Pastor’s Reflection for March 12, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

This week, we celebrate the feast of St. Patrick. St. Patrick, at the age of 16, was captured by a group of pirates. He was taken as a slave to Ireland and held captive for six years. While in captivity, he worked as a shepherd, strengthened his relationship with God, and converted to Christianity. He escaped his master and fled home to his family. At home in Britain, he continued to study the Christian faith and eventually became a cleric and returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary.

Legend credits St. Patrick with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a three leaf plant, using it to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God. Its green color represents rebirth and new life. Patrick became a bishop and by the 7th century had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston can feel free to enjoy their corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on a Friday in Lent this year, thanks to a one-time dispensation granted by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

In a decree dated Feb. 28, the cardinal said, This year, the Feast of St. Patrick, the patron saint of our Archdiocese, falls on a Friday during Lent. Given the importance of this feast in the life of the Archdiocese and in the lives of so many of our families, I am granting a dispensation from the Friday Lenten abstinence on March 17, 2017, to those who wish to take advantage of this opportunity.” By Saint Patrick’s intercessory prayer, may this Archdiocese consecrated to St. Patrick always enjoy his protection from every evil and may he always lead us to the truth of the Triune God.

We are about to begin the 2017 Catholic Appeal. In our Archdiocese, we have more than 50 ministries that enrich parish life. The contribution to the Catholic Appeal supports these ministries. Central ministries provide vital programs and services that serve 289 parishes in 144 cities and towns, 114 Catholic elementary and secondary schools and thousands of Catholics. If you have not received an appeal envelope in the mail, appeal envelopes will be available in the foyer. Our assessment is $ 63,601.60. I ask that you be generous in support of this appeal, as you have been in the past.

We will again have The Light Is On For You on the Wednesdays of Lent for confession from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. beginning Wednesday, March 15. Please see page 4 of the bulletin for more details.

May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.

God love you,