the power to forgive sins to the Apostles and their successors. How blessed we are to experience the forgiveness of God through the sacrament of reconciliation.
In the coming weeks our diocese will begin a major fund raising effort to help our parishes. You will receive a letter from Father John encouraging you to share your time, talent, and treasure with our parish. It is always a challenge for us to make ends meet, and the pandemic has only made the situation worse. We are so grateful for your unselfish support of our parish.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 11, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why is the date of Easter different each year, and why is the Orthodox date of Easter different from our own?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Season of Easter celebrates the forty days during which the Lord appeared to His followers after His resurrection, and the ten days from His ascension into Heaven to the descent of the Holy Spirit.

From the Pastor's Desk April 4, 2021

I wish you A Blessed and Happy Easter celebration. The Lord is risen from the dead. Alleluia, alleluia. We thank you for all that you do for our parish and community. Thank you also to everyone who has made our Holy Week and Easter celebrations so beautiful.
In the coming weeks our diocese will begin a major fund raising effort to help our parishes. You will receive a letter from Father John encouraging you to share your time, talent, and treasure with our parish. It is always a challenge for us to make ends meet, and the pandemic has only made the situation worse. We are so grateful for your unselfish support of our parish.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 4, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why is the date of Easter different each year, and why is the Orthodox date of Easter different from our own?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent questions. The date of Easter is determined by the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. So the date of Easter may vary by a month or so from year to year. The date of Orthodox Easter (May 2 this year) differs from our own because we use the Gregorian calendar and the Orthodox Church uses the Julien calendar.

From the Pastor's Desk March 28, 2021

I wish you A Blessed Holy Week. We will be able to celebrate Holy week this year with some adjustments due to the covid 19 restrictions. Please be sure to take home a missalette and bring it to Mass so that you may follow along. The Passion for Palm Sunday is found on page 51, and the passion for Good Friday is on page 67 Everyone may take the part of the crowd. Palms will be blessed before Mass and placed at the entrance of the church for you to take home. There will be no processions, and no foot washing. On Good Friday THE WAY OF THE CROSS WILL BE PRAYED IN BOTH CHURCHES AND THE PASSION, VENERATION, AND HOLY COMMUNION WILL TAKE PLACE IN ST CATERINE’S CHURCH. The Cross will not be kissed. The Easter vigil candle will simply be placed in the middle aisle at the beginning of Mass with no procession. May the Lord bless you as we relive the last week of Jesus’ earthly life and remember His sufferings for us.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 28, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk March 21, 2021

I hope that you are having a Blessed and Holy Lent. We hope to be able to celebrate Holy week this year with some adjustments due to the covid 19 restrictions. Please be sure to take home a missalette and bring it to Mass so that you may follow along. For the reading of the passion everyone will take the part of the crowd. Palms will be blessed before Mass and placed at the entrance of the church for you to take home. There will be no processions, and no foot washing. On Good Friday THE WAY OF THE CROSS WILL BE PRAYED IN BOTH CHURCHES AND THE PASSION, VENERATION, AND HOLY COMMUNION WILL TAKE PLACE IN ST CATERINE’S CHURCH. The Cross will not be kissed. The Easter vigil candle will simply be placed in the middle aisle at the beginning of Mass with no procession. Mass of the Lord’s supper on Holy Thursday will be at 7pm in St Peter’s church, stations of the Cross will be in both churches on Good Friday at 3pm, The Passion and Holy Communion will be on Good Friday at 7pm in St Catherine’s church, and the Easter Vigil Mass will be at 8pm on Holy Saturday in St Peter’s church.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 21, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk March 14, 2021

I hope that you are having a Blessed and Holy Lent. We hope to be able to celebrate Holy week this year with some alterations due to the covid 19 restrictions. Please be sure to take home a missalette and bring it to Mass so that you may follow along, and everyone will take the part of the crowd for the reading of the passion. Palms will be blessed before Mass and placed at the entrance of the church for you to take home. There will be no processions, and no foot washing. On Good Friday the Cross will not be kissed. The Easter vigil candle will simply be placed in the middle aisle at the beginning of Mass.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 14, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk March 7, 2021

No new From the Pastor's Desk this week

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 7, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk February 28, 2021

I hope that you are having a Blessed and Holy Lent. May these days of penance, prayer, and alms giving deepen your relationship with the Lord and bring us closer to each other. The Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat. We welcome you to join us for stations of the cross after our 5:30 Mass in St Peter’s church on Friday evenings. You are most welcome to receive the Sacrament of reconciliation during this holy time. What are you giving up for Lent, and what extra acts of mercy are you performing? How is that going for you?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 28, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk February 21, 2021

I wish you a Blessed and Holy Lent. May these days of penance, prayer, and alms giving deepen your relationship with the Lord and bring us closer to each other. The Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat. We welcome you to join us for stations of the cross after our 5:30 Mass in St Peter’s church on Friday evenings. You are most welcome to receive the Sacrament of reconciliation during this holy time. What are you giving up for Lent, and what extra acts of mercy are you performing?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 21, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a Third Order Franciscan?
Answer: Dear friend, the Third Order consists of Religious and lay men and women who try to emulate St Francis by teaching, charity, and social service. They live in the world without vows. Or they can choose to live in Religious communities and take vows.

From the Pastor's Desk February 14, 2021

I wish you a very happy St Valentine’s Day May the Lord’s unconditional love be with you and your loved ones.
This Wednesday we enter the holy days of Lent. Due to the virus this Ash Wednesday we will sprinkle a few ashes on everyone’s head. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence, and the Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat. We welcome you to join us for stations of the cross after our 5:30 Mass in St Peter’s church on Friday evenings. You are most welcome to receive the Sacrament of reconciliation during this holy time. What will you give up for Lent, and what extra acts of mercy will you perform?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 14, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk February 7, 2021

This past Tuesday we celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. On that day all of our church candles were blessed. This weekend Father will bless throats with a blessing prayed from the altar at the end of Mass. Lent will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Due to the virus, this year we will have ashes sprinkled on our heads instead of being placed on our foreheads. On the Fridays of Lent we will pray the Stations of the Cross, but Father will read each station from the ambo instead of walking around. May the Lord bless and heal all who are suffering from this terrible virus throughout the world.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 7, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk January 31, 2021

Thank you very much to everyone who attended our Mass and Holy hour for Respect for Life last Sunday at Lasalette Shrine. We thank Father Sullivan and the Lasalette community for their warm welcome and the beautiful celebrations. May the Lord bless all of His children, especially those not yet born.
ENVELOPES FOR 2021 ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ENTRANCES TO THE CHURCHES. WE DEEPLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT. IF YOU HAVE BEEN USING ENVELOPES YOUR DONATIONS TO THE CHURCH ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. PLEASE CONTACT THE RECTORY AND WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A STATEMENT FOR THE IRS.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 31, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk January 24, 2021

Due to the virus each of our deaneries have been asked to plan to celebrate a Mass and prayers for legal protection of unborn children. Our Mass will be held on January 24th at 2pm at Lasalette Shrine followed by the rosary and a holy hour of prayer. You are most warmly welcome to join us as we pray for the most vulnerable of God’s people.
ENVELOPES FOR 2021 ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ENTRANCES TO THE CHURCHES. WE DEEPLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT. IF YOU HAVE BEEN USING ENVELOPES YOUR DONATIONS TO THE CHURCH ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. PLEASE CONTACT THE RECTORY AND WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A STATEMENT FOR THE IRS.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 24, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk January 17, 2021

Due to the virus each of our deaneries have been asked to plan to celebrate a Mass and prayers for legal protection of unborn children. Our Mass will be held on January 24th at 2pm at Lasalette Shrine followed by the rosary and a holy hour of prayer. You are most warmly welcome to join us as we pray for the most vulnerable of God’s people.
ENVELOPES FOR 2021 ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ENTRANCES TO THE CHURCHES. WE DEEPLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT. IF YOU HAVE BEEN USING ENVELOPES YOUR DONATIONS TO THE CHURCH ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. PLEASE CONTACT THE RECTORY AND WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A STATEMENT FOR THE IRS.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 17, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk January 10, 2021

Due to the virus each of our deaneries have been asked to plan to celebrate a Mass and prayers for legal protection of unborn children. Our Mass will be held on January 24th at 2pm at Lasalette Shrine followed by the rosary and a holy hour of prayer. You are most warmly welcome to join us as we pray for the most vulnerable of God’s people.
ENVELOPES FOR 2021 ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ENTRANCES TO THE CHURCHES. WE DEEPLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT. IF YOU HAVE BEEN USING ENVELOPES YOUR DONATIONS TO THE CHURCH ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. PLEASE CONTACT THE RECTORY AND WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A STATEMENT FOR THE IRS.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 10, 2021

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Is it a mortal sin to kill the enemy in a war?
Answer: Dear friend, soldiers who are under orders and kill an unjust aggressor in self defense after all peaceful resolutions have been exhausted are justified and not sinful.

From the Pastor's Desk January 3, 2021

I wish you and your loved ones A Very Happy New Year. May the Lord bless you every day. May this be a year of deep faith, health and happiness for everyone.
ENVELOPES FOR 2021 ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ENTRANCES TO THE CHURCHES. WE DEEPLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT. IF YOU HAVE BEEN USING ENVELOPES YOUR DONATIONS TO THE CHURCH ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. PLEASE CONTACT THE RECTORY AND WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A STATEMENT FOR THE IRS.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 3, 2021

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk December 27, 2020

I hope that you and your loved ones enjoyed a very happy and holy Christmas celebration. May the Lord bless you richly throughout The New Year 2021. May it be a year of deep faith, health and happiness for everyone.
ENVELOPES FOR 2021 ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ENTRANCES TO THE CHURCHES. WE DEEPLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT. IF YOU HAVE BEEN USING ENVELOPES YOUR DONATIONS TO THE CHURCH ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. PLEASE CONTACT THE RECTORY AND WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A STATEMENT FOR THE IRS.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 27, 2020

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk December 20, 2020

I wish you and your loved ones a very Blessed and Happy Christmas celebration. In spite of the pandemic we are able to pause to celebrate the birth of our savior, and to give thanks to the Lord for His blessings to us. May you know the Lord’s peace, hope, and love this Christmas.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 20, 2020

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk December 13, 2020

I heard that Mary Shaunessy is going to be one hundred years young on January 1st. Congratulations and blessings to her. Would you like to give her a birthday card or note? We will have a place at the back of our churches to leave your well wishes, and we will bring them to her. Thank you.
ENVELOPES FOR CHRISTMAS FLOWERS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ENTRANCES TO THE CHURCHES. WE APPRECIATE YOUR HELP.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 13, 2020

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk December 6, 2020

I heard that Mary Shaunessy is going to be one hundred years young on January 1st. Congratulations and blessings to her. Would you like to give her a birthday card or note? We will have a place at the back of our churches to leave your well wishes, and we will bring them to her. Thank you.
ENVELOPES FOR CHRISTMAS FLOWERS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ENTRANCES TO THE CHURCHES. WE APPRECIATE YOUR HELP.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 6, 2020

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk November 29, 2020

I wish you a Blessed Advent. For me Advent always seems to be such a hectic time. There is so much to do and so little time. However, we must remember the reason for this season… spiritual preparation for Jesus’ birth. So in the midst of the hustle and bustle how can we make these days of Advent more holy? Can we take time for prayer? Can we attend a daily Mass or two? May the Lord bless you as we prepare to welcome Him.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 29, 2020

No Q&A this week

From the Pastor's Desk November 22, 2020

I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. It is a great time to give thanks to the Lord for all that He has done for us. For me it has always been a day of faith, food, family, and football. This year I am sure many of us will scale down our celebrations due to the virus, but we are so grateful to God. When I would complain as a child my grandparents would remind me to be thankful for the blessings that I had. May the Lord bless you and your loved ones this Thanksgiving. Thank you for all that you do for our parish. We are so grateful.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 22, 2020

Question: Dear Father, what is the meaning of ecumenism and ecclesia?
Answer: Dear friend, ecumenism is the effort to promote unity among all Christian churches. Ecclesia means church, or a group of followers of Jesus.

From the Pastor's Desk November 15, 2020

We are so grateful for all that the Lord has given us. One of the wonderful ways that we show our gratitude is by sharing our blessings with others. The pandemic has caused great hardship to so many people. What can our parish do to help those in need? We are ready to reach out to the poor. May the Lord bless all who are suffering, and may we be very generous in our assistance to them.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 15, 2020

Question: Dear Father, What is the meaning of IHS?
Answer: Dear friend, The letters IHS symbolize the name of the Lord. From the Greek language, it is an abbreviation of the name Jesus. The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) adopted IHS as its fixed emblem in the seventeenth century.

From the Pastor's Desk November 8, 2020

We wish a very happy Veterans’ Day to everyone who has served our country. My uncle, who was also my Godfather, served in the pacific during World War II. I received a draft card for the Vietnam war, but the draft ended before I was to be called. A number of my classmates have served as chaplains in the armed forces. May the Lord bless all who so bravely risk their lives for our country.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 8, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the meaning of transubstantiation?
Answer: Dear friend, Transubstantiation is the conversion of the substance of bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord. At the Last Supper Jesus took bread and wine and said “This is my body. This is my blood.” Likewise during the prayer of consecration at Mass Jesus changes the bread to His own body, and changes the wine to His own blood, so as we receive Holy Communion we receive Jesus Himself. We truly become one with Him.

From the Pastor's Desk November 1, 2020

Please be sure to vote on Tuesday if you have not done so already. Please remember to turn your clocks back one hour this weekend. During the month of November we pray for our deceased loved ones in a special way at each Mass. There are special All Souls envelopes for you to use at the back of each church which will stay on our altars throughout the month.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 1, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the meaning of Halloween?
Answer: Dear friend, Halloween was originally a pagan festival in the British Isles marking the beginning of winter. People would leave baked goods out for the wandering spirits, and at times ghosts would play tricks on them. It was Christianized, so to speak, and became the eve of All Saints Day, or All Hallows (saints) eve. It begins a period of remembrance and prayer for all of our loved ones who have died. We rejoice with the saints, and ask them to pray for us, and we pray for the souls in Purgatory.

From the Pastor's Desk October 25, 2020

I am away from the parish this weekend. Please give a warm welcome to Father Theo Mbaebu who will be celebrating our 4pm and 8:30 Masses and Father Joseph Dixon who will be celebrating our 10:30 Mass. I am praying for you while I am away.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 25, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the best way to handle Jehovah’s witnesses who come to the door?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. Over the years I have received Jehovah’s witnesses at the rectory door. I welcome them in,
offer them some coffee or tea, listen to them politely, and then I tell them that I am a priest, and I am happy with my own religion, but I wish them well, and
will pray for them. At that point they leave. I try to be friendly and polite, but also firm, clearly stating that I am Catholic, and happy with my own faith.

