February 25, 2018

February 20, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

Let me begin by saying ‘Thank you’ for all the cards, best wishes, balloons, delicious cupcakes from LaSalle Bakery, and the singing of ‘Happy Birthday!’ I can’t believe I turned 70 but I did. Where did the time go? I will also mark my 45th anniversary years as a priest later this year. Thank you!

 

This weekend, February 24/25 we have our fist “In-Pew” weekend for soliciting gifts for the Catholic Charity Appeal. Next weekend, March 3/4, we will have a follow-up weekend for solicitation of gifts.

 

St Sebastian’s parish goal this year is $79,822.00. The goal is the same as last year. Last year our parish raised $87,879.00. Our parish is participating in the Parish Share Programs. Every dollar we raise over our goal will be returned to the parish for our use. In consultation with parish leadership we will designate our over-goal funds for spiritual development programs. Please help our  parish support the many ministries of our diocese and support the ongoing work of our parish.    –Monsignor Montecalvo

 

February 18, 2018

February 13, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

Two simple reminders:

 

The parish will be hosting “Called to be Transfigured in the Christ”, a day of recollection on Saturday, March 3rd beginning at 11:30 am and concluding before the 5:00 pm Mass. The day will begin with a penance service and will feature Eucharistic adoration, an opportunity for confession, the Way of the Cross, and two conferences by Fr. Ray Tetrault. Fr. Tetrault was giving a Lumen Gentium award for evangelization in 2016. He is a revered teacher of prayer and contemplation and a gentle advocate for peace. Refreshments will be served at noontime.

 

Stations of the Cross: Last year Stations of the Cross were held on Monday nights. At the request of the ‘Spiritual Growth Committee’ I changed the night of the Stations. This year Stations of the Cross will be celebrated on Friday evenings at 6:00 pm.

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

February 11, 2018

February 8, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

Lent begins this Wednesday, February 14th. And there are three major activities that normally we follow throughout the season of Lent.

 

The first practice is prayer. For my spiritual benefit and for your spiritual grown the parish will be adding opportunities for us to gather and to pray together. On weekdays during Lent (Monday through Friday) two Masses will be celebrated. So in addition to the 7:00 am , the parish will also have a 5:30 pm. Hopefully this will give more parishioners an opportunity to attend Mass during Lent. Stations of the Cross will be celebrated on Fridays following the 5:30 pm Mass. Please read the flyer concerning our Lenten Day of Recollection.

 

The second practice is fasting. I will write a column on this holy practice sometime during Lent.

 

The third practice is Almsgiving. We have many opportunities during Lent for almsgiving. Some opportunities occur in our parish, other opportunities outside of our parish. But I would like to highlight  one opportunity we , St. Sebastian parish, and every person in the Diocese of Providence has. The Catholic Charity Appeal is about to begin in the diocese. As a matter of fact some have already received the first diocesan direct mail letter signed by Bishop Tobin. This week you should be receiving your second letter from Bishop Tobin with a pledge card enclosed.

 

In two weeks, on the weekend of February 24/25, our parish will have our first in-pew weekend. The following weekend we will have a follow-up weekend in case some parishioners missed the first opportunity to give.

 

I think it is important for us to review the Case Statement for the Catholic Charity Appeal:  The Catholic Charity Appeal is the main source of support for our diocesan agencies providing 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 our help our brothers and sisters in need.

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

February 4, 2018

January 30, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

We are less than 10 days from the beginning of Lent and I would like to share a few thoughts with you. Ash Wednesday falls on the 14th of February (Valentine’s Day) . As I mentioned at last weekend’s Masses Ash Wednesday is always a day of fast and abstinence. (Just to review – there are only two fast days in the entire calendar year. These two days are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.) All Catholics from age 18 until 59 are obliged to fast on these two days. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal.

 

Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.  Please stand out on Ash Wednesday (Valentine’s Day). Plan ahead and go out with the spouse or significant other on Tuesday or Thursday.

 

Masses and the Distribution of Ashes will be celebrating on Ash Wednesday at 7:00 am and at 5:30 pm. Although Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, it is a day of great devotion. There is no better way to begin the holy season of Lent than to
attend Mass and be sealed with ashes.

 

Two daily Masses will be celebrated Monday through Friday during Lent. We will continue to celebrate the 7:00 am Mass and I will also celebrate a 5:30 pm Mass.

 

Stations of the Cross will be celebrated on Fridays following the 5:30 pm Mass, at 6:00 pm. Please take a copy of ‘The Magnificat – Lenten Companion.’ This  Lenten Companion provides each of us a daily 5 to 15 minute devotion for our preparation for Easter.

 

Our parish Day of Recollection will be held on Saturday, March 3rd. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend

 

Well, have a good week..

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

January 28, 2018

January 25, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

Today I share with you the recent memorandum from the Office of Divine Worship in the Diocese of Providence regarding the recent influenza outbreak.

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Each year at this time concerns are raised regarding the potential spread of influenza throughout various communities. The most recent weekly report from the State Department of Public Health categorizes the statewide estimate of influenza activity as ‘widespread’. In addition, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year’s flu vaccine is less effective in the prevention of  influenza A(H3N2) than in prior years.

 

Pastors are therefore encouraged to prudentially consider the following guidelines and suggestions as they pertain to your local community:

 

During the Eucharistic Liturgy, the Sign of Peace need not be announced or  exchanged. (As you know, the exchange of peace is always optional during Holy Mass, omitting the invitation “let us offer each other the sign of peace” GIRM 154)

 

If your parish has the practice of distributing Holy Communion under both species, the distribution of the Precious Blood of Christ from the chalice should be  discontinued for the time being.

 

Those who are distributing Holy Communion should be especially mindful of the particular need for personal hygiene before the distribution of Holy Communion. It is permissible to use hand sanitizer before Mass or even immediately before distribution of Holy Communion. A consideration should be made for having hand sanitizer easily available at the doors of the church, school or other public buildings.

 

Finally, but certainly not least in importance, we approach this situation as we approach everything in life, from the perspective of our faith and in prayer. Please ask the Lord’s protection upon our community during this time of widespread  illness.

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

December 31, 2017

January 9, 2018

My Dear Parishioners,

 

I want to thank Shaun Jones who did an absolutely unbelievable job last weekend in
cutting the tree down and chipping all the branches of that huge tree that fell during the powerful October storm. On that freezing Friday Shaun was outside alone using a power saw. Rob Whelan helped Shaun with the wood chipper on Saturday. On Sunday Shaun had his entire family cleaning up where that tree had fallen. Thank you!

 

I will be heading to Rome (Italy) for my annual retreat and to take a week’s vacation. Visiting priests will be cover all the Masses while I am away. Keep me in your prayers while I am at retreat.

 

Happy New Year!

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

December 24, 2017

January 9, 2018

My Dear Parishioners,

 

Sir Winston Churchill, the famous British statesman who led England through the horrors of World War II, was a man who prepared the people for a future joy. Churchill was the man to whom the British people (and many throughout Europe as well) looked to bring solace and comfort in the continent’s darkest hour of the twentieth century.  His rousing speeches rallied the British to continue the fight during the midst of almost daily bombing of London by the German Luftwaffe.   He urged his countrymen to conduct themselves so that the British Empire and its Commonwealth were to last for a thousand years.  The Brits believed this was their finest hour!  Churchill convinced Franklin Roosevelt and the Allied leaders to join his cause.  Churchill knew that the dark hour would pass, and that peace, prosperity and joy would reign once again.  He prepared his people and led them to the light of joy.

 

God asks us to be joyful, but we know at times this is quite difficult.  The journey of life presents us with obstacles, hurdles, detours and problems.  We sometimes move from the heights of joy and expectation to the great valleys of gloom and despair.  But our faith challenges us!   We are to be joyful.  Our Lord is near!

 

As Churchill inspired the British, so too Jesus in a more real way, exhorts us to follow his plan.  For Jesus is our source of LOVE.  He is our TRUTH.  Jesus is our  way to PEACE and offers us true FORGIVENESS.  Jesus is our source of JOY and HOPE.

 

Let us rejoice and be glad for the Lord is near:  Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!

 

Have a great week!  And I’ll see you either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day…..

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

CHRISTMAS MASS SCHEDULE: December 17, 2017

December 12, 2017

CHRISTMAS SEASON MASSES

 Saturday, December 23rd

 5:00 pm   Vigil: 4th  Sunday of Advent

 

Sunday, December 24th

   9:00 am    4th  Sunday of Advent

11:00 am    4th  Sunday of Advent

  4:00 pm    Christmas Vigil Family Mass

                        Youth Christmas Presentation

  9:00 pm Christmas Vigil Mass

                     Adult Choir at 8:30 pm

 

 Monday, December 25th

 10:00 am  The Nativity of the Lord

 

Saturday, December 30th

5:00 pm Vigil: Feast of the Holy Family

 

 Sunday, December 31st

  9:00 am Feast of the Holy Family

11:00 am Feast of the Holy Family  

5:00 pm Vigil: Feast of Mary, Mother of God

 

Monday, January 1st

10:00 am Feast of Mary, Mother of God

 

December 10, 2017

December 5, 2017

My dear parishioners,

Our mystery ghost writer (Ralph Daniels) has an update to our parish program, Micro-Saints.

Mahalia Jackson and Louis Armstrong yearned “to be in that number when the saints go marching in.” Did you perform a ‘micro-saintly’ deed during the week around All Saints Day? If so, then you are one of the roughly 125 parishioners (that we know of) who’ve shown you’re heaven-bent on joining Mahalia and Satchmo at the Golden Gates  when your day comes.

For your inspiration, here are just some of the pretty cool deeds performed – a small sampling of the many we collected.

I didn’t spread gossip when I had the desire and opportunity to.

Brought things to Esmerelda (not her real name) when I didn’t ‘feel’ like it

Reached out and waved to a neighbor who was recently arrested so he would know I still cared.

I gave blood.

I forgave a person who hurt me.

I made it a point to thank a clerk for their hard work.

Said I was sorry.

Spent time listening to a young man’s travails of life.

I love to feed people! I started a ‘meal train’ for a friend who recently had surgery. It will provide homemade dinners for her family of five during her recovery.

Took an elderly woman to the doctor

Rather than judging a person who was acting ‘odd’, I said a prayer of empathy for them. You never know…

From time to time we may publish additional examples. In the meantime please keep looking for micro-saintly deeds to perform. It’s not a bad habit to form or to strengthen. And many people find it pleasurable.

~~~~~

Thanks Dan and a happy Advent week to all.

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

December 3, 2017

November 30, 2017

My dear parishioners,

 

Advent is the Liturgical season of wonder and mystery. When I was a young boy I always wondered what I was going to get for Christmas. I remember the Christmas tree arriving at our apartment and gifts beginning to appear.

 

My brother was a great gift guesser. He was like a private investigator, gently shaking all the gifts, looking for some gapes in the wrappings and attempting to guess what each gift was and to whom that gift belonged.

 

Advent is like that first gift or package under the tree in the church. We believe Christ is coming and bringing the gifts of the sacraments and life. But like youngsters at Christmas, we long to know what these gifts are, to experience the grace that comes from the sacraments.

 

Life is a mystery full of delights and some sorrows. Our task is to see life and “wonder as we wander.”

 

May your Advent be full of discovery.

 

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

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