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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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From the Pastor's Desk September 18, 2022

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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