From the Pastor's Desk October 18, 2020

I am praying for our parishioners who are at home, or in assisted living facilities, or nursing homes. I hope that they are doing well. It is frustrating that I am not able to visit them due to the virus. Could we call them each week to let them know that we care about them and are praying for them?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 18, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What are the requirements for being a sponsor for Confirmation?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. A sponsor must be someone other than the parents of the person being confirmed. The sponsor must have received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. The sponsor must be at least 16 years old, and the sponsor must be leading a holy life.

From the Pastor's Desk October 11, 2020

Here is something to contemplate…
How are we going to celebrate Christmas? I realize it is still a couple of months away, but we expect to have large crowds at our Masses, and we will probably still need to practice social distancing. How will we accommodate everyone for our Christmas Masses?

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 11, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the church militant?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Church militant is the church on earth, engaged in warfare against sin, human weakness, and the devil The church penitent are the souls in purgatory being purified of human weakness, and the Church triumphant are the souls in Heaven, one with God, triumphant over sin and death.
These are the three states of the Church. They are united in the communion of saints… the living pray for the souls in purgatory, and for the world, the saints pray for the souls in purgatory and for everyone on earth.

From the Pastor's Desk October 4, 2020

October is pro life month. We pray for our brothers and sisters who are not yet born in a special way this month. God creates us in His own image in the womb, and so the womb should be the safest place on earth. God and our parents love us into being. This month and always may we pray for those not yet born, and support our local pregnancy center and Catholic charities in all that they do to assist those who are pregnant and new parents.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 4, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Can you bring reconciliation and Holy Communion to hospitals, nursing homes, and our people who are at home?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. As of the typing of this bulletin, priests, deacons, and Eucharistic ministers are not allowed to visit the sick and those at home due to fear of spreading the virus. As soon as I am able to bring the sacraments to the home I will do so. Meanwhile many of our people watch Mass on tv and do not come out. I heard a good suggestion this week… could we have a parish phone tree whereby we could call someone we know who is at home or in the hospital or nursing home? I am sure that they would love to hear our voice, and would deeply appreciate knowing that we care about them, and are praying for them. If someone is in need of last rites a priest is allowed to visit and bring them the last sacraments even during the pandemic.

From the Pastor's Desk September 27, 2020

I wish you a blessed season of autumn. It is a beautiful time of year in New Hampshire. Last Friday I enjoyed concelebrating Confirmation and First Holy Communion in Keene. Congratulations to Aislinn and Zane who received their sacraments. May the Lord bless you always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 27, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Does the church pay taxes?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. In the United States the Catholic church does not have to pay federal or state or town taxes. However, we do pay for water and sewer, and we pay an assessment to the diocese each month for property insurance, programs put on by the diocese, the Bishop and chancery staff’s salaries and expenses, Catholic school assistance, all of which amounts to about one of our monthly collections which goes to the diocese. Most of our second collections also go to the diocese. We deeply appreciate your support, especially during this pandemic.

From the Pastor's Desk September 20, 2020

Congratulations and the Lord’s richest blessings to: Molly and Hannah, Ethan and Mason who received the sacraments of Confirmation and First
Holy Communion last Saturday during our 4pm Mass. We are so proud of you. May the Lord be with you always, and may the Holy Spirit fill you with His precious gifts.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 20, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the significance of First Friday?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. First Friday devotions recognize the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and through it offer reparations for sin. Saint Margaret Mary Alocque received visons of the Lord in the 17th century. In these visions the Lord made several promises to those who keep the First Friday devotions. One of the promises is final perseverance.

From the Pastor's Desk September 13, 2020

Congratulations to our young people who received the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion Saturday during our 4pm Mass. May the Lord bless you and your sponsors and loved ones always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 13, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a plenary indulgence?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. There are two types of indulgences that may be gained. A plenary indulgence cleanses the soul from attachment to anything but God, and removes the temporal punishment of Purgatory. A partial indulgence removes part of the temporal punishment due to sin. The final anointing of the sick imparts a plenary indulgence as long as the person is truly sorry for their sins.

From the Pastor's Desk September 6, 2020

I am praying for our students and teachers and wish them a very successful school year. Do you know an adult who would like to become Catholic or one who has missed sacraments along the way? I would love to meet with them.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 6, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the current teaching on Friday abstinence?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Church has recommended doing penance on Friday for many centuries in honor of, and in thanksgiving for, Jesus’ passion on the Cross for us. Catholics are asked to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. If we are not able to abstain from meat on a particular Friday we can substitute another form of devotion, for example, we can go to Mass on Friday, or pray the stations of the Cross on Friday, or pray the rosary

From the Pastor's Desk August 30, 2020

For me the most important issue on the ballot is pro life. I realize that there are other issues at stake in any election, but I vote to defend the right to life

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 30, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is The Pauline privilege?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Pauline privilege is the allowance to dissolve the marriage of two persons who were not
baptized at the time of the marriage if one or both of them wants to be baptized. St Paul wrote about this in the First Letter to the Corinthians. The Petrine privilege is the ability to dissolve a marriage between a baptized and a non baptized person.

From the Pastor's Desk August 23, 2020

Our reputation is so important to us. Who people say that we are means everything. Of course, far more important is what God thinks of us.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 23, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the meaning of nihil obstat and imprimatur?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. When you see nihil obstat in a piece of written material it means it is not objectionable on
Catholic doctrinal or moral grounds. Imprimatur is a church license to print a religious book.

From the Pastor's Desk August 16, 2020

We have been In touch with the contractors who will repair St Catherine’s church hall. Due to the virus it will still be a little while before they can get started, but we are looking forward to using our hall again.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 16, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Can St. Peter’s rectory be rented?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. As you know, St Peter’s rectory has been unoccupied since the Sisters lived there. We use it
for religious education classes, and parish meetings. We would like to be able to let someone live there, However, since it is church property it is supposed
to be used for clergy or religious housing. We would love to find a retired priest or Religious Brother or Sister who could live there. The parish has to pay for heat, electricity, water, sewer, and repairs for the building, and it is empty most of the time. We are seeking, and praying for, a priest or Religious who
could occupy this wonderful building.

From the Pastor's Desk August 9, 2020

We wish a Heartfelt welcome back to Father John Nwgbaraocha who Celebrates our Masses this weekend. Thank you, Father, for your Wonderful ministry.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 9, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Could we Use missals so that we could have the words of the hymns during our Masses?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. Due to the virus we are not allowed to pass out hymnals or missals for use during Mass. The virus can spread by passing books to each other, and also when we sing we expel air from our lungs with more force than when we speak which can cause the virus to spread a greater distance than six feet. So we are asked not to sing at Mass at this time. Also we are not allowed to copy the words or music from the hymns due to copyright laws. Sorry about that.

From the Pastor's Desk August 2, 2020

Father John will be away next weekend. We will warmly welcome Monsignor Richard Kelley as he returns to celebrate our weekend Masses.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 2, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a fraternal order?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. A fraternal order is a Catholic Fraternity organized as an order to support The faith of its members, and to serve the Church. So our Knights of Columbusc constitute a fraternal order

From the Pastor's Desk July 26, 2020

With the Bishop’s permission we are scheduling Our parish Confirmation/First Holy Communion Mass for Saturday, September 12 at 4pm. May the Lord
bless our young people.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 26, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a patron saint?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. A saint is a person who lives with God in Heaven. A patron saint prays for a particular nation, Place, activity, family, or person. For example, Saint Catherine and Saint Peter are praying for our Parish each day. St Corona is patron saint of Epidemics. St Anthony is patron saint of lost items And St Jude is patron saint of lost causes.

From the Pastor's Desk July 19, 2020

Due to the virus, our Bishop’s schedule has been changed substantially. Therefore, pastors are being given permission to confirm our parishioners this year. I am looking forward to being able to administer the sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion to our young people. May the Lord
bless them always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 19, 2020

Question: Dear Father, why in the Creed, does it say that Jesus descended to Hell and on the third day He rose again?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. When Jesus died on the Cross He descended to the abode of the dead. There He encountered all of those people who had died before Him They were not able to go to Heaven due to the sin of Adam and Eve. When He rose on the third day He brought to heaven all of the holy souls who believed in Him so that they could live forever with God.

From the Pastor's Desk July 12, 2020

I want to thank all of our parishioners who participate in various ministries. We deeply appreciate your service to the Lord and His people. At the moment, due to the virus, we are not allowed to use altar servers, and we are not allowed to bring Holy Communion to the sick. However, our dedicated parishioners are working very hard serving the Lord in our parish. May the Lord bless you.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 12, 2020

Question: Dear Father, could you please explain what First Saturday Devotion is all about?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your timely question. The First Saturday Devotion is an act of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. According to Lucia of Fatima the devotion was requested by the Blessed Mother during an apparition in Spain in 1925. The tradition of honoring Mary on the first Saturday has been practiced since at least the 8th century. In 1905 Pope Pius X granted indulgences to those who practice the 12 first Saturdays of the year in honor of the Blessed Mother. The devotion includes receiving sacramental confession, receiving Holy Communion, praying 5 decades of the rosary, and meditating for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the rosary.

From the Pastor's Desk July 5, 2020

May the Lord bless you as we celebrate our nation’s birthday. Despite depressing headlines we have so much for which to be thankful. I wish you a summer of health, peace and joy.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 5, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering... What are the names of the cloths that the priest uses during Mass?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question.The corporal is the square cloth that covers the Altar directly in front of Father. Its purpose is to catch any pieces of the Host or drops of the Precious Blood that fall during Mass. The pall is a square cardboard covered with cloth which covers the chalice and prevents dust or contaminates from getting into The Precious Blood. The purificator is a cloth that Father uses to wipe the Precious Blood from the chalice.

From the Pastor's Desk June 28, 2020

A sincere word of thanks to our Knights of Columbus for broadcasting our 10:30 Mass each Sunday on our parish facebook page. You bring the Good News to so many. May the Lord bless You always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 28, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering... Why is the statue of Mary on the left of the altar?
Answer: Dear friend. Thank you for your excellent question. In Jewish tradition the Queen Mother Would sit at the right hand of the king. Therefore Mary, Jesus’ mother, stands in the Place of honor at Jesus’ right hand from the Point of view of someone looking out from the Sanctuary. She is also on the Gospel side of The Church at the ambo from which we Receive the Good news of Salvation. Joseph is traditionally placed to Mary’s left.

From the Pastor's Desk June 21, 2020

May the Lord bless all of our fathers on Fathers’ Day. I always saw my dad as a holy, kind man who could repair anything, and always had a great answer to our many questions. Have a wonderful celebration.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 21, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering... What is a patron saint?
Answer: Dear friend. Thank you for your excellent question. A saint is a person who lives with God in Heaven. A patron saint prays for a particular nation,Place, activity, family, or person. For example,Saint Catherine and Saint Peter are praying for ourParish each day. St Corona is patron saint of Epidemics. St Anthony is patron saint of lost itemsAnd St Jude is patron saint of lost causes.

From the Pastor's Desk May 31, 2020

I am praying for you each day, especially during my private Mass, and I am praying for all the victims of the pandemic and all who care for them.
I miss seeing our parishioners each week, and I miss being able to visit the sick and the imprisoned. Also I am realizing that I have no aptitude for electronics. I appreciate our technicians who are recording my Sunday Mass on Facebook and I am so grateful that I can now distribute Holy Communion on Saturdays at 4pm in st Peter's and on Sunday at 11am in st Catherine's church. Plus the Sacrament of reconciliation is available whenever you wish.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 31, 2020

Question: Dear Father, Due to the virus our daughter would like to be married in a boat on a local pond. Is that ok?
Answer: Dear friend. Church law requires that all sacraments be performed in a Catholic church. However the Bishop can give permission for marriage to take place outside of a church if he chooses to. The priest who is assisting the couple must ask the Bishop for permission

From the Pastor's Desk May 17, 2020

My father taught courses on how to produce a television program. That skill must have skipped a generation because my technology skills are non existent. I am so grateful to our talented parishioners who have arranged to record our 10:30 AM Mass on Sundays. It can be seen on our new parish Facebook group page called all saints parish. I am praying for all of you each day, and I pray that this virus will leave us very soon, and we will once again be able to get together for Mass in person.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 17, 2020

Question: Dear Father, what is the significance of a religious relic?
Answer: Dear friend. A relic is the physical remains or personal effects of a saint or venerated person preserved for veneration. The earliest reference to the power of relics is found in the Second Book of Kings. In the Acts of the Apostles it states that St Paul's handkerchiefs had healing power. The Second Council of Nicaea in 787 clarified that we do not give homage to the object but to the holy person and ultimately to God. Many cures and miracles have been attributed to relics. Reliquaries are containers used to protect and display relics. First class relics are the physical remains of a saint. Second class relics are items that the saint owned or used. Third class relics are objects which have been in touch with a first or second class relic. Our church altars contain first class relics which the priest and Deacon kiss at the beginning and end of Mass

From the Pastor's Desk May 10, 2020

I am praying for you each day, and I hope that you and your loved ones are well We wish all of our mothers a very Happy Mothers Day. May the Lord bless and reward our mothers for all that they do for us. Thank you, moms, for the many ways that you show us God's love

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 10, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering..What is a Deacon?
Answer: Dear friend. A Deacon is a man who has received the Sacrament of holy orders and has entered the clerical state after extensive study of our faith. I was ordained a Deacon on May 9, 1987. The deacon has a particular ministry in each Mass. He proclaims the gospel, he may preach a homily, and deacons are allowed to baptize and marry couples. They also visit the sick, care for the poor, teach the faith and assist the Bishop and priests in service to the church. Permanent deacons may be married before their ordination. I served as Deacon at st Mary's parish in Claremont, which was a fantastic experience.

From the Pastor's Desk May 3, 2020

I am praying for you each day, And I hope that you and your loved ones are well. Catholic Charities called to say that they are ready to help if we need anything. I am happy to help you as well. Thank you to all who have sent me pictures. I have put them on the front pew so that I can look at you while I celebrate Mass. I pray that the virus will end soon. May the Risen Lord Lord bless you always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 3, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering..What is the Swiss Guard?
Answer: Dear friend. Thank you for your question. The Pontifical Swiss Guard is an armed force that protects the Pope and the Apostolic Palace as well as Vatican City. They were founded in 1506 by Pope Julius II who was Swiss. For many years they were mostly ceremonial, however since the attack on Pope John Paul II in 1981 they are well trained and armed. They serve as body guards for the Holy Father and Vatican officials when they are in Vatican city and abroad.

From the Pastor's Desk April 26, 2020

The past two Sunday mornings I have attempted to record my Mass on my smartphone. Easter Sunday I think it came out ok. Last Sunday I set the phone to record and began the Mass. Before I read the first reading I looked at my phone to be sure it was recording. It was not. So I started the Mass again. As it turned out I think the only part that recorded successfully was part of my homily. I hope that you and your loved ones are well and keeping a good sense of humor.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 26, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering...Is it alright to watch Mass on television?
Answer: Dear friend. Thank you for your timely question. It is always best to attend Mass in person in a Catholic church but, of course, the virus makes that impossible right now. So it is perfectly fine to watch the Mass on television. If you call [603-826-3359] the rectory Father will be happy to set up a time to hear your confession. For now we are limited to making a spiritual Communion only. I pray for all who are ill and all who care for them. May this virus end very soon

From the Pastor's Desk April 19, 2020

When I was in junior high I went on a Saturday to play basketball with some of my classmates. As we walked by our school a couple of the kids threw rocks and broke several windows. The next Monday morning we were all called to the principal's office. He met with us one by one and I was the last one, so I had a long time to sit nervously waiting. Finally I was called in. He said "After speaking with the other students I know that you were not throwing the stones, but do not hang around with that crowd. They are nothing but trouble " and he let me go. Today we celebrate God's great mercy for us. He forgives us and fills us with His gifts over and over again. May we treat each other with the same mercy.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 19, 2020

Question: Dear Father, Is there a patron saint for the virus pandemic?
Answer: Dear friend. Thank you for your timely question The recognized patron saints of illness are Saints Acacius, Barbara, Cyriacus, Christopher, Catherine of Alexandria, Denis, Erasmus of Formiae, Eustace, George, Giles, Margaret of Antioch, Pantaleon and Vitus Through their intercession may the Lord bring a swift end to the pandemic and bless all who are ill.

From the Pastor's Desk April 12, 2020

I wish you A Most Blessed and Happy Easter celebration The Lord is risen. Alleluia Easter is our highest holy day Since the Lord rose from the tomb Our life is meant to be eternal When this life ends with repentance For our sins we enter everlasting joy with God. May the Risen Lord bless you Today and always

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 12, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering What is the significance of the paschal candle?
Answer: Dear friend From the earliest days of the Church Candles have represented the presence of the Lord The paschal candle represents Jesus Risen from the dead It is a large, white candle made with Symbols representing the Lord And Easter It is marked with the present year And is lit at all Masses throughout The Easter season as well as during Baptisms when our spiritual life begins, And funerals as we hope forth With the Lord to Eternal life

From the Pastor's Desk April 5, 2020

May the Lord bless you throughout Holy week. In real time we Journey through the last week of Jesus's earthly life. Each day is filled with deep meaning for us as we realize how the Lord won our redemption, and how much He loves us

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 5, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Has the real cross of Jesus ever been discovered?
Answer: Dear Friend, for your interesting question. In the fourth century christianity was legalized and st Helena, the mother of the Roman emperor, traveled to the Holy land. In Jerusalem she came to the place where Jesus had been crucified. Nearby she discovered a deep pit with three crosses. She dug each of them out, and there happened to be a seriously I'll person nearby. When the true cross was brought to the sick person they miraculously recovered. Helena brought the cross to constantinople. Pieces of the true cross have been given as gifts to kings and emperors ever since

From the Pastor's Desk March 29, 2020

The famous golfer Lee Trevino was hit by lightning once and died. He was revived through CPR. When he was asked about this terrible experience he said " I was so happy and peaceful. I was with my loved ones who had died and so happy with God but the Lord had more for me to do in this life. It was not my time yet. Today the Lord raises Lazarus from the dead preparing us for His own resurrection

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 29, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Is it sinful to miss Mass in light of the virus spreading?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your timely question. If we feel sick or if we are contagious we are not obliged to attend Mass. In fact we are strongly encouraged to stay home. The present virus is considered to be so dangerous that many American Bishops including our own have closed churches to the public so it is not possible to attend Mass in person. In this circumstance it is not a sin to miss Mass. However we are encouraged to watch the Mass on television if possible

From the Pastor's Desk February 23, 2020

I wish you a Most Blessed Lent. Today’s readings speak of mercy and forgiveness, which replaces revenge. When someone hurts you it is natural to want to get back at them. However, God loves and forgives sinners, and seeks reconciliation. Can we pray for those who hurt us, and take the iniitiative in forgiving them? This is easier said then done, but God will help us.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 23, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…where do the ashes for Ash Wednesday come from?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your timely question. The ashes that we use for Ash Wednesday are made from burnt palms. On Palm Sunday palms were blessed, and distributed at Mass. Some of the same palms are burned before Ash Wednesday to make the ashes

From the Pastor's Desk February 16, 2020

I hope that you had a wonderful St. Valentine’s day. A day to celebrate our love. As we learn from the Gospel Jesus broadened the meaning of the commandments. Not only must we not kill each other, we must show unconditional love for everyone, even our enemies. We take the initiative in showing the world how to live.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 16, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What Is Easter duty?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. According to canon law, in order to be a Catholic in good standing one must receive Holy Communion at least once per year. Many years ago people rarely received Holy Communion. Even today we may know people who seldom come to church. In order to know if one has received Holy Communion within the past year it is recommended that we receive the sacrament between Ash Wednesday and Trinity Sunday. If we have committed a sin we must receive reconciliation before Holy Communion

From the Pastor's Desk February 9, 2020

When you dress as a priest or a deacon or Religious, you automatically stand out. You are a visible sign of God’s presence. As Catholics most of us do not wear outward signs of our faith, but we show our faith by our kind words, and good deeds, which stand out like salt and light.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 9, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Is it alright to join the freemasons?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. The freemasons are a fraternal organization which dates from the fourteenth century. The Church objects to membership in the organization because freemasons teach a naturalistic, deistic religion which is in conflict with Church teachings. Since 1738 our popes, including Pope Benedict, have taught that Catholics must not join the freemasons. Instead we invite our men to join the knights of Columbus. A holy, charitable, Catholic fraternal organization.

From the Pastor's Desk February 2, 2020

Thank you to everyone who attended my recent installation as dean. It was wonderful to have Fr. Shawn, the Vicar General with us. I am happy to serve our parish and our region, and to represent us to the Bishop. If there is anything that I can do for you please do not hesitate to contact me.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 2, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is the proper way to dispose of blessed or sacred objects, such as statues, rosaries, and candles?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your practical question. If the object is in good condition you may donate it to someone who would like it, or bring it to church so that someone else may take it. If it is a candle or an object that will burn, you may burn it completely. Sacred objects which are beyond repair should be buried in consecrated ground.

From the Pastor's Desk January 26, 2020

How wonderful it is to see so many faithful people marching in Washington, DC to protect pre born human life. When I was in the seminary we used to pray the rosary each Saturday outside of an abortion clinic in Frederick, Maryland. We spoke with parents, and many of them changed their minds and decided to keep the baby. May the Lord help us to defend the sanctity of life from womb to tomb.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 26, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is Gregorian chant?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. Gregorian chant is defined as “monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song which developed mostly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries.” It is named for Pope Gregory I who encouraged its use. One of the most popular Gregorian chants is the Salve Regina.

From the Pastor's Desk January 19, 2020

Thank you to everyone who attended last Sunday’s coffee with Father. I welcome your ideas about how to raise more money for our wonderful parish. And thank you to all who made our Christmas Masses and celebrations so wonderful. May the Lord bless you always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 19, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…My cousin is Catholic and would like to marry a man who has no religion. Could they be married in the Catholic church?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your question. According to Church law, a Catholic person must marry another Catholic person for the marriage to be valid. However, the Bishop can give a dispensation so that a Catholic can marry a person who is not baptized. The priest who marries them will stress Catholic teaching on the sanctity of marriage and the Catholic person must promise to remain in the Church and have their children baptized and raised as Catholics.

From the Pastor's Desk January 12, 2020

In May, 1987 I was ordained a deacon. The next weekend I celebrated my first baptisms in my home parish. What a thrill. Today many people have cameras and may even take videos of the baptism. In the parish we keep careful records of baptisms celebrated here. Today the Lord is baptized by John, and His public ministry is about to begin. Let us give thanks for our own baptism. Pray for our parents and Godparents, and recommit ourselves to serving God and His people.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 12, 2020

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is the origin of pews?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your question. Last year I was in Europe and I noticed that we sat on chairs with kneelers fixed behind them, not pews. Pews date back to the time of the reformation. It is said that they were invented because sermons became longer and longer. The pew is meant to allow us to sit, but keep us attentive. Some people have been known to bring in cushions to sit on over the hard wood.

From the Pastor's Desk December 29, 2019

I hope that you had A Most Blessed Christmas celebration, and I wish you A New Year filled with love, joy, and peace.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 29, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What are the twelve days of Christmas?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your timely question. The Twelve days of Christmas, made famous by the English Christmas carol of the same name, are the days from Christmas to the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th, when the glory of the Lord was revealed to the nations. The orthodox church considers the Epiphany to be the most important day of the Christmas season.

From the Pastor's Desk December 22, 2019

I wish you and your loved ones A Joyous and Blessed Christmas celebration. Thank you for all you do for our parish.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 22, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is the origin of the Christmas tree?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. Historians believe that many years ago there was a German tradition celebrated on December 24th, recalling the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve eating the apple (the original sin), followed by the celebration of Jesus’ birth on December 25th. An apple was hung on an evergreen tree which Adam and Eve would pick. Families loved the tree, and they began to cut down their own paradise tree to have in the home. On Christmas day they would find presents under the tree, which was decorated in a festive manner to celebrate Jesus’ birth who came to forgive our sins.

From the Pastor's Desk December 15, 2019

Thank you to everyone who attended Coffee with Father last Sunday at the rectory. The theme of our third Sunday of Advent is Joy. Growing up we were overjoyed at the approach of Christmas. Our faith is extremely joyful…baptizing a person, marrying a couple, even a funeral Mass can be joyful as we entrust our loved one to God. May the Lord fill you with His joy as we prepare for the birthday of Jesus.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 15, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What was the outcome of the recent Amazon Synod that the Holy Father had?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. The Holy Father met with Bishops of the Pan Amazon region of South America recently. The conclusions were… A change of heart is necessary regarding pastoral, cultural, and ecological issues. The synod also promoted married priests and women deacons to address the serious shortage pf priests in the area. The results of synod must be approved by Pope Francis before they can take effect.

From the Pastor's Desk December 8, 2019

I wish you a Blessed Advent. I always find Advent such a beautiful and wonderful time of year. I also find it a time of hectic activity and stress. In today’s Gospel St. John the Baptist encourages us to prepare the way of the Lord. Let us concentrate on our spiritual life and grow in holiness as we prepare to meet the Lord.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 8, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What does the Church teach about the death penalty?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. The Church teaches that it is moral to defend ourselves against an unjust aggressor. However, all other means of punishment are preferred to the death penalty (for example life in prison) because they are more respectful of the dignity of the criminal, whose life is sacred. Avoiding the death penalty allows the criminal the chance to repent

From the Pastor's Desk December 1, 2019

I wish you a blessed, holy season of Advent. We begin our new liturgical year this weekend. For many people the days before Christmas can be stressful and very busy. The Church asks us to spend time each day in prayer, be reconciled to God, and focus on our spiritual life in preparation of the Lord’s birth.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 1, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What does Mass pro populo mean, and why do we have so many of them?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. All pastors are required to offer at least one Mass each weekend, and holy day of obligation, for the people of his parish. Pro populo means for the people. The pro populo Mass each week is for our parishioners and for your personal intentions, as opposed to Masses offered for a particular person.

From the Pastor's Desk November 24, 2019

I wish you and your loved ones A Blessed Thanksgiving celebration. What a great time to pause to give thanks to the Lord for all of our blessings. Thank you for everything that you do for the parish. We deeply appreciate it.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 24, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…If the people who crucified Jesus did not believe He was the Son of God, who did they think He was? Did they believe someone else was the Messiah?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. According to the Bible, the Jewish authorities thought that Jesus was claiming to be God. They thought that He was a popular teacher who cared for the poor, and criticized the Pharisees and scribes, and made them uncomfortable. They were looking for a political and military messiah who would drive out the Romans. Their descendents are still waiting for the Messiah today.

From the Pastor's Desk November 17, 2019

Thank you to everyone who attended my recent “coffee with Father” after the 8:30 Mass and thank you to Teri, our local barista, for the delicious coffee. Do you have a question about our faith? Would you like me to speak about a certain topic during my talks? I would love to hear from you. You may submit questions or ideas anonymously at any time.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 17, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… I heard that bishops must report to Rome every so often. Why is that?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your question. Every five years diocesan bishops are required to travel to Rome to meet with the Holy Father and Vatican offices to report on the state of the diocese and to visit the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul. This tradition began with Pope Sixtus V in 1585.

From the Pastor's Desk November 10, 2019

A few years ago I watched a fascinating program on TV. It featured people who had died and been revived. One man said that he met his uncle who had died when he was a baby. They spoke with each other, and his uncle told him it was not his time to die yet, but one day they would be together again. This man said he now lives each day trying to do good, and he spends hours in church, looking forward to being in Heaven when his time comes.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 10, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the small cap that the Pope and bishops wear on their heads?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. The small cap is called a zucchetto. Priests can wear them, too. It is black for priests, purple for bishops, red for cardinals, and white for the Pope. They began to be worn in the middle ages. A pope at the time belonged to a religious order, and had his head shaved, so, to prevent getting a sunburn he began to wear a small round cap, and the tradition continues to our day.

From the Pastor's Desk November 3, 2019

Someone once said, “Money can be used as a universal passport to everywhere except Heaven, and a provider of everything except happiness.” A pastor was asked by a presidental candidate… “Name something my administration will be able to do to help your church if I am elected.” The pastor replied, “Stop making one dollar bills.”

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 3, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Is it alright for us to go to a Protestant church?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your question. It is certainly alright to visit a Protestant church, and it is
alright occasionally to attend a Protestant service, keeping in mind a few thoughts…. First, as Catholics, we have an obligation to attend Catholic Mass on Sundays and Holy days of obligation. In a Protestant church we should not participate in the service. For example, we should not do a reading, take up a collection, or serve at the altar. Most importantly, we must not receive Holy Communion or reconciliation in a church that is not Catholic.

From the Pastor's Desk October 27, 2019

Some years ago the famous actor, Gregory Peck, was waiting in a long line at a Los Angeles restaurant with a friend. After some time the friend asked if he could speak to the maitre d’ and tell him that Gregory Peck would like to be seated ASAP. Gregory Peck answered, “Do not do that. If you have to announce who you are, you are nobody.” The pharisee in today’s gospel could have learned a thing or two from him.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 27, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Does Halloween mean “holy eve?”?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your timely question. Halloween actually means “All saints eve.” It is celebrated on the eve of All Saints Day, and begins a three day observance of All hallow tide, days dedicated to remembering the faithful departed, including saints, martyrs, and the souls in Purgatory.

From the Pastor's Desk October 20, 2019

Thank you to everyone who participated in our first Coffee with Father last Sunday. The coffee was terrific and we discussed challenges facing the parish and the church of today. The next “coffee” will take place on Sunday, November 10th after the 8:30am Mass in St. Peter’s church hall. Hope to see you then.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 20, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a synod?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your question. “Synod” means the same thing as council. Synods were invented following the Second Vatican Council to allow the Holy Father and Bishops to meet and address pressing issues facing the Church on a local or international level. For example, the Amazon Synod is a meeting of South American bishops at the Vatican with Pope Francis to discuss matters affecting the Church in that region.

From the Pastor's Desk October 13, 2019

May the Lord bless our religious education teachers and students and families as well as our Catholic schooled and home schooled students this year. Please take every opportunity to learn more about our wonderful faith, and please consider bringing a friend to church with you.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 13, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… If I pray the Way of the Cross do I receive a plenary indulgence?
Answer: Dear Friend thank you for your excellent question. A plenary indulgence is the remission of the entire temporal punishment for venial sins from God. If we die having no mortal sins, and having received a plenary indulgence, we go straight to Heaven, and spend no time in Purgatory. In order to receive a plenary indulgence, we can pray the Way of the Cross in the state of grace, pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, and receive Holy Communion within a reasonable time.

From the Pastor's Desk October 6, 2019

Thank you all very much for the wonderful celebration of Priesthood Sunday. I deeply appreciate your gifts, cards, and well wishes. The receptions after Masses last weekend were so much fun. It is my deep pleasure to serve you.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 6, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the Church’s teaching on cremation?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. The church does allow us to be cremated. However, we are reminded that the body is sacred and will rise again when the Lord returns. So the cremated remains are to be treated with the same dignity and respect that we give to the body. It is preferred that we have a wake and a funeral with the body intact, then cremation, then the ashes are to be buried in consecrated ground. They are not to be scattered or kept on a mantle.

From the Pastor's Desk September 29, 2019

Thank you so much to Mrs. Bevin Kennedy of the Diocese who joined us at our Masses last weekend to speak about planned giving to our parish. We deeply appreciate all of your donations to our parish. A few months ago I asked everyone to please consider increasing the amount that you give, if you are able to do so, to our first collection due to the rising costs of parish expenses. Thank you to all who have generously responded to this request. Please remember that your donations are tax deuctible.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 29, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why did I not see the recent feast of Mother Teresa on my calendar?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your question. I am sure that our parish calendar company must print their calendars well in advance of the time we receive them. Most likely Mother Teresa’s feast was omitted by mistake. I love to read the biographies of the saints. Every day of the year we have at least one fascinating story of the temptations, struggles, faith, and courage of these great heroes.

From the Pastor's Desk September 22, 2019

Who has not dreamed of being rich and famous? According to some rich, famous people, money and celebrity do not always equal happiness. True happiness is found in serving God and doing good for other people. Each day let us count our blessings and share them with those around us, and we will find true joy.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 22, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What does the word incarnate mean in the creed?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. In the creed we say that Jesus was Incarnate of the Virgin Mary. This means that Jesus, who was always God, became also fully human as He was conceived in Mary’s womb. He took on our human nature.

From the Pastor's Desk September 15, 2019

Before GPS was invented I used to be lost all the time. Especially when bringing the Blessed Sacrament to someone for the first time. Streets had no signs, houses had no numbers, and I would end up at the wrong address. It is embarrassing and can be dangerous to be lost, but God does not want us to get lost on the way to Heaven. He searches for us, and calls to us until we find our way home to Him.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 15, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What does it mean when we say in the creed, that God made all things, visible and invisible?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. We are able to see much of God’s creation. However, God also made things that we cannot see, such as distant stars, angels, souls, and Heaven.

From the Pastor's Desk September 8, 2019

How blessed we are to welcome Father Kevin MacDonald this week. A holy man, a gentleman, and a scholar. Father will lead us in a life changing parish mission. His theme will be God’s mercy. We welcome you, Father, and thank you for sharing your wisdom and God’s love with us. May the Lord bless you and your ministry.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 8, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the meaning of “Do fall” that you mention in the Eucharistic prayer?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. In the second Eucharistic prayer, the new wording in the Third Roman Missal says, “Make holy these gifts we pray by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall,…” “As the temperature drops below the dewpoint, water is expelled from the air and collects on plants and on the ground. Likewise God’s Spirit is made manifest from all around us, enveloping and filling us, and allowing the bread and wine to become Jesus’ body and blood for us.” – Brant Pitre

From the Pastor's Desk September 1, 2019

“Humility is a virtue” Benjamin Franklin. C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Thomas Merton said “Pride makes us artificial, and humility makes us real.” It is an attempt to see ourselves as God sees us. May we strive to live humble lives at the service of God and others.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 1, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… If I forget a sin during my confession am I forgiven?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your practical question. When we go to confession we should first examine our conscience well and try to remember
each mortal sin and how often we have committed it. If we forget to mention a sin by accident it is forgiven by God who knows all of our sins and forgives us. However, if we fail to mention a sin on purpose it is not forgiven and we must go to confession again as soon as possible.

From the Pastor's Desk August 25, 2019

I worked with a priest once who used to say that he barely graduated at the very bottom of his class. He was very humble. Actually most of us would probably like to have a priest, lawyer, a doctor, a professor, who knows their stuff very well. Likewise we expect that Heaven is filled with the cream of the crop. Souls that are loving, kind, unselfish, and devout. The “A” students of spiritual life. So Jesus challenges us to strive to be our best. No matter how many souls enter heaven may we be among them.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 25, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… If a holy day falls on a Saturday or on a Monday is it still a holy day of obligation?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. There are six holy days of obligation throughout the year… Mary, Mother of God, Ascension, Assumption, All Saints Day, Immaculate Conception, and Christmas. Immaculate Conception and Christmas are always holy days of obligation, even if they fall on a Saturday or on a Monday. For the other four holy days, when they occur on a Saturday or on a Monday, the obligation to attend the holy day Mass is lifted, and attendance at the weekend Mass is all that is required.

From the Pastor's Desk August 18, 2019

The lyrics of an old song say, “I never promised you a rose garden.” We love the stories of Jesus comimg to earth at Christmas, and saying “Peace be with you.” But there is another side to our faith. It took great courage to be a follower of our Lord in the first century. Once you were baptized you had to defend your faith, even in your own home. Let us pray for the courage to stand up for our faith.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 18, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… My cousin would like to be cremated and buried in the same grave as her father, who was buried in his casket several years ago. Is this possible in a Catholic cemetery?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your question. It is alright for a person to be cremated and buried in the same grave as another person who had a casket burial. It is not possible to bury two caskets in the same burial plot (grave), or to bury more than two people in the same plot.

From the Pastor's Desk August 11, 2019

Growing up we had collie dogs. We loved them and they loved us. When we would go out and leave the dog at home, even for a short time, our dog was so happy to see us when we returned, as if she did not know if or when we would return. Likewise, today Jesus asks us to trust in things we cannot perceive, like Heaven, and in things we cannot know, like when the world will end. I find that the best antidote to fear and worry is prayer and doing our best each day.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 11, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… My uncle died recently. We wanted to have his casket covered by an American flag in church, and we wanted patriotic songs played during the funeral. We were told that both requests are unacceptable. Why?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. I offer my sympathy and prayers on the death of your uncle. The American flag has deep importance and significance to us. However it is not a religious symbol. In church we request that only religious symbols be used. The pall which covers the casket represents our baptismal garment. Patriotic songs are so beautiful and meaningful to us, but we request that religious hymns be sung during the funeral, giving praise and thanks to God. Patriotic music is appropriate at the reception.

From the Pastor's Desk August 4, 2019

When I was growing up I had part time jobs from the days of my first paper route. My parents strongly urged me to save every penny that I could. Looking back that was wise advice. Jesus asks us to store up our treasure in Heaven. God will reward our good words and good deeds, and spiritual lives. We will be grateful in Heaven that we shared our material goods and built a good relationship with God.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 4, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… My cousin told me that she could not have her favorite rap song played at her wedding. Why not?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. Marriage is one of the seven sacraments. It is the celebration of the loving union of husband and wife. The couple is joined together as one by God. So weddings are religious celebrations. We request that the music during a wedding focus our attention on praising and thanking God who is uniting and blessing the couple. The reception is the ideal place for any kind of music that the couple and guests enjoy.

From the Pastor's Desk July 28, 2019

When I was young I loved to ask my parents questions. I would ask things like…”Can we go to the park on Saturday?...Can I get a new toy?” Often my parents would say “yes”. Sometimes they would say “no” and give a good reason, and sometimes they would say “We’ll see.” I believe that the Lord does the same with us. He answers our prayers based on what will get us closer to Heaven. If only I had the ability to see life through His perspective.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 28, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… I heard recently that Catholics are not Christians. Is this true?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. In fact Catholics are the original Christians. We received the faith from Jesus Himself. We were one Christian church until the year 1054 when the Orthodox churches split from us. They took the name orthodox, meaning correct teaching, and we then became known as Roman Catholic, meaning the universal church under the Bishop of Rome (the Pope). In the sixteenth century the Protestant
churches began to break off from us.

From the Pastor's Desk July 21, 2019

Please join us for our exciting parish mission, from September 8th through 11th. Father Kevin MacDonald will preach a dynamic and exciting series of talks focused on God’s mercy. We will enjoy a holy hour, a penance service, and a beautiful concluding Mass. Please invite your friends, relatives, and neighbors to this unique spiritual experience.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 21, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… If I know someone who is dying what should I do to help them to prepare spiritually for Heaven?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. If the person belongs to a particular religion we should contact their minister or priest and request a visit. If the person is Catholic we should contact Father as soon as possible. Father will visit and offer reconciliation, bring the Sacrament of the Sick, and Holy Communion. If the person is dying Father will anoint them through which their sins are forgiven, and they are prepared for Eternal Life.

From the Pastor's Desk July 14, 2019

Mark your calendars. Please join us for a wonderful parish mission to be held from September 7th through September 11th in our parish. Father Kevin Mac Donald, a renown Redemptorist preacher, will lead our exciting four day retreat focused on God’s mercy. Could you help make the mission a huge success? We will need advertising, a few volunteers to help with each gathering, music, and a reception following the sessions. Please invite one and all to join us. May the Lord bless these special days for our parish.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 14, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Is it OK for Catholics to receive Communion during a service at an Immanuel Episcopalian church, such as at a wedding or funeral?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. It is against our church law to receive Communion in a Protestant church. We may receive Communion in any church that is in Communion with the Bishop of Rome only. Meanwhile we are working with other Christians to try to bring our churches back together again.

From the Pastor's Desk July 7, 2019

A week after my ordination I arrived at my first parish assignment with a suitcase and a box of books. Three years ago I arrived in Charlestown with truck loads of stuff. I need to learn a lesson from the disciples who were sent out to minister with no possessions. What they did have was the Lord speaking and working through them, and the generosity of those who received them, and that was more than enough.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 7, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What are angels?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your question. Angels are supernatural beings who act as intermediaries between God and us. They protect us, guide us, inform us of God’s will, and carry out tasks on God’s behalf. All together they are referred to as the Heavenly Host. Types of angels include Archangels, and guardian angels. They are often shown with wings and halos. Fallen angels are Satan and his helpers.

From the Pastor's Desk June 30, 2019

Steven Curtis Chapman wrote the popular wedding song, “I Will be Here.” The artist states that he had seen so many couples fall apart when times got rough he wanted to tell his wife that whatever they would go through in their marriage he will be there for her. Jesus asks the same unconditional commitment from those who would follow him.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 30, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What happens to the money we put in the collection each week?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. The money is collected, counted, and deposited in the bank. Usually our second collections go to support a diocesan or national need, such as Catholic schools, Catholic University,…This money is sent to the diocese. We also receive a bill each month from the diocese for insurances, diocesan salaries, and diocesan expenses. The rest of the collection is used to pay parish salaries, oil heat, electricity, office supplies, repairs and maintenance of our buildings and equipment.

From the Pastor's Desk June 23, 2019

The Last Supper is the famous late 15th century mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci, housed in the reflectory of the convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. It shows the reaction of each of the Apostles to the announcement by Jesus that one of them will betray Him. Shortly after its completion it began to deteriorate. A number of restorations were attempted. The final one was undertaken from 1978 to 1999. In today’s feast we honor the Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 23, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the origin and purpose of the monstrance?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your timely question. The monstrance is a vessel used to show the consecrated Host during Eucharistic adoration or benediction. Monstrances were first used in the 14th century in France and Germany, and were modeled after reliquaries and pyxes which are used to transport Hosts or sacred relics.

From the Pastor's Desk June 16, 2019

Andrei Rublev was a fifteenth century Russian Orthodox monk who painted a famous icon of the Blessed Trinity. It shows the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit seated at a table on which is a plate of food. At the front of the table is an empty place. This seat is saved for us so that we may join the Heavenly meal. God invites us to share in the life of the Trinity today, and to know His unconditional love.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 16, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the origin and purpose of stained glass?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. People began staining glass thousands of years ago. It reached the height of its popularity in the middle ages as gorgeous stained windows beautified the great churches of Europe. Stained glass is used to teach us Bible stories and to remind us of the presence of Our Blessed Mother and all the saints. What is your favorite stained glass window in our churches?

