Daily Prayer Practice
During our recent Parish Leader Convocation, speaker Katie Prejean McGrady gave participants a few moments to reflect on their personal prayer lives. She reminded participants of the importance of not only knowing the faith but, more importantly, practicing the faith—quoting the adage, “You cannot give what you do not have.” I agree with Katie’s advice and encourage each of you to take a few minutes to consider what part prayer plays in your daily life.
For me, prayer begins the minute I wake up. Every morning, I thank God for the gift of another day here to know, love, and serve Him. When at my residence in Fall River, I visit the chapel and recite a morning offering to God in Portuguese. The approximate translation is, “Thank you, Lord, for last night and for another day. Bless me and bless my day. May all I do, say, think and feel today be blessed by You.” My daily prayer includes the celebration of Mass, offering intentions for others, and the continual seeking of God’s grace and guidance in my daily work as bishop.
With a deep devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, I feel most at peace and closest to Him when I am able to spend time near the Tabernacle. Although I know I can connect with Jesus wherever I am; I enjoy my times of prayer, reflection, and/or rest with the Eucharist nearby. If you find your prayer life is lacking, let me suggest a visit to your parish or a nearby chapel for quiet Adoration—the Host does not need to be exposed in the Monstrance for you to experience the blessing of time spent near Jesus.
Diocesan Seminarian Updates
Deacon Bryan Bangs and Lucas daCosta are seminarians of our Diocese who spent the summer helping at two of our parishes. I thought you’d enjoy hearing about their experiences.
Deacon Bryan Bangs’ Summer Assignment
This summer, I had the blessing of being assigned to Holy Family Parish in East Taunton. It was truly a joy to be there—for many different reasons. For one thing, the joy, generosity, and genuine care that was shown to me by the parishioners and staff immediately made the parish feel like a second home to me. I was also blessed by the guidance and mentorship of Fr. Matt, whose deep care for his people and love for the Lord served as a wonderful example of priesthood that I hope to imitate.
Finally, I had opportunities for a variety of pastoral experiences, including frequent preaching, visiting Our Lady of Lourdes School, giving theological talks to some of the parish youth, and visiting the sick and homebound. For these reasons and many others, my stay at Holy Family Parish has been a huge blessing to me on my journey toward the priesthood.
Lucas daCosta’s Summer Assignment
This summer, I was assigned to Saint Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family Parish in Falmouth. This parish consists of three church buildings and two chapels that are all used in the summer. My time in Falmouth was a great blessing; getting to know the wonderful people of the parish and being able to enter into the daily life of the parish was a great and encouraging experience.
While there, I helped with daily tasks, served Mass, and gave reflections once or twice a week. It was a true blessing to be at such a busy and vibrant parish this summer, and I was also blessed to live with Msgr. Stephen Avila and Fr. Matt Laird, who provided great fraternity in the rectory. I look forward to this upcoming academic year and, God willing, my ordination to the diaconate in the spring, and I’m very grateful for everything I have experienced and learned this past summer.
In addition to praying for our current seminarians as they continue their studies, please remember to also pray for more vocations to the priesthood in our Diocese.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha