Dear Friends:

By way of starters, I would like to echo the excellent comments made by Deacon John Hoffman in last weekend’s bulletin regarding the observance of Holy Week and Easter in our newly-merged parish. It was gratifying to me to note the excellent attendance and participation in the liturgical observances of Holy Week, from Tenebrae on Wednesday evening, to Morning Prayer on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and especially in the large numbers who came to the Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper as well as the Good Friday Service and the Great Vigil of Easter. Of course, Easter was happily typical, with Masses both at St. Agnes and at St. Mary’s filled to capacity.

As I looked out at St. Mary’s Church last weekend (and I am sure the same was true for St. Agnes), I was led to wonder where everyone had gone? Of course, the regular, faithful church goers were here, but the throngs of Easter Sunday had all but evaporated. Why is this and what can we do about it?

On one level, I suppose we should be grateful that so many still feel that connection to the Church, that God and his presence in their lives moves them to come at least at Easter and also at Christmas. Why not every week? We try to celebrate the liturgy well here in our parish. The preaching is good, as is the music. What more can be done?

One thing that can be done is for all of us to take some time to refuel ourselves spiritually from time to time. The observance of Lent, which just ended, is one such example. By way of advance notice, I would like to call your attention to a special Parish Mission that will be taking place at St. Mary’s Church the evenings of May 14, 15, and 16. Father William (“Bill”) Garrott, OP, a Dominican father who gave the missionary appeal at St. Mary’s last summer and was very well received, will be leading a mission titled “iMercy: The Divine Hotspot.” Fr. Bill will be with us the weekend of May 12-13 by way of setting the stage for the mission and he will give a message on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evening of that week. The praying of the Rosary will be offered for anyone who wishes to come twenty minutes early each evening. Confessions will also be available after the preaching. Mark your calendars and plan to be with us. It will revitalize your spiritual life and great things can happen if we set aside some special time to be with God.

Finally, I want to congratulate the sixth-grade boys’ basketball team from our own St. Mary’s School. Last weekend, the boys won the New England CYO Basketball Championship. To them, as well as their coaches, Carl DeProfio and Eric Swanson, well done!