From the Pastor's Desk June 9, 2019

Happy Feast of Pentecost. Today is the birthday of the Church. 1986 years young this year. The Holy Spirit descends on the Apostles, and enlivens, guides, and sanctifies them. The same Spirit is present in us. Let us appreciate His holy gifts, listen to His voice, and live lives of commitment, sacrifice, and joy.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 9, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the significance of Ordinary Time?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your timely question. Ordinary Time comprises two periods… the first begins on the day after the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord and ends on the day before Ash Wednesday. The second period begins on the Monday after Pentecost and ends on the Saturday before Advent. The liturgical color for this season is green. The readings of this season lead us through the events of Jesus’ life.

From the Pastor's Desk June 2, 2019

Did you know that fingerprints were used to identify people as early as the 18th century BC in Babylon? Each one of us has his or her own fingerprints, and DNA. In these aspects God made us unique. However, today Jesus prays that His followers will be as one. May we share the love among us that unites the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “They will know we are Christians by our love”.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 2, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… If I accidently drop the Host or spill Precious Blood while receiving Holy Communion what should I do?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. As we know, accidents do happen. If we drop the Host do not panic. Preferably Father, or a Eucharistic minister should pick up the Host and consume it. The place where the Host fell should be washed with water and the water must be poured into a sacrorium, which goes into the ground. If the Precious Blood spills we cover the spot with a purificator cloth and pat it until as much of the Precious Blood as possible is absorbed. Then we let the spot and the purificator dry.

From the Pastor's Desk May 26, 2019

I wish you a blessed Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day is a holiday for remembering and honoring persons who have passed away while serving in the military. It began at the time of the Civil War as loved ones decorated the graves of soldiers. Eternal rest grant unto them, O, Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 26, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the difference between how a wedding Mass, a funeral Mass, and a regular Mass are celebrated?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. During a wedding Mass the bride and bridesmaids process down the aisle to begin the celebration, and the bride and groom process down the aisle at the end with the bride on the groom’s right. Holy water is used to bless the couple’s rings. A funeral Mass begins at the back of the church as the priest blesses the body and offers prayers. The body follows the priest down the aisle. Incense is used after
Communion to purify the body. Special prayers of commendation are prayed after Communion. After the funeral the body proceeds down the aisle after the
priest. The opening sign of the cross is prayed at the beginning of the wake, and the final blessing is said at the end of the burial prayers.

From the Pastor's Desk May 19, 2019

I wish to thank our Knights of Columbus for sharing the beautiful icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians with us this week. We were shocked to see the terrible attacks in Sri Lanka, as well as Nigeria, Bacino Faso, and elsewhere against Catholics. Persecution has been with us since the death of the Lord himself, but we are comforted to know that Our Blessed Mother is with us, and she is praying for all who are persecuted for our faith.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 19, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is a patron saint?
Answer: Dear Friend, a patron saint is a Heavenly advocate for a nation, profession, craft, or activity. For example, St. Mathew is a patron saint of bankers, and St. Honore is patron saint of bakers.

From the Pastor's Desk May 12, 2019

I wish all of our mothers a wonderful Mother’s Day celebration. My mother went to college part time when I entered high school. She loved her classes and studied very hard. She used her degree in service to our town, county and state. Thank you, Moms, for all that you do. May the Lord richly bless you.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 12, 2019

Question: Dear Father, how does one become a priest?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. As you know, the priesthood is a calling from God, so one must pray and discern God’s call to
the priestly life. Depending on the type of priest you become (diocesan, Religious, contemplative,…) your preparation will be varied, but for a diocesan priest, one must have a bachelor’s degree (hopefully with 18 credits in philosophy), followed by four years of theology, and often a pastoral year in a parish.

From the Pastor's Desk May 5, 2019

Thank you very much for all of your help during Holy Week and Easter celebrations this year. The events of each day are designed to involve as many parishioners as possible, and your attendance and assistance is greatly appreciated. May you enjoy the blessings of the Risen Lord throughout the Easter season.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John May 5, 2019

Question: Dear Father, what is the significance of the tabernacle?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. The word tabernacle means “dwelling place” in Hebrew. It contained the most sacred items, and represented the presence of God travelling with the Jewish people. In the Middle Ages Mass was often only celebrated on Sundays, so the tabernacle was used to store consecrated Hosts so that Holy Communion and Viaticum could be brought to the sick and dying between Masses. It is used for the same purposes today, as well as adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

From the Pastor's Desk April 28, 2019

I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful Easter celebration. Thank you for all that you did for our parish throughout Holy Week and Easter. May the Risen Lord bless you always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 28, 2019

Question: Dear Father, what is the significance of the large Easter candle?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. The large Easter candle, or paschal candle, represents Jesus risen from the dead. Candles around the altar and tabernacle always represent Jesus’ presence. The Easter candle is blessed and lit at the beginning of the Easter Vigil Mass and is lit during baptisms and funerals all year long. On the candle is written the year (2019) and it has five pins with incense, representing the five wounds of Jesus.

From the Pastor's Desk April 21, 2019

I wish you and your loved ones a Blessed and Joyous Easter celebration. Thank you for all that you do for our parish.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 21, 2019

Question: Dear Father, What is the significance of the Easter lily?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your timely question. The Easter lily, or trumpet lily, is native to Taiwan and a few islands in Japan. It is very popular at Easter due to its trumpet shape, announcing the good news, and it’s pleasant fragrance. In the New Testament Jesus praises the lily. Also, it is said that lilies grew in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus’ drops of sweat fell to the ground. I only wish that the blossoms lasted throughout Easter season.

From the Pastor's Desk April 14, 2019

I wish you a Blessed Holy Week. During this week we will relive the last week of Jesus’ earthly life day by day. The events of each day are so significant for us. Jesus taught in the temple, celebrated the last Supper, and died to free us from sin. May the Lord bless you during these most sacred days.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 14, 2019

Question: Dear Father, what is the significance of Spy Wednesday?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. Spy Wednesday is Wednesday of Holy Week. It commemorates the bargain of Judas and the parable of the two debtors. In the Czech Republic chimneys are swept on this day. In Malta children drum on chairs in the church to make the sound of the earthquake that followed Jesus’ death.

From the Pastor's Desk April 7, 2019

During Lent let us give up… Give up complaining… focus on gratitude. Give up pessimism… become an optimist. Give up harsh judgements… think kind thoughts. Give up worry… trust in God. Give up discouragement… be full of hope.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John April 7, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is the meaning of the Sacred Triduum?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. The sacred triduum, or holy Triduum, is the period of three days beginning with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday night, continuing with the commemoration of the passion of the Lord on Good Friday, and ending with the celebration of Easter Mass. What a beautiful and profoundly moving way to relive Jesus’ Last supper, death, and resurrection.

From the Pastor's Desk March 31, 2019

I am very much looking forward to getting together with you for Coffee with Father once I have recuperated. Meanwhile if you have a question about our faith, please be sure to write it down and place it in the box at the entrance to the church. I will answer it anonynously. We are always learning more about God and the Church.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 31, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Why do we cover statues in church during lent?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. It is a tradition in many parts of the world to cover crosses and statues with a veil from the fifth Sunday of Lent until the end of the celebration of the Lord’s passion on Good Friday. The veils alert us to the special time that we are in, and they focus our attention on the words of the Mass eliminating distractions, and the produce a sense of anticipation for Easter Sunday.

From the Pastor's Desk March 17, 2019

I want to thank everyone who has been helping me so much during my long recovery. Your prayers, delicious cooking, rides to appointments, help with errands, visits, phone calls, and beautiful get well cards,… They all mean so much to me as I continue to mend. May the Lord bless you always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 17, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What happened to our beautiful altar rails?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your question. Altar rails became popular at the time of the Protestant reformation. They marked the separation between the nave and the sanctuary, which contains the altar and the tabernacle. It was the custom to kneel and receive Holy Communion at the Altar rail. After the Second Vatican Council in many areas it became common to stand to receive Holy Communion, lectors and Eucharistic ministers entered the sanctuary, and altar rails were removed. So where are the old altar rails that were in St. Peter’s and St. Catherine’s churches? Do you know what became of them?

From the Pastor's Desk March 10, 2019

Lent is a perfect time to enjoy spiritual reading. What are your favorite religious books? Mine are the Bible of course, and I also love to read THE IMITATION OF CHRIST by Thomas à Kempis, and THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS which has prayers and readings throughout the day and LIVES OF THE SAINTS.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 17, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…On my calendar it looks like Lent lasts more than forty days. Why is that?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your question. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday. Sundays are not included in the days of Lent, because we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord every Sunday of the year. So by subtracting Sundays there are forty days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday.

From the Pastor's Desk March 10, 2019

I wish you a holy Lent. Growing up we always gave up something that we dearly loved. I would give up my favorite TV program, or playing my favoriote game, or my favorite food,…Today the Church asks us to consider giving up something for Lent (depriving ourselves and offering that sacrifice to God.) We may also do extra good works of mercy and say extra prayers each day and give alms to the needy. May the Lord bless you throughout these forty days, and may we prepare well for the joys of Easter.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 10, 2019

Dear Parishioners, I was wondering… This week Father has a couple of questions for you… Do you know how the beautiful stained glass windows came to be in our churches? A holy man called the rectory recently and asked if we would know if there are pictures of the altar boys who served at St. Peter’s church between 1945 and 1955. He served as one of those altar servers and would love to see a picture.

From the Pastor's Desk March 3, 2019

Dodie Gallant was a high school history teacher. One summer she decided to rent a camper and visit historical sites across the country. On the third day she heard a loud noise, and her camper stopped in the middle of the highway. She prayed that the Lord would send her an angel to help. A few minutes later a large group of Hell’s Angels bikers surrounded the camper. They got her camper over to the side of the road, and fixed the engine. As they left one of them said, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John March 3, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is a soul? What is a spirit? Do animals have souls?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your great questions. The soul is our reason, character, feeling, consciousness, memory, perception,… A spirit is a supernatural being. God is a spirit.
According to St. Augustine and other saints, animals have irrational souls. They live according to instinct. They come from God and return to God when they die. I hope to see my former pets in the next life.

From the Pastor's Desk February 24, 2019

In 1947 Mahatma Gandi was visited by a hindu fighter. He told Gandhi that he had killed a number of Muslim people. He asked Gandhi’s forgiveness. Gandhi told him, “I want you to adopt a Muslim child, and raise him or her as a devout Muslim in your Hindu home.” Today Jesus gives us the golden rule and teaches us to forgive our enemies as God forgives us.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 17, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Why do the dates for Ash Wednesday and Easter change each year?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. The date of the Easter celebration was established by the Church in ancient times. Each year we celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the full moon after the Spring equinox. Depending on the date of the full moon, the date of Easter changes from year to year. Ash Wednesday is celebrated 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Easter Sunday. So the date of Ash Wednesday changes as well. On the other hand, Christmas always occurs on December 25th.

From the Pastor's Desk February 17, 2019

Recently I read an ad in a newspaper… “You cannot buy happiness, but for a mere $499 per month you can lease spiritual exhilaration that is out of this world. Come in and test drive our new luxury sedans today.” Jesus gives us the key to true happiness in this life and the next. Just follow the beatitudes.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 17, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Can a non Catholic receive last rites?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. Last rites, or Sacrament of the sick, like all seven of our sacraments, are only given to Catholics. So if Father hears of a person who is seriously ill, Father will go visit him or her. He will pray with them, and if the person would like to become Catholic, father can baptize, anoint, and give Holy Communion to the dying person.

From the Pastor's Desk February 10, 2019

I first remember hearing the Lord call me to the priesthood when I was in elementary school. In today’s readings God calls Isaiah, St. Paul, and St. Peter. Each of them responds with unselfish generosity and faith. May we do all that we can to foster vocations, and teach by our example how to respond generously to God’s call.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 10, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is the origin of the expression “to rob Peter to pay Paul?”
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your interesting question. This expression means to take something from one person to pay another, leaving the former person at a disadvantage. The phrase originated in the 16th century in England. The church of St. Peter in Westminster was deemed a cathedral, but later it’s diocese was dissolved and the assets of St. Peter’s were used to repair St. Paul’s cathedral which was in very poor condition. Thus it was said that they robbed Peter to pay Paul.

From the Pastor's Desk February 3, 2019

In today’s Gospel Jesus is ridiculed in His own home town. When we are met with criticism how should we respond? Patrick Coffin of “Catholic Answers” suggests the following: 1. Ask for the grace to recognize any truth that can be found in the criticism. 2. Do not dwell on the negative. 3. Say a prayer for your critics. 4. Remember the only opinion that matters is God’s. 5. Could your critics be opposed to you because you belong to Jesus? “Blessed are the persecuted – theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John February 3, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Is it ever OK to miss Mass on a weekend or Holy day?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your important question. As baptized Catholics we are obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and on Holy days of obligation. (Saturday 4pm counts as a Sunday Mass) However, there are perfectly acceptable reasons to miss Mass. For example, Fr. John has not been able to attend Mass while his leg has been broken. Therefore he sets his alarm and, and watches the Mass each Sunday morning at 6am from Burlington, Vermont. Illness is a good reason to miss Mass. We do not want to infect others, or, for example, if our immune system is weakened, we do not want to catch illnesses in church. There may be occasions when we are travelling and not able to attend Mass, but we should do all that we can to arrange to attend Mass on Sunday during our absence from home. Severe weather is another acceptable reason to miss Mass. Every effort should be made to attend a Mass during that weekend, but safety certainly is a priority. If we miss Mass by accident on a Sunday or holy day the Lord understands. If we miss on purpose that is another matter and Father is anxious to hear all about it in the confessional at your earliest convenience.

From the Pastor's Desk January 27, 2019

In 1991 I arrived in West Stewartstown to begin ministry there. My first Mass was celebrated on a Wednesday afternoon. The church was full to capacity. After Mass people said, “We usually do not have this many folks at Mass, but we were anxious to meet you, and to learn how you plan to serve the parish and the school.” In today’s Gospel Jesus’ congregation is anxious to learn about His ministry and kingdom.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 27, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…If you want to become a priest how do you know which Religious Order is best for you?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. When I was discerning God’s call I wanted to be a priest who was just like my family’s pastor. There are so many different ways to answer God’s call. One can become a priest, or Deacon working in a parish, or maybe God is calling you to a Religious Order, such as the Franciscans, Dominicans,…Each Order follows the life and teachings of a saint, and has it’s own Charism. So if you enjoy working with the sick, there is a Religious Order specializing in hospital work. If you enjoy teaching, there are Religious Orders whose members teach younger or older students. Likewise, there are orders specializing in prison ministry, missionary work, service to the poor, prayer, and even baking, wine making, and art work. Through prayer and exploring various Religious Orders we can find just the right vocation for us, and a joy filled life of service to God and His people.

