Renewal Planning Committee
Monday, May 10th, my newly formed Renewal Committee met to continue the process of post-pandemic planning. I have tasked this group to be creative, courageous, and comprehensive in the ideas and resources they recommend. The Diocese is truly on the cusp of an incredible, energizing moment, and I am encouraged by the conversations already beginning as we look forward.
The committee consists of Clergy Fr. David Frederici, Chair, as well as Fr. Riley Williams, and Fr. Tom Washburn. From the Diocese of Fall River Staff—David Carvalho, Laura Carrillo, Irina DeLucca, and Deacon Joe Harrington. From across the Diocese, the committee includes Allison Gingras (Holy Family, Taunton), Clare Lowre (St Mary’s, Norton/Bishop Feehan Student), Claricela Carranza (Confirmation Coordinator – Our Lady of Guadalupe New Bedford), Maryanne DeChambeau (Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) Member, St. Mary’s North Attleboro), and Michael Murphy (DPC Member, St. John’s Attleboro).
At the outset of Monday’s meeting, I laid the framework and vision for the weeks, months, and years to come. This committee continues to build upon the foundation laid from the hard work of the Rebuilding in Hope and Faith Strategic Plan. The calling for this committee is not a new start but a next step in the vision and findings of the listening sessions, planning committees, and the many lessons learned during the last fourteen months. The work of the Renewal Planning Committee will be shared not only in this blog but also across various platforms, leveraging different methods to assure we can all work together to revitalize, renew, and rebuild the Church here in the Fall River Diocese.
Doing Our Part
As we continue to participate in Pope Francis’ May Rosary Marathon to end the pandemic, there is something each of us can do in addition to help everyone move forward. Our country has been so fortunate in having a covid vaccine developed so quickly and readily available. Receiving this vaccine has been encouraged by Pope Francis, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and of course, myself.
On December 14, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on the COVID-19 vaccines. There is one particular quote from this statement I would like to share with you, “Receiving one of the COVID-19 vaccines ought to be understood as an act of charity toward the other members of our community. In this way, being vaccinated safely against COVID-19 should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”
How wonderful, as the work of my Revitalization Committee comes to fruition, to have everyone able to safely participate. How wonderful it will be for all of us to be able to come back together as a community of faith to celebrate our Liturgies and Sacraments. The sooner we become vaccinated, the sooner we can move ahead. Getting vaccinated is truly an act of charity for the greater common good.
Pope Pius Awards
Last evening, I presented the Pope Saint Pius X Youth Award to 44 young persons from parishes throughout the Fall River Diocese at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. The annual award, named for the pontiff who created the Fall River Diocese in 1904 and presented for the first time in 2001, recognizes teens who serve their parish community with selflessness, commitment, and dedication.
Nominated for the honor by their pastor, recipients support their parishes and the wider community through a variety of ministries and activities. Some are lectors, Eucharistic ministers, religious ed teachers, and youth group leaders; others have volunteered in local food pantries and tutored non-English-speaking persons. One has led a yearly initiative to collect and distribute school supplies for students in need.
The award itself is a medal bearing the image of St. Pius X along with his motto, “Receive all things in Christ.” A list of those honored with the 2021 Pope St. Pius X Youth Award and their parishes is found on the Diocese website here.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha