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Notes/Sermons



MEMORIAL DAY, 2020

I am pleased to announce that we will be able to have our traditional Memorial Day outdoor Mass at St. Mary’s Cemetery this year after all, as Cardinal Sean has lifted his suppression of public Masses. The Mass for the Dead will be offered at 10 o’clock A.M., outside the Cemetery garage, in sight of the Veterans’ rock-shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows, Monday, May 25th, 2020. Due to the on-going COVID-19 restrictions, however, we will not be able to offer any refreshments this year. The Memorial Day Mass is offered for the repose of the souls of all of our nation’s war-dead, for the souls of all those buried in the consecrated ground of St. Mary’s, for our own beloved dead, and for all the faithful departed. Requiescant in pace.

+KATHARINE ALLEN, R.I.P., Mother of our Lay Pastoral Associate David Allen.
With sorrow I announce the death of Katharine Allen, mother of our lay Pastoral Associate David Allen, who died on May 15th at her home in Philadelphia. Katharine has been on our prayer list for the Health of the Sick since her cancer diagnosis two years ago. Mrs. Allen was buried last week at a private funeral. Our condolences to David and his wife Ellen, to David’s father Marlan Allen, to David’s sister Rebecca and her husband Luke and their two boys Stephen and Andrew.

+JOAN OF ARC DOUGHERTY (MRS. DOMINIC JR.), R.I.P.
On Monday, May 18th, on the octave day of her 100th Birthday, our oldest parishioner Mrs. Joan of Arc Dougherty died peacefully at her family home in Newton, surrounded by five of her fifteen children. At the time of her death she has 225 descendants (children, grandWith sorrow I announce the death of Katharine Allen, mother of our lay Pastoral Associate David Allen, who died on May 15th at her home in Philadelphia. Katharine has been on our prayer list for the Health of the Sick since her cancer diagnosis two years ago. Mrs. Allen was buried last week at a private funeral. Our condolences to David and his wife Ellen, to David’s father Marlan Allen, to David’s sister Rebecca and her husband Luke and their two boys Stephen and Andrew. +JOAN OF ARC DOUGHERTY (MRS. DOMINIC JR.), R.I.P. On Monday, May 18th, on the octave day of her 100th Birthday, our oldest parishioner Mrs. Joan of Arc Dougherty died peacefully at her family home in Newton, surrounded by five of her fifteen children. At the time of her death she has 225 descendants (children, grand-children and great grand-children.) She was named “Joan of Arc” because she was born at the time when Pope Benedict XV canonized Joan of Arc as a new Saint of the Catholic Church. Mrs. Dougherty’s funeral Mass will be offered here at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes on Thursday, May 28th, at 10:30 o’clock A.M.

RE-OPENED CHURCH,
RESUMED PUBLIC MASSES,
BUT STILL UNDER COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

It was unexpected but wonderful news earlier this week when Gov. Charlie Baker lifted his restrictions on Houses of Worship, followed by the Archdiocese of Boston announcing that public Masses could soon resume. To nobody’s surprise, long-lists of conditions are attached both to the Governor’s and the Archdiocese’s announcements.

Based on these conditions I decided not to ask for permission to resume our Sunday public Masses for today, May 24th. We need more time to try to meet what is being required of us. Therefore, our Sunday Mass schedule will not resume until May 31st, 2020, which happens to be the great feast of Pentecost.

One of the COVID-19 restrictions is limiting the attendance at any Mass to 40% of the church building’s registered capacity, which for us is 400-seats. I do not think this will be a problem as no Sunday Mass outside of our 10:30 Latin Mass normally exceeds 160 people. In order to help with this I have decided to make the following alterations in our regular parish Sunday Mass Schedule.  

  • Beginning on Sunday, May 31st, the 10:30 A.M. Latin Mass will become the 11:00 A.M. Latin Mass at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes.
  • The 5:30 P.M. Sunday Mass will be offered as a second Traditional Latin Mass, instead of a Novus Ordo Mass, also beginning on Sunday, May 31st. 

The Parish Sunday Mass Schedule will be:

4:00 P. M. (Saturday Vigil)
7:30 A. M.
9:00 A. M.
11:00 A. M. (Traditional Latin Mass)
5:30 P.M. (Traditional Latin Mass) 

COVID-19 restrictions also mandate “social distancing” inside the church building. I have determined that it will be easier and safer to “social-distance” by family household here inside the main church of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes if all of the pews remain accessible.

Both the Commonwealth and the Archdiocese oblige the wearing of what amounts to “plague masks” for all people inside the church building, outside of small children and people with personal medical issues. (The priest when he is saying Mass is not obligated to wear a plague mask.)

Among other constraints placed upon us: 

  • No (or very little) congregational singing.
  • No Processions.
  • No fellowship time before or after Masses, (i.e., coffee hours.)

Speaking for myself, I bristle at being scolded or condescended to by officialdom, as if we are incapable of acting responsibly—both personally and socially—to manage the risks inherent in a time of contagion, but there it is. No amount of safety-ism, however, can make us completely safe. The only way to be completely safe is to be dead. 

The Cardinal-Archbishop has not re-instated the Sunday obligation for Mass attendance on account of the risk of disease-spread. Therefore no-one who feels unsafe coming to church in these days should do so. Any one who judges it would be imprudent for them to return to the assembly at Mass should stay home and not scruple about it. We are well-aware that this time of trial is not over.

But let us rejoice that the Mass is restored to the People of God. In the words of Padre Pio: “It would be easier for the earth to carry on without the sun than without the Holy Mass.

 

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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