From the Pastor's Desk January 20, 2019

Paul always wears two wedding rings. He jokes about it, but recently one of his friends asked him why. He said in 1999 his father passed away. His parents had been married 52 wonderful years. At the burial Paul’s mother gave him his father’s ring. Paul wears it with pride. He says his father was the best father, brother, son that he could be, and Paul strives each day to imitate the life of his beloved Dad. May the Lord bless our couples and families this week and always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 20, 2019

Question: I was wondering…What is an antiphon?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question. An antiphon is defined as a short sentence sung or recited before or after a psalm or canticle. What antiphons can you identify in today’s Mass?

From the Pastor's Desk January 13, 2019

I baptized two little boys six days after I was ordained a deacon in 1987. What a thrill it is to baptize. I have never baptized anyone by dunking them in water. (Not Yet.) The youngest person I ever baptized was just being born in a maternity ward, and the oldest had just turned 95 years young. As a famous theologian once said, “Baptism tells us who we are and Whose we are.”

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 13, 2019

Where and when were you baptized? Do you remember anything about your baptism? Who baptized you? Who are your Godparents? Could you call them or write them a note. What Spiritual gift did you receive at your baptism?

From the Pastor's Desk January 6, 2019

I hope that you had a most Blessed Christmas celebration. I hope that you received gifts that you wanted. Today, on the feast of the Epiphany, the magi come to the manger and present Jesus with gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gifts fit for a king, a God, and the Lord who will die for us. May God shower you with His gifts throughout The New Year.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John January 6, 2019

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why is Mary often portrayed in blue?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. Our Blessed Mother is traditionally portrayed in blue clothing. This can be traced back at least to the early 6th century. Blue was the color of an empress. Blue color was derived from the rock lapis lazuli, a stone imported from Afghanistan. It was more expensive than gold. Therefore patrons would donate to purchase the stones needed to produce blue color. It was an expression of love and devotion to Mary to dress her in blue gowns.

From the Pastor's Desk December 30, 2018

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas celebration, and I wish you and your loved ones A Blessed New Year, 2019. I am deeply grateful for all that you do for our parish.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 30, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Does the Catholic Church believe in reincarnation?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. Reincarnation is the belief that when we die our soul is reborn in a new body on earth. Catholics believe that when we die our soul goes to God to be judged, and then the soul enjoys everlasting life, or must be purified in Purgatory, or it is in Hell eternally. Our body is buried, and awaits the end of the world, when Jesus will come again to resurrect our bodies, and they will then join our souls.

From the Pastor's Desk December 23, 2018

I wish you and your loved ones a Blessed Christmas celebration. May the Lord’s birth bring you joy, peace and love. We are most grateful for all that you do for our parish. Please know that you will be in my prayers at Christmas this Mass.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 23, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…how did Christmas cards get started?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. The first known Christmas card was sent to James I of England and his son, the Prince of Wales in 1611. In 1843 cards were designed and illustrated in London. On one side the card showed three generations of a family and on the other side it showed scenes of charity to the poor. Hallmark cards company was established in 1913 in the United States specifically to market Christmas cards

From the Pastor's Desk December 16, 2018

One day Mark Twain was walking with a friend.
Suddenly it began to rain cats and dogs.
The friend asked, “Do you think it will ever stop raining?”
Mark Twain said, “It always has.”
Let us always be optimistic and joyful. The Lord is coming soon.
His presence makes all the difference.
Rather than dwelling on our problems we look to Jesus for solutions and live each day with deep faith and joy.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 16, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…what are the twelve days of Christmas?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your timely question. The twelve days of Christmas are the days from December 25 until the feast of the Epiphany (January 6). During these days we reflect on events of Jesus’ childhood from the Bible. The 12 days were made famous by an English song from a time when the Catholic faith was outlawed. Using well known symbols, such as a partridge in a pear tree, the song taught truths about the faith. For example, the partridge represents Jesus, two turtle doves represent the old and new testament, three French hens represent the Trinity, four calling birds are the four evangelists,….

From the Pastor's Desk December 9, 2018

If a martian were to land on earth he or she would quickly realize that something special is going on. Wreaths and decorations are beginning to appear, and we are filled with joy, because the Lord’s birth is around the corner. John the Baptist prepared the world to receive the Savior, and we, too, are busy sharing our love for God and for each other. I hope that Advent is a time of great peace for you and your loved ones.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 9, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…what is the origin of the Christmas tree? Our cats love ours.
Answer: Dear friend, thhank you for your great question? The Christmas tree comes from a German tradition. In the middle ages in Germany on December 24th was celebrated the Mass of Adam and Eve, and often parishes would put on a play. An important part of the play was the tree from which Adam and Eve picked and ate the apple. Children loved to play around the tree, and families would cut a tree down and bring it in the house. This became known as a Christmas tree and presents were placed under it and candles were lit to show that Jesus came to forgive original sin and bring us Eternal Life- the happy ending to the story of Adam and Eve.

From the Pastor's Desk December 2, 2018

Happy New Year. This weekend we begin our new church year, and begin to prepare for the Lord’s birth. Looking at the date I realize that Christmas is only three weeks away. There is so much to do and so little time. But let us not forget to do what is most important.. prepare spiritually for Jesus’ arrival. May this Advent be a time of grace, peace, and spirittual renewal for you and your loved ones.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John December 2, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is the significance of the Advent Wreath?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your timely question. Lighting the Advent Wreath is a long standing tradition in the church. The circular green wreath represents eternal life. The four candles represent the thousands of years of waiting and preparing for the birth of the Savior. Three of the candles are purple and one is pink for Gaudete Sunday, meaning rejoice. Lighting the candles of the wreath help us to be ready for the birth of the Lord, the light of the world.

From the Pastor's Desk November 25, 2018

Living in a democracy we may, at times, criticize kingdoms, seeing them as having too much power placed in the hands of the king or queen. However, today we honor Jesus, our king. He is the perfect sovereign-loving, unselfish, and peaceful.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 25, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is the significance of the images on the stained glass windows behind the altar of St. Catherine’s Church?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for this intriguing question. I would like to invite our parishioners to add to this answer if you have more insight into the meaning of each window. On the left side, from top to bottom, the windows show: a lily and a crown of thorns, fish and bread, and a ladder, a hammer and tongs.
On the right side, from top to bottom, the windows show: A cross, spear and hammer, a Host, chalice, wheat and grapes, and a pillar and whips.
What beautiful stained glass windows we have in our churches. The scenes in them give us so much to contemplate, and assist us in our prayers to God.

From the Pastor's Desk November 18, 2018

A number of religions have famously predicted the date of the end of the world, only to be mistaken. Jesus does not tell us when the end will occur, but advises us to watch for the signs and always be prepared to meet the Lord.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 18, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What do the colors of your vestments mean?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. At Mass the priest wears a chasuble, his outer garment, and a stole. They have a particular color. The color may indicate the liturgical season, for example, green represents Ordinary time, purple represents Advent, white indicates Christmas and Easter seasons, and indigo represents Lent. The color may also indicate the feast day which is being celebrated. For example, Father will wear white on a saint’s day. He will wear red for a martyr, or for the Holy Spirit.

From the Pastor's Desk November 11, 2018

Rousseau once wrote… ”When we die, we only take with us what we have given away during our lifetime.”
Thank you for your generosity. Each day you sacrifice your time, talent, and treasure for God, for the parish, and for the needy among us. May the Lord bless and reward you now and in Heaven.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 11, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…How do I prepare for a good confession?
Answer: Dear friend, Thank you for your excellent question. Before we go into the reconciliation room we must examine our conscience. We try to remember when our last confession took place. We ask ourselves what sins we have committed since then. Sins can be thoughts, words, or actions. And they can be sins of omission, failing to do, think or say what we should. Once we have examined our conscience we can tell God and Father the exact sins which are on our soul, and receive absolution for them.

From the Pastor's Desk November 4, 2018

Psychologists define seven types of love…passionate love, deep friendship, love of family members, unselfish love, uncommitted love, practical love and selfish love. Jesus commands us to love God and love our neighbor with unselfish, wholehearted love to find eternal joy.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John November 4, 2018

Question: I was wondering…What are the three secrets of Fatima?
Answer: Thank you for your interesting question. On May 13, 1917 Our Blessed Mother told three secrets to the shepherd children at Fatima. Lucia revealed two of the secrets in 1941. She wrote the third secret down and asked that it not be revealed until a later time. The text of the third secret was released by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000, although some claim that it was not the entire secret. The first secret is a vision of Hell. The second secret states that World War I will end but another war will occur during the reign of Pope Pius XI if people continue to offend God, and if Russia does not convert. The third secret has to do with the persecution of Christians in the 20th century and an assassination of the Pope, and the murder of bishops, priests, Religious, and lay people.

From the Pastor's Desk October 28, 2018

Happy Priesthood Sunday. Thirty years ago I was ordained in the cathedral in Manchester by Bishop Gendron and Bishop Gerry. It has been a wonderful adventure. I have enjoyed serving God and people so much. I have met the most wonderful people, served in the north, south, east, and west of New Hampshire, and have been blessed to experience God’s miracles every day. Please pray for vocations, and for the priests and religious serving the Church today. Be assured of my prayers for you. Thank you very much for the many blessings that you have given to me over the years.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 28, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Why do we use incense in church?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. Incense is made from aromatic resin from certain trees which is placed on burning charcoal, and releases a sweet smelling smoke. The smoke represents our prayers rising to God. A thurible is used to contain the incense and a thurifier is the altar server who carries the incense.

From the Pastor's Desk October 21, 2018

Saint Bruno was an eleventh century scholar. He taught a future pope and numerous bishops. He was chancellor of Rheims, and more than once he was offered the office of Bishop himself. However, he chose to live the last half of his life in prayerful seclusion. A man of great humility and faith, he founded the Carthusian Order of monks which has one monastery in the United States, in southern Vermont. May we imitate the humility of the Lord and saint Bruno, as we place ourselves at the service of God and others.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 21, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What are the names of the vestments that the priest, deacon, and servers wear at the altar during Mass?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. During Mass the altar server wears a black cassock and a white surplice over it. The Deacon wears a white alb., a colored stole across his left shoulder, and a dalmatic over it. The priest wears a white alb, a colored stole around his neck, and a chasuble. The Deacon’s dalmatic and the priest’s chasuble are colored according to the liturgical season, or the saint or martyr of the day.

From the Pastor's Desk October 14, 2018

Andrew Carnegie was one of the richest people of his generation. He was also extremely generous. When asked why, he said “ I have noticed that millionaires never smile.” Thank you for your generosity with your time, talents, and treasure.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 14, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…Why is there no Mass on Good Friday?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for this question. As you know, on Good Friday, we remember and relive the day that Jesus died for us on the Cross. Good Friday has been kept as a special day of prayer and penance since the earliest days of the church. In honor of the Lord’s suffering and death and since the Mass is a joyful celebration, we do not have Mass on that day. If we must have a funeral on good Friday a special form is used without a Mass. However, we know that receiving Holy Communion is most important to us and, to the sick and dying. Therefore, we do have a prayer service with Holy Communion on Good Friday during which we read the Passion, venerate the Cross, and receive Holy Communion. The Hosts used are consecrated during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. We are also allowed to bring Holy Communion to the sick and dying on Good Friday. It is very striking and moving to experience a day without the Holy Mass. It makes us appreciate the Mass all the more on the other days of the year.

From the Pastor's Desk October 7, 2018

In 2005 Andre and Marguerite DeBry of Hereford, France celebrated their 81st anniversary of marriage. They were recognized as the couple married the longest in the world, as far as we know. When asked what they recommend to help couples have a long and happy marriage they replied, “Do not go to bed angry with each other”. May the Lord bless all of our married couples and families.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John October 7, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…What is the correct way to place one’s hands during the Lord’s prayer, and other parts of the Mass?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your very practical question. In the Roman Missal which the priest uses to celebrate Mass at the altar there are rubrics- small notes in red print telling the priest that, for example, he should fold his hands or extend his hands during a particular prayer. Our holy parishioners have no such guide. However, according to the U.S. Bishops, there is no right or wrong thing to do with one’s hands during the Mass. Theologians advise us not to hold hands during the Lord’s prayer. That gesture is for the sign of peace. Also, they advise us not to imitate the priest’s actions with hands extended during prayers, as Father is praying to God in our name. Perhaps it is best to fold our hands or place them at our side. Of course, it is up to our own discretion what we do with our hands in church. No gesture is sinful as long as it is not meant as an insult to God or people.

From the Pastor's Desk September 30, 2018

Many years ago I attended my first ecumenical pastors’ meeting in Colebrook, New Hampshire. Each of us belonged to a different Christian denomination. We had many differences in our beliefs and religious practices, but we worked very well together on challenges such as helping the poor, visiting the sick, and inspiring deeper faith. We all got along very well, and became good friends. It was a great example of fellowship and cooperation among the Lord’s shepherds.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 30, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering….Why are there so many Bibles today which differ from the Latin Vulgate version that we grew up with?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Council of Trent, in the sixteenth century, approved a Latin translation of the Old and New Testaments for use by the Catholic Church. However, the Council did not prohibit publication of the Bible in other languages and further translations of the Bible. In the twentieth century scholars tried to make new translations of the Bible because English continues to change as a living language, and because they wanted to translate ancient Hebrew and Greek words as precisely as possible. To be sure that a Bible is authorized by the Church look for Nihil obstat and Imprimatur on the front pages of the Bible.

From the Pastor's Desk September 23, 2018

Dr. Charles Mayo, along with his father and brother, founded the Mayo Clinic. Once a distinguished group of foreign doctors was visiting. As Charles went to bed he noticed their shoes lined up in the hall. In their homeland servants would clean and shine the shoes at night.
So Charles carefully took one pair at a time and cleaned and polished them to perfection which took him much of the night.
As we serve others we are actually serving God with great love.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 23, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering….In confession, what if the priest asks you how long it has been since your last confession and you do not know?
Answer: (Dear friend, Thank you for your great question. When we enter the reconciliation room Father greets us, we make the sign of the Cross, and say “Bless me, Father for I have sinned. It has been. . . since my last confession and these are my sins.” The reason that we mention how long it has been since our last confession is that it reminds us to go to confession at least every month, and especially soon after we commit a serious sin. It also tells Father if our sins are frequent or not. For example, if it has been a year since my last confession and I lied twice, that is not too frequent, but if it has been a day since my last confession and I lied twice, that is a different story.

