Saturday: 4 p.m,
Sunday: 7 a.m., 9 a.m.
Saturday: 7 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m
Monday to Saturday: 8 a.m.
Monday to Friday 12:10 p.m. during Lent.
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (in Spanish)
HOLY DAY MASSES
Saturdays from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. and
Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Rev. Francisco J. Anzoátegui, Pastor
Rev. Gabino O. Macias, Parochial Vicar
Rev. Peter F. DeFazio, Parochial Vicar
Rev. Albert H. Stankard, Senior Priest in residence.
Deacon: Pedro L. Torres
Deacon: Alfredo Nieves
Music Director and Organist: Cynthia Angelini
Religious Education Coordinator:
James J. Drummey
Assistant Coordinator: María M. Nieves
Pastoral Associate: Enrique Méndez
Secretary: Gloria Villamil
Financial Manager: Robert Percheski
Sacristan: Pat Robinson
Building and Grounds Supervisor:
— After having surveyed our parishioners, 85 percent have indicated that it would be a good idea to combine the 7:00 and 9:00 Masses on Sunday morning into an 8:30 Mass. We realize that this will disappoint some of those who have faithfully attended the 7:00 Mass for many years, but with the number of priests being reduced to two, it was important for us to find ways of serving you more effectively. The change will occur next Sunday, October 8th, and we ask you to plan your Sunday mornings accordingly. We remind those involved with our Religious Education program that the earlier Mass will means an earlier start time for the morning classes. There are no classes on October 8th because of the holiday weekend, so beginning on October 15th, the morning CCD classes will start at 10 a.m.
Blessing of Animals Next Sunday
— We will hold our traditional blessing of animals next Sunday, October 8th, not today, at 3:00 p.m. in Mary’s Grotto between the Church and the Parish Hall. You are welcome to be part of this joyous tradition in our Parish even if you don’t have a pet.
Call for RCIA Candidates
— Do you know someone who would like to know more about the Catholic Church, or who might even be interested in becoming a member? There really are people who are just waiting for you to ask them to consider joining the Church.
We will be starting the classes in November, so please encourage family or friends to take advantage of this opportunity. Classes in English will take place from 10 to 11 on Sunday mornings, and classes in Spanish will take place at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
Report on the Furnace Campaign
— The work to replace our furnace in church will begin this week. For the next several days you may see workers and construction. Thank God, we have raised half of the goal so far, $70,000, and we are so grateful. A reminder that those who are pledging their contribution monthly they need to send their pledge for the month of September. Thank you all, and may God bless every effort and sacrifice you have made to make this possible.
— We will begin a six-week Bible Study in the Rectory Meeting Room on Tuesday, October 10th, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The study will be conducted by Mr. Jim Drummey and will focus on the Book of Revelation. The fee for the book is $10. Please call the Rectory (508-875-4788) to register for the course. The Book of Revelation is one of the most mysterious and challenging books in the Bible, filled with symbolism. This course, which will continue in the Spring, will attempt to explain the meaning of the symbolic language.
Marian High School will hold an open
house at 273 Union Avenue on Tuesday, October 17th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Call (508) 875-7646 Ext 203 for more information.
St. Bridget Elementary School will hold an open house on Thursday, October 26th, at 6:30 p.m. at 832 Worcester Road (Route 9).
Visit www.SaintBridgetSchool.info for more information
With the feast of the Archangels Rafael, Gabriel, and Michael two days ago, and the feast of the Guardian Angels this week, it is good to reflect on these heavenly messengers and their place in our lives. Angels are not fat little babies with wings; they are powerful warriors whom God has given to us for our protection. Angels are mentioned some 300 times in the Bible and these highly intelligent spirits have played a key role in salvation history — from assisting the Israelites crossing the desert, to being present at all the important events in the life of Jesus, to their role in helping us today. While they are spirits, than can and do take on human form, and there are many credible accounts of angelic interventions that have rescued people from harm in recent years. We know that from the moment of our birth a special angel was assigned by God to each one of us, and if you are not already saying the following prayer every day, you should start immediately:
Angel of God, my guardian dear To whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
We can pray not only to our own Guardian Angel, but also to the guardian angels of our family members, especially our children and grandchildren, who need their protection more than ever these days. Wouldn’t it be foolish for us to neglect this source of love and guidance that God has provided for us?
— Another campaign to save women and babies from the terrible consequences of abortion is underway and will continue for 40 days until Sunday,
November 5th. If you would like to take part in praying for unborn children and their mothers in front of Planned Parenthood in Boston,
contact Rita Russo at email@example.com. If you are unable to travel to Boston, please pray the rosary for life during the month of October.
MEET OUR NEW SEMINARIAN
— Deacon Jimmy Macalinao, from the Diocese of Oakland, a fourth year student at Pope Saint John XXIII starts his assignment here at Saint Stephen this weekend. Please extend your welcome to Deacon Jimmy and make him feel at home!
The Power of the Holy Spirit
For three years prior to His Ascension into Heaven, Jesus had been trying to educate the Apostles about the Kingdom of God and what their role would be in spreading that Kingdom. But it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles on Pentecost that they finally began to understand what the Lord had been telling them.
The Spirit not only gave them the gifts of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, He also gave them the gift of fortitude or courage that would be essential if they were to survive the coming persecution. James was murdered in Jerusalem in the year 42, Peter and Paul were executed in Rome around the years 65 to 67, and the other Apostles, with the exception of John, were also brutally killed.
