April 23, 2017

April 18, 2017

My Dear Parishioners,

 I am pleased to welcome Bishop Robert B. Higgins to our parish to administer the sacrament of Confirmation. We are friends from our Air Force Chaplain days. Here is some information on the Bishop.

Bishop Higgins is Vicar for Veterans Affairs at the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA (AMS) where he is responsible for over 270 Catholic chaplains in 153 VA Medical Centers throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam. Bishop Higgins also serves as the Bishop Protector for the 10,000 members of the Catholic War Veterans of America and shares responsibility for the Eastern Vicariate of the AMS.

Bishop Higgins was born 22 February 1944 in Longford, Ireland. He is a graduate of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and was ordained a priest for the diocese of Sacramento, California 9 March 1968. Following parish assignments in Roseville and Grass Valley Bishop Higgins entered the United States Air Force in September 1974 and served as a Catholic chaplain until his retirement in the grade of colonel in October 2004.

Bishop Higgins’ Air Force assignments included Lowry AFB, NAS Keflavik, Laughlin AFB, Bitburg AB, Malmstrom AFB, Air Command & Staff College, Maxwell AFB, RAF Lakenheath, Pope AFB, United States Air Force Academy, Nellis AFB, Headquarters United States Air Forces Europe, and Headquarters Pacific Air Forces. The bishop is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College and Air War College. His many military decorations include The Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster and the Meritorious Service Medal with seven oak leave clusters.

Bishop Higgins was named a Prelate of Honor (Monsignor) in 1996. In April of 2004 he was named titular bishop of Casa Calanae and auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. He was ordained a bishop 3 July 2004 in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC and assumed his present duties 1 October 2004.

Bishop Higgins is a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate and several Flight Instructor Certificates. He is also a seasoned motorcyclist and rides a BMW R1100RT.

Mons. Montecalvo

 

April 16, 2017 Easter Sunday

April 13, 2017

My Dear Parishioners,

Happy Easter…

Today we gather around our newly lit Paschal candle. The flame of the Paschal candle leads us, draws us, to You, oh God!

The beautiful words of the Exsultet which proclaimed at the Easter Vigil reminds us, “This is the night that even now, throughout the world, sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin, leading them to grace and joining them to His Holy one.

We pray this Easter, “That the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.”

St. Augustine wrote, “our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” We yearn for something greater than yourselves. We seek a light to guide us through the sometime gloomy circumstances of our daily lives.

When I was a young college seminarian and Fr. Robert Randall taught 2nd year college English, he taught us to appreciate the writings of Saint John Henry Newman. One of Saint Newman’s most popular poems is Lead, Kindly Light.

“Lead, Kindly Light, amidst the encircling gloom,

Lead thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home,

Lead thou me on!”

Happy Easter…

Mons. Montecalvo

 

April 9, 2017 Palm Sunday

April 5, 2017

My Dear Parishioners,

 

Today we celebrate Palm (Passion) Sunday.  With the celebration of today’s Mass we enter into the solemn celebration of Holy Week.  The passion of the Lord dominates these solemn days.

 

In our diocese the Mass of Chrism is celebrated by Bishop Tobin and concelebrated by the clergy of the diocese.  Bishop Tobin continued the practice of celebrating the Mass of Chrism on Monday evening of Holy Week at 5:00 PM.  This Mass is a sign of unity and communion of the priests with their bishop.  The blessing of the Oil of the Sick takes place before the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, but the blessing of the Oil of Catechumens and the consecration of the Chrism take place after communion.  It is permitted to bless the three oils after the Liturgy of the Word. Our diocese blesses & consecrates the oils after the homily.

 

On Holy Thursday only one parish Mass is permitted.  Our Mass will be celebrated at 7:00 pm.  There is no morning Mass.  As you enter the Church please notice that the Holy Water fonts are empty until they are refilled with the blessed water from Holy Saturday Vigil.  Please notice that the Tabernacle is empty and a special side Altar of Repose is set up in the morning Mass chapel.  You may stay and pray before the Blessed Sacrament right after Mass or come back to pray.  Our church stays open till 10:00 pm.

 

It is customary to fast and abstain from meat on Good Friday.  If possible this fast can continue through Holy Saturday until after the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday evening.  The Vigil Mass cannot be celebrated until dark.  So no parish in the Diocese should start the Vigil Mass until 7:15 pm.  If at all possible please try to attend the Vigil Mass.  Although all Masses are important the Easter Vigil Mass is the Mass of the Year.

 

Please read the schedule and try to participate in our parish’s Holy Week Celebrations…..

Monsignor Montecalvo

April 2, 2017

March 28, 2017

My Dear Parishioners,

One of the many great devotions in the life of the Church is the Stations of the Cross.  For some reason the Church’s public praying the Stations usually is celebrated only during the season of Lent.  When I arrived at St. Sebastian’s I discovered that the Stations of the Cross were prayed on Monday evenings.