From the Pastor's Desk September 16, 2018

In my Mom’s yearbook her friend wrote “ It’s nice to be natural when you are naturally nice.” Friends, even families may or may not know us as well as we would like, but today Peter nails Jesus’ identity. And now he will learn what it means to be a suffering Messiah, and a Christian who embraces the Cross. May we accept our Crosses, great and small, with faith and courage.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 16, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering….What is the translation of the prayer sung in Latin just before Communion?
Answer: (Answered by our parish music director, Mr. Tom LaCasce)
Dear friend, Thank you for your excellent question. The English version of the prayer is:
“Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.”
Sometimes we sing it in English, but the Latin text is preferred by the Church, as it is considered a bit more formal, and hence, more appropriate at that part of the Mass.

From the Pastor's Desk September 9, 2018

My college roommates and I spent one afternoon per week helping the needy. We travelled to the Perkins School for the Blind and took a a few students out for icecream and to an amusement park. My student, Brad, was blind and deaf. We enjoyed our hours with them, and learned so much from them, while treating them with kindness. Today Jesus heals a deaf and mute man. May we listen closely to God’s words and let them bear fruit in us.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 9, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering….Why does Jesus’ Body and Blood taste different at other churches?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Host which is consecrated during Mass must be made of wheat and water. The Precious Blood is consecrated from pure wine from red or white grapes. The taste of the Hosts may vary slightly from church to church due to the type of wheat used and whether the Host has been bleached white. The Hosts and wine used must be approved by the Bishops. Some church approved wine is sweeter than others, and the taste of red wines can vary. White wine has a distinct taste as well. After consecration the Hosts and the Precious Blood retain the taste of the wheat and wine from which they were made.

From the Pastor's Desk September 2, 2018

As we were growing up our parents had one most important question for us before every meal….”Did you wash your hands?” Today we know that hand washing is important to eliminate germs, but in the first century it was instituted by the religious authorities as an outward show of holiness, while being used by them to criticize and condemn. May the Lord help us to always keep our external piety AND our internal holiness intact.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John September 2, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…. Who were the Gentiles and what did they believe in?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. Gentile is the name that the Jews gave to all non Jewish people. Gentiles have many varied beliefs around the world. They include Christians, Hindu, Buddhists, Islam, agnostics, atheists, and others.

From the Pastor's Desk August 26, 2018

Since last December I have been celebrating Mass in a state prison. I admit that I had my own fears and apprehension at first, but the inmates who have joined us for Mass show a deep faith, a hunger for God’s word, and a deep devotion to the Eucharist. They make the choice to come to Mass and they are trying to love and serve God, and turn their lives around, and that makes all the difference.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 26, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…. On Saturdays, why do we have to receive Communion after 4pm for it to count?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. Our weekly holy day of obligation is Sunday, since the Lord rose on that day, and He appeared many times to His disciples as they gathered to break bread on Sunday. After the Second Vatican Council it was decided that we could fulfill our Sunday obligation by attending Mass on Saturday if it was necessary. However, our Saturday 4pm Mass is actually a Mass for Sunday, so the Bishops ask us to schedule it as close to the evening as possible, since, in the Jewish tradition, the day starts with sundown. In our region 4pm is considered to be about the earliest that a Mass can be celebrated if it is to fulfill our Sunday obligation.

From the Pastor's Desk August 19, 2018

Once when I was stationed in the far north of New Hampshire we had a stretch of vey cold weather, and a severe storm. We had no electricity for about one week. During that time we celebrated our weekend Masses. One young man was serving Mass for the first time. It was about 7 degrees in the church, many trees had fallen in the storm, and we had no electricity. However, even under extreme circumstances, the Lord was with us, and we enjoyed being able to worship together. May God bless you always.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 19, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why did the Patriots lose the Super Bowl last season?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. We are so grateful for every gift that God gives each of us. Professional football players are blessed to be able to play the game so well. I truly believe that God wants each team to play well and, and while we hope that God is a Patriots fan I think the Lord hopes that the team that plays best will win.

From the Pastor's Desk August 12, 2018

I want to thank all of our parishioners who participate in various ministries. We deeply appreciate your service to the Lord and His people. Our dedicated Eucharistic ministers lovingly bring the Blessed Sacrament to our people in hospitals, nursing homes, and those at home who are unable to come to church. In this vital ministry you connect the sick to the worshipping community, bring them God’s healing love, and spend quality time with them. May the Lord bless you.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 12, 2018

Question: I was wondering… Can a couple get married in the Catholic church if one is a practicing Catholic but the other is non practicing, but was baptized Catholic?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Church does allow a practicing Catholic to marry a non practicing Catholic in the church with a wedding Mass. The couple must attend classes with the priest for 6 months before the wedding. During those meetings the priest will discuss the importance of practicing our faith, and will encourage the non practicing Catholic to come to church and ask questions that they may have about our beliefs, and, hopefully, he or she will begin to practice the faith once again. If not the couple must seek permission from the Bishop to be married in the church, and the practicing party must promise to have any children baptized and raised as Catholics.

From the Pastor's Desk August 5, 2018

On Sunday, May 29, 1988 at 2pm I celebrated my first Mass. For so long we had practiced consecrating bread and wine into Jesus’ body and blood, but on that day it really happened. May the Lord whom we receive in Holy Communion nourish our souls with the food of Eternal Life. “O sacrament most holy, o sacrament divine, all praise and glad thanksgiving be every moment Thine.”

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John August 5, 2018

Question: Dear Father, could you please explain what First Saturday Devotion is all about?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your timely question.
The First Saturday Devotion is an act of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. According to Lucia of Fatima the devotion was requested by the Blessed Mother during an apparition in Spain in 1925. The tradition of honoring Mary on the first Saturday has been practiced since at least the 8th century. In 1905 Pope Pius X granted indulgences to those who practice the 12 first Saturdays of the year in honor of the Blessed Mother. The devotion includes receiving sacramental confession, receiving Holy Communion, praying 5 decades of the rosary, and meditating for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the rosary.

From the Pastor's Desk July 29, 2018

For many years my home parish cooked, and served a large meal to the homeless. Loving parishioners shopped, baked, and spent hours ministering to the most needy. It was amazing what a wonderful meal and kindness and unselfishness could do for the Lord’s people on the street. As we share God’s blessings they multiply. May we have faith to always know that the Lord will help us and the generosity to share our blessings with those around us.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 29, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why in the Creed, does it say that Jesus descended to Hell and on the third day He rose again?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. When Jesus died on the Cross He descended to the abode of the dead. There He encountered all of those people who had died before Him They were not able to go to Heaven due to the sin of Adam and Eve. When He rose on the third day He brought to heaven all of the holy souls who believed in Him so that they could live forever with God.

From the Pastor's Desk July 22, 2018

in today’s gospel Jesus is seen as the Good Shepherd caring for God’s people. In St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican, is a famous piece of art called the Altar of the Chair. Bernini sculpted a bronze altar over what is believed to be the original chair of St. Peter. On the backrest of the chair are the famous words of Jesus, “ feed my lambs, tend my sheep” and “feed my sheep.” Peter and his successors have obeyed this command to our very day.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 22, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… Why do we call priests “ Father”?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your great question. In the passage where Jesus says, do not call anyone your father He is addressing the hypocrisy of the pharisees. They look for honor for themselves. Jesus cautions do not give yourself the authority due to God. Since the early days of the Church the title Father or Papa has been used for church leaders. Priests have the authority to challenge, correct, forgive and nourish his flock like a father. May all priests be loving spiritual fathers of God’s children.

From the Pastor's Desk July 15, 2018

In the 13th century St. Francis began his ministry by taking the Lord’s words in today’s Gospel literally. His only possessions were his robe and sandals. In 2018 people can be overly concerned with money and material goods. Let us remember that the Lord is most important to us. If we have God with us we have everything we need in this life and the next.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 15, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… A relative of mine went to confession and then later remembered a sin that he had forgotten to confess. Should he have gone back to confession again to confess the sin that he had remembered?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question.
When we go to confession we must make a good examination of conscience, and confess all mortal sins that we can remember committing since we last received absolution. If we forget a sin by accident that sin is forgiven because God already knows about it. However, if we do not reveal a serious sin on purpose this sin is not forgiven and we must confess it as soon as possible.

From the Pastor's Desk July 8, 2018

In my 30 years as a priest I can only remember being home at my parents’ parish twice on a weekend. On weekends I am either here at our parish or away on vacation. A couple of years ago my home parish celebrated their 100th anniversary. I was happy to concelebrate the Mass. A very rare Sunday at home. It is probably a good idea that priests are not assigned to our own home parish. I would probably spend as much time as I could at home or the parishioners there would not take me seriously. They know me too well. May the Lord bless us as we preach through our good words and deeds to loved ones, friends and foes alike.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 8, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… How does one become officially recognized by the church as a saint?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. Here are the steps in the process of canonization of a saint…

  1. The local bishop investigates the life of the person to look for evidence of heroic virtue.
  2. A group of theologians and Cardinals evaluate the candidate.
  3. If the theologians and Cardinals approve they recommend the individual to the Pope who declares that he or she is venerable, which means they are a role model of Catholic virtue.
  4. In the next step the pope beatifies the person. This step requires proof of a posthumous miracle through the intercession of the person. Martyrs may be beatified without proof of a miracle. Beatification means that the Blessed person may be honored bt a particular group or in a particular region of the world.
  5. Once there is verified proof of a second miracle through the intercession of the beatified he or she is canonized.

From the Pastor's Desk July 1, 2018

One of my greatest joys as a priest has been visiting the sick and the dying. Time after time the Lord heals us when we are ill, and He loves to raise our Faithful departed to Eternal life. In today’s Gospel the Lord heals the sick and raises the dead, and He begs us to have faith and to trust him when we are in physical or spiritual need.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John July 1, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering… What is the origin of the Sign of the Cross?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. As you know we make the sign of the Cross to bless ourselves, and to bless others. It is always used to begin and end the Mass. The sign of the Cross has a rich and ancient history. In the year 200 Tertullian wrote…” We wear out our foreheads making the sign of the Cross. We trace an upright cross on the body while saying the trinitarian formula, “ In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Before we listen to the Gospel we bless our foreheads, our lips and our heart. We ask God’s blessing upon us. The orthodox church also uses the sign of the Cross, but they generally use three fingers and touch their right shoulder before their left shoulder. It has been stated that placing our hand on our forehead represents Heaven, touching our stomach represents earth, and touching our shoulder represents the place and sign of power. May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, of the son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. St. Matthew taught his followers to make the sign of the Cross.

From the Pastor's Desk June 24, 2018

Two of the greatest events of my life were the births of my nephew and my niece. The birth of a child fills us with hope and joy. This weekend we celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist, who prepared the people to receive Jesus, the Savior. In imitation of St. John we prepare the way of the Lord.

From the Pastor's Desk June 17, 2018

My Dad taught me to drive. He was so patient as I drove over people’s lawns, and flower beds. During that summer Dad and I both had to take a highway to get to work. He let me drive. I drove so slowly. Every ten minutes or so he would gently say , “ Let’s pull over and let all of those cars behind us go by.” Thank you, Dad, for everything. May the Lord bless our fathers, grandfathers, godfathers and step fathers. Happy Fathers’ Day.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 17, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering if we could have Mass in Latin? Many of us miss the Latin Mass.
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your very interesting question. As you know Pope Benedict restored use of the Tridentine Latin Mass a few years ago. It would be possible for us to celebrate Mass in Latin, but we need to ask permission of Bishop Libasci and Fr. John must learn how to celebrate the Tridentine Mass as he has never celebrated it.

From the Pastor's Desk June 10, 2018

In his famous book, WHATEVER BECAME of SIN, the famous American psychiatrist,Karl Menninger, notes that sin is as prevalent, or more so, than it ever has been. However, people today are better at excusing their bad behavior. “I am no worse than my neighbor.” Or “Everyone in my company cheats.” Perhaps it is time to take a hard, honest, look in the mirror and seek God’s forgiveness and strength, and then marvel at how He can recreate us in His image.

Question and Answer Forum with Fr. John June 10, 2018

Question: Dear Father, what is the Didache and do Catholics acknowledge this as authentic?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your excellent question. The Didache, also known by the name ‘ Teaching of the Twelve Apostles’, is a short letter written anonymously in the first century. The first line indicates that it is the teaching of the Twelve Apostles to the nations. It contains the oldest known catechism. There are three main sections to it….ethics, rituals, and church organization. It details what is required to live a virtuous life. The Lord’s Prayer is included. Baptism by immersion is mentioned. Fasting is required for Wednesdays and Fridays. Two primitive Eucharistic prayers are included.
The organization of the Church is in it’s earliest stages. Itinerant apostles and prophets serve as priests and celebrate the Eucharist. Local Bishops and deacons are mentioned. It is recognized by the Church as authentic, but has not been included in the New Testament. It was lost for centuries, but was discovered in Greek in 1873 and a Latin version was discovered in 1900.

From the Pastor's Desk June 3, 2018

I love you so much and I want to show you a sign of my love. So I give you a store bought card or even better, a card I write myself. Jesus wished to show us a sign of his love. He decided to give us His own sacred body and blood. St. Julianna began the feast of Corpus Christi in 1243. We have been honoring the Most Blessed Sacrament by receiving Him worthily and serving His people with love.

From the Pastor's Desk May 27, 2018

This weekend we celebrate the Blessed Trinity. Our God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It took over a thousand years for church leaders to iron out exactly what we believe and do not believe about the Trinity. God shows His love for us as creator, redeemer, and sanctifier. May we give thanks to him by loving Him with all our heart and by loving everyone and everything He has made.

From the Pastor's Desk May 20, 2018

I received the sacrament of Confirmation in 6th grade. I felt the Spirit come into my life and I tried to find ways to serve the Lord and the Church. On the feast of Pentacost the Spirit descends on the Apostles and they become brave preachers, teachers and martyrs for their faith. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful as we celebrate the birth of Your Church.

From the Pastor's Desk May 13, 2018

When I was six years old my parents threw a birthday party for me. Mom invited about a dozen of my closest friends, and my dad had to work so single handed Mom entertained, supervised, fed, and lovingly cared for the group of us. She settled disputes, bandaged a few skinned knees, and took us all under her loving wing. Thank you, Mom for everything. May the Lord bless you all this weekend as we celebrate our mothers. May he bless and reward mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, stepmothers, and all loving women who show us God’s tenderness each day. Happy Mother’s Day.

