As October (Respect Life month) comes to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to share one of our Diocese’s most valuable commodities — our retired priests and deacons. These men continue to assist me and serve the people of the Fall River Diocese by offering Mass, hearing Confessions, serving on parish and diocese committees, and of course, through their prayers.
Twice a year, at the Cardinal Medeiros Home for Retired Priests, retired clergy join me to share a meal and receive an update on the Diocese. It is evident, those who are still physically able, desire to serve in ministry. What joy to spend time with these faithful men, whose stories and love of the church, encourage my own priesthood.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to spend time with them and ask you please remember them, especially the infirmed, in your prayers.
A Special Mass for Peace in Our World
The Columbus Day Procession and Mass for Peace is a long tradition in the Fall River Diocese. It was first held in 1975 especially to pray for peace in Portugal but its emphasis has since broadened to include peace and justice worldwide
Happily, the weather cooperated for a prayerful candlelight procession from St. Anne’s Shrine to St. Mary’s Cathedral including reciting the Rosary and singing Marian hymns.
A few aspects of the Mass which I particularly enjoy that it is celebrated in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, and the wonderful singing, which participants offered so enthusiastically and with such faith.
The Mass for Peace, which began in 1975, continues to draw over 700 people to pray for peace. I was delighted to look out into the Cathedral and see every seat filled, even the choir loft was filled that evening. The Mass initially intended as prayers to Our Lady of Fatima for peace in Portugal, now include many troubled places in our world needing our prayers, such as Syria, Iraq, North Korea, and many other places.
I pray you will mark your calendar for Columbus Day, 2020, to join us in the 45th annual Candlelight Procession and Mass for Peace.
All Saints Day
Friday, November 1st, is a Holy Day of Obligation. The faithful can find Masses throughout the Diocese, beginning on the vigil of the Holy Day on October 31 into the evening of November 1st. I welcome you to join me at 6 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral on November 1st, where I will be celebrating an All Saints Day Mass in Spanish.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha