November 26, 2017

November 13, 2017

My dear parishioners,

This weekend we are celebrating the Feast of Christ the King. The Feast of Christ the King ends the Liturgical Year. The Church changes from Cycle A (reading St. Matthew’s Gospel) to Cycle B (reading St. Mark’s Gospel).

Next weekend we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. We begin not only the first Sunday of a new liturgical year but we begin our immediate preparation for Jesus Christ coming among us as Man. (Christmas)

Advent is filled with songs, smells, sights, anticipation, and joy. Our parish and some of you in your own homes, use the symbol of the Advent wreath, a wreath made of evergreens and four candles. The Advent season is full of all types of lights. We wait in expectant hope for Christ our Light to be born.

 Starting this weekend please pick up two aids to help you celebrate Advent. Once again this Advent the parish purchased the Magnificat Advent Companion. It contains a simple devotion you can use each day during Advent. Each day you will be directed to a different Gospel reading, a meaningful meditation and a short prayer.

Also the parish is handing out the 2018 Religious Art Calendar. I want to thank Robert and Mark Russell,  who own Monahan, Drabble, and Sherman Funeral Home, for their kind donation of these calendars.

Have a good week,

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

November 19, 2017

November 13, 2017

My dear parishioners,

This coming Thursday, the 23rd of November, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Although not a Holy Day, many people of faith choose to attend Mass. To help more parishioners attend Mass (on Thanksgiving Day) the time of Mass will be changed. The daily Mass on Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated at 9:00 am instead of 7:00 am.

Thanksgiving Day is rooted in English tradition dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late November date on which the Thanksgiving holiday is now celebrated.

Although sparsely documented we trace our Thanksgiving holiday tradition to 1621 at Plymouth, Massachusetts and also the better documented, celebration in Virginia in 1619.

President George Washington proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789 “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signed favours of Almighty God.”

On December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint Resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday . Two years earlier, Roosevelt  used a Presidential Proclamation to try to achieve the change.

Anyway, don’t forget to Thank God this Thanksgiving Day, enjoy your meal with family and friends and I hope your football team wins!

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

November 12, 2017

November 8, 2017

My dear parishioners,

Please read this year’s Financial Report which is enclosed in this week’s bulletin. If you have any questions please ask me and hopefully I will be able to give you a satisfying answer. If I can’t, then I will find out the answer to questions. The Financial Report is a way I show faithful stewardship of the funds you donate to St. Sebastian’s.

Looking ahead a year or so, and in preparation of the Diocese celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022, Bishop Tobin announced a diocesan-wide capital campaign. The Campaign will begin in January 2018. Parishes will be divided into four groups. St. Sebastian’s campaign will begin in January 2019. We are with the 3rd group of parishes.

“Grateful for God’s Providence” is the theme and name of the campaign. Each parish will be assigned a goal. Of the monies raised, 60% will go to the Diocese  for their use, and 40% will remain in the parish. We have not received our parish goal yet but it will be about 110% of our total parish annual budget.

The Diocese will allocate their monies raised to the Priests’ Retirement Fund; the Education of Seminarians; the Cathedral roof; and Catholic Education.

The allocation and use of the 40% of the money raised that stays with St. Sebastian’s will be determined by the Finance Council and various parish committees.

I am mentioning this Capital Campaign now because it has already started on the Diocesan level. From what I understand there are a number of meetings taking place and some parishioners of St. Sebastian’s might have already been approached to be major donors to this campaign. I encourage you to be as generous as possible but  please ask that your donation to the campaign be credited to St. Sebastian’s parish goal. This will help St. Sebastian’s achieve its goal and direct more funds to be used for our parish needs. Also, I would like to know who in the parish is being contacted directly by the Diocese. Please let me know. Thank you.

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

November 5, 2017

October 31, 2017

My dear parishioners,

 We at St. Sebastian’s have a new mantra. Although a mantra came of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, we use a mantra in our Christian tradition. A mantra is a sacred phrase which keeps us focused in prayers. ’Jesus have mercy of me’  or it could be a statement which we repeat frequently. Our parish’s mantra is Holy Is As Holy Does.”

 For the last two weeks we have been speaking about “little saintly deeds” which we as individuals do. I have even asked you to write one of these little saintly deeds on the provided sheets of paper. I have asked you to place your ‘little saintly deeds’ in the big orange box that can be found in the vestibule “Wanted – Dead or Alive: Micro-Saints.”

If you have not participated in this parish event, take a moment to do so after Mass this weekend. We will publish some of these “little saintly deeds” in our
bulletin. (anonymously)

The spiritual survey conducted in our parish found that there is a desire to provide quarterly lectures. St. Sebastian’s Church is excited to announce the first of four lectures to ring in the new liturgical year with one  of the most outspoken and engaging voices from our diocese. On Wednesday, November 29th come to the church at 7:00 pm to hear Mark Gordon present “Catholic Social Teaching: Sources and Principles”. Hear the Church’s alternative to ideologies from the right and the left. Mark Gordon is the President of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the Diocese of Providence. He is the author of Forty Days, Forty Graces: Essays of a Grateful Pilgrim and has written for the National Catholic Register, Aleteia and other Catholic Publications. He blogs on the Dorothy Option on the Patheos Catholic Channel and is a frequent writer and commentator on the meeting ground between spirituality and social concerns.

Refreshments will be offered.

Have a good week…

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

October 29, 2017

October 26, 2017

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

 I would like to highlight a couple of things that are about to happen in our parish:

But first, A BIG Thank You to the group of parishioners who planned and executed the Football Evening last Sunday night. Thank you to the Conte brothers and Jamie who spend Saturday setting up the parish hall. Also, members of this committee Enzo Arena, Jim Casey, Ghasson D’Aou, Bud McCann, Greg Pizzuti, Tom Pizzuti , Don Stanford, John Strelbich and Rob Whelan, and to our sponsor, L’Artisan Café.

 BIBLE STUDY: The subject of this fall’s Bible Study is the Book of Revelation. We will use Jeff Gavin’s DVD series, “Revelation: The Kingdom Yet to Come.”

The program will begin on November 14, 2017 and end on April 10, 2018, There are 11 sessions to be held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month except December when we will only meet on the second Tuesday.

Each session will be held from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in the Fr. Randall Room. This study group is limited to 15 participants. A $23.95 fee is required per person for the study guide.

If you are interested in attending the Bible Study, please call the Rectory, 751-0196, or email jsamit@cox.net  to add your name to the class roster

The parish’s first MOVIE NIGHT will be held on Saturday evening, December 2nd at 6:15 pm (following the 5:00 pm Vigil Mass.) We will feature Of Gods and Men. The movie is based on the lives of  Cistercian Monks in Tibeherine, Alegeria, who co-exist with their Muslim neighbors. As Alegeria is plunged into civil war in the mid-1990s, these men of God must decide to stay or save their lives by leaving.

Have a good week—

–Msgr. Montecalvo

 

October 22, 2017

October 17, 2017

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

Each October, the celebration of World Mission Sunday leads us to the heart of our Christian faith – leads us to mission, as Pope Francis explains in his message for this year’s celebration on October 22.

The collection on the next-to-last Sunday, which is this Sunday,  in October is unique. It is truly a global effort for the entire Church. It is an invitation to provide for the building up of over one thousands local churches in Asia and Africa, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Latin America and Europe, an are that covers more than half the territory of the globe. Through the work of these churches, and their witness to Christ, the poor receive practical help and experience God’s love and mercy, his hope and peace.

I invite all members of the Diocese of providence to see World Mission Sunday as a special moment of support for the Pope’s missions throughout the world. Meeting the priests, religious, and lay leaders who, day in an day out, witness to the Gospel and serve the poor, will, as Pope Francis says, “enable the missionary heart of Christian communities to join in prayer, testimony of life, and communion of goods, in responding to the vast and pressing needs of evangelization.”

I am grateful for your generosity, and I ask your full support, through prayer and sacrifice, on World Mission Sunday and throughout the year, as you are able.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas J Tobin

Bishop of Providence

 

October 15, 2017

October 10, 2017

My dear parishioners,

I am in the office on Monday, October 9th, the Columbus Day holiday, about to work on this week’s Parish Bulletin. As luck would have it, when I turned on my 5 year-old computer I received a message from Microsoft telling me my computer is infected by  a virus or spyware. So I am running “Malwarebyte  Anti-Malware Pro.” As I mentioned at morning Mass, I was worried about the beautiful Gorham Manufacturing Company’s Christopher Columbus statue on Elmwood Avenue in Providence. Instead it is my computer that was attacked.

October is one of the two months of each year the Church asks us to pay special attention to & give special devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. During October the Church celebrates one feast in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on the 7th of October, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

In our parish we have two devotions in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As a matter of fact, the St. Sebastian Parish  Spiritual Activities Committee asked us to provide “Devotions in Honor of Mary, the Mother of God”. One of these devotionals is the public recital (praying) of the Holy Rosary. Each weekday morning before the 7:00 am Mass (at 6:40 am) a group of parishioners gather to pray the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Everyone in the parish is invited to participate in praying the Rosary.

The second devotion is our parish’s weekly Novena Prayers to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Each Tuesday morning following the 7:00 am Mass (around 7:30 am), we gather in front of the beautiful icon of our Lady of Perpetual Help. Our prayers are simple Mary’s response and her intercession on our behalf to the throne of her Son is powerful.

Have a great week –

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

October 8, 2017

October 3, 2017

My dear parishioners,

 

There are so many things happening in our parish. But before I list future social activities, I want to thank those who worked last Saturday and Sunday to make our Annual Pancake Breakfast such a success. Marie Brito did an outstanding job in pulling the entire event together. Thank you to all who setup, cooked, served, and then broke down the Church Hall.

 

I also want to thank the two families who donated the beautiful plants which adorn our Church. Many people remarked about the dignity those plants added to our Church.

 

We are  planning our next Parish Social Event. On Sunday October 22nd at 7:30 pm we are planning a Football Social at St. Sebastian’s Church Hall. Pre-game activities will start at 7:30 pm. The football game is between the Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.

 

Football trivia  and a raffle are on the agenda. There is a sign-up sheet that will help us to prepare for the number of people we hope will attend.

 

To recap:

WHEN: Sunday October 22nd at 7:30 pm to halftime (approximately 10:00 pm). We are planning to move to McBride’s Pub in Wayland Square for the second half.

WHERE: St. Sebastian’s Church Hall

WHO: Parishioners and Friends

ATTIRE: Your favorite Patriots gear

BABYSITTING: None

 

Food and Beverages will be provided free of charge.

 

Please plan to attend,

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

October 1, 2017

September 26, 2017

My dear parishioners,

In your bi-monthly package of budget envelopes you will find a special envelope with the caption “Catch-Up Envelope.”

At St. Sebastian’s we are really blessed. So many can get out of the city (although where we live it is not hard to take) for the summer months. Others are able to get way for the winter months. So, before I arrived,  wiser and more pastoral pastors included among the budget envelopes a “Catch-Up Envelope.” I guess if we wanted to be fair, we would add another “Catch-Up Envelope” in May for those who went away for the winter. But don’t worry, I am not going to do that.

The “Catch-Up Envelope” gingerly reminds parishioners, ‘If you were away for the summer months, please use this envelope to bring your contributions up to date.’

As you know our parish is enrolled in online giving. It is really simple to set up online giving. Just go to the parish homepage www.stsebastianri.org and click on the Parish Giving Logo to enroll.

Thank you for all you do for your parish, your Church, and your God.

God bless,

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

September 24, 2017

September 19, 2017

My dear parishioners,

The parish is in the full swing of activities again. All activities are up and running for another year, here at Saint Sebastian.

This leads me to share some thoughts with you about Mary, the Mother of God. Believe it or not, next Sunday is October 1st. The Church asks us to pay special attention to and learn about our faith from Mary, the Mother of God.

The month of October is dedicated to a special prayer, the Holy Rosary. Tradition says that Mary, our Blessed Mother, appeared to the great St. Dominic in 1206 and gave St. Dominic the Rosary.  St. Dominic was to use the Rosary as a powerful weapon and asked him to teach this prayer to others.

The Rosary is a Christocentric prayer focusing on the entire life of Jesus Christ, his passion, death, resurrection and glory . The authentic Rosary is a combination of vocal and mental prayer. Pope Leo XIII reaches the Rosary is composed of two parts –the meditation on the mysteries, and the recitation of the prayers.

During the month of October let us make every effort to pray the Rosary daily and to teach this powerful prayers to our children.

Have a great week.       –Monsignor Montecalvo

 

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