All they had to say to escape death was that Jesus was not God, that He had not risen from the dead, and that their whole mission was a lie. But they persevered in the face of terrible persecution because they knew Jesus had risen and that they, too, would one day rise from the dead and spend an eternity of joy with Him in Heaven.
Fast forward 2,000 years and we find thousands of our fellow Christians giving up their lives rather than renounce Jesus. Would you be willing to die for Jesus if confronted by enemies of our Faith? Or would you be willing to live for Jesus in a culture that is hostile to our beliefs?
Only the naïve can think that we will not soon face such a crisis in our lives. Will you be like St. Peter and deny even knowing Jesus, or will you proudly say that He is your friend and that you will never turn your back on Him? To do this, you must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Third Fatima Apparition (Part III)
When Our Lady appeared to the three children on September 13th, an estimated 25,000 people were present, the largest crowd since the appearances began on May 13th. The children had difficulty getting through the crowd because so many of them were seeking Our Lady’s help.
When the Blessed Virgin arrived at the Covada Iria, she insisted again that the children pray the rosary for an end to World War I, which concluded a year later. This should be a reminder to us of the power of prayer to end the wars in our own time.
The Virgin also foretold some of the appearance in October. She said that Our Lord would come at that time, that she herself would appear as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and that St. Joseph would appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world.
After praising the children for their sacrifices, the Lady cautioned them to modify the penance of tying a piece of rope around their waists, saying that God only wanted them to “wear it during the daytime.” This practice had caused the children much suffering, either because the rope was too rough or was tied too tightly, and God wanted them to have some relief during the night. Imagine little children offering this kind of sacrifice for sinners!
Among the crowd that day were many priests who would later give testimony that contributed to the official approval of the apparitions in 1930.
The Gift of Fatherhood
As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, we are aware that fatherhood is under attack today
— on TV sitcoms where fathers are often portrayed as morons or in real life where there are efforts to eliminate the word “father” and replace it with “parent” or “partner.” But fathers, if they follow the guidance of “Our Father” in Heaven, are a vital part of the family, and of society, since the family is the basic unit of society. Without strong fathers, we won’t have strong families, and without strong families, our society will collapse. We call God Father because Jesus told us to do so and because God is the first origin of everything and at the same time the perfect role model of goodness and loving care for His children. Thus, we associate with fathers such good qualities as protective love, fidelity, leadership, strength, security, and stability, and we should not be swayed against using this term of endearment by those who promote negative images of fatherhood based on the failings of fallible human fathers. Instead of wondering what gifts you would like this Father’s Day, may we suggest to all fathers reading this that you ask yourself, “What gift can I give to my family?” How about being a more loving spouse to your wife and a more loving and involved father to your children? How about being truly interested in what is important to each of them, setting aside quality time to listen and support them? How about praying with the family, going to Mass together with them, reading the Bible, and discussing religion together? A Christ-like father can be the greatest gift to his wife and to his children. Happy Father’s Day!
— To help you to know your Catholic
Faith better, we have been making available in the front foyer of the Church books and CDs that are both interesting and informative — and inexpensive. Here are some of the latest CDs available for your purchase:
The Treasure of Our Soul: The Apostles’ Creed by Scott Hahn; Love, Sacrifice,and Trust by Fr. Mike Schmitz; Chaplet of Divine Mercy in Song by Vicki Kueppers, Who Am I to Judge by Edward
Sri; Religionless Spirituality: Why We Need the
Church by Tim Gray; Building Your Life on Rock by Ralph Martin; Put Not Your Trust in Princes by Christopher Check; and The Ultimate Goal: Why I Left Pro Soccer to Answer God’s Call by Sr. Raffaella Cavallin.
There are also some valuable Q and A books (Catholic
Replies 1 and 2) to answer any questions you have.
Do We Have to Love Our Enemies?
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to love our enemies, which is a very difficult thing to do. But Jesus doesn’t ask us to do anything that He didn't do first. Recall that on the Cross, when so many were jeering Him, Jesus asked His Father in Heaven to forgive His enemies.
Down through the centuries, many disciples of Jesus have followed the difficult path of forgiving their enemies. Thus, Pope St, John Paul II in 1981 went to the prison where the man who had tried to kill him was being held and forgave him.
Another remarkable disciple is Immaculee Ilibagiza, who survived the horrors of the Rwanda genocide in the 1990s, when she and six other women hid for 91 days in a hotel bathroom while her parents and nearly one million Rwandan Tutsis were killed by rival Hutus out of racial hatred.
How did Immaculee survive? “I said 27 rosaries every day,” she said. “And I counted! I had nothing else to do in the bathroom, so I said 27 rosaries every day and 40 Di-vine Mercy chaplets every day. We never spoke with each other. All we did was pray …. It helped my sanity.”
She said that while she was praying, she realized she was not being honest with God in that she was asking for His forgiveness without extending forgiveness to her enemies. So she fell to her knees and “begged God to help me. I want to feel peace, I want to forgive. I want to be part of You, but I don’t know how to forgive, and if I don’t for-give, I don’t feel like I’m being honest with You. And He did, which again is a grace. Because what helped me to forgive was when Jesus was dying on the Cross.”
To read more about this amazing woman, see her best-selling book Left to Tell.
Saint Stephen Parish - Framingham Massachusetts