 

I have come to the conclusion that Monday evenings might not be the most convenient time to pray the Stations of the Cross.  Some parents already bring their sons and daughters to religious education classes on Mondays by 4 pm.  They find it difficult to get their son and daughter, have dinner and then return to St. Sebastian’s church either for Mass at 5:30 or for the Stations of the Cross at 6:00 p.m.  So I think next year I will change Stations of the Cross from Monday evenings to another night.

 

The Stations of the Cross tell a story.  They begin with the first Station of Jesus being condemned to death by Pilate.  Jesus is then forced to carry his cross (which should give us comfort as we struggle to carry the crosses we have in our lives).  During the Stations Jesus falls three times.  As sinners we too are weak and at times experience weakness in the face of temptations.  Jesus encounters different people along the way.  These people (Mary His Mother, Veronica, Simon of Cyrene, the women of Jerusalem, and Joseph of Arimathea)   remind us of the many kindnesses we receive from different people along of life’s journey. We also see Jesus stripped of his clothing, nailed to the cross, spit upon and humiliated.  There are many lessons we can learn as we watch Jesus experience these things in His life.  Jesus finally   dies on the cross. Jesus faces His death with conviction that God His Father would take care of Him even in death.

 

The Stations of the Cross is our story.  Please mark your calendars so you can attend Stations of the Cross on Good Friday when we celebrate this great meditation!    Let us walk this road together in Holy Week which is only two weeks away!

 

Mons. Montecalvo

 

March 26, 2017

March 21, 2017

My Dear Parishioners,

 

I would like to share with you some thoughts on the three basic Lenten disciplines.

 

  1. FASTING: Expresses our desire to find happiness in God rather than in the satisfaction of our physical needs. The control we gain over our appetites helps us recognize more deeply that all true and lasting pleasure comes from God. Knowing this, we are freed to gratefully accept food and savor it, or to avoid or limit foods that we know are unhealthy for us. Through fasting, our relationship to ourselves is reoriented to God.

 

  1. ALMSGIVING: Provides assistance to the poor among us and helps us recognize God as the true source of our security. Property and wealth exercise less control over us when we give away or share our wealth out of love for God and for others. Almsgiving is a way of bringing our relationship into the orbit of Christ’s love.

 

  1. PRAYER: Changes our relationship to God. Through prayer, we admit our need for a power that is greater than ourselves. We acknowledge our limitations and let go of the drive to control everything. In the process, we open ourselves to all that God has to offer us.

 

St. Padre Pio used to pray this prayer during Lent:

Stay with me, Lord,
because I am weak
and I need your strength.
You are my life
and without you
I am without fervor.
You are my light
and without you
I am in darkness.
Stay with me Lord,
for I desire to love you
and always be in your company.
Stay with me, Jesus, in life with all its dangers,
I need you. Amen.

 

Have a good week.

Mons. Montecalvo

 

March 19, 2017

March 13, 2017

My Dear Parishioners,

 

 

2017 Catholic Charity Appeal

“Faith and Good Works”

 

Supports Numerous Diocesan Ministries and Programs That Serve Over 200,000 Rhode Islanders Annually

 

It is the goal of every Catholic Charity Appeal ministry to continue the redemptive work of Christ in our world.

 

What We Do:

  1. We teach God’s truth
  2. We love our neighbor
  3. We serve with grateful hearts

 

Why We Do It:

  1. To promote peace and justice
  2. To proclaim the dignity of each person
  3. To share our values

 

How We Do It:

  1. Through numerous ministries and programs
  2. Through dedicated clergy, staff and volunteers
  3. Through living what we believe

 

 

Case Statement for the
Catholic Charity Appeal

 

The Catholic Charity Appeal is the main source of support for our diocesan agencies providing for the physical, educational, and spiritual needs of Rhode Islanders each year.

It is our responsibility to ensure that these agencies and programs have the resources available to help our brothers and sisters in need

 

Mons. Montecalvo

 

March 12, 2017

March 9, 2017

My Dear Parishioners,

 

2017 Catholic Charity Appeal

“Faith and Good Works”

 

Þ Because of you and your generosity to the annual Appeal, over 11,767 students and their families are served through the Catholic School Office. Thank you for your gift.

 

Þ At the Saint Martin de Porres Center in Providence, 9,680 elders and low-income families are served annually. Thank you for your gift to the Catholic Charity Appeal.

 

Þ Your support of the Catholic Charity Appeal will enable the Interfaith Community Dire Emergency Fund to continue to serve 29,500 clients annually. Thank you!

 

Þ Through your support of the Catholic Charity Appeal, 732 youth attended 8 multi-parish gathered thematic retreats from over 66 different parishes. Thank you for your generosity.

 

Þ Your support of the Catholic Charity Appeal helps 2,000 deaf and hard of hearing, 2,500 developmentally disabled and 800 blind individuals. Thank you for your generous gift!

 

Þ Your gift to the annual Appeal impacts the lives of 19,016 children and youth as well as 2,271 volunteer catechists and aides through the Office of Evangelization and Faith Formation. Thank you for your generosity!

 

Þ Your donation to the Catholic Charity Appeal impacts the lives of over 704 children who attended the Mother of Hope Camp in Chepachet. Thank you for your generous gift.

 

Case Statement for the Catholic Charity Appeal

 

The Catholic Charity Appeal is the main source of support for our diocesan agencies providing for the physical, educational, and spiritual needs of Rhode Islanders each year.

It is our responsibility to ensure that these agencies and programs have the resources available to help our brothers and sisters in need.

 

Mons. Montecalvo

 

March 5, 2017

February 28, 2017

My Dear Parishioners,

Lent has started. I want to emphasize the different opportunities our parish is offering for your spiritual growth and development during this Lenten Season. Please do not feel like you have to attend each and every activity.

  • Our parish is offering TWO daily Masses. The Masses will be celebrated at 7 am and 5:30 pm (Monday through Friday).
  • On Monday evenings during Lent (March 6, 13, 20, 27, and April 3rd) the parish will pray the Stations of the Cross at 6 pm.
  • On Monday April 10th Bishop Tobin will
    celebrate the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul at 5 pm. (No Mass of Stations of the Cross this evening because all priests are expected at the Cathedral.)
  • The Magnificat Lenten Companion was distributed at all the Masses. Please find the time to pray the one page daily meditation.
  • Rice Bowls were given out last weekend and are still available at each entranceway.
  • On Saturday, March 25th, the parish has an exciting evening planned. Please mark your calendar and plan on attending the TALK by Kerry Weber.
  • The Outreach Committee has opportunities for parishioners. The parish is sponsoring Sunday Sandwiches for Emmanuel House as well as a Lenten Project for the Diocesan Immigration and Refugee Office.

There are many opportunities for spiritual grown during this Lenten Season.

Have a great Lent!

Mons. Montecalvo

 

February 26, 2017

February 28, 2017

My Dear Parishioners,

“The Good News is no mere matter of words … It is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others.” —Pope Francis

This Lent our community will participate in CRS Rice Bowl, a faith-in-action program that invites us to encounter anew ourselves, our neighbors and our God.

As we, the global Church, prepare for this holy season of Lent, it is especially appropriate to come together in prayer as a family, reflecting on the role we each have to play in building up God’s one human family.

Please consider these suggestions in shaping your own family’s Lenten plan:

  • Use your CRS Rice Bowl and Lenten Calendar daily to guide your Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The Lenten Calendar & other information are inside the Rice Bowl.
  • As a family, read the Stories of Hope and daily
    reflections to inspire your Lenten journey—and guide your Lenten almsgiving.
  • Prepare simple meatless meals on Fridays throughout Lent, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world.

Be sure to visit www.crsricebowl.org to watch videos of the people and communities your Lenten gifts are changing through CRS Rice Bowl.

We will be collecting your CRS Rice Bowls at the end of Lent, so stay tuned to learn more.

Thank you for participating in CRS Rice Bowl with your family this Lent.

Mons. Montecalv0

PS. Please pick up your Rice Bowl as you leave Church this morning. The Rice Bowls will also be distributed during CCD classes.

 

February 19, 2017

February 14, 2017

My Dear Parishioners,

 The parish is planning a very exciting evening during Lent.  We are bringing Ms. Kerry Weber to the parish.  She is an inspirational speaker.  Please mark your calendar ….on Saturday evening March 25, 2017 following the 5:00 pm, Kerry Weber will be here at St. Sebastian’s parish.

Kerry Weber is a young married woman.  She and her husband have one child.  Kerry is the managing editor of America magazine.  She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  She and her family live in New York City.

Kerry wrote a book entitled “Mercy in the City”. Her book won the Christopher Award for Excellence in Catholic Media.  She discusses how to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the imprisoned, and keep your day job.  Kerry embraces each experience as an opportunity to better understand what mercy is really all about and to grow in her love of God and others.

Her presentation will remind us even in the nation’s largest city, even the smallest acts of mercy matter.  God can use us—wherever God chooses to place us.  Kerry will remind us that we are called to lives that incorporate prayer and service, and sometimes that means early mornings, late nights, or long hours.

So please mark your calendars…. Saturday evening March 25th!  I would hope to see a full Church!   As an enticement, we will have something downstairs after the presentation!

Have a great week…..

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

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