Today we must say farewell to Fr. Salako as the summer comes to an end and he must return to Africa. This is the fifth consecutive summer Father has been helping us as a supply priest and we have come to greatly look forward to his coming. Through him we continue to learn many things about the Church in Africa and his own missionary work in particular.

By means of his end-of-summer Mission Appeal we are able to directly contribute to the missionary work of Father Salako’s own S.M.A. Province of Benin/Niger, for which he is presently the Father Provincial. As always, you have been very generous in your response to this Mission Appeal. We have furthermore received some large individual gifts in addition to the sum of last Sunday’s Second Collection. 

From Fr. Salako I have heard his first-hand testimony of how the Kingdom of God grows in our day through the S.M.A.’s efforts of “primary evangelization”. How far from the world of good sales numbers and the hype of promotion is the world of grace! The human means of commerce! In the Gospel, however, Jesus says: “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in the branches” (Matt. 13:31- 32).

If the spread of the Gospel is truly to be God’s work we must be patient with God’s time. A missionary can labor for decades with little appreciable result. Sometimes Fr. Salako and the missionary priests will come to an outstation chapel to say Mass—not infrequently at great risk and hardship to themselves—only to find there….no-one. Zero Mass attendance. Few seekers, fewer converts, instability and backsliding even among the baptized. This is the reality of “primary evangelization”. And yet, they persevere.

We follow Fr. Salako back to Africa with our love and our prayers. We pledge him also the on -going commitment of our parish to supporting his work. May he return to us again, please God, next summer in 2020.  

About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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"If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter."
- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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