From the Pastor's Desk May 6, 2018

I had been away from home for sometime studying in the seminary. I came to my parents’ house for a visit and my mom said, “oh, you could use a haircut and a new sweater. Only your mother would tell you that.” Indeed there is nothing like Unconditional love. Our God has that kind of love for us. He showers us with his gifts. He loves us just as we are, but too much to let us stay that way. He invites us to grow every day. May you experience His tender loving care and share it with others.

From April 29, 2018

Question: Dear Father, what do each of the colors of the priest’s vestments mean?
Answer: Dear friend, thank you for your interesting question. The priest wears white right now, during the church seasons of Easter and Christmas and on saint’s days to represent joy. The priest wears purple during Advent and Lent to represent prayer and penance. The priest wears red on Pentacost to represent the Holy Spirit and on feasts of the martyrs to represent that they shed their blood for us. The priest wears green during the 34 weeks of the year that we call ordinary time to represent hope.

From March 25, 2018

Question: Dear Father, why do we have lit candles in church?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question! From very ancient times, candles were used to drive away darkness. Today, the use of candles during the Mass symbolizes Christ’s triumph over darkness (“He is the Light of the World” Jn 8:12). Further, beeswax candles (the type used during Mass) symbolize Christ’s purity; the wick is an image of the Soul of Christ, and the flame symbolizes the union of Christ’s Divine Nature with our human nature. (During the Easter Vigil Mass, we will bless a new Paschal Candle which will be used during the Easter season and during funerals and baptisms as a representation of the resurrected Christ.)

From March 11, 2018

Question: Dear Father, why do we sing the psalms? Other parishes say the psalms. It seems like this would be a lot easier!
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your excellent question! St. Augustine is attributed with the saying “He who sings prays twice.” When we sing the psalms, we enter more deeply into the meaning of the ancient songs (the psalms come from the words of various songs that were sung by ancient Israel). While either saying or singing the psalms during Mass is acceptable, singing the texts is preferred. And yes, this is a lot of work – but well worth it when we consider how much it enhances our prayers.

From March 4, 2018

Question: Dear Father, why do we sing the Agnus Dei in Latin? I thought we got rid of the Latin a long time ago.
Answer: Dear Friend, while we pray the Mass primarily in our own native language, the Latin texts are still the preferred texts of the liturgy of the Church. They’re the most formal setting for our prayers. Think of it this way: When I meet my neighbor, I say “Hey Maggie, how are ya!” Or, I can say, “Good morning, Mrs. Richards – how are you today?” Each is a greeting – but the latter is more formal (and less likely to irritate my neighbor.) The more formal greeting is like using the Latin text for the Lamb of God (or Agnus Dei); it’s a more fitting way to address the King of Kings and Lord of Lords during the celebration of the Mass.

From February 25, 2018

Question: Dear Father, I go to other churches and they have really upbeat music for their Gloria and Holy, Holy. Why do we always chant these parts of the Mass?
Answer: The chants we use are recommended by the Church; they’re actually the most formal of the liturgical options for the Gloria and the Holy, Holy. Other music, while perhaps more “upbeat” and “catchy,” is really not as formal (nor as fitting) as the chants. The more formal (“appropriate”) the musical setting, the more likely we’ll catch God’s ear as we pray these prayers (and yes, they’re actually “prayers” more than they’re “songs”).

From February 18, 2018

Question: Dear Father, why do we use incense at Mass?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your wonderful question. The Old Testament is filled with examples of priests using incense to “carry the prayers of the people to the Throne of God.” When we use incense at Mass, we’re essentially sending our prayers up to God in a more visible (and sensory) way. Additionally, incense purifies the altar and sanctuary of evil and helps our prayers retain their purity as they ascent to God.

From January14, 2018

Question: Dear Father, what is a a Sacrorium and do we have one?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. A Sacrorium is a special sink in the Church sacristy that goes directly into the ground. It is used for Precious Blood and Consecrated Hosts that cannot be consumed. They must be poured into the ground.

From November 12, 2017

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering, if my fiancée and I could be married on a boat on the Connecticut River.
Answer: Dear Friend, That you for your great question. According to Church law you must be married inside a church unless you have permission of the Bishop.

From November 5, 2017

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering, when does the next Holy Day occur?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your great question. The next Holy Day of Obligation will occur on Friday, December 8th… the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

From October 29, 2017

Question: Dear Father, What is the meaning of candles and flowers in church?
Answer: Thank you for your great question. Candles are signs of Jesus’ presence and flowers represent life, and especially, eternal life.

From October 9, 2017

Question: Dear Father: I was wondering…when did the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches begin?
Answer: Dear Friend: Thank you for your interesting question. The Catholic Church was created by Jesus himself in the 1st century. The Orthodox and Catholic Churches split from each other in the 11th Century and the Protestant Churches began in the 16th Century.

From October 1, 2017

Question: Dear Father: What is the origin of the expression, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do?’
Answer: Dear Friend: Thank you for your wonderful question. This well-known expression comes from a letter of St. Augustin written in the 4th century.

From September 17, 2017

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering what is the meaning of the phrase, By Hook or by Crook?
Answer: Dear Friends, thank you for this interesting question. This is a very old expression from at least the 14th century meaning that we attract new church members by hook (as fishers of men and women) and by crook (shepherding them with love.)

From September 10, 2017

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering what vows does a priest take?
Answer: Dear Friend, at the time of ordination Father John took vows (promises) of prayer, celibacy and obedience to the Bishop. Priests in most religious orders generally take vows of celibacy, poverty, obedience to their superior, prayer, and stability, meaning that he will stay in one monastery for life.

From September 3, 2017

Question: Dear Father, what happens when someone enters a seminary?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for this great question. In the seminary one studies Philosophy and Theology, including the Bible, Church History, the Sacraments….also the seminarian prays and attends Mass each day and one day per week he visits the sick or prisoners or does parish work.

From August 27, 2017

Question: Dear Father, can you tell me what is in the Sacristy?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your wonderful question. The Sacristy is the room where the priest, servers, and ministers prepare for Mass. It contains the Vestments that we wear for Mass, the Roman Missal and books that we use during Mass, Incense, Processional Cross, Candles, Chalice, Hosts, Wine and Holy Oils.

From August 20, 2017

Question: Dear Father, what is the Sacrament of the Sick?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your wonderful question. The Sacrament of the Sick may be given to any Catholic who is sick and can be given more than once. It includes an Act of Contrition and making the Sign of the Cross on the forehead and hands. If the person is in danger of death and the person is sorry for their sins, all of their sins are forgiven and they receive a Plenary Indulgence. If you or someone you love is sick, please call Father to visit today.

From August 6, 2017

Question: Dear Father, when did the Feast of the Assumption begin?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for wonderful question. The Assumption of the Blessed Mother was known and taught from the day of the miracle itself in the first century but it was defined and proclaimed as a dogma on November 1st, 1950 by Pope Pius XII and soon after the yearly holy day of obligation was begun.

From July 30th, 2017

Question: Dear Father, who is patron saint of deacons, musicians, lectors, and altar servers?
Answer: Dear Friend,
Thank you for wonderful question.
The Patron Saint of deacons is St. Stephen,
The Patron Saint of musicians is St. Cecilia,
The Patron Saint of lectors is St. Bede,
And the Patron Saint of altar servers is St. John Berchmans.

From July 9, 2017

Question: Dear Father, what can you tell us about Tiffany Windows?
Answer: Dear Friend, these beautiful windows were originally designed by Louis Tiffany who lived from 1848 to 1933. He was an American artist whose famous works include stained glass windows, glass lamp shades, glass mosaics, and ceramics. The difference with Tiffany windows and other stained-glass windows is the Tiffany windows are made with shards of glass (Mottled glass). We are so blessed that St. Catherine’s Church is the only Catholic Church in the Northeast with Tiffany Windows…Which one of our Tiffany windows is your favorite?

From July 2, 2017

Question: Dear Father: What do we know about St. Thomas?
Answer: Dear Friend, Thank you for your great question. St. Thomas, whose name means twin, was one of the 12 apostles. He doubted that the other apostles had seen Jesus after the Resurrection and one week later, Jesus appeared again and let Thomas touch him to prove that he was really risen. Thomas went on to minister in Israel then in modern day Iraq and Iran (Persia) and set sail for India where he established 7 Christian communities on the West Coast and 3 Christian Communities on the East Coast. He was killed by a spear. Thomas is the patron saint of architects and his feast day is July 3rd.

From June 11, 2017

Question: Dear Father, why was Simons name changed to Peter and did Jesus do this?
Answer: Dear Friend, thank you for your wonderful question. Yes, Jesus changed Simons name to Peter. This occurred right after Simon had made his profession of faith as he said to Jesus “You are the Messiah, Son of the living God.” Then Jesus said to him, “You are Peter and on this rock, I will build my Church.” The name Peter means rock. Jesus gives Simon this name and tells him that he will be the rock or immovable foundation of the church. Peter thus becomes the head of the apostles and of the Church.

From April 30, 2017

Question: Dear Father, what is the meaning of life?
Answer: Dear Friend, Thank you for your fascinating question. For thousands of year people have wrestled with this fundamental question. Thanks to our faith we know that God created each one of us and filled us with gifts and put us on earth at a particular place and time. God has a purpose for each of us. Our life has infinite meaning. In the catechism, we learned that the meaning of life is to love and serve the Lord in this world and to be happy with Him in the next world (heaven). We pray and pay attention to signs that help us to know God’s will for us, and do our best to follow God’s desire for us. Then our life will be full and blessed.

From April 9, 2017

Question: Dear Father, who was Simon of Cyrene?
Answer: Dear Friend, Simon of Cyrene was a man pressed into service to help Jesus carry the cross. He was from Cyrene in Africa where a Jewish community existed. He became a disciple of the Lord and helped to spread the Gospel. Simon of Cyrene was also in Jerusalem for the Passover. His sons’ graves were found in the Kindron Valley of Israel in 1941. He is the 5th Station of the Cross.

From April 2, 2017

Question: Dear Father, who was Joseph of Arimathea?
Answer: Dear Friend, Joseph of Arimathea, a town of Judea, was a wealthy secret follower of the Lord who requested Jesus’ body and buried it in his own tomb hewn out of rock. He is also mentioned in a number of apocryphal writings in which he is imprisoned and miraculously escapes and built an oratory in France and had possession of the Sacred Chalice of the Lord.

From March 26, 2017

Question: Dear Father, what is Easter Duty?
Answer: Dear Friend, Thank you for your excellent question. Most Catholics attend Mass and receive Holy Communion regularly. However, there could be Catholics who very rarely come to Mass or very infrequently receive Holy Communion. Therefore, the Church has a law which states that Catholics must receive Holy Communion at least once a year. The best time to receive yearly Holy Communion is from the first Sunday of Lent through Holy Trinity Sunday. If the person has committed any sins in the past year he or she must receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving Holy Communion.

From March 19, 2017

Question: Dear Father, what are the requirements for being a Godparent or a sponsor?
Answer: Dear Friend, Thank you for your great question. A Godparent or Sponsor must be at least 16 and Confirmed. He or she must also be a devout Catholic. The ideal Godparent or Sponsor is practicing the faith and knowledgeable about what the Church teaches. He or she is a great example for the people being Baptized or Confirmed and is able to answer questions about our beliefs. Often a Godparent is asked to be a Sponsor for Confirmation.

From March 12, 2017

Question: Dear Father, what is the Vulgate Bible.
Answer: Dear Friend, Thank you for your excellent question. The Vulgate is the official Latin translation of the Holy Bible. It was first translated from the original Hebrew and Greek by St. Jerome. It was accepted by the Church in the 16th century as the official accepted version of the bible. For more information you may go to: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulgate

From February 19, 2017

Question: Dear Father, can you name the last five pastors who served at St. Peter's Church and St. Catherine's Church and the approximate dates they were here?
Answer: Dear Friend, Thank you for your great question. Last week I was able to give you the names of the last 5 pastors of St. Catherine's Church.
Here are St. Peter's last 5 Pastors:

Rev. Richard Tetu 1992-1994
Rev. Anthony DiRusso 1994-1999
Rev. Shawn Therrien 1999-2002
Rev. Michael Gendron 2002-2011
Rev. Steven Lepine 2011-2016

From February 12, 2017

Question: Dear Father, can you name the last five pastors who served at St. Catherine's Church and St. Peter's Church and the approximate dates when they were here?
Answer: Dear Friend, Thank you for your great question.
Here are St. Catherine's last five Pastors:

Rev. Francis Kelso 1988-1990
Rev. Adhemar Deveau OMI 1990-1994
Rev. Shawn Therrien 1994-2002 Rev.
Michael Gendron 2002-2011
Rev. Steven Lepine 2011-2016
Next week, I will give you the names of the last 5 pastors of St. Peter's.

From February 5, 2017

Question: Dear Father, I was wondering…. Why is Easter celebrated on a different date each year?
Answer: Dear Friend, Thank you for your great question.
Easter is always celebrated on a Sunday because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday. Following a very ancient custom the date of Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. So the date of Easter may vary from late March to late April.

From January 29, 2017

Question: Dear Father, how can we increase our faith?
Answer: Dear Friend, Thank you for your great question. I find that prayer always helps my faith. Just like a human relationship is strengthened by communication, so talking with God, listening to Him, praying for what we need and watching how God answers our prayers is very good for our faith. Also, going to Mass and receiving the Sacraments strengthens our faith.

And Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament….spending time with Jesus is very helpful. We are blessed to have two Adoration Chapels available right here in our area…Our own Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Adoration Chapel in St. Catherine's Rectory and the Greater Falls Perpetual Chapel at St. Charles Church in Bellows Falls.

From January 22, 2017

Question:Dear Father, what is the meaning of transept?
Answer: Thank you for your great question. In the history of the Roman Catholic Church churches have been constructed in the form of a cross with the vertical part, or nave, running from the sanctuary to the narthex and the main doors in back of the pews. The horizontal arm of the cross runs perpendicular to the main body of the church in front of the sanctuary. This aisle running from left to right is called the transept. It is the aisle in front of the pews. In large cathedrals it often includes side chapels and stained glass windows.

From January 15, 2017

Thank you to everyone who has sent in questions for Father during generations of Faith.
Question: Dear Father, if angels have no gender why do we have St. Michael, Gabriel, and other male angels?
Answer: In the Bible angels are given male names, but they are pure spirits and, thus, do not have sexual genders as we do. Their male names represent the authority, or power, given to them by God

 

Home Page
Parish Staff
Mass Schedule & Sacraments
Bulletin
Parish Councils and Committees
Parish Ministries
Religious Ed
RCIA
Church Histories
Parish Organizations
Father John's Page
Parish Calendar