Catholic Youth Day 2022
On October 1st, the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Diocese held the 2022 Catholic Youth Day. St. Therese’s writings hold many profound lessons for the youth and each one of us. Her message, “Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be,” fits very well with the words I shared on Saturday with our youth.
I shared with them the story of Jane Marczewski, also known as Nightbirde, who passed away on February 19th after a four-year battle with cancer. She was a contestant on America’s Got Talent, where she shared an original song, “It’s Ok,” that she wrote during that difficult time. Jane explained she chose to be joyful because “you can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”
We, too, should live in joy, the joy of the Lord, which cannot be taken from us, regardless of our circumstances. We can choose to carry Jesus in our hearts, carry the flame of faith alive in our hearts, to carry it wherever we go; even if life isn’t easy, don’t wait for life to not be hard anymore before you find joy.
I encouraged the young people to keep the flame of hope and enthusiasm burning brightly; however, this is only accomplished when we have faith. When the storms and rains come, where do we turn to, and where do we hold on to? “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts” Psalm 28:7.
Etched on the wall of a cellar by an imprisoned Jew in the Cologne concentration camp are the words, “I believe in the sun even when it isn’t shining; I believe in love even when there is no one there, and I believe in God even when He is silent.”
The world can be better because there are people who believe and who want to do better. So don’t wait. Believe in God even when He’s silent. If you pray for rain, do you bring an umbrella?
Annual Procession and Mass for Peace
Please join me for the annual Procession and Mass for Peace on Monday, October 10, 2022.
Participants in the procession should meet by 5:30 p.m. in the area of St. Anne’s Shrine, across from Kennedy Park on South Main Street in Fall River, to march approximately one-half mile to St. Mary’s Cathedral. The procession will begin at 6 p.m. Marchers will carry candles, recite the rosary, and sing Marian hymns.
Upon the arrival of the procession at St. Mary’s Cathedral, located at the corner of Second and Spring Streets, we will have the Mass for Peace. I will preside and preach at this Mass.
Those who are handicapped or disabled should proceed directly to the Cathedral, where a special area will be designated for them.
I encourage our faithful to join us either in person or in prayerful solidarity. We’ll gather this year as the war continues to rage in Ukraine, as divisions impair our nation, and as too many bear scars from violence and injustice. Our Mass and Procession for Peace is a response to the urgent appeal of the Blessed Mother in Fatima in October 1913 to pray for peace. That need clearly remains today.
For those unable to join us in person, the Mass for Peace will be live streamed on the diocesan Facebook page at www.facebook/fallriverdiocese.
The Formation of Our Lady of Peace Parish
On Oct. 1, three parishes — St. Thomas More and St. Patrick’s in Somerset, and St. Louis de France in Swansea — joined to form a new parish community named Our Lady of Peace.
The pastoral and spiritual care of the people of the Our Lady of Peace will be provided by the priests who served them at their former parishes. Rev. David A. Costa, who led all three, is now the founding pastor of the newly formed parish. He will continue to be assisted by the Dominican fathers from Providence College who help out part-time, the Rev. Kenneth Sicard, Rev. Gabriel Pivarnik, and Rev. James Quigley.
Father Costa recently expressed his hopefulness about what these changes will mean for the future of this local parish community, “I think it offers us a great opportunity to strengthen our commitment to the Lord and His church, to share gifts and talents, to build up parish ministries.”
All three churches will remain open at this time; daily Masses will be offered at St Louis de France, the home base for religious education will remain at St. Thomas More, and weekend Masses will be held at all three—as they have been for the past three years of Father Costa’s tenure there.
Have a blessed holiday